St. Patrick’s Day — I am going to be out of the office tomorrow, so I decided to send you my Monday Missive on Sunday instead. As I am sure you know, Monday is also St. Patrick’s Day, which of course has lots of Irish connotations. Those of us without Irish connections, however, can still get in on the fun. I remember last year seeing a Muslim woman student wearing an emerald green scarf on St. Patrick’s Day.
Over the history of the English Department, we have had several faculty members who have published scholarly works on famous Irish writers. Perhaps the most notable example is Fred Smith, who served as Chair of the English Department from 1984 through 1990. Fred published a great deal about the famous Irish writer Jonathan Swift. Fred’s book titled The Genres of Gulliver’s Travels was widely praised when it came out in 1990.
Whether you have Irish connections or not, I wish you all a happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Children’s Literature Association Conference — Three of our graduate students have recently had papers accepted for presentation at the upcoming Children’s Literature Association Conference, which will take place in Columbia, South Carolina, in June. These students are Brook Blaylock, Traci Cruey, and Julia Morris. Also, Joanne Rohan, one of our former graduate students, had a paper accepted. There will be plenty of faculty members to keep an eye on these students when they present their papers. Balaka Basu, Paula Connolly, Sarah Minslow, Daniel Shealy, and I will also be giving presentations at the conference. I should point out that the paper selection process was very competitive, so the fact that so many students and faculty from UNC Charlotte received acceptances reflects well on our department.
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:
Balaka Basu received a Faculty Research Grant from the Children’s Literature Association to support her project titled Playing the Game: Reading Digitally with Children’s Literature.
Paula Connolly‘s book Slavery in American Children’s Literature just received a rave review in Slavery and Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies.
Sarah Minslow presented a paper titled “Teaching War and Genocide in Children’s Literature” at a conference titled Understanding Atrocities: Remembering, Representing, and Teaching Genocide at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Maya Socolovsky presented a paper titled“Material Commodities and Judaism in a Wireless World: Exploring Allegra Goodman’s The Cookbook Collector,” at MELUS, Oklahoma City, OK.
Upcoming Events and Deadlines— Here are some dates to keep in mind:
March 20 — In honor of Women’s History Month, please join English/AFRS 2301 and 4050-5050 for “A Celebration of Women’s Literature” featuring poet and playwright Murhl Bussey. The evening will feature an open mic session (you may bring a short piece written by a woman author to share) and a reading of an excerpt of Bussey’s play “The Devil’s Playground.” The event will be held on Thursday, March 20 at 6 pm in McKnight Hall, Cone Center.
March 21 — Becky Roeder will give a presentation titled “Understanding Accent: The Canadian Shift as Default” in the Conferecne Room from 1:00-2:00. This presentation is sponsored by the Development Committee.
Quirky Quiz Question — After publishing extensively on Jonathan Swift, Fred Smith switched his research to another Irish writer. This writer is especially famous for his play Waiting for Godot. What is the name of this writer?