Going Global — I just returned from Great Britain where I presented a paper at the Oxford Education Research Symposium. This symposium drew scholars from around the globe. Among the many countries represented at the symposium were Australia, Brazil, Iran, Italy, Kenya, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. During the symposium, everyone talked about education within a global context. We talked about how technology is used in schools from many different parts of the world. We talked about bilingual education and how other language issues impact schools in countries where more than one language is commonly spoken. We talked about how global cultural conflicts affect education. We talked about how global economic and political developments often lead to changing attitudes toward children and child rearing. I came away from this symposium with a heightened awareness of how educational systems and approaches are affected by global trends and movements.
My experience at Oxford University got me thinking about our English Department’s global connections. Of course, many of our faculty members participate in international conferences. Just this summer Balaka Basu, Pilar Blitvich, Boyd Davis, Janaka Lewis, Malin Pereira, and Alan Rauch have all presented papers at conferences held outside of the United States. However, our global connections also extend into the classroom. I could mention many cases of our faculty members’ involvement in international teaching, but I will limit myself to two notable and very recent examples. For the second half of the summer, Becky Roeder has been teaching college English to Chinese students in Shanghai, China. Also during the second half of the summer, Manuela (Manu) Vida from the University of Cologne in Germany has been teaching a section of ENGL 3132 (Introduction to Contemporary American English) here at UNC Charlotte. I think it is a sign of the global nature of linguistics that Manu, who is a linguist from Germany, can come to the United States and teach our students about American English. As these two examples illustrate, the teaching in our English Department is already going global.
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:
Dina Schiff Massachi, a recent graduate of our M.A. program in English, recently published a chapter titled “Suffragist Matilda Gage’s Influence on Oz” in a book titled Poor Richard’s Ozmanac.
Anita Moss published an article titled “Completing the Circle: Storytelling and Community in Michael Dorris’s Sees Behind Trees in the spring/summer 2016 issue of RISE: A Children’s Literacy Journal.
Quirky Quiz Question — Manu Vida is a graduate student of a former faculty member from our English Department who now teaches at the University of Cologne. Does anybody know the name of this former member of our English Department?
Last week’s answer: The Phantom Tollbooth
Norton Juster spent most of his career working as an architect, but he also enjoyed writing for children. In addition to writing The Hello, Goodbye Window,he wrote one of the most famous American fantasy novels intended for children. This novel came out in 1961. Does anybody know the title of this classic novel?