C.R.a.D.L. Information Session

Come to Greenlaw 223 at 5:30 p.m. on October 27 for an info session on the C.R.a.D.L. minor. Learn from professors and students about how classes in Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Literacy can help you strengthen your writing skills by applying them to video, audio tracks, images, and more. Find the event on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1095449703806405/.

Boundaries: A UNC-KCL Collaboration

On September 7, 2015, as part of the 19th century studies partnership between UNC and King’s College, London, seven graduate students and three faculty members traveled to London to participate in a three-day conference. This transatlantic conference was the most recent event bringing the two departments together for a series of stimulating presentations, roundtables, and keynote addresses. Beginning in 2013, Professors Eliza Richards (UNC) and Jo McDonagh (KCL) imagined a partnership between UNC and KCL that would foster graduate student professional development in the field of 19th century studies. A year later, graduate students and faculty of both institutions gathered in Chapel Hill for the UNCommon conference, and one year after that, six graduate students and three faculty members from KCL visited UNC once again for a colloquium to plan the September conference in London.

The conference was organized around the theme of Boundaries. The first day's sessions, held at KCL’s Strand campus, explored the sub-theme of Spatiality; day two, at the British Library, focused on disciplinary and pedagogical topics; and the third day, hosted at the Museum of London, covered boundaries of the body. There were a variety of presentation styles: graduate students Emma Calabrese and Robin Smith, along with Professor Richards, presented works-in-progress; Kym Weed, Leslie McAbee, and Professor Matt Taylor served as respondents to keynote speakers; Christina Lee presented a syllabus that she co-wrote with a KCL graduate student; and Sarah Kuczynski, Mallory Findlay, and Professor Jane Thrailkill experimented with Pecha Kucha presentations.

The 19th Century Studies Collaborative is currently planning an October 2016 conference at UNC that will host KCL graduate students and faculty. If you are interested in being a part of this exciting initiative, please reach out to any of your colleagues mentioned here.

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Fall 2015 Armfield Poetry Reading: Philip Memmer

Please join the department on Thursday, October 29th in the Dialectic Chambers (on the 3rd Floor of New West) at 3:30PM to hear Philip Memmer give the 2015 Armfield Poetry Reading.

Philip Memmer is the author of four books of poems, most recently "The Storehouses of the Snow: Psalms, Parables and Dreams" (Lost Horse Press, 2012). His previous collections include "Lucifer: A Hagiography", winner of the 2008 Idaho Prize for Poetry from Lost Horse Press, and "Threat of Pleasure" (Word Press, 2008), winner of the 2008 Adirondack Literary Award for Poetry. His poems have appeared in such journals as Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Poetry London, Southern Poetry Review, and Epoch, and in several anthologies. His work has also been featured in the Library of Congress' "Poetry 180" project, and in Ted Kooser's "American Life in Poetry" syndicated column. He lives in upstate New York, and works as Executive Director of the Arts Branch of the YMCA of Greater Syracuse, where he founded the YMCA's Downtown Writers Center in 2001. He also serves as Associate Editor for Tiger Bark Press.

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Thomas Jefferson Award 2015: William L. Andrews

William L. Andrews, the E. Maynard Adams Professor of English & Comparative Literature, nobly incarnates the values represented by the Thomas Jefferson Award.  In 1996 returning as a distinguished professor to the department where he had earned his PhD, he intended to devote himself to his scholarship after directing the Humanities Center at the University of Kansas.  Always a remarkably productive scholar, he has nevertheless repeatedly subordinated his own work to leadership roles on our campus.  He chaired the Department of English for four years, then served as Senior Associate Dean for the Fine Arts and Humanities for seven.  In 2009-11 he co-chaired the massive endeavor to develop and write UNC’s five-year academic plan. 

It would be difficult to overstate the magnitude of his investment in the University and all its citizens—staff, students, and faculty—as a Senior Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, most especially during the worst of the budget crisis erupting seven years ago.  Not merely keeping the ship afloat, he raised funds for new initiatives, including large interdisciplinary grants from the Mellon Foundation that have supported graduate fellowships, faculty research, and visionary collaborative opportunities such as the Medieval and Early Modern Studies program (MEMS) and the Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative.

Andrews’s abundant, seminal scholarship in African American literature and culture deserves special recognition.  He entered the developing field early, when it took notable courage and commitment to the field’s importance for a white scholar to establish himself as an undisputed leader.  He focused attention on slave narratives when few understood the cultural and literary importance of this unrecognized body of work.  His archival research made an invaluable trove of previously unavailable slave narratives accessible to the world through UNC’s Documenting the American South web archive.  A recent national conference of the premier interdisciplinary organization for 19th-century American studies devoted a panel to the slave narrative in order to honor Bill Andrews’s groundbreaking scholarship.  With his customary modesty, he deflected the praise of six distinguished panelists who credited his work for making their own possible.  Dismissing his many academic accolades, Bill described the one tribute he treasures as a testament that his work matters.  A member of a small Southern church, a woman who owned the only computer in a congregation of about 100, thanked Bill Andrews for making available to her and the 25 children in the congregation a rich segment of their history.

His reach beyond academia, the role of his work in restoring a heritage of triumphs and meaning to a race too often reminded of bitter defeat and marginalization, reveal that Bill Andrews has extended the vision of Jeffersonian democracy to include people whom Jefferson himself was unable to include fully in the grace of America. 

Bravo, Bill Andrews, inspirational leader and scholar!

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