The Study of the New South — At the end of June, Jeffrey Leak will step down as the Director for the Center for the Study of the New South in order to focus his attention on serving as the Faculty President. Jeffrey has served as the Director of the Center since 2011. Under his leadership the Center has developed programming that has engaged the larger Charlotte community. In 2012, he secured a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council for the Center to host a conference on the book and exhibit Without a Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America. The Center also sponsored year-long programming on Sports in the New South, Soul Food: A Historical and Contemporary Exploration of New South Food, and most recently, a series titled Real Talk: Community Conversation on Why the Black American Male Still Matters. Please join me in commending Jeffrey for providing the Center with such excellent leadership.
Jeffrey’s work as the Director of the Center for the Study of the New South reflects the English Department’s long-standing involvement in Southern Studies. In the mid-1970s, the English Department began offering an upper-level course called Literature of the American South, and in the years since then English faculty have have contributed to Southern Studies both through their teaching and their scholarship. Currently, a number of English faculty members are engaged in scholarly projects that deal with Southern Studies. I could mention many examples, but there are four faculty members who immediately come to mind. Janaka Lewis and Paula Eckard are both doing research projects on writers from the American South while Liz Miller and Becky Roeder are conducting linguistics research on speech patterns and language usage in the South.
Upcoming Events and Deadlines— Here are some dates to keep in mind:
June 22 — Last day of classes for the first summer session.
June 29 — Grades due for classes taught during the first summer session.
June 29 — Classes for the second summer session begin on June 29.
June 30 — Last day to add or drop a class with no grade.
Quirky Quiz Question — The English Department’s engagement in Southern Studies is reflected in our annual award ceremony. Each year, the English Department gives an award to “an outstanding graduate student with an interest in literature, especially Southern Literature.” This award is named after a former English faculty member. Does anybody know the name of this former faculty member?
Last week’s answer: The Cheshire Cat couldn’t be beheaded because his body (and head) kept disappearing.