A Welcoming Place — I just returned to Charlotte after serving as an external program reviewer for another department in an out-of-state university. As I entered the foyer to our English Department this morning, I experienced a pleasant sense of coming home.
The space itself is welcoming, but even more important than the space are the people. We are fortunate to have a cadre of enthusiastic work-study students to welcome people as they enter the English Department. In many ways, these students represent our department, and they always do an excellent job of greeting visitors, helping their fellow students, and lending a hand to the faculty and staff of the English Department. I always appreciate their cheerful greetings and their willingness to help keep the department running smoothly. As I set out to write today’s Monday Missive, I decided to thank these students in a more public way. Please join me in thanking Nafis Bilal, Emily Haigler, Tracy Gaiten, Chelsea Moore, and Megan White. Our thanks should also go to Maggie Owen, another student who works in the English Department through the University Professional Internship Program. These students help make the English Department a welcoming place.
National Council for Black Studies Conference — Four of our English graduate students participated in a round-table presentation at the National Council for Black Studies Conference, which took place in Charlotte last week. These students were Shanon Murray, Melissa Ligh, Kaneisha Gaston, and Kristen Reynolds. The round-table presentation was titled titled “Reading Contemporary Black Poetry: Lessons from University of North Carolina at Charlotte Graduate Students.” They presented their insights on poems by Yusef Komunyakaa, Patricia Smith, and Claudia Rankine.
Kudos— As you know, I like to use my Monday Missives to share news about recent accomplishments by members of our department. Here is the latest news:
Pilar Blitvich recently learned that her co-edited collection “From speech acts to lay concepts of politeness: A multilingual and multicultural perspective” is under contract with Cambridge University Press. She has also been invited to join the editorial board of the Journal of Pragmatics, the flagship journal in her field.
Juan Meneses recently presented the paper titled “Counterstories: Visual Spectacle and the Global Novel” at the American Comparative Literature Association Conference, which took place last weekend at Harvard University
Upcoming Events and Deadlines— Here are some dates to keep in mind:
March 22 — This year’s English Major Day will take place on March 22 (Tuesday) in Fretwell 290B. This annual event will feature three workshops. The first workshop is titled “The English Major as Preparation for a 21st-Century Career,” and it will run from 11:00 to 12:15. The second workshop is titled “Publishing a Book,” and it will run from 12:30 to 1:45. The third workshop is on “Preparing for Graduate School,” and it will run from 2:00 to 3:15. Please encourage your students to participate in this event.
March 28 — The Children’s Literature Graduate Organization is sponsoring a presentation titled “Diversity in YA Literature,” which will feature an author panel and book signing. The YA authors who are participating are Renee Ahdieh, Alexandra Duncan, and Lori Special. The event will take place on Monday, March 28, from 3:30 to 5:00 in the Student Union 340B.
Quirky Quiz Question — Can you name the member of our staff who hires and supervises our cadre of excellent work-study students?
Last week’s answer: The Pleiades