As MLA Prepares to Meet, High-Profile Debates Grab Spotlight

The furor over the American Studies Association's boycott of Israeli higher-education institutions has spilled over to the Modern Language Association, making for an unusually contentious buildup to the group's annual meeting, which begins on Thursday in Chicago.

As usual, most of the 800-plus sessions on this year's program focus on language and literature and on professional issues, not on Middle East politics. Other topics