A Friendly Takeover — In the realm of corporate business, hostile takeovers are commonplace, but in the realm of our English Department a completely different kind of takeover took place last week. The students associated with Sigma Tau Delta and the Early Modern Paleography Society (with assistance from our other student groups) organized a “Haunted English Department Takeover” on Friday, October 27. Many of us on the faculty and staff opened our office doors to trick-or-treaters, and it proved to be a fun and engaging way to kick off the takeover. After the trick-or-treating, the students held a rollicking, multi-generational costume contest. The participants included lots of children, many of our students, and a number of faculty and staff members. I was amazed at the creativity that went into the costumes. In addition to the trick-or-treating and the costume contest, the organizers provided games, a scary movie, and an abundance of pizza. I had to leave at 6:00 while the takeover was still in full swing, but when I returned to the office at 8:00 this morning the students had already straightened up the department after the party.
Everything about the Haunted English Department Takeover impressed me, but what impressed me the most was that our students took the initiative to organize this takeover. By taking the initiative to organize an event for the enjoyment of our extended departmental community, our students developed leadership and community-building skills. To use a fashionable word in academia these days, they claimed and exercised agency. They helped add a family-friendly dimension to our department, and they showed that academic pursuits are fully compatible with having fun. I hope this friendly takeover of the English Department becomes an annual event.
Alumni Association Book Club — The Alumni Association is starting a book club that is kicking off today, and Bryn Chancellor’s Sycamore is being featured. The organizers of this book club are hoping to engage our alumni, faculty/staff and students with Bryn’s book in a new way. For more information about this book club, please click on the following link:
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:
Boyd Davis co-authored a conference paper titled “Sociocultural Aspects of UH as a Pragmatic Marker in Dementia Discourse” for presentation at the Seventh Aging and Society Research Conference at the University of California at Berkeley.
Allison Hutchcraft recently gave a reading at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill as part of an event organized by the North Carolina Arts Council.
Upcoming Events and Deadlines— Here is information about an upcoming event.
Nov. 14 — The Personally Speaking presentation featuring Paula Eckard will take place on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, at UNC Charlotte Center City. Paula’s presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. A book signing and reception will follow her presentation. For more information and to RSVP, please click on the following link: https://exchange.uncc.edu/personally-speaking-looks-at-lostness-through-the-eyes-of-children/
Quirky Quiz Question — For the Haunted English Department Takeover costume contest, Angie William’s granddaughter (Hallie Edwards) dressed up as Herminone Granger from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Hallie’s great costume reminded me of the Halloween chapter in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Does anybody know what unexpected visitor showed up at this party and caused the party to come to a sudden end?
Last week’s answer: Charlotte Public Library and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
The upcoming EpicFest will take place at ImaginOn. This unique facility is jointly operated by two cultural organizations in Charlotte. Can you identify these two cultural organizations?