Professor/Chair, Department of English
AUTHOR

Mark West

Monday Missive – August 7, 2017

Girlhood Studies — A year or two ago I wrote an article about the education of girls in antebellum America, but I was not sure where to submit it. I shared a draft of the article with Katie Hogan and asked for her feedback and for any suggestions as to where my article might find a home.  Katie provided me with valuable advice and suggested several journals that might be interested in considering my article, including Girlhood Studies:  An Interdisciplinary Journal.  ...

Monday Missive – July 17, 2017

United We Teach — Every summer I teach an intensive graduate seminar called Children’s Literature Award Winners in which I cover the most recent winners of some of the major awards in the field of children’s and young adult literature.  Among the awards that I regularly cover are the Coretta Scott King Award, which recognizes outstanding children’s books by African Americans, and the Printz Award, which recognizes outstanding books for young...

Monday Missive – July 3, 2017

Canada 150 — Canadians celebrated their nation’s 150th birthday this past weekend. This event prompted me to think about the English Department’s associations with our neighbor to the north. Three of our colleagues immediately came to mind: Balaka Basu, Alan Rauch, and Becky Roeder.

Balaka has conducted extensive research on Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables. Montgomery is widely recognized as one of Canada’s most well-known...

Monday Missive – June 19, 2017

Wonder Women — This past Saturday, my wife (Nancy) asked me, “So what do you want to do for Father’s Day?”  I suggested that we go see the new Wonder Woman movie.  “It seems more like a Mother’s Day movie to me,” she said, “but let’s go.”  And so we did.

I had heard good reports about this movie, but I did not expect to like it as much as I did.  I especially liked the depiction of the central character.  I liked her...

Monday Missive – May 29, 2017

Aunt Lou has a winning hand!

Angie Williams and Her Aunt Lou — Last Friday, a little before midnight, I received an email from Angie informing me that her Aunt Lou had passed away earlier that evening.  She was 92 years of age.

Angie’s sad news did not come as a surprise, for I knew that her Aunt Lou had been receiving hospice care for about a month.   I knew about her Aunt Lou’s struggles with cancer and dementia.  I knew about her Aunt Lou’s love of poker...

Mark West 2017-07-31 12:54:03

Of Construction Toys and Public Engagement —  A few weeks ago I arranged for a group of graduate students to take a tour of ImaginOn, which is a collaborative venture of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County and the Children’s Theater of Charlotte.  During our tour, we spent part of our time exploring an amazing interactive exhibit called “TINKERTOY:  Build Your Imagination.”  This exhibit will be at ImaginOn through ...

Monday Missive – July 10, 2017

Bastille Day, Jules Verne, and Revolutionary Power of Science Fiction — The French celebrate Bastille Day on the 14th of July, just ten days after Americans celebrate Independence Day.  Both holidays are rooted in revolutions, and both commemorate the efforts of brave people who took stands against monarchies.  Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille, which occurred in Paris on July 14, 1789.  The Bastille was a fortress-like prison where opponents...

Monday Missive – June 26, 2017

Synergy — There is something magical about synergy, for it defies the basic mathematical expectations associated with addition.  The dictionary defines synergy as the “interaction of two or more agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.”   This type of synergistic magic happens on occasion in the English Department.  Two examples just took place this month.

Three members of the English Department recently...

Monday Missive – June 13, 2017

Sustaining a Sense of Community — This past weekend, my wife (Nancy) participated in her 40th class reunion at Davidson College.  The class of 1977 holds a special place in the history of Davidson College, for it was the first class to include a cohort of women students.  As a member of this class, Nancy has long felt a deep-seated bond with the other members of the class of ’77 and especially with the other women who transformed Davidson College into a coeducational...

Monday Missive – May 22, 2017

Award-Winning Educators — Our English Department has a long and distinguished history of preparing future public school teachers and administrators.  Once such former student is Tisha Greene, who received both her BA in English and her MA in English Education from our department.   She is currently the principal of  the Oakhurst STEAM Academy, and she has just received the 2017 Outstanding Administrator Award from the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and...

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