Professor/Chair, Department of English
AUTHOR

Mark West

Monday Missive – January 2, 2017

Innovative Teaching — I do not usually make resolutions at the beginning of the new year, but this year I have resolved to write a bit more about teaching in my Monday Missives.  In my 33 years of teaching in the English Department, I have long been impressed with my colleagues’ innovative approaches to teaching.  Starting with today’s Monday Missive, I am going to celebrate some noteworthy examples of innovative teaching by members of our English Department....

Monday Missive – December 5, 2016

Nudging as Mentoring — Last week I had a conversation with Ron Lunsford about his experiences as an undergraduate student in our English Department in the late 1960s.  Like many of our current students, Ron was a first-generation college student.  The thought of going to graduate school or pursuing a career in academia never occurred to him until some of his professors suggested that he consider applying for graduate school.  Ron credits an English professor named...

Monday Missive 21, 2016

Our Students Rock — I often hear great news about our students, but last week I was practically inundated with reports about our students’ accomplishments.   In today’s Monday Missive, I thought I would share this great news with everyone in the English Department.

The first report that came in involved the students in Sarah Minslow’s course “War and Genocide in Children’s Literature.”  On November 14 and 15, these students...

Monday Missive – November 14, 2016

Partnering with the J. Murrey Atkins Library — The Department of English and the Atkins Library have a long history of collaborating on various projects. This spirit of collaboration is clearly reflected in the upcoming special event to celebrate the Atkins Library’s Two Millionth Volume. This event will take place in the library on Thursday, November 17th, from 4:30 to 6:30, and it will celebrate the acquisition of a very rare copy of Olaudah Equiano’s...

Monday Missive – October 31, 2016

A Day for Witches — In the popular imagination, Halloween is often associated with witches, so I have decided to write a bit about witches in today’s Monday Missive.  Witches (and characters accused of being witches) have long played important roles in literature.   Some of these characters conform to the iconic image of the “wicked witch,” but in many cases, they don’t.  Often characters who are called “witches” are simply...

Monday Missive – December 12, 2016

Turning Pages — I often think of semesters as chapters in a larger story.  As we prepare to turn the last page of the chapter about the fall 2016 semester, I am impressed with how much happened in this chapter.  We saw the debut of new characters, such as Melodye Gordon, Matthew Osborne, and Matthew Rowney.  We saw established characters take on new roles, such as Sarah Minslow, Jen Munroe, and Lara Vetter.  A whole new advising system came into place over the course of...

Monday Missive 28, 2016

Harry Potter’s World Exhibit – A few weeks ago I received an email from Abby Moore, the Education Librarian at the J. Murrey Atkins Library.  She informed me that a traveling exhibit titled “Harry Potter’s World:  Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine” is making a stop at the Atkins Library from the end of November through January 6, 2017, and she wanted to meet with me to brainstorm programming ideas related to this exhibit.   We met...

Monday Missive – November 14, 2016

Partnering with the J. Murrey Atkins Library — The Department of English and the Atkins Library have a long history of collaborating on various projects. This spirit of collaboration is clearly reflected in the upcoming special event to celebrate the Atkins Library’s Two Millionth Volume. This event will take place in the library on Thursday, November 17th, from 4:30 to 6:30, and it will celebrate the acquisition of a very rare copy of Olaudah Equiano’s...

Monday Missive – November 7, 2016

A Week of Volunteering — My commitment to volunteering in the community can be traced back to my parents.  Both of my parents were members of the Inter-Canyon Volunteer Fire Department in the front range west of Denver.  My father served as the president of the fire department for a number of years, and my mother was among the first women to sign up as a volunteer fire fighter.  She was handicapped, so she could not do some of the activities associated with fire fighting. ...

Monday Missive – October 24, 2016

Elections and Literature — With Secretary Hillary Clinton campaigning on our campus this past weekend and with the election just two weeks away, I’ve decided to devote this week’s Monday Missive to the connections between elections and American literature.  Over the years, many authors have written stories and novels that deal with the drama and tensions associated with elections.  For today’s Monday Missive, I will comment on two:  Grace...

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