January 26 – Humanities 300, 12:30-2 p.m.

Dr. Deborah Lutz, English Dept
George Eliot’s Paratexts

Lutz will discuss George Eliot’s notebooks that she analyzed last summer. George Eliot kept journals, notebooks, and diaries almost obsessively. Here she copied excerpts from her reading (called “commonplacing”), which she then used in writing her novels. Impressions of her foreign travel, records of what she was reading and eating, and accounts of the important events of her life filled these books. As nineteenth-century material objects with pockets, attached pencils, clasps, pasted-in additions, pages sewn together, inserted flowers, and more, these volumes are interesting in and of themselves.

In this talk, we will look at pictures of these volumes and discuss what sorts of ideas or conclusions can be drawn from them. For instance: what role did research play in the writing of Middlemarch and her other novels? In what way did these notebooks contribute to her writing projects? What arguments can be made about them as objects?

February 16 – Stevenson 417, 12:30-2 p.m.

Dr. Mark Sulzer (University of Cincinnati), Secondary Education and Literacy and Language Studies

Introducing Critical Comparative Content Analysis: A Method for Looking Across Texts and Audiences

How are social constructs textually represented differently to different audiences? This (discussion-based) presentation will offer a rationale for why this question is important, introduce some possible methods for addressing it, and offer detailed examples from various projects involving young adult literature, specifically critical comparative content analyses (CCCA) of “youth adaptions.” The presentation is meant to give all participants space to engage in dialogue and try out CCCA methods for themselves.

March 23 – Stevenson 417, 12:30-2 p.m.

Dr. Michèle Foster, Henry Heuser Endowed Chair in Urban Education Partnerships

Getting To Know You: Identities, Relationships and Perspectives in Undergraduate Student Journals

In a general education course taught, in which undergraduate students spent part of the course working with pupils in an urban public school, Dr. Foster asked the undergrads to keep a weekly journal in which they answered 3 questions: What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about your students?  What did you learn about teaching? Dr. Foster wants to understand how urban public-school students are being characterized by the undergraduates. What messages do the students intend to convey about the public-school pupils? Specifically, what identity or identities are the undergraduates enacting and what identities are they attributing to the pupils? What sort of relationships are the undergraduate seeking to enact with the pupils and others they encounter in the public-school setting? And what perspectives are their texts communicating about what is “normal,” “right,” “good,” “correct,” “proper,” “appropriate,” “valuable,” “the ways things are,” “the way things ought to be,” “high status or low status,” “like me or not like me,”? (Gee, 1999).

April 12 – Chao Auditorium, 4:30-7 p.m.

Talking Black in America, screening and Q&A with executive producer Dr. Walt Wolfram, NC State

This screening is sponsored by the Henry Heuser Endowed Chair in Urban Partnerships.