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January 14, 2014 10:00 AM Wrong on So Many Levels

By Daniel Luzer

The meeting of the Modern Language Association, the American professional association for scholars of language and literature, that took place in Chicago last week, is controversial. I wrote last month about the frustration many experienced with the decision of a few institutions of higher learning to offer interviews only to finalists who were planning to attend the MLA conference.

But some academics think it might be fun to use the meeting for even more strange meetups: fake job interviews. Sexy fake job interviews.

hoteldoor

According to this piece at Gawker, one English professor posted an ad on Craigislist “casual encounters” section:

I propose to play interviewee to your interviewer:
I will arrive at your MLA hotel room, in my interview suit, ready to discuss my research, my place in my field, my theoretical approaches, my teaching methods, etc.
You ask me the appropriate questions and listen, interrupt, challenge, acting as a typical faculty member of a hiring committee. (You explain that your colleagues are respectively ill in bed and unable to attend because of personal obligations but, yes, you are authorized to advance my candidacy.)
Over the course of the interview we begin to cast flirtatious sidelong glances, adopt inviting body language and inch toward one other. At the right moment one of us makes the bold move of an innocent touch on the shoulder, followed by leaning in for a kiss. We both know it’s wrong, but we’re too titillated to stop.
The final outcome is something we can discuss in advance, or figure out on the fly.

Never mind for a second that this guy is also someone the other person would actually be very likely to see at the real conference. Am I the only one who thinks this has the potential to be the worst sexual encounter ever? Yeah, let’s simulate a job interview. That’s totally hot.

“MLA interviews, fraught with tension, can also be thick with eroticism,” said the person who wrote that post, who describes himself an “assistant professor at a research university with a real degree of success in my field.”

No pics though, sadly.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer

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