Professor/Chair, Department of English
AUTHOR

Mark West

Monday Missive – December 10, 2018

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...

Monday Missive – November 26, 2018

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Julian Dewey Mason, Jr. –The English Department is sponsoring a celebration of the life and legacy of Julian Mason, who died on March 20, 2018.  This event will take place in the English Department’s Seminar Room (Fretwell 290B) on Friday, November 30 from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.  The department is organizing this event at the request of Julian’s wife, Elsie Mason, along with a group of Julian’s friends, professional...

Monday Missive – November 12, 2018

Location, Location, Location — This past weekend, I saw Being There, the final film in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s film series titled “Hal Ashby in the Seventies.”  Sam Shapiro, the organizer of this film series and a part-time faculty member in our English Department, introduced the film by commenting on the making of the film and discussing the relationship between Hal Ashby (the director) and Peter Sellers (the star of the film). ...

Monday Missive – October 29, 2018

Come and Sit for a Spell (or a Potion) — One of the reasons I like Halloween so much is that it harks back to a time when children knew all of their neighbors and felt free to visit them–a time when people sat on their front porches and invited passersby to sit on the porch swing for a spell.  However, with the rise of the suburban ranch house, the sociable front porch has given way to the private back patio or deck, and this change in domestic architecture has altered the ways...

Monday Missive – October 15, 2018

National Hispanic Heritage Month — Today marks the culmination of the 2018 National Hispanic Heritage Month.  Officially described “as a way to promote the history, culture and contributions of Hispanic-Americans. Specifically — those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America,” National Hispanic Heritage Month takes place each year from September 15 though October 15.  Given the goals associated...

Monday Missive – December 3, 2018

Off We Go to Oxford University — Nearly every week I write about our English Department in my Monday Missives, but I have not yet given a conference presentation about our department.  That’s about to change this week.  I am heading off to Oxford University where I will deliver a presentation at the Oxford Education Research Symposium on Wednesday.  The rather grandiose title of my presentation is “The Future of the Humanities in Post-Secondary Education.”...

Monday Missive – November 19, 2018

Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Publication of Little Women with Daniel Shealy — One hundred and fifty years ago this fall the Boston publisher Roberts Brothers brought out the first volume of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, one of the most influential books in the history of American children’s literature.  Robert Brothers published the second volume in April 1869, which is why the sesquicentennial celebrations surrounding the...

Monday Missive – November 5, 2018

Contributing to Charlotte’s Literary Scene — Members of our English Department regularly contribute to the Charlotte area’s literary scene, but this past week our department shifted into overdrive.  Members of our department made contributions to three separate literary events in the span of three days.

It all started on Thursday, November 1, with Verse & Vino, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation’s annual celebration of literature.  ...

Monday Missive – October 22, 2018

 

October and Robert Frost — As I was raking the leaves in our backyard on Sunday morning in preparation for the English Department’s fall party, I suddenly flashed on Robert Frost’s poem “October.”   The opening lines of this poem read:

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.

Ever since my days at Franconia College, I have had an interest in Frost’s...

Monday Missive – October 8, 2018

Popular Culture Studies — This past week several members of our English Department traveled to New Orleans to participate in the 2018 Conference of the Popular Culture Association in the South.  Shannon Bauerle, a graduate of our MA program and a faculty member in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, organized a roundtable discussion of the program’s annual performance based on Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.  The participants...

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