Charlotte Research Scholars — For many faculty members in the English Department, summer is when they focus on their research. This summer, however, a number of faculty members in our department are involving undergraduate students in their research. These faculty members are participating in the Charlotte Research Scholars (CRS) program. Started in 2012, this program provides high-achieving undergraduate students with opportunities to work alongside faculty members on research projects. Initially, CRS emphasized the sciences, but now the program draws students from across a wide range of disciplines, including English. As part of this summer program, Sarah Minslow and Greg Wickliff are leading writing workshops for the CRS students. The faculty members from English who are serving as CRS mentors this summer are Janaka Lewis, Kirk Melnikoff, Sarah Minslow, Alan Rauch, and Greg Wickliff.
Janaka is the research mentor for a student named Ashley Burch. The title of Ashley’s project is “Images and Perceptions of Black Women in African American Literature.” In addition to assisting with Janaka’s research, Ashley is conducting her own research on representations of success and perceptions of social and physical mobility for African American women writers in the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Kirk and Alan are jointly mentoring English student Nadia Clifton as she researches the remarkable collection of plays, pantomimes, and operas (ranging from the 17th to the early 19th centuries) that are part of the Princess Augusta Sophia Collection in Special Collections at the J. Murrey Atkins. Nadia is learning about book history and textual bibliography as she works through the collection guided by a spreadsheet (designed by Alan and Kirk) that includes categories for marginalia, binding, royal monographs, ownership stamps, along with conventional bibliographic data.
Sarah is working with Kate Galindo to assess the use of children’s and young adult literature to teach the Holocaust in Charlotte Mecklenberg Schools (CMS) middle schools (grades 6-8). The study of this literature is the core of Sarah’s War and Genocide in Children’s Literature course. For this project, Kate will complete a literature review to establish what critics see as the essential aspects of the Holocaust that should be taught to middle school students and what children’s literature critics see as the general guidelines of writing about war and genocide for young audiences. Kate and Sarah will also administer a survey for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) middle school teachers that will be emailed to all History/Social Studies and English teachers. Kate and Sarah will begin developing a curriculum guide for middle school teachers that relates to teaching the Holocaust and other genocides using children’s and young adult literature.
Alan is mentoring Melanie Carty on a project titled “Private Subscription Libraries in 19th-Century England: Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle.” These libraries represent a cross-section of industrial or recreational cities in the early nineteenth century, where the interest in science and technology amongst members was strong. Melanie will examine the records of these libraries between 1800 and 1830 in an effort to determine: 1.) who readers were; 2.) what books were being purchased; 3.) what books were being borrowed/read; and, 4.) how books were being used. As the project moves forward, she will develop a strong sense of library history and practices, as well as a deep understand of book history, to say nothing of how knowledge was disseminated in the Regency Period.
Greg is working with Christopher Burton on a project titled “John William Draper and 19th-Century American Science.” They are conducting primary research for an article about John William Draper’s June 1860 paper given at Oxford on Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Draper’s paper is one of the earliest responses to Darwin’s book by a member of the scientific community.
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:
Allison Hutchcraft has three poems published in the Summer 2014 issue of The Kenyon Review, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. One of her poems is also featured on The Kenyon Review website, which can be found here: http://www.kenyonreview.org/journal/summer-2014/selections/allison-hutchcraft/
Lauren Klein, an English major, was selected as a winner of the United Nations Academic Impact Contest for an essay titled “Many Languages, One World.” Lauren wrote her winning essay in Russian.
Juan Menses has been appointed editor of H-Empire, an interdisciplinary online network under the H-NET Commons academic platform.
Upcoming Events and Deadlines— Here is a date to keep in mind:
June 21 — Jeffrey Leak will sign copies of Visible Man: The Life of Henry Dumas at Park Road Books at
2:00 pm on Saturday, June 21, 2014
. Please click on this link for more information: http://exchange.uncc.edu/event/jeffrey-leak-book-signing/