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Cultural Excursions Organized by the MLA

The MLA has organized four cultural excursions that will take place during the 2012 MLA Annual Convention in Seattle. The excursions give registrants an opportunity to experience Seattle’s culture, architectural landmarks, local wineries, and seafood.

Space is limited, and registration (with an additional fee) is required for each excursion. To participate, select an excursion and payment option when you complete your convention registration form. Convention registrants may register a limited number of guests per excursion (the fee is the same for convention registrants and guests), but guests may register only if accompanied by a registrant. Please see the descriptions below for more information, including age restrictions and registration details.

If you have already registered for the convention and wish to attend an excursion, contact Please include your registration confirmation number in your request.

EMP Museum Excursion

EMP Museum

Image courtesy of EMP Museum

Friday, 6 January 2012
1:45–4:00 p.m.
Shuttle bus departs from the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) at 1:45 p.m.
$45 per person; up to two registered guests allowed per convention registrant

Founded by Paul Allen and housed in a one-of-a-kind building designed by Frank Gehry, the EMP Museum is dedicated to the history and exploration of music, science fiction, and popular culture. Over the course of a decade, the EMP has amassed more than eight hundred filmed oral-history interviews with musicians, producers, club owners, fans, and others associated with various genres of music and film. These interviews, along with the museum’s massive artifact collection, form the foundation of every exhibition.

The excursion begins with an introduction to the Oral History Program and a moderated discussion with the EMP’s senior curator Jacob McMurray and ends with a guided tour of the museum, after which guests are welcome to explore the galleries and exhibits at their own pace.

The Oral History Program / Discussion with Jacob McMurray. The first half hour of this presentation includes an introduction to the interviews in the EMP’s Oral History Program, as well as a discussion of the methodologies and resources used to document them. For the second half hour, guests will hear Jacob McMurray discuss his role in interviewing more than one hundred musicians, producers, writers, and science fiction professionals for the Oral History Program.

Museum Tour. During this 45-minute tour, a museum curator will provide an overview of the EMP’s mission, permanent collection, and galleries and offer insight into individual exhibitions and artifacts. The tour will include the following exhibitions: Jimi Hendrix: An Evolution of Sound; Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses; Battlestar Galactica: The Exhibition; Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film; and Avatar: The Exhibition. Guests are welcome to take the entire tour or explore individual exhibits on their own.

Guests are welcome to stay until the museum closes at 5:00 p.m. The EMP is located at the Seattle Center. There is no return shuttle bus to the WSCC, but visitors can take the nearby monorail to the Westlake Center station at 5th Avenue and Pine Street, four blocks west of the WSCC.

For more information about the EMP, visit the museum’s Web site.

Seattle Central Library Excursion

Seattle Central Library

Courtesy of the Seattle Public Library

Friday, 6 January 2012
8:00–10:30 a.m.
1000 4th Avenue at Madison Street
$30 per person (donation to the library is included); one registered guest allowed per convention registrant

The Central Library is the flagship of the Seattle Public Library system, located in a building designed by Rem Koolhaas. This excursion includes two private tours for MLA attendees and will take place before the library opens to the public at 10:00 a.m. Since these tours are taking place before the library is open, guests must remain with the tours.

Architecture Tour. Robert Zimmer, architect and project director for the team of Seattle-based architects who worked on the Koolhaas-designed building, will lead a special presentation on the construction of the library and a private tour of the library’s architecture, including anecdotes and insights about the building and its history.

Seattle Room and Special Collections Tour. Jodee Fenton, managing librarian of Special Collections and the Seattle Room, will conduct a tour that explores the relation between the architecture and the administration of Special Collections, highlighting treasures from the collections. Special Collections in the Seattle Public Library include the Hugh and Jane Ferguson Seattle Collection, the genealogy collection, the Albert Balch Autograph Collection, the Aviation Collection, the library’s art collection, and rare books.

The Central Library is located in downtown Seattle near the MLA hotels and shuttle bus route. Guests should arrive on their own at the library by 8:00 a.m. The MLA will not provide transportation to or from the library. After the tours, guests can walk two blocks up Madison Street to 6th Avenue and the Renaissance Seattle for a free shuttle bus to the WSCC.

For more information about the Seattle Central Library, visit the library’s Web site.

Sustainable-Seafood Cooking Class and Wine Pairing Excursion

Becky Selengut

Clare Barboza

Saturday, 7 January 2012
2:30–6:30 p.m.
Shuttle bus departs from the WSCC at 2:30 p.m.
$140 per person; one registered guest allowed per convention registrant

Join chef, author, cooking teacher, and sustainable-seafood advocate Becky Selengut and sommelier April Pogue at PCC Natural Markets in West Seattle for a hands-on cooking class and wine pairing that focuses on sustainable seafood and wines from the Pacific Northwest. PCC Natural Markets, a sustainable-foods cooperative, began as a food-buying club of fifteen families in 1953. Today it is the largest consumer-owned natural-food retail cooperative in the United States. Participants must be 21 or older.

Copies of Selengut’s book Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast will be available for purchase.

The bus will depart at 6:00 p.m. to return to the WSCC.

For more information, visit the Web sites of PCC Natural Markets and Becky Selengut.

Oyster and Wine Tasting Reception


Dan Poss

Saturday, 7 January 2012
8:00–10:00 p.m.
1521 Melrose Avenue
$60 per person; one registered guest allowed per convention registrant

Join local shellfish experts from Taylor Shellfish Farms at their store in Seattle for a relaxing oyster and wine tasting reception. Learn from the experts about shellfish farming, what to look for when buying shellfish, and what local wines pair well with shellfish. Each guest will sample a dozen fresh oysters from Puget Sound and ten white wines that were winners of the Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition. Chef Becky Selengut will be on hand to discuss issues facing our oceans and seafood choices that can have a positive impact. Chowder, books, and wine will be available for purchase. Participants must be 21 or older.

There is no shuttle service to or from Taylor Shellfish Farms. From the WSCC, take Pike Street four blocks north to Minor Avenue and turn left. Taylor Shellfish is located just off Pike Street, where Melrose and Minor Avenues merge.

For more information, visit the Web sites of Taylor Shellfish Farms and Becky Selengut.


© 2015 Modern Language Association. Last updated 09/05/2012.