Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Author/Alum Greg Bear to Speak Tomorrow at the Library

Literati: The Library is proud to present a lecture by award-winning science fiction author and alumnus Greg Bear on Wednesday, November 18th at 2pm in LL430. As part of the Library's ongoing celebration of Darwin anniversaries, Bear will give a lecture entitled, "What Would Darwin Do? Fundamentalism in Science and Religion versus the Search for Scientific Truth."

Bear is a 1973 graduate of SDSU's English Department and the author of more than 30 science fiction and fantasy novels. He is the winner of two Hugo Awards and five Nebula Awards. His highly-acclaimed books
Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children deal with accelerated evolution and its consequences. Bear has been widely praised for his adherence to scientific fact in his crafting of science fiction. Special Collections already holds a collection of Bear's manuscripts and papers, as well as first editions of all Bear's books in the Elizabeth Chater Science Fiction Collection. Please join us for an exciting talk! The lecture is free and open to the public.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Books Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Accompany us at the Agitprop Reading Series!

Professor Joseph T. Thomas cordially invites us all to join him at the Agitprop Reading being held at the Agitprop Gallery.
Below is the 411 on the event and Professor Thomas' personal invitation:
Saturday, November 7, 7:00pm
2837 University Ave in North Park (Entrance on Utah, behind Glenn's Market) * San Diego, CA * 92104 * 619.384.7989

Dear Friends & Colleagues:
We hope you can join us this Saturday, November 7 at 7pm for the next reading in the Agitprop Reading Series featuring Joseph Thomas and Mark Wallace.

A libertine of unimpeachable taste, Joseph T. Thomas, Jr. is an assistant professor of English at San Diego State University's National Center for the Study of Children's Literature. He is the author of two books, Poetry's Playground: The Culture of Contemporary American Children's Poetry (Wayne State UP, 2007) and Strong Measures (Make Now Press, 2007). Poetry's Playground was named a 2009 honor book by the Children's Literature Association.

Mark Wallace is the author of more than fifteen books and chapbooks of poetry, fiction, and essays. Temporary Worker Rides A Subway won the 2002 Gertrude Stein Poetry Award and was published by Green Integer Books. His critical articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, and he has co-edited two essay collections, Telling It Slant: Avant Garde Poetics of the 1990s, and A Poetics of Criticism. Most recently he has published a short story collection, Walking Dreams (2007), and a book of poems, Felonies of Illusion (2008). Forthcoming in early 2011 is his second novel, The Quarry and The Lot. He teaches at California State University San Marcos.
We hope to see you there and for festivities afterward!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Edwardian" Intrigues

Literary friends, what better time than All Hallow's Eve to show you our haunted and handsome, our merry and macabre, our delightful and dark Edward Gorey Collection? Special Collections has first editions, limited editions, original drawings, manuscripts, correspondence, proofs, realia, toy books, and prints (like this aquatint called Bat in Rain) in our wonderful Gorey Collection. The collection is particularly strong in Gorey's work in children's literature, and includes items which document his collaboration with our own Peter Neumeyer. Special Collections has also very recently acquired the papers of children's author Florence Parry Heide, which show her collaboration with Gorey on the Treehorn series, as well as Gorey's entire personal library of approximately 25,000 volumes. Many items in the Gorey Collection have been donated to the institution by SDSU alum and benefactor Andreas Brown, who was also Gorey's dear friend, publisher, and promoter throughout his career. Stop by Special Collections soon for a ghoulish Gorey treat!

(Original pen-and-ink drawing of a set design for Dracula, a production which Gorey worked on in 1977 and later issued as a toy theatre.)

For Your Friends Who Loathe Your Books! There is Hope

Thanks to SDSU Alum, Michael Wyatt Harper for sending along this link--hit the chair above for the story.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

From the Depths of the Library Vaults....

...Well, not really, but I've got to set a tone here! October greetings, literature lovers, this is your special collections librarian Anne over in the library. To get everyone in the mood for Hallowe'en, I'll be sharing a few of our more ghoulish and garish holdings with you--and where better to start than this lovely Gothic romance by Mrs. Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho. Abounding in all the necessary symbolic mechanisms and psychological elements of the perfect Gothic tale (drafty castles, old manuscripts, explorations of the sublime, decaying vaults, encounters with the uncanny, fainting, the terror of the other, and all that), The Mysteries of Udolpho was cited by Jane Austen in her parody of the genre, Northanger Abbey, in a list of many sensational tales recommended to the eager young heroine Catherine. Our Special Collections copy is particularly interesting because it bears the contemporary ownership signature of a Miss Juliet Georgiana Elliott--one wonders whether Miss Elliott was one of the very avid sighing readers of the genre that Austen intended to parody.

If you're writing or studying or teaching about Gothic fiction, Special Collections has several other editions of early Gothic novels, along with plenty of contemporary sources to contextualize the cultural scene of the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth- centuries: tour guides for ruined castles across Europe, criticisms of certain fashions in fiction, musings on the sublime and natural beauty, evidence of religious tensions, and much much more. And don't get us started on all the cool stuff we've got for researching the later Victorian Gothic! Stop by the department to see anytime. Up next--Gorey? Poe? Spiritualist writers? Creepy Victorian photographs? We shall see.....

Monday, October 12, 2009

Try Something More Avant-Garde for CHANGE!

Neil KENDRICKS: Backstage and beyoooond!

I've been creeping around campus hearing the constant nagging of what monotonous lectures our students have... so why not change that. Jeezuhs! Broaden your taste palate. Maybe we should all look outside of our own bubble and start finding those innovative and intriguing lectures that are offered at our door step! Broaden your horizon and attend Neil Kendrick's lecture at SDMA on the late experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage and other avant-garde pioneers and their influence on music-video mavericks.

click on the flyer for more info!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Calling all writers! SEE Professor Joe Sutliff Sanders

SALUTATIONS FROM: Joseph T. Thomas Jr.

Friends and colleagues--

In these trying times, there's no better way to forget the internecine travails of serving in a public university than attending a guest lecture by a visiting professor!

On Wednesday, October 21st from 4:00PM to 5:30PM, California State University, San Bernadino Professor Joe Sutliff Sanders will be giving a 50 minute lecture (with time after for questions) in Leon Williams Room of SDSU's library (LL 430). His lecture is sponsored by SDSU's National Center for the Study of Children's Literature and the Department of English & Comparative Literature.

Professor Sanders' lecture, "Assumptions of the Innocent: Marketing and Manipulation in Children's Comics," will be of interest to scholars and students of children's literature, children's culture, comics, graphic literature, and cultural studies more broadly. Please alert your classes and generally spread the word!

Professor Sanders has been reviewing graphic novels since 2002, including a long stretch at VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates). He has served as the featured Graphic Novel review columnist for Teacher Librarian, an international journal for school librarians that is a sister publication of VOYA, since 2007.

His most recent publications have been about classic girls' novels (Children's Literature Association Quarterly), children's metafiction (Lion and the Unicorn), and Neil Gaiman's Sandman (The Sandman Papers). Contemporary American Comics, a new book from the University of Mississippi Press, will feature a new article by Professor Sanders on sexuality in comics. Last summer, Professor Sanders was one of the invited faculty at Hollins University, where he taught a special graduate course on comics and graphic novels for young readers.

Professor Sanders is also well-known for smelling good. Damn good.

Hope to see you there!

Joseph T. Thomas, Jr.
English & Comparative Literature
National Center for the Study of Children's Literature
San Diego State University

Monday, September 28, 2009

Prospective Screenwriters!-Get the Low-Down

Sometimes attending a simple lecture can be as inspiring as the mystic muses themselves. One can be especially inspired if a talented speaker,such as our own Michael Mahin is the one speaking. Mahin will be lecturing at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Orange County Chapter's Editor's Day this Saturday. Here, he will be speaking on the way screenwriting techniques can be applied to children's book writing--aspiring screenwriters/child lit authors, get inspired!

Deniz Perin LIVE in Steaming Video on THE LATENT PRINT

One of our fab alumni is the latest addition to the Latent Print arts website--hit the image to the left to be connected. Perin is a graduate of our MFA in Creative Writing.

Deniz Perin is a poet and translator living in San Diego. Her work has been published in several literary journals, including Runes, The Atlanta Review, Sentence, and Pacific Review, as well as in the anthology, A Year in Ink, vol. II. She teaches in the English Department at the University of San Diego.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

10 Bucks for a Night of Comedy and Maybe Even a Look Into our Own Souls

With SD having an array of options for amusement, try an insightful night of entertainment and grandeur.
Come and support a fellow San Diego State student of ours, Rachael Van Wormer at the Mission Of New Village Arts

One Of Our own, Tyrone Nagai, Reflects On The Economic Tragedy of Today

A member of the San Diego State Family Tree Shines with one of his own crown jewels published in the The New Verse News Journal online. Nagai speaks out on the harsh, yet ever so real realities that much of us are experiencing today.

His talented eloquence and down to earth sonnets can be found at the link below:

Congrats Tyrone!

SDSU's Department of English and Comparative Literature Notes UNION TRIBUNE's Coverage of Marilyn Chin's New Literary Success!

Hit the image above for the feature story and go here for a recent review, also from the pages of The SD Union-Tribune.

For more on Marilyn Chin's Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen, here or hit the bookcover opposite.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In Beta: New literature.sdsu.edu Logo

What do you think? Comments welcome!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Art + Literature = Magic!

Hit the image above for a great site with portraits of writers by an amazing group of indy illustrators--the Carlos Fuentes portrait is really rad!

Friday, September 18, 2009

ENGL 577 Student Makes His Film and Gets into SDFF

Neil Kendricks, part of the literature.sdsu.edu faculty familia and a local director and film curator for MCASD, writes in with the following tidings:

"This Sunday, the U-T's Arts section is publishing my article on the challenges of making short films and select short films - including "Rocket" - featured in SDFF."
Heres a still from Phil's short film:

"Two of my former ENGL 577 students have short films in next week's San Diego Film Festival. One of the students, Phil Wilson, a grad student in TFM, actually went out and filmed the short script that he wrote in last semester's class and he finished the film. Phil's short film "Rocket" is among the shorts featured in SDFF."

For more information on the San Diego Film festival visit http://www.sdff.org/

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cool Trends in Literature! Jane Austen Novel Mash-ups!

click the image for a scanned facsimile; click here for the original source online.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ilya Kaminsky wins the LEVINSON PRIZE!

Congratulations to Professor Kaminsky!
With all the grumblings and angst raging through our furlough/budget-cut besmeared corridors, it brings great happiness to share that Ilya Kaminsky, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, and Director, Spring 2010, of the MFA Program in Creative Writing, SDSU has won another award:

THE LEVINSON PRIZE, presented annually since 1914 through the generosity of the late Salmon O. Levinson and his family, for the sum of $500, is awarded to Ilya Kaminsky for his poems in the May 2009 issue. Kaminsky was born in Odessa, in the former USSR, and came to the United States in 1993, when his family received asylum from the American government. He is the author of Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004) and currently teaches poetry and comparative literature at San Diego State University.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Before Vermicious Knids, There Were Gremlins

Happy September, English Department, from Anne in Special Collections. This weekend marked the birthday of children's author Roald Dahl, known for his beloved classics such as James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. One of Dahl's very first stories for children, called The Gremlins, was published in 1943 at the height of World War II. As a Royal Air Force pilot, Dahl became familiar with a superstition among air force men about the nasty little creatures who tinker with plane machinery to sabotage and cause all sorts of annoying mishaps. After being injured on duty and sent to Washington, D. C. as an air attaché, Dahl began writing the story and sent it to Walt Disney. And though he published as a book and made into several cartoons, Disney never made The Gremlins into the feature-length film he had originally wanted, supposedly because he decided there were too many "war films" being produced. Disney and Dahl parted ways (editorial: thank goodness!) after this effort, and The Gremlins was lost to history.

Special Collections just received a really brilliant copy of the rare first edition (published in an edition of only 5,000) from generous donor Carolyn Connor. The book would be at research home in a cultural study of later mythical figures in children's literature, or in textual/illustrative depictions of war for children, or...the list can go on and on! Stop by Special Collections to check out this gem and to see how it might contribute to your research. Tidbit: Dark Horse Comics reissued the original and did a strange tribute to this partnership in 2006.

Monday, August 24, 2009

SMITH: An Extraordinary Literary Online Magazine

Don't miss the comics! Hit the image above to be jettisoned out of here and onto their delicious litlandia!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Test Logo for literature.sdsu.edu

...this one riffs off a 60s Olivetti Typewriter manual I found on a design blog; click to enlarge.

comments welcome!

Monday, August 17, 2009

SDSU English Graduate Goes to Hollywood


Brenda Melissa Ocampo, our Joe Gillis Internship award winner in 2008, is now a bona fide Nash Entertainment employee one year later in 2009. Just another example of literature.sdsu.edu helping to change the lives of our amazing students! Ms. Ocampo is pictured on the left working on the set of a recent interview.

original posting, August 27, 2008

Not too long ago, May 1st, 2008 to be exact, you may have received a very enticing email from the English department announcing an internship opportunity in Hollywood via the First Annual Joe Gillis Internship. This opportunity was offered to English and Comparative literature majors interested in a unique experience in the world of film and TV.

If you wondered about the endless opportunities the aforementioned internship could provide, recent graduate Melissa Ocampo, who studied English literature at SDSU and answered Hollywood's call, will now satisfy your curiosity. Not only does she write that "It was a great way to spend my summer and quite the learning experience" but she was also able to land a job as a junior researcher for Nash Entertainment. Melissa will be contributing to the shows "Most Daring" and "Most Amazing" airing after the holidays.

Calling All literature.sdsu.edu Graduate Students! Get Published!

literature.sdsu.edu alumni ANICK BOYD update!

Cheers to one of our cool alums presently travailing at the CUNY Graduate University and wowing young minds in Harlem! Click the image on the left for details!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Hola, English Department, Anne from Special Collections here for another installment of "cool stuff in Special Collections to use in research and teaching." The Comics Collection in Special Collections is a little different from other libraries' comics collections. Though there is an emphasis on self-published and small press titles in our modest collection, there isn't really any specific focus topic or type. There's a comics something for everyone--fantasy, manga, horror, humor, romance, adventure, superhero, DIY, feminist, "grand space opera" comics, comics on phonics (yes phonics), fairy tale comics, erotica comics, robot comics, terrible mid-1990s educational comics, Japanese comics, Canadian comics, Mexican comics--you get the picture. More generally, the Comics Collection fits under our broad collecting area of "literature intersecting with art." Besides comics, this includes our delightful Edward Gorey Collection, our sexy Donna Barr Collection, and the gorgeous Janus Press Collection, just to name a few. And though we haven't been able to attend Comic-con for the past couple of years and are not currently building the collection actively, we have been able to make a couple of recent acquisitions in this area--a full run of Spiegelman's Raw, for instance.

So if questions of visual literature, reading strategy, or linearity are nagging at you, come peruse the Comics Collection for some answers! Stop by during our open hours* to check out these fantastic resources.

*The Dreaded Furloughs (if not a comics title, at least a bad band name?) will be affecting the department's (and the library's) service schedule--but alas, we don't yet know what exactly that means. As soon as we DO know anything, it'll be posted on our website, k?

Image from The Perils of Mr. Comics, written by Liz Schiller and drawn by Donna Barr at the "San Diego Comic-Con Street Theatre," 1995.