Professor/Chair, Department of English
AUTHOR

Mark West

Monday Missive – October 21, 2019

Two Poems for Now — I have long admired Elijah Cummings, the congressman from Baltimore who died last week, so I paid particular attention to the news coverage surrounding his passing.  Several of the stories that I saw on television included a video clip of the very first speech he ever gave in Congress back in 1996. In this speech, he recited the following poem titled “Just a Minute” by the famed civil rights leader Benjamin Mays:

I only have a minute,...

Monday Missive – October 7, 2019

Honoring Leon Gatlin, One of the Founders of the English Department — With the death of Leon Gatlin on October 3, 2019, the English Department lost a friend, a former colleague, and a link to the department’s origin story.  A native of North Carolina, Leon earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from Wake Forest and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.  He joined UNC Charlotte’s English Department in 1966 and remained a member of the faculty until his retirement...

Monday Missive – September 23, 2019

Welcoming Gina Kelley — Last week I was pleased to announce that Gina Kelley accepted the Academic Advisor position in the English Department with a starting date of Monday, September 30, 2019.  However, Gina is already moving into her new office, and she is excited about becoming a member of our departmental family.

Gina has a wealth of experience as a professional advisor.  She has served as an Academic Advisor for the College of Computing and Informatics since...

Monday Missive – September 9, 2019

International Connections — Every September UNC Charlotte holds its now famous International Festival.  This year’s 44th annual International Festival will take place on Saturday, September 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in and around the Barnhardt Student Activity Center.  For more information about this year’s International Festival, please click on the following link:  https://ifest.uncc.edu/

Given that the International Festival...

Monday Missive – August 26, 2019

The English Department That Could —  When I was a young boy, my favorite picture books were those featuring anthropomorphic machines.  This preference is not that surprising since my favorite toy was a bulldozer, which I still have.  I liked Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (1939) by Virginia Lee Burton.  I also liked Burton’s Katy and the Big Snow (1943) in which a snowplow named Katy saves the day. ...

Monday Missive – October 14, 2019

Pictures by Paula Eckard

Bridging the Years — For me, attending Leon Gatlin’s memorial service last week had a bittersweet quality to it.  I felt a sense of sadness, but I also took pleasure in seeing so many former members of our department gathered together to remember and honor Leon.  As I exchanged greetings with these retired members of our department, memories of my early days in the department kept surfacing.  

Seeing David Amante and John McNair together,...

Monday Missive – September 30, 2019

Center for Puppetry Arts

Anniversaries — In celebration of our 32nd anniversary, my wife (Nancy) and I traveled to Atlanta for a quick getaway this past weekend.  We packed a lot into two days.  We saw the Romare Bearden’s Profile Series Exhibit at the High Museum of Art, and we were pleased to see that number of works on exhibit are based on his experiences in the Charlotte area. We took the behind-the-scenes tour at the Georgia Aquarium, and we saw the giant whale...

Monday Missive – September 16, 2019

Back in the Groove — In August 1998, the film How Stella Got Her Groove Back made its debut.  Based on Terry McMillan’s 1996 novel of the same title, this film had a great opening weekend, and it went on to become one of the most successful romantic comedies from the 1990s.  Shortly after the release of the film, I started hearing more and more people saying the word “groove,” and this pleased me.  I like the word “groove” because it...

Monday Missive 9/2/19

Remembering Mother Jones on Labor Day — Since Labor Day always falls on a Monday, I have written about Labor Day in several of my Monday Missives over the years.  While contemplating the focus for this week’s Monday Missive, I gave some thought to writing about another labor novel.  I wrote about John Steinbeck’s labor novel titled In Dubious Battle in the Monday Missive that I wrote on Labor Day in 2016, so I thought it might be time to pick another labor...

Monday Missive – August 19, 2019

Honoring Toni Morrison — On the fifth of this month, the great American author Toni Morrison died in New York City at the age of eighty-eight.  The English Department has just installed an exhibit honoring Morrison and her literary legacy.  The exhibit includes copies of many of her books as well as photographs of Morrison at various stages in her long life.  Numerous members of the English Department helped with the installation of the exhibit.  Janaka Lewis, Paula...

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