Humanities

In the Words of Two Charlotte Poets

Charlotte’s community of readers and writers is reeling as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.  We have seen the recent cancelations or postponements of Sensoria, the Center City Literary Festival, many library events, and a number of book signings and readings by local writers.  However, the coronavirus cannot stop the National Poetry Month, which takes place each April (https://poets.org/national-poetry-month).  It is fitting, therefore,...

Mister Gavin Edwards’ Neighborhood

I didn’t know that Gavin Edwards lives in Charlotte when I spotted his book Kindness and Wonder:  Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever while shopping at Park Road Books the other day.  The store has a special display of their bestselling nonfiction books, and that’s where I saw Edwards’ book.  The cover features a photograph of Mister Rogers wearing his iconic red, cardigan sweater, and the photograph called out to me.  Being a longtime fan...

Gaga’s “Stupid Love”

So I don’t have a comprehensive theory of Gaga’s new return-to-EDM-pop single “Stupid Love”–or at least I don’t have one yet (it’s kinda hard to do big-picture thinking while I have to redesign all my classes and generally freak out......

Workshopping “What Was The Modern Rock 500?”

This week I’m workshopping my “What Was The Modern Rock 500?” talk that I’ll give in Spring 2021 as part of the AMS Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lectures. You can find the text of the talk here....

The Waco Branch Davidian Tragedy: A Failed Utopian Vision?

I have written a lot about the April 1993 tragedy outside Waco Texas where the apocalyptic group we came to know as the Branch Davidians were confronted by the BATF. Most experts now agree, including the conclusions of several Congressional hearings, that the whole thing was unnecessary from start to finish. I was directly involved, [...]...

Restoring the Lost Gospel Scholars Call Q

Most of us who work in what we academics call “Christian Origins” hold to the “Two Source” theory of Synoptic Gospel origins. That is, Mark was the earliest narrative gospels, Matthew and Luke both used Mark as their core source, but they had access to another source that we call Q (which is from the [...]...

Dr. Robert Kuhn’s PBS “Closer to Truth” Series Now Free on Youtube!

I have written several posts on this blog over the years about Dr. Robert Kuhn’s extraordinary PBS program “Closer to Truth,” now in its 19th season. I have known Robert as a personal friend and colleague for over 50 years now–since my Pepperdine University days working on my M.A. in Religion. I have been honored [...]...

Patrice Gopo, Tommy Tomlinson, and Sensoria

One of the great strengths of Charlotte’s community of writers is that it usually makes room for newcomers.  Even in the 1950s, Harry Golden, a Jewish activist from New York City, found Charlotte to be a conducive place to pursue his writing career.   Nowadays, writers from many different places have set their roots in Charlotte, and Charlotte’s cultural scene is richer as a result of this infusion of talent.  Two notable examples are Patrice Gopo and Tommy Tomlinson. ...

Charlotte’s Publishers

As an English professor, I am one of the unfortunate people who is expected to keep up the Modern Language Association’s ever-changing rules about citing sources.  I usually adjust to these changes without much complaint, but there is one change that made its appearance in the latest edition of the MLA Handbook that bothers me.  This change relates to how we are supposed to deal with the publisher of a book that is included on our works cited list.  Under the...

Park Road Books and Dr. Seuss

I love visiting Park Road Books, and I love reading Dr. Seuss’s stories aloud to children.  Drawing on these two loves of mine, I joined forces with Park Road Books to organize our annual Seuss-a-Thon, an event that is now in its 9th year.  This year’s Seuss-a-Thon will take place on February 29 (Saturday) at Park Road Books (4139 Park Road) from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  At the Seuss-a-Thon, local educators and literacy advocates will participate...