January 2023


Monday, January 9, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back!  I hope everyone had enjoyable holidays and a relaxing semester break. Here are some faculty and student accomplishments to celebrate as we start the spring semester.  You will also find some important reminders at the end of this missive. I wish you the very best for the new semester and look forward to seeing you soon.  


JuliAnna Ávila published “A Pedagogical Gray Crayon: Dewey’s Habit, Assumption Analysis, and Thoughtful Practice” in Irish Educational Studies. She was also invited to be an editorial board member of Research in the Teaching of English, NCTE’s flagship research journal.

Pilar Blitvich’s co-authored chapter “’Go ahead and ‘debunk’ truth by calling it a conspiracy theory’: The discursive construction of conspiracy theoryness in online affinity spaces” was published in Conspiracy theory discourses (John Benjamins, 2022). This is the first book that tackles conspiracy theories from a linguistic/discursive analytic perspective. Pilar was also appointed co-editor in chief of a new book series on (Im)politeness that is being launched by Routledge. The Routledge Focus on I(m)politeness Series spotlights concise volumes of cutting-edge research on (im)politeness by both up-and-coming and established scholars – such as new perspectives on foundational issues and the application of methodological developments to varied sets of data – with an emphasis on developing and fostering interdisciplinary synergies. Inter/multidisciplinarity is seen as key to advancing the study and understanding of such complex phenomena.  

Janaka Lewis presented “What is the Sweetness in Black Feminist Ecological Writing?” on a panel she moderated titled “Sweet, Salty, Sustaining and Sacred Feminist Ecologies” at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference.  She also gave a talk on her forthcoming book in an event titled “Reading Black Girlhood in Community” as part of Antioch University’s “Messy Conversation” series.

Juan Meneses’ book Resisting Dialogue: Modern Fiction and the Future of Dissent (University of Minnesota Press, 2019) was favorably reviewed in The Year’s Work in English Studies.

Jennifer Munroe published a chapter titled “Sympoeisis and Early Modern Cooking: Troubling the Boundaries of Human/Nonhuman” in In The Kitchen: Reading English Cooking at Home and Abroad (Amsterdam University Press). She also published a co-authored article (with Hillary Nunn, Margaret Simon, and Lisa Smith) titled “Reconstructing Recipes, Recovering Losses, Telling Stories” in Early Modern Studies Journal.    

Nathan Nicolau (M.A. 2021, creative writing) has accepted a full-time faculty position in the Department of English at Central Piedmont Community College.

Matthew Rowney’s book In Common Things: Commerce, Culture, and Ecology in British Romantic Literature (University of Toronto Press, 2022) was favorably reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement.

Lara Vetter’s “H.D. and Spirituality” was recently published in The Edinburgh Companion to Modernism, Myth and Religion.

Mark West published a column in the Opinion section of today’s Charlotte Observer on well-known authors who made North Carolina their home. His opinion piece is titled “Influx of People Coming to NC May Bring Another Maya Angelou or Harry Golden.” Mark had an essay celebrating the 25th anniversary of the comic strip “Zits” published by EdNC. He also published an article titled “Why Winnie the Pooh is at Home in America” in the online journal Early Children’s Literature and Culture Chronicle.


Be sure to send Monica Burke your office hours and syllabi for the spring.

Candidates for the Robinson Distinguished Shakespeare Chair position will be visiting in January. Kirk Melnikoff sent the dates and times of their job talks and visits to our department earlier today, but I’ve copied them here for your convenience. Please attend as many as you can:

Dr. Sarah Neville: job talk on 1.17 from 10:00 until 11:30am (Robinson 210, Zoom link TBA); meet-and-greet on 1.18 from 10:30 until 11:30am (English Dept Lounge) 

Dr. Roberta Barker: job talk on 1.23 from 11:00 until 12:30pm (Robinson 330, Zoom link TBA); meet-and-greet on 1.24 from 10:30 until 11:30am (English Dept Lounge) 

Dr. Robert Conkie: job talk on 1.30 from 3:00 until 4:30am (Fretwell 290B, Zoom link TBA); meet-and-greet on 1.31 from 10:30 until 11:30am (English Dept Lounge) 

All the Charlotte Symphony tickets for this Saturday’s Copland concert have been claimed. We still have three remaining concerts left for this semester.  If you have students who would like to attend a concert as a group, please let Monica know. As we get closer to the concert dates, we will distribute the tickets to individual students.  Faculty and staff can also request tickets. Many thanks to Twig and Barbara Branch for providing the symphony tickets.  Here are the remaining concerts:  


Feb. 4 | 7:30 pm | Knight Theater


Feb. 11, 2023 | 7:30 pm | Belk Theater


Mar. 11 | 7:30 pm | Knight Theater

The first scheduled department meeting is January 20 at 11:00 AM in the seminar room (Fretwell 290B). 

Best regards,