Readers who have been attentive to the slashing edge of the Postmodernist Project will be aware of Lagado University’s vanguard role at the Modern Language Association’s 1995 meeting. On that occasion a session conducted entirely by the LU English Department’s faculty, “Intersections of Sex and Animal Husbandry: The Love that Dare not Low its Name,” was rated the most innovative presentation in MLA history. Oscar Odsodd’s “The Erotic Moos: Articulations of Bovine Buggery,” Vito-Extravaganzo Piustranostrano’s “Sheep Thrills: Engendering the Ovine Other,” and Hector Mondo-Bizarro’s “Phrasing the Graze: Intimations of Man-Kine Eroticism on Alluvial Plains in Eighteenth Century Spanish Pastoral Poetry” concerted an unprecedented challenge to homospecies-normativity’s underlying assumptions. It was received with an enthusiasm befitting its importance.

It is not surprising, then, that the Lagado faculty’s papers drew large audiences at the MLA’s 111th conference in Chicago. The LU session, “Tall in the Stall: Exploring Transgressive Sexual Sites,” was far and away the best attended at the convention. Hector Mondo-Bizarro, in “Psychic Charges from the Intersecting Public and Private Zones Within the Stalls of Institutional Men’s Room,” explained how the magnetizing pull of the dangers lurking behind the toilet stall door led to homophobic anticommunism and Proposition 13. Although Oscar Odsodd was unable to attend owing to a painful accident incurred during an intimate celebration of diversity at the University of South Dakota College of Agriculture’s Bovine Research Center, his “Barn Buns: Oh Wow Brown Cow!” was read by Professor Piustranostrano to a spirited response. Odsodd’s paper, which problematized heterospecies sexual difference, continued his exploration of themes adumbrated at last year’s session.

Leading off the session entitled “Transgressions for the Twenty-first Century: Great Leaps Forward,” LU’s Elizabeth Burke-Hare delivered “At the Jeffrey Dahmer Delicatessen: A Study of the Anthropophagian Aesthetic in Contemporary Culture.” This paper explored the sometimes gruesome interplay between life and art, between actual anthropophagia and textual anthropophagia. Rather than exclude cannibalism from critical consideration by dismissing it as a mere crime, Burke-Hare urged her audience to ponder the killer cannibal’s artistic role—and their own experience as witnesses, vicarious consumers, or voyeurs.

Professor Harry Glibb chairmammaled a well-attended afternoon session on “Discourse Liberation: Overcoming First Amendment Barriers,” and LU’s Elektra Hardwitch presented “Free Speech and Hate Silence,” a review of strategies for dealing with yawning, slumping, snoring, shuffling, doodling, diddling, grimacing, groaning, horserace handicapping, and comic-book reading in the classroom by sexist-racist-homophobic-reactionary undergraduate elements determined to undermine Postmodernist discourse by disruptive apathy. Her paper ended at 9:30, when a graduate student in the front row had some kind of fit and the entire audience escaped in the confusion.

An LU graduate student, J.F. Bodley, received the MLA “Postmod Bod Door Prize” for a paper entitled “The Embodiment of the ‘Indian’ Body within the Body of Texts concerning Captive White Bodies: Engendering the American Self as the Body of (Dis)Embodied Alterity.” The judges felt the title of Bodies’s paper embodied this year’s theme—the Embodiment of the Body—more profusely than any other at the convention.

The MLA Central Control Commission did, however, revoke Professor George S. Stodgett’s lifetime membership and forbid his attendance at all future MLA functions. Stodgett was overheard describing the graduate students at the Convention as “the unemployable in pursuit of the unintelligible.” The CCC pronounced this kind of insensitivity intolerable. Stodgett’s colleagues (who have been encouraging him to retire since 1979) were almost unanimous in endorsing the revocation.

It should also be noted that Henry “Huckleberry” Slagg, a hobo stranded in Kafka, South Dakota, when the old Mud Butte, White Owl, and Wanblee Railroad failed in 1935, passed away at the beginning of May, regretted by all at LU. Henry Slagg first attracted the attention and sympathy of the Lagado community during the Decade of Creed. As the only year-round, full-time, long-service certified Homeless Person in the city of Kafka—or within a 150-mile radius of Lagado University—he came to assume a pivotal role in every one of the marches, vigils, rallies, sit-ins, sit-outs, sit-downs, and sit-ups held by Youth Against War, Fascism and Homelessness, the LU Coalition for the Homeless, and Advocates for the Homeless in America.

Many departments at Lagado utilized Slagg as a valuable resourcemammal— he figured in at least a dozen dissertations by Ph.D. candidates in Sociology Psychology, and Anthropology—but “Huck” will always be remembered with special fondness in the English Department. Between 1985 and 1992 he appeared in half the papers turned in by the students in Harry Glibb’s “Literatures of the American Experience.” A LU-Nexis survey reveals that Slagg recurs 13,033 times in creative writing papers by LU students during the seven-year period. He was also the subject of three published poems by the faculty.

In 1992 “Huck”‘declared that he was too old to continue, nailed a mailbox up in front of the old MBWO&’W caboose that sheltered him, and announced his retirement from the homeless profession.

It need hardly be said that everyone in the English Department respected Henry Slagg’s wishes. In any case, homelessness is an 80’s kind of thing, and most members of the Lagado community agreed that it was time to move on to the concerns of the 90’s.