Summer of Research — Teaching is not just about conveying information to students; it is also about developing students’ research skills. This aspect of teaching often takes the form of mentoring, and it can involve including students in faculty members’ own research projects. UNC Charlotte sponsors several summer programs that are intended to facilitate the development of students’ research skills by having them work closely with participating faculty members. These programs include the Charlotte Research Scholars Program (CRS) https://uge.uncc.edu/OfficeofUndergraduateResearch/charlotte-research-scholars-program/, the Charlotte Community Scholar Program (CCS)https://ccs.uncc.edu/, and the Charlotte Teachers Institute’s Summer Research Experience for Teachers (SRET) https://charlotteteachers.org/science-research-experience-for-teachers-2017/2018-sret/. I am pleased to report that faculty members in our English Department are participating in all three of these programs.
Janaka Lewis is participating in both the CTI’s Summer Research Experience for Teachers and the Charlotte Community Scholar Program. I recently asked her about her involvement with these programs, and she provided me with the following information:
I am mentoring two teachers in the CTI Summer Research Experience for Teachers and one Charlotte Community Scholar (they are working as a team for three weeks) on the project “Black Girlhood, Literature, and Community Engagement.” The CTI participants, Effuah Sam and Tiffany Craig, are CMS educators who teach theater and Special Education, respectively, and they are working with me to develop K-8 course lists featuring literature that represents black girlhood in connection with various (local and global) communities. Kim Sanders, the CCS participant, is developing a reading list specifically for middle school girls in the Charlotte community in connection with two local organizations (Girl Aspire and LEAP). The final list will be workshopped with community students this summer and topics discussed have included adapting literature for performance, creating writing prompts, and helping students find themes of empowerment in the selections. We have been fortunate to have ImaginOn library and the Center City Campus as our “labs.”<
Jen Munroe is working with an undergraduate student this summer as part of her involvement with the Charlotte Research Scholars Program. In a recent email that she sent to me, Jen summarized the nature of this student’s summer research project:
I am serving as a faculty mentor for Gabrielle Cuffee, a CRS student, who is also an English Honors (and University Honors) student. Her project, which helps advance the broader research efforts of EMROC (Early Modern Recipes Online Collective), uses the 17th-century English manuscript recipe book by Margaret Turner as it aims to position women’s domestic labor as a scientific endeavor. She focuses on how women’s domestic medicine and cookery employs methods and demonstrates knowledge that is akin to that related to early modern scientific discourse, even though women’s labor was largely devalued as an amateur activity.
Alan Rauch is involved with both the Charlotte Research Scholars Program and CTI’s Summer Research Experience for Teachers. In response to my request for some details about his involvement with these programs, Alan sent me the following information:
I am working with Zach Margolis on a project under the CRS program. We have been looking at ideas of natural conservation in the latter part of the Victorian era… leading to the modern era. We have focused on W. H. Hudson, Richard Jefferies, and Sir Patrick Geddes, all of whom are responding to overpopulation, air pollution, and the degradation of natural spaces. Their objective was to achieve a balance among nature, industrialism, and consumerism. I am also working with two CTI SRET (Summer Research Experience for Teachers ) Fellows, Tamara Babulski and Todd Statome. Together, we’re exploring interpretations of the natural world in the Victorian era through the lens of religion and colonialism. The many institutions, including the British Museum for Natural History, the London Zoo, and the Crystal Palace, were all designed to resemble temples of devotion which tacitly endorsed British imperialism which was sustained (at least in part) both by political and divine authority.
For Janaka, Jen, and Alan, this is a summer in which their love of research and their love of teaching have merged together in productive and creative ways.
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:
Pilar Blitvich recently gave the inaugural plenary talk titled “Smart Mobs, Cyber Public Shaming, and Social Justice” at the 11th International Symposium on Politeness that was held at the University of Valencia, Spain.
Valerie Bright had an article titled “The Wild World of Beatrix Potter” published in the the spring/summer 2018 issue of RISE: A Children’s Literacy Journal.
Janaka Lewis had an article titled “Celebrating the Contributions of African American Women to the Space Program: An Appreciation of Hidden Figures: Young Readers’ Edition” published in the the spring/summer 2018 issue of RISE: A Children’s Literacy Journal. She also had a review called “Reconstruction, Reunion, and Representation in American Literary Histories” published in the June 2018 Reviews in American History Journal that discusses Timothy Sweet’s Literary Cultures of the Civil War (2016) and Brook Thomas‘ The Literature of Reconstruction: Not in Black and White (2017).
Samantha Martin had an article titled “Wild Animals in Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox” published in the the spring/summer 2018 issue of RISE: A Children’s Literacy Journal.
Liz Miller recently had a co-authored article titled “Positioning in Classroom Discourse Studies: A State-of-the-Art Review” appear in the journal Classroom Discourse. She also had a review of Christian Chun’s 2017 book The Discourses of Capitalism: Everyday Economists and the Production of Common Sense published in the journal Discourse & Communication.
Quirky Quiz Question — In addition to participating in the Charlotte Research Scholars Program, Jen Munroe is also serving as the faculty advisor for a student organization known as EMPS. What does EMPS stand for?
Last week’s answer: The Alamo
This year’s Children’s Literature Association Conference took place in San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio is also the location of a famous Catholic mission and fortress compound that is now a World Heritage Site. What is the name of this site?