Interdisciplinary Studies in the New Millennium — The theme for this year’s English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) conference is “All Roads Lead to Roam: Interdisciplinary Studies in the New Millennium.” The EGSA’s conference will take place on February 2, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in UNC Charlotte’s Student Union. In keeping with the conference theme, the thirty papers listed on the schedule incorporate various interdisciplinary approaches, including book history, film studies, gender studies, political discourse, and race studies. I applaud our graduate students for focusing their conference on interdisciplinary studies.
Narrowly defined academic disciplines took root in American universities during the late 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century. As various fields of study began separating themselves from other fields of study, knowledge became more fragmented and scholars became increasingly isolated from one another. For many years, however, members of our English Department have resisted this trend.
Our English Department has a long history of supporting interdisciplinary studies programs. The American Studies Program, the first interdisciplinary studies program established at UNC Charlotte, was started by Julian Mason, an English professor, in 1975. Members of the English Department have run this program for most of its history. Paula Eckard, for example, has served as the program’s director since 2002. English faculty members currently play leadership roles in several other interdisciplinary studies programs, including Janaka Lewis, who serves as the director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and Alan Rauch, who leads the program in Humanities, Technology, and Science.
The EGSA members made the decision on their own to focus their conference on interdisciplinary studies, but their decision reflects a departmental ethos–an ethos that welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to the study of language usage, literature, and the creation and interpretation of narratives of all sorts. Such is the nature of English studies as it has evolved in our department in the new millennium.
Kudos — As you know, I like to use my Monday Missives to share news about recent accomplishments by members of the English Department. Here is the latest news:
Paula Eckard just brought out a new issue of The Thomas Wolfe Review, a journal for which she serves as the main editor.
Upcoming Events and Deadlines — Here is information about upcoming events and deadlines:
February 2 — The 18th Annual English Graduate Student Conference will take place on February 2, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in UNC Charlotte’s Student Union.
February 6 — The UNC Charlotte Alumni Association is sponsoring a program called “A Fireside Chat with Bryn Chancellor.” During this event, Bryn will discuss her debut novel, Sycamore. The event will take place on February 6, 2018, in the Harris Alumni Center from 5:30 to 7:00. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information, please click on the following link: https://49eralumni.uncc.edu/s/1721/interior.aspx?sid=1721&pgid=1306&gid=2&cid=3574&ecid=3574&post_id=0
Quirky Quiz Question — Not only are the current leaders of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Humanities, Technology, and Science Program from the English Department, but so too were the immediate past leaders of these programs. Can you identify the immediate past leaders of these two interdisciplinary programs?
Last week’s answer: Atlanta
Coretta Scott King founded the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change. In what city is the King Center located?