Four Collaborations — One of the pleasures I derive from serving as the chair of our English Department is receiving email messages from members of our department in which they share news about their recent accomplishments. People send me these emails so that I can include their good news in my Monday Missive, but I enjoy reading and responding to their emails when they hit my inbox. I received such an email message this week from Jen Munroe informing me of the publication of a book chapter titled “Teaching Environmental Justice and Early Modern Texts: The ‘Co’ in Collaboration,” which is included in Teaching Social Justice Through Shakespeare (Edinburgh University Press). She also mentioned that she co-wrote this chapter with Rebecca Laroche. Jen’s email caused me to think about collaborative research. Many members of our department engage in collaborative research projects, but for the purposes of today’s Monday Missive, I will focus on four collaborations involving members of our department.
I will start with Jen’s collaborative work with Rebecca Laroche, who is a professor in the English Department at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Since 2012, Jen and Rebecca have been working together on the Early Modern Recipes Online Collective to create a database of transcriptions of early modern recipe books. She and Rebecca have also co-written numerous articles and book chapters on ecofeminism and early modern literature. Their Shakespeare and Ecofeminist Theory is the first book-length study to use ecofeminist theory to think about Shakespeare. Jen will speak about this book as part of the Personally Speaking Series on February 4, 2020. For more information about her presentation, please click on the following link: https://clas.uncc.edu/community/community/2019-2020-personally-speaking/shakespeare-and-ecofeminist-theory
In some cases, members of our English Department collaborate on projects with UNC Charlotte faculty members from other departments. Such is the case with Ralf Thiede and Dan Boisvert from the Department of Philosophy. From 2014 to 2016, they offered a Prospect-for-Success course in Liberal Studies on the relationship between language and power. Their collaboration on this class has resulted in a book manuscript. Combining their areas of language philosophy, ethics, linguistics, and cognitive science, they developed a novel approach to linguistic power: Languages, they argue, encrypt information to exclude “others,” not to optimize understanding. They develop this argument in their forthcoming book, Language, Mind, and Power: Why We Need Linguistic Equality, which is scheduled to be published by Routledge in 2020.
Becky Roeder is also collaborating on a research project with a faculty member from another department at UNC Charlotte. The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration involving Becky, Elise Berman from UNC Charlotte’s Department of Anthropology, and Vicki Collet from the University of Arkansas’s College of Education. Their research focuses on Marshallese children in Springdale, Arkansas, which has the largest Marshallese population outside the Marshall Islands. The research goal is to understand why a disproportionate number of these children, who are native speakers of English but whose parents are from the Marshall Islands, are finding themselves stuck in long-term English Learner status at school. Pending research funding, the initial phase of the project will involve spending time in Springdale collecting ethnographic, assessment, and linguistic data on a cohort of roughly two dozen kindergarteners and their families.
On occasion two members from our English Department collaborate on scholarly projects. Recently, for example, JuliAnna Ávila and Meghan Barnes have embarked on a collaborative project. Both JuliAnna and Meghan already have collaborated with researchers from other universities. JuliAnna has published two edited books and several articles with Jessica Zacher Pandya from California State University-Long Beach, and Meghan has published co-authored articles with several collaborators, including Lindy L. Johnson from the College of WIlliam and Mary. Now JuliAnna and Meghan are joining forces. They are co-guest editing an issue of English Teaching: Practice and Critique. The theme of the issue is critical literacies in community spaces, which brings together their research interests. The issue is scheduled to be published in February 2020.
The aforementioned collaborations are just a few of many collaborative research projects associated with our English Department, but these four examples are sufficient to show how collaborative research extends the reach of our department. Through such collaborations, our faculty are able to bridge disciplines, form new research networks, and participate in wide-ranging scholarly conversations. As I see it, scholarly collaborations are more like multiplication than addition. The results of such collaborations are often greater than the sum of adding the work of researcher #1 to the work of researcher #2. Instead of coming up with two, you just might come up with today’s magic number, which happens to be four.
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:
Alan Rauch recently learned that he has been selected as a TEDxCharlotte 2020 speaker finalist.
Quirky Quiz Question — What are the names of the song-writing collaborators associated with the band informally known as the Fab Four?
Last week’s answer: Clio Rising
The title of Paula Martinac’s most recent novel makes reference to the muse of history from Greek mythology. What is the title of this novel?