International Accord — My Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary provides the following definition for the word accord: “to bring into agreement; … to be consistent or in harmony.” This word popped into my mind as I was leaving the Oxford Education Research Symposium last Friday afternoon. Of the many conferences that I have attended over the decades, this one is by far the most international in nature. This year’s Oxford Education Research Symposium featured 26 presentations, and the presenters came from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam. While I listened to their presentations, it became clear to me that these diverse presenters agreed on many issues. Moreover, they all took a respectful approach when responding to the other presenters. This approach gave the conference a positive and harmonious feel.
In this time of escalating international tensions, I came away from the conference with a sense of hope that scholars from so many different parts of the world can still reach agreement on the value of education and the importance of research. I was especially pleased to see the professor from Israel and the professor from Saudi Arabia sitting together throughout the conference. They did not let their religious differences or the conflict between their two nations interfere with their ability to discuss their research findings or interact as colleagues.
This time of the year, people often express a desire for peace on earth, but current events make such expressions for world peace seem more and more out of reach. Still, my recent experience at Oxford University gives me cause for hope. If professors and researchers from so many different countries can reach accord, then perhaps there is still a chance that the diverse nations of the world can figure out how to coexist in harmony.
Kudos — As you know, I like to use my Monday Missives to share news about recent accomplishments by members of the English Department. Here is the latest news:
Boyd Davis recently had a co-authored article accepted for publication. Here are the details: van Ravenstein K and Davis B. “When More Than Exercise Is Needed to Increase Chances of Aging in Place: Qualitative Analysis of a Telehealth Physical Activity Program to Improve Mobility in Low-Income Older Adults.” JMIR Aging (forthcoming). doi:10.2196/11955
Consuelo Salas recently led a workshop titled “Creative Research Methods: An Approach to Studying Food” at the Cultural Rhetorics conference. Also, Consuelo and Atkins Library librarians Kim Looby and Natalie Ornat were recently awarded a SoTL grant for their collaborative project “Multi Discipline Collaboration in the Teaching of Inquiry and Critical Thinking.” In their two-year project Salas, Looby and Ornat will study the effectiveness of their collaborative teaching of the research process within Salas’ LBST 2301 courses.
Upcoming Events and Meetings — Here is a list of upcoming events and meetings:
December 12 — The English Department’s Holiday Party will be held on Wednesday, December 12, from 11:30 to 1:30 in the Faculty/Staff Lounge. Please sign up on the potluck list located on the desk outside of Monica’s office.
December 15 — The Commencement for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will take place in the Barnhardt Student Activity Center (SAC) on Saturday, December 15, at 3:00 pm.
January 29 — The Personally Speaking presentation featuring Janaka Bowman Lewis will take place on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, at UNC Charlotte Center City. Janaka’s presentation on her book Freedom Narratives of African American Women 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/how-early-womens-writings-led-to-civil-rights-discourse/
Quirky Quiz Question — The effort to establish an international organization to help the nations of the world work out their differences without resorting to war led to the formation of the United Nations after World War Two. However, before the establishment of the United Nations, an effort was made to establish a similar international organization following World War One. What was the name of the organization that was a predecessor to the United Nations?
Last week’s answer: Christchurch
Oxford University is home to a number of semi-independent colleges. What is the name of the college where Lewis Carroll taught?