Dr. Lee Templeton’s Fourth Monday Colloquium: “The Consolation of Teaching: Grappling with the Ongoing Problem of Our Own Identity”

Join us for Dr. Templeton’s Fourth Monday Colloquium on “The Consolation of Teaching: Grappling with the Ongoing Problem of Our Own Identity” in Powers Recital Hall on February 27, 2023, at 3:00 p.m.

Do you find yourself experiencing a creeping sense of existential dread about the current state of higher education and your place in it? Do you wonder what it means to teach in the face of numerous challenges, such as the increasing corporatization of colleges and universities, a growing public skepticism regarding the value of the liberal arts, the privileging of short-term profit and the cultivation of “useful” skills over the imaginative, creative, and communal aspects of education? If so, then I have good news… wait… checks notes… no, sorry. No good news. But join me anyway as I flail about in an attempt to come to terms with teaching as an act of consolation, an act of connection and healing and profound engagement with the humane.

Dr. Shane Thompson’s Fourth Monday Colloquium: “Cultural Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony in the Late Bronze and Iron Age Levant”

Join us for the final Fourth Monday Colloquium of the Fall 2022 semester in Powers Recital Hall on November 21, 2022, at 3:00 p.m.

Dr. Thompson discusses scarabs of both Egyptian and Levantine origin, including one he excavated from Lahav (Israel), in the context of Egyptian “imperialism.”

Dr. Shane M. Thompson will present on research for his forthcoming book, Displays of Cultural Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony in the Late Bronze and Iron Age Levant (Routledge, 2023). In the period of 1550-586 BCE, the Levant, i.e., the Eastern Mediterranean region, was under the direct control of multiple powerful states. Scholars have studied this period through the lens of imperialism, particularly focusing on political and economic dominance through administrative rule, military occupation, and the payment of tribute that primarily impacted local elites.

Dr. Thompson’s study arises from this simple question: to what extent did foreign dominance impact the daily lives of people who were not part of the ruling elite? Were they even aware that they were under foreign rule? By studying evidence from the Levant, such as religious iconography, architecture, and ritual, Dr. Thompson shows how locals countered foreign rulership in their cultural, especially religious, practices.  

Dr. Jim Bowers’s Fourth Monday Colloquium: “Let’s Talk about Grading”

Join us for the final Fourth Monday Colloquium of the Spring 2022 semester as Dr. Jim Bowers presents “Let’s Talk about Grading” in Powers Recital Hall on March 28, 2022, at 3:00 p.m.

Over a century of pedagogical research reveals that grades not only undermine learning and a genuine education, but many of our most valued goals as educators. We are therefore faced with the question of how we might best help students “be rewarded with deep, meaningful, and joyful learning,” to quote Susan D. Blum, an anthropologist and author of several works on higher education. Please join an open conversation on grading. In addition to reviewing Alfie Kohn’s scholarly summation of the harmful effects of grades in “From Degrading to De-Grading,” and discussing some of our own observations and struggles, we will examine the distinctions among training, schooling, and an education in the humanistic tradition. Finally, we will share pedagogical methods, strategies, and the resources we have adopted (or hope to adopt), along with those that other educators have found successful, to begin decentering or even replacing grades with more authentic, instructive, and meaningful forms of feedback and assessment.

Dr. Margaret Love’s Fourth Monday Colloquium: “Radical Canons: Epigraphs and Authority in Caribbean Fiction” on October 25, 2021, in Powers Auditorium

Join us for Dr. Margaret Love’s Fourth Monday Colloquium: “Radical Canons: Epigraphs and Authority in Caribbean Fiction” on October 25, 2021, in Powers Auditorium.

Why do authors use epigraphs? Do Caribbean and European authors use them in different ways? How might epigraphs be connected to our ideas about canonical literature? Dr. Love’s current book project reads the understudied device of the epigraph as a rhetorical tool used by Caribbean authors as a cultural reference point in crafting their literary identity. How does the use of epigraphs in Caribbean fiction shift over time and engage with a broader global literary community? Attend this lecture to find out!

Dr. Bill Grattan is Awarded Jefferson-Pilot Professorship

Dr. Bill Grattan, the 2021 Jefferson-Pilot Professor.

Dr. Bill Grattan has been awarded the 2021 Jefferson-Pilot Professorship, the highest honor North Carolina Wesleyan University bestows upon a faculty member to recognize their scholarship, teaching and, community service. Dr. Grattan will share his creative work at his upcoming Jefferson-Pilot presentation on October 19, 2021 on the Wesleyan campus.

Now in his 18th year at the college, Dr. Grattan will collaborate with seven friends in performing a table reading of scenes from Cousin Audrey, his new novel manuscript. Set during the fall of 1983, the novel focuses on five cousins from a working-class neighborhood of Pittsburgh at a time when the city’s major industry, steel, was in decline. While the two youngest cousins, Will and Jake, attend an out-of-state college, the next two oldest, Nick and Frank, struggle to find steady employment, with few prospects in a depressed economy. Audrey, the oldest of the five, and the cohesive force in the group, has been employed for 15 years as an administrative assistant at a downtown Pittsburgh law firm that, among other clients, represents U.S. Steel and Mellon Bank. Very close as children, the five cousins find themselves drifting apart and headed in different trajectories.

Please join us for the table read of Dr. Grattan’s new novel at 7:00 P.M. in the Powers Recital Hall, Dunn Center on Tuesday, October 19, 2021.

Jefferson-Pilot Professorship Awarded to Dr. Lee Templeton

Dr Lee Templeton

North Carolina Wesleyan Associate Professor of English, Dr. Lee Templeton, has been awarded with the 2018-2019 Jefferson-Pilot Professorship. This award is the highest and most singular honor that can be bestowed upon a faculty member and is given in recognition of scholarship, teaching and community service.

The Jefferson-Pilot Professorship is an endowed award that was established in 1981 through the generosity of the Jefferson-Pilot Life Insurance Company. The honoree is nominated by a committee of faculty and appointed by NC Wesleyan President, Dr. Dewey Clark. To be eligible for consideration, the faculty member must have tenure and have clearly distinguished themselves with high standards of excellence. As teachers, they demonstrate a wholehearted dedication and rigorous professionalism in forwarding their students’ learning and personal development for life and work. As scholars, they have to possess a mastery of their discipline, contribute to new understanding and knowledge, and demonstrate a lively commitment to life-long learning for themselves, as well as their students. Additionally, as a member of the Wesleyan community, they give generously to the aims and programs of the College, both with their time and means.

“When the nominating committee met to discuss our consolidated list of potential faculty nominees, it quickly became apparent to the committee that one single faculty member stoodhead and shoulders above the rest as the clear choice for the 2018-2019 Jefferson-Pilot Professorship Award,” stated Dr. Evan Duff, Provost and Sr. Vice President of Academic Affairsat Wesleyan. “Overall, Dr. Templeton has a strong record of teaching, scholarly activity and service.”

Dr Lee Templeton lecture

Dr. Templeton, now in his eleventh year at Wesleyan, delivered his Jefferson-Pilot Professorship Lecture, entitled: “Until the Dragon Comes: Ragnarok and the Liberal Arts,” on Thursday, March 28. His talk explored two topics– dragons and higher education – and attempts to connect the two in a meaningful way. Beginning with an examination of the figure of the dragon and its various metaphorical meanings, in Old Norse/Icelandic and Anglo-Saxon myth and literature, Dr. Templeton considers current trends in higher education through the metaphorical lens of the dragon.

During the lecture presentation, the 2019-2020 recipient of the Jefferson-Pilot Professorship was announced. Next year’s awardee is Dr. Jeffrey Kuglitsch, Associate Professor of Earth Science.