All the World’s Our Stage — The 42nd Annual UNC Charlotte International Festival will take place on Saturday, October 14, at 10:00 a.m. in the in the Barnhardt Student Activity Center. For more information about this festival, please click on the following link: http://ifest.uncc.edu As I checked out the information about this festival, I was reminded about the English Department’s many global connections.
A very recent example of the department’s global orientation is the successful fundraiser that many of our students held last Thursday for the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Students from the Children’s Literature Graduate Organization (CLGO), the English Graduate Association (EGSA), the English Learning Community (ELC), the Gen-X Learning Community (from the Women’s and Gender Studies Program), and Sigma Tau Delta (the English Honor Society) raised nearly $1,000 to help desperate people who, though American citizens, live almost 1,500 miles away in a place far different from Charlotte.
Another way in which the members of our English Department play on a global stage is by conducting research that crosses national boundaries. The word international begins with the prefix inter-, which is associated with the words between, among, together, mutually and reciprocally. Many members of our department study how language and literature take on new qualities when evolving within the liminal spaces between and among nations. I could mention numerous examples, but I will limit myself today to the scholarship of four faculty members whose research deals with the cultural interplay among nations.
Jeffrey Leak’s most recent research focuses on Rosey E. Pool, a Jewish writer and editor who was born in Amsterdam in 1905 but went on to live in the U.K for much of her adult life. Pool played an important role in promoting and publishing African American poets. Jeffrey is particularly interested in Pool’s 1962 anthology, Beyond the Blues: New Poems by American Negroes. He is currently conducting research for an article on Pool’s work to bridge the differences between Europeans and Americans, Christians and Jews, and blacks and whites.
Juan Meneses’s research deals with twentieth- and twenty-first- century literature as well as visual studies from a global perspective. In the book he is currently completing, titled Against Dialogue: Post-Politics, Modern Anglophone Fiction, and the Future of Dissent, he examines a number of modernist, postmodernist, and contemporary novels from the English-speaking world for their capacity to reveal how dialogue is employed to eliminate disagreement. The book focuses on some of the most prominent concerns of our time, such as cosmopolitanism, democracy, citizenship, race, and environmental violence. This book, like most of his work as a scholar and teacher, explores how such cultural, political, and social issue manifest across the globe.
Liz Miller has a particular interest in second-language acquisition among recent immigrants to the United States. Her past research with adult immigrants to the U.S. offers an indirect international perspective given that these individuals speak about their language learning experiences in the U.S. through the lens of their past histories in many different national contexts. She addresses this topic in her monograph titled The Language of Adult Immigrants: Agency in the Making as well as in numerous scholarly articles and book chapters. Her current research with language teachers includes English teachers from the U.K. as well as in the U.S.
Maya Socolovsky’s research has long dealt with U.S. literatures about immigration, migration, and ethnicity, so it all deals with issues of biculturalism, bilingualism, border crossings and questions of assimilation/foreignness in the U.S.. In particular she has worked on Dominican, Mexican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican literature written in the U.S. and focused on how nationhood and belonging are expressed. She is currently looking at U.S. Latino/a children’s literature that depicts the border and migration, and raises questions about the ethics of borders and immigration in general.
As the aforementioned examples indicate, many members of our English Department are also players on a far larger stage. To paraphrase Shakespeare, all the world’s our stage (and that’s how we like it).
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 recently published a co-authored article titled “Views on Ageing in Place from Relocated Low‑income Housing Residents in the US” in the Journal of Nursing Older People 29 (8), 28-32. https://journals.rcni.com/nursing-older-people. She also co-authored a conference paper titled “Searching for Shared Decision Making in the Talk of Diabetes Primary Care Visits: A Mixed Methods Study,” which was recently presented in Baltimore at the 15th International Conference on Communication in Healthcare. Moreover, she just received a formal invitation to join the Australian National University’s Institute for Communication in Health Care.
Alan Rauch was recently quoted in a Charlotte Observer article about the relationship between humans and dogs: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article176687566.html
Aaron Toscano recently presented a paper titled “Doing Their Supplemental Part: World War I Propaganda and the Female Workplace” at the Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference, which took place in Dayton, Ohio.
Heather Vorhies recently presented a paper titled “Finding Feminist Theory in Folk Medical Communication of the Early American Republic” at the Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference, which took place in Dayton, Ohio.
Quirky Quiz Question — What is the title of Shakespeare’s play that includes the line “All the world’s a stage”?
Last week’s answer: American Library Association
What national organization sponsors the annual Banned Books Week?