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We, the faculty in the Department of English and Modern Languages at Shepherd University, feel compelled in this moment to declare emphatically and unequivocally that BLACK LIVES MATTER. Ours is not a declaration stimulated by George Floyd’s brutal and horrific murder on May 25th, nor is it a response triggered by the killings of Breonna Taylor or Ahmaud Arbery. Those, sadly, are only the most recent examples of black lives being destroyed by widespread social, societal, and systemic racism in this country. When the first black bodies were brought to the Jamestown settlement in 1619, our nation began its centuries-long pattern of prioritizing white lives over black lives. That devaluing of black lives continues to this day. Enough is enough! Our commitment to educational equality can only begin, we believe, when we as a faculty and we as a country begin to redress longstanding wrongs by affirming that BLACK LIVES MATTER. We declare that here, now, and always. Read more.

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Department News

Thanks to Dr. Christy Wenger, Associate Professor of English and Director of Rhetoric and Composition, Shepherd University has received a $110,000 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Cultural Organizations grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Dr. Wenger worked with Madge Morningstar, Director—Office of Sponsored Programs, to write the grant application. The grant, titled “Humanities Hub at Shepherd: Surviving the Coronavirus Crisis,” will support humanities faculty and staff, enable them to increase online humanities programming, and provide for smaller in-person courses. The grant will provide emergency salary support for faculty who teach history, English, foreign languages, art, and music. The grant will also provide salary support to make additional online programming possible through the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War. Thanks from all of us, Christy!

The Provost informed the University that Dr. Charles Carter, Professor Emeritus of English, died on July 10th. Charles received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and joined Shepherd’s faculty in 1972. Charles taught courses in American literature, English Renaissance literature, and classical literature, and he served as the Department Chair from 1990 to 1993 and again from 2004 to 2010. He was the first Moderator of the Shepherd College Assembly, the first Director of Academic Advisement (1997 – 2005), and was involved with promotion and tenure decisions on the departmental, school, and university levels for a number of years. Charles is remembered fondly by faculty, staff, and alumni. Dr. Ellzey, our current, Chair said, “I have missed him. You were never in doubt about what he loved and didn’t love about literature, or anything else for that matter.”