Reflecting on Dr. Martin Luther King Day — A few years ago a student in my children’s literature course made an appointment to talk with me about her interest in doing an independent research project related to our class session on the history of African American children’s literature. She was especially interested in nonfiction books for young people about the history of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. She signed up for an independent study with me, and she and I met on numerous occasions to talk about her readings. She introduced me to Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement by Ann Bausum. The student and I both read this book, and we agreed that it provides an excellent introduction to the history of the Civil Rights Movement and to two of the movement’s leaders, both of whom risked their lives to advocate for equality and freedom. For her final project, this student interviewed Bausum, and I proudly published an excerpt of this interview in RISE: A Children’s Literacy Journal.
By introducing me to Bausum’s excellent book, this student underscored for me the lesson that learning is often a collaborative process. Of course, students learn from their teachers, but it is also true that teachers can learn from their students. By working together to learn new material and share discoveries and insights, we can sometimes break out of our individualistic concerns and come up with new and collaborative solutions to common problems. As Dr. King once said, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
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:
Valerie Bright recently received a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies from UNC Greensboro.
Heather Vorhies recently published “Women and Corporate Communication in the Early American Republic” in Peitho Journal.
Upcoming Events and Deadlines— Here is information about an upcoming events and deadlines.
January 27 — The English Department meeting will take place on January 27, 2017, from 11:00-12:30 in the English Department Conference Room.
February 3 — The 17th Annual English Graduate Student Association Conference will take place on February 3, 2017, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm in the Cone Center Lucas Room.
Quirky Quiz Question — In addition being a leader of the Civil Rights Movement, John Lewis has long served as a member of the U. S. House of Representatives. His district encompasses most of what major city in the South?
Last week’s answer:
Ian Fleming–The Spy Who Loved Me
John le Carré–Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John le Carré, Roald Dahl, and Ian Flemming are all British writers who also worked as spies. Listed below are three books written by one of these authors. See if you can identify the author of each book.