Loyola University Chicago

Midwest Modern Language Association

Keynote Speaker

2022 Convention: Sarah Gendron


You've Got to be Carefully Bought: Money, Power, and Higher Education in The United States

Friday, November 18, 2022
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM Central
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, Great Lakes C Room
There is little doubt that the recent pandemic had a detrimental effect on higher education, if for no other reason than it gave executive leadership the justification to reallocate tenure lines, dispense with lower-enrolling disciplines, and cull "unnecessary" academic staff, all in the name of emergency action if not actual financial exigency. The primary target of these measures was and is the Humanities. However, while the pandemic presented an undeniable natural opportunity to deal a cataclysmic blow to the liberal arts, it was made permissible and even palatable by an ever-increasing culture of anti-intellectualism that had long been stoked by wealthy extremists in the United States. This presentation examines the history of the relationship between money, politics, and higher education as a means of offering at least one explanation for the current state of affairs and suggestions for how to move forward "post-now."
Sarah Gendron is Professor of French and Cultural Studies at Marquette University in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Gendron is a recipient of Fulbright Research Fellowship and the 3-year Way Klingler Research Fellowship. She is the author of Reading Repetition in the Work of Samuel Beckett, Jacques Derrida, and Gilles Deleuze (2008) and The Co-Opting of Education by Extremist Factions: Professing Hate (2020). She has also authored literary translations--one by Simone de Beauvoir and completed with Sylvie le Bon de Beauvoir, and one a Goncourt-winning novel by Frédéric Brun--and has authored numerous scholarly articles focusing on cultural propaganda, genocide, and gender studies. Gendron is currently conducting research for two book projects: Sub silentio: Gender-based Violence in International Humanitarian Law, and Fury: Irish women as political, social, and paramilitary activists for a United Ireland.  

Previous Keynote Speakers

MMLA ConventionKeynote SpeakerTitle of Keynote Address
Sarah Gendron
You've Got to be Carefully Bought: Money, Power, and Higher Education in The United States
Anna Kornbluh 
Let's Stay Together: Mediations Amid Immediacy
Dr. Jerrold E Hogle
The Gothic and the Dopplegänger: A Symbiotic Relationship
Karen Piper
Truth and lies in the Land of Trolls
Dr. Kristen Iversen
A New Palette: Art as Activism in a Volatile World
Dr. José Limón
American Women Writers, Border States, and Republics
Dr. Laura Mandell
What Counts as Scholarship? The Impact of Digital Publicity on Research