Friday, July 31, 2009

Children's Lit at SDSU! Harry Potter Central!


Harry Potter, the orphaned wizard responsible for record-breaking billions in book sales and movie box-office receipts, found himself nearly orphaned again at Comic-Con. Only one hour-long panel was devoted to Potter lore and a few scattered samples of Potterana were reported on the exhibitor floor.

But devoted fans began lining up more than an hour before yesterday's panel, moderated by Eric Bowling, 31, a children's literature graduate student at San Diego State University. (He's writing a thesis on Harry Potter.)

University of Southern California professor Henry Jenkins said Harry's absence at the San Diego Convention Center was perfectly understandable. “They see the Harry Potter franchise as presold,” Jenkins said of Warner Bros.

The maker of the movies that have grossed nearly $5 billion so far – the sixth film, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” ranked first at the box office last weekend and second this weekend – now needs to find new fans for its upcoming “Avatar” movie and other hoped-for blockbusters, Jenkins explained.

Besides, said Heidi Tandy, one of the founders of, a Web site devoted to fan-generated fiction about Potter's world, there's the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to look forward to; it is scheduled to open next year at Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Fla.


Damn the Budget Torpedoes! In Fall 2009, is going to ROCK the house!

Friday, July 3, 2009



Greetings and welcome to online access for our revised Fall 2009 course descriptions written by the frighteningly talented faculty of (some of our newer faculty are pictured opposite!) Please note that several ADDENDA classes appear below the main viewer below--they can be accessed by clicking on the small, thumbnail facsimiles.

Fall 09 Revised

note: may want you to register to download the .pdf--if you are in the mac universe, merely opt to print it and save that "print" as a .pdf in preview. pc workarounds should be forwarded to pc_sdsu_literati users via the comments section below. If all this computer nonsense makes your brain hurt, then just walk into Arts and Letters 226 and take a printed copy of these descriptions off the wall--you'll be glad you did!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Humorous Bits (or, Not The Comics Collection, Again)

Happy Fourth of July (almost) to all, from Librarianne in Special Collections. Independence Day makes me think of patriotism, and patriotism, for some reason, makes me think of Mark Twain. Special Collections will soon receive an outstanding small collection of rare Twain items from a generous donor, but until then, we turn to Twainish items already in the collections...

A noted rival of Mark Twain's, Bill Nye was a lecturer, essayist, and humorist from Wyoming, who wrote satire and humor pieces for the newspaper The Boomerang. Though his works are of course not as well known now as Twain's, they still provide a wonderful glimpse into popular topics of American humor and the comic style of the times. Baled Hay: A Drier Book Than Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass is a compilation of Nye's comic vignettes, stories, jokes, and poems, meant at least in its title to mimic Whitman. Piece titles include "Genius and Whiskey," "Let Bald-Headed Men Rejoice," "Regarding the Nose," and the intriguingly named "The Maroon Sausage." The copy of Baled Hay located in Special Collections is extra-special, because it bears its original 1884 (!) dustjacket, an exceptionally early one. Usually, when dustjackets of this time survive at all, they are seen without illustration and with only the title and name of the author printed briefly on the front. This one, as you can seen, is a very lively example of an emerging art. Stop by Special Collections to check it out!