I just returned from Columbia, South Carolina, where I attended the Children’s Literature Association Conference on “Diverging Diversities: Plurality in Children’s and Young Adult Literature.” Our children’s literature faculty, graduate students and former graduate students were not only well represented in terms of numbers, but they also gave excellent presentations.
Anita Moss delivered a paper that she and Boyd Davis co-authored on “Diversity from Trauma and Dementia in Literature for Children and Adolescents.” Daniel Shealy gave a presentation on “Louisa May Alcott’s Lost Wonder Book,” and Paula Connolly read a paper titled “Integrating the New Republic: Representations of Race in Early American Children’s Literature.” Sarah Minslow presented a paper on “Victorian Attitudes Towards Otherness: Exclusion and Diverging Diversities in Edward Lear’s Nonsense,” and I presented on “Dr. Seuss’s Globalism.” Balaka Basu participated on a panel on “Building a Career in Children’s Literature” and was honored during the awards banquet for winning a Children’s Literature Association Faculty Research Grant.
Several of our graduate students and former graduate students presented papers. Brook Blaylock delivered a paper on “Exploring the Ghost of Voodoo Haunting: The Narrative Construction of Nick Lake’s In Darkness.” Julia Morris presented a paper titled “Inequality of Education and Its Damage to Women and Children in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions.” Traci Cruey, who just graduated from our MA program in May, read a paper on “The Girl in the Tower: The Patriarchal Worlds of Disney’s Tangled and Naploi’s Zel.” Finally, Joanne Rohan, who graduated from our MA program a few years ago, presented a paper titled “Soupy Grits and Turnip Greens: Negotiating Culture and Gaining Acceptance at the Southern Table in Dori Sanders’ Clover.”
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:
Aimee Parkison recently returned from Athens, Greece, where she taught a course on flash fiction at the International Creative Writing Summer School, which is affiliated with Kingston University.
Alan Rauch’s Dolphin recently received a glowing review from the Times Literary Supplement.
Upcoming Events and Deadlines— Here are some dates to keep in mind:
July 1 — The first day of class for the second summer term is July 1.
July 2 — The last day to add or drop a class for the second summer term is July 2.
Quirky Quiz Question — This year’s Children’s Literature Association Conference took place very near the campus of the University of South Carolina. Among the members of the English Department, who graduated from the University of South Carolina? There is more than one correct response.