Read this piece by Sharleen Mondal. It's excellent.
It's in response to this long article in this month's The Believer by Gideon Lewis-Kraus. There's too much in the essay to summarize it simply. I guess the best description of his take on attending an MLA convention is open-minded but skeptical. I've only read about half of it so far (have to get back to Susan Jacoby!), but I approve of everything I've seen so far.
I'm also grateful because Sharleen turns directs me to Charlie Bertsch, a 'punk rock' English prof. at Arizona.