Lights, Camera, Action — Usually when I come to the university on the weekends, the Fretwell Building is pretty quiet, but not this past Saturday. As I walked toward Fretwell on Saturday morning, I kept noticing temporary signs about “catering” and “crew meetings,” and I became curious about what was happening. I entered Fretwell on the first level, and I suddenly realized that the building had been taken over by a large film crew. There were “extras” everywhere I looked. Along one wall a battery of make-up stations had been set up, and a half-dozen make-up artists were hard at work. Caterers were busy preparing for lunch. I walked by one of the classrooms, and a man called out to me and asked if I was one of the extras for a particular scene. I should have said I was.
I eventually ran into a person from the university communications office, and he explained to me that the crew was filming two scenes for a film called American Animals, which stars Evan Peters and deals with a daring heist. On Saturday they shot one scene in the Storrs Building and the other in the Schley R. Lyons Lecture Hall in Fretwell.
Although the Fretwell Building is not usually an actual film location, it is the home for courses on film taught by faculty members from the English Department. Just this current semester, the English Department is offering five film-related courses. Paula Connolly is teaching a course on Disney’s films. Rebecca Cook (a new part-time faculty member who is also film producer) is teaching a course on the films of Paul Thomas Anderson. Tony Jackson is teaching an introductory film class for the General Education Program. Juan Meneses is teaching a course titled “Issue in Global Cinema,” and Tiffany Morin is teaching a course that deals with vampire films. Given how much interest our students and faculty have in the field of film studies, I suppose that it is fitting that our building doubled as a makeshift movie set for a day.
Bill Brown Conference on Incarceration Across the Americas — English Honors Scholars Sara Eudy and Maria Lignos did a great job presenting original research (Sara from her Independent Study on black women and violence and Maria from her thesis on representations of slavery and childhood by black women writers) as part of the opening panel of the Bill Brown Conference on Incarceration Across the Americas, coordinated by Dr. Andrea Pitts of Philosophy and Latin American Studies and supported by the Center for Professional and Applied Ethics. This conference took place at UNC Charlotte Center City on February 11, 2017. Several interdisciplinary and international scholars commented on the strength of their work and presentations. Janaka Lewis coordinated and was also part of the panel on “Black Women, Police Brutality, and State Violence.” For more information about this conference, please click on the following link: https://exchange.uncc.edu/event/2017-annual-bill-brown-conference-incarceration-across-the-americas/
Kudos — As you know, I like to use my Monday Missives to share news about recent accomplishments by members of our department. Here is the latest news:
Liz Miller and several of her ENGL 6163 Language Acquisition students attended the TESOL / Applied Linguistics Graduate Students Conference hosted by East Carolina University and Greensboro College on Saturday, February 11. Also, Liz has a chapter, “(In)convenient Fictions: Ideologies of Multilingual Competence as Resource for Recognizability,” in a recently published edited volume titled Diversity and Super-Diversity: Sociocultural Linguistic Perspectives, published by Georgetown University Press. http://press.georgetown.edu/book/languages/diversity-and-super-diversity
Jen Munroe and Kirk Melnikoff were recently interviewed about Shakespeare on Charlotte Community Radio. Here is the link to the interview: http://charlottecommunityradio.org/2017/02/southern-wonder-feb-8th-shakespeare-with-professors-of-english-jennifer-munroe-kirk-melnikoff/
Upcoming Events and Deadlines— Here is information about an upcoming event.
Feb. 13 — The Faculty/Staff performance of “Tales From Down There” will be on Monday, February 13 at 7pm in McKnight Hall. This performance will include appearances by the following people associated with the English Department: Janaka Lewis, Tiffany Morin, Angie Williams, Alison Walsh, and Shannon Bauerle. Advanced tickets can be purchased on-line at https://ecom.uncc.edu/C21561_ustores/web/store_main.jsp?STOREID=147&SINGLESTORE=true or with CASH only at the door.
Feb. 22 — Alan Rauch will will give a presentation titled “Fantastic Beasts and Why You Find Them” on February 22, 2017, at 4:00 pm in the Halton Reading Room in the Atkins Library. For more information on his talk, please click on the following link: https://library.uncc.edu/FantasticBeastsEvent
Quirky Quiz Question — Evan Peters, the star of American Animals, played the role of a mutant in two recent X-Men movies. Does anybody know the name of the character whom he played in these two films?
Last week’s answer: As part of America’s bicentennial celebration, Carter G. Woodson’s 50th Negro History Week became Black History Month by (Gerald) Fordian decree.
Black History Month was officially recognized by the United States government in 1976 as part of a larger celebration of American history. What was the name of this national event celebrating American history?