I see these presentations as contributing to the English Department’s community engagement activities. Our department has a longstanding tradition of working with community organizations and institutions. I could list many examples, but I will limit myself to three that immediately come to mind. Through her work with the Charlotte Writing Project, Lil Brannon has made a real difference in the careers of many CMS teachers. Jeffrey Leak has worked closely with the staff of the Levine Museum of the New South in developing programming and exhibits. Greg Wickliff has worked with the Charlotte Chapter of the Society of Technical Communication on various projects involving our students. As these examples demonstrate, the members of our English Department are engaged in a wide range of community outreach activities.
You Ought to Be in Pictures — In 1934 Rudy Vallee recorded “You Ought to Be in Pictures,” and the song went on to become a smash hit. Rudy Vallee might not have realized it at the time, but his song relates to Janaka Lewis. Janaka recently sent me an email about her summer adventures, and she included news about her new career as a movie star:
On August 1, I took a trip to Durham to see the premiere of the film When We Free, directed by Julia Roxanne Wallace and produced by Dr. Alexis Gumbs of Durham (who both discussed the making of the film on behalf of Black Feminist Film School on campus last fall). When I had the opportunity to visit the first set in Mebane last August, I was put in costume and invited to participate in the scene setting up a table at a church meeting, which earned me a few seconds of screen time and credits, by name, as “Congregant #2.”
Quirky Quiz Question — In my upcoming presentation at the Waltonwood retirement community, I will talk about the history of Disney’s animated movies, including his Mickey Mouse movies. When Mickey made his first film appearance, he was not called Mickey Mouse. What was Mickey’s original name?