Professor/Chair, Department of English
AUTHOR

Mark West

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 – August 12, 2019

Urban Connections — Our university has long identified itself as an urban institution.  Our university is named after the city of Charlotte.  Our university’s tag line is “North Carolina’s urban research university.”  Our university has a large facility called UNC Charlotte Center City.  This urban focus is also reflected in our teaching and service work.  I was reminded of our urban emphasis during a recent conversation I had with...

Monday Missive – July 29, 2019


Making Connections through Literature — Last week my wife and I traveled to Stockholm so that I could research the connections between Swedish children’s author Astrid Lindgren and Junibacken.  Promoted as a “children’s cultural center with books at its heart,” Junibacken combines the elements of an interactive children’s museum, a children’s theater, and a children’s bookstore. Junibacken opened to the public...

Monday Missive – July 15, 2019

Partnering with Kingston University — On Friday of last week, Provost Joan Lorden officially approved our proposed MA/MFA Dual Degree Program with Kingston University.  Since her counterpart at Kingston University had already signed the agreement, we are now cleared to launch this dual degree program in creative writing.  We will begin the process of launching the program this coming fall semester, and we expect to enroll students in the program...

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...

Monday Missive – August 5, 2019

Woodstock and the Counterculture Movement — Fifty years ago this month, nearly 500,000 young people converged on a dairy farm in White Lake, New York, to participate in the music festival known as Woodstock.  Promoted as “3 Days of Peace & Music,” Woodstock featured many of the most prominent rock and folk-rock stars of the time, including the following: Joan Baez; The Band; Blood, Sweat and Tears; Creedence Clearwater Revival; Crosby,...

Monday Missive – July 22, 2019


Participating in the Personally Speaking Series
 — While reading the current issue of Exchange, I experienced a brief moment of disbelief when I started reading Susan Jetton’s article titled “Personally Speaking Series:  Authors Series Uncovers Stories Behind the Books.”  In the first sentence, Susan writes that the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is about to “kick off the 10th season” of the...

Monday Missive – July 8, 2019

Welcome Back, Liz Miller — Liz Miller made her triumphant return to Charlotte last week after spending four months in Germany doing research for her Fulbright Research Fellowship.  We chatted for half and hour when she stopped by the department to pick up her mail.  I asked her to write up an account of her Fulbright adventure for this week’s Monday Missive.  Here is her response:

I returned to Charlotte last week, deeply grateful for the four months I was able...