Tuesday, May 25, 2010

50th Anniversary: To Kill a Mockingbird

All summer “To Kill a Mockingbird” will be relived through at least 50 events around the country, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the publication of a book that became a cultural touchstone and an enduring staple of high-school reading programs...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Five Grad Students Present at Oz Conference

from Alida Allison...

Desiree Sullivan, Diana Ferrell, Rebecca Hershberger Howat, Sean Prinz, NaToya Faughnder, and me--all six of us from SDSU at mid-May’s “Oz: the Books” Conference at CSU Fresno thoroughly enjoyed mixing with long-time members of the International Oz Club for three days of illuminating talks, imaginative events, food and conversation, memorabilia tables, and songs from various Oz productions. There were even bulging lunch pails hanging from the trees (as in Ozma of Oz) at CSU Fresno’s president’s house when we all went there for dinner. Our five graduate students shared the stage with faculty from across the country and Oz experts whose knowledge of everything from L. Frank Baum’s mother-in-law, Matilda Jocelyn Gage, to biography and bibliography was a treat. Speakers included Gregory Maguire, Michael Patrick Hearn, Eric Shanower, and Michael Cart—but the star of the weekend was CSU Fresno’s Special Collections Librarian Angelica Carpenter, to whom we all send our gratitude.

Martin Gardner, the Nerd's Hero

Puzzles, math, Alice in Wonderland, origami, wrote for both Humpty Dumpty and Scientific American... Martin Gardener dies May 22, 2010.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

L.A. Museum Exhibit: "Monsters and Miracles: Jewish Picture Books"

from Vanessa Chalmers...

Came across this interesting little event in the AAA magazine and thought it might be cool to share on the Child Lit blog if you want: "Monsters and Miracles: A Journey Through Jewish Picture Books," Los Angeles. Original illustrations and texts from picture book classics and popular favorites by such artists and writers as Maurice Sendak, Francine Prose, Lemony Snicket, and Marc Chagall. Skirball Cultural Center. (310) 440-4500; http://www.skirball.org/ Through August 1, 2010.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2010: The Summer of Peter Neumeyer

What will I be doing three, four months from now? I haven't thought in such organized fashion in 15 years.
I know I'll continue working with Pomegranate Press, publisher Katie Burke, on an edition of the Gorey - Neumeyer correspondence, scheduled for publication in 2011. We do that with the blessing and encouragement of Andreas Brown, executor of the Gorey estate. Pomegranate seems to have a near monopoly on all commercial Goreyana nowadays.
My reading is about as eclectic as ever, an autobiography of Isadora Duncan, early Michael Pollan, Wm. Hensley's extraordinary memoir growing up Inuit and becoming a Native nationalist (Fifty Miles from Tomorrow-)--the whole book worth if for the extraordinarily moving and convincing Epilogue.
Summer travel as yet undecided, but I'm reading a fair amount of Darwin (actually) and some secondary material, in case.

2010: The Summer of Chandra Howard

I look forward to presenting a paper on Sherman Alexie's teen characters at the American Literature Association conference in San Francisco at the end of May. In June I will work my usual carnie gig in San Diego and then teach in UC Riverside’s composition program in August. Will simultaneously be studying for my qualifying exams in the fall, advancing to candidacy by year’s end. Dreaming of watermelon-juice reveries in Mexico City for July...

2010: The Summer of Kate Slater

I’ll be completing my doctoral qualifying exams on June 3rd, earning an M.A., a C.Phil, and advancing to candidacy in UCSD’s Literature department. In June, I’ll be presenting at ChLA in Michigan, and then returning to San Diego, teaching a course on creative writing for Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth during June and July. In August, I’ll be at the Dickens Universe in Santa Cruz as UCSD’s representative. I also plan to visit friends and family in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and Seattle, as well as rediscover that elusive creature known as “free time.” Hiking and camping trips to Idyllwild and other mountainous areas in Southern California are at the top of my to-do list.

At some point this summer (after a nice post-qualifying break), I plan to begin work on my dissertation on regionalism and children's literature, which will examine the ways in which the literary child constructs, resists and/or problematizes the geographic and discursive local.
My article “'The Other Was Whole’: Anne of Green Gables, Trauma and Mirroring” will shortly be published in The Lion and the Unicorn 34.2.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

2010: The Summer of Stephen Potts

I will be heading to Italy in June to visit Rome, Florence, the Umbrian and Tuscan countrysides, and the Ligurian and Amalfi coasts. After plenty of Tuscan sun, Mediterranean waters, historical sites, and slow food, I return in July. Most of the rest of summer I will be working to finish off the lengthy and thorough revision of my book on F. Scott Fitzgerald and the magazines of his time, The Price of Paradise. Finally, before the academic year begins in August, I hope to head to Colorado for a week of backpacking and river-rafting with my son, who turns 30 that month.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

2010: The Summer of Kathy Shumate

My summer will begin with a long-planned trip to Scotland, the other land of my ancestors. Some friends and I are taking a Rick Steves tour in order to get the general lay of the country.
Since this is the first summer since 1994 that I do not have any work (thank you budget cuts), I am taking it as a sign that it’s time to get back to some serious work on my poetry manuscript. I will also be preparing to teach 308W at SDSU for the first time. I’ve decided to use Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea and Jane Eyre, so rereading and restudying literary theory is in order.
In the beginning of July, my nephew, who is a European Studies major at SDSU, will be returning home from his year studying abroad—in Paris—after taking the opportunity to visit some other countries. We are anxiously waiting to hear more about his adventures and experiences.
At the end of July, my niece from St. Louis is coming to visit before she embarks on her last two years of college—for some reason, she wants to be a teacher!
On the home front, I really need to get out in my yard, especially my front courtyard that looks like it is the secret garden gone wild. I hope to do some painting and redecorating in the house, take lots of walks with my poor dogs who are so neglected during the semesters with my crazy schedules, and put the cats on diets. And—sometime in between all that—catch up on some reading for fun: Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes books (the last two), the latest No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency book, and whatever else comes my way.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2010: The Summer of Linda Salem

I'm excited to travel to San Francisco in May for the American Literature Association conference where I will chair a session for the Children's Literature Society. The session, "Children on the Margin: Changelings, Vampires, and Werewolves," includes: SDSU's own Emily Thomas who will present "The Changeling and the Search for Identity: Abjection, Oppression and Otherness in Eloise McGraw's The Moorchild,” Kathleen B. Nigro from University of Missouri, St. Louis will present "No Enlightenment in Stephenie Meyer's Land of the Midnight Sun," and Jennifer Moskowitz of Morningside College will present “Weres or Vamps—What’s a Girl to Do?: The Homoerotic Triangle and the (Re)entrenched Nineteenth-Century Heroine in Adolescent Popular Vampire Fiction.”

This summer I'll curate the Gorey personal library here at SDSU and promote the journal International Research In Children's Literature. I'll continue to develop the Children's Literature Reading Room on the 4th floor of Love Library. And as always, I'll be writing short stories, hosting read and critique groups, and keeping track of the comings and goings of literary magazines. Best wishes to all for a great summer!

Linda Salem

2010: The Summer of Mary Galbraith

Well, first, see (below) the recommended future reading list for adolescence in literature put together by my Engl. 502 class. I'm planning to read several of these that are new to me.

My summer to do list: swim in the ocean, putter in the back yard, and create a website devoted to picture book auteurs. I hope I'll get a chance to visit my childhood best friend, who lives on a ranch up in Watsonville, and her 96 year old mom, who lives in West LA near Century City. And of course I'll be spending time with my two 18 year olds and my mom, who is 93.

Health practices for the summer: Try once a day to do a real pull-up on the chin bar. Walk 12,000 steps a day. Sleep eight hours a night. Dance and sing daily--mostly dance.

Oh, yes--I'll be glued to my television for 30 days starting on June 11 watching the World Cup in South Africa. Go USA!
* * * *

English 502, Spring 2010, "Adolescence in Literature." Each person in our class recommended a book about adolescence. Our list includes novels, graphic novels, memoirs, and a CD:

Jimmy Santiago Baca, A Place to Stand (recommender: Tracy Gwin)
Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues (Emilia Sitton)
Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief and other books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (Chelsea Campbell)
Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure (Michelle Hammer)
Ned Vizzini, Be More Chill (Joseph Ramos)
Jane Yolen, The Devil’s Arithmetic (Norma Delgado)
Sue Monk Kidd The Secret Life of Bees (Whitney Stangel)
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (Sally Costello)
Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game (Anne Loupy)
Joe Kelly (text) and Ken Niimura (graphics), I Kill Giants (Mariam Kushkaki)
Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Amanda Gallina)
William Golding, The Lord of the Flies (Kimberly Morrow)
Hanif Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia (Alison Leon)
Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping (Sara Lunny)
Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian (Shawna Toledo)
Janet Fitch, White Oleander (Liberty Mcbride)
Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street (Alexandra Strangarity)
Conor Oberst, Lifted: or The Story in the Soil (Enrico Caruso)
Jack London, The Call of the Wild (Mary Galbraith)

2010: The Summer of Carole Scott

I'll be on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, for most of the summer. While there I will be continuing both my work as a developing potter, hoping to be included in the Guild show again, and my lessons learning to sight-read music so I can be a more useful choir member. I'll also be volunteering at the Library (almost entirely volunteer-run) where I take the opportunity of catching up on the newest fiction, and at the Hospital auxiliary Thrift Store. And I will assist again in supporting one of the noontime concert programs there, by preparing food for the hungry audiences. I'll also be swimming, kayaking and sailing.

On the professional front, I'll be putting the final touches to two forthcoming publications:
- for the Canadian journal Jeunesse: young people, texts, cultures, an extensive review entitled "Simply Read: an Innovative Press,"
- and a chapter called "Early Impressions: Paths to Literacy" in New Directions in Picturebook Research, to be in the Routledge Ch. Lit. series.
I'll be preparing and writing a chapter on the relationship between Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake for a volume on Roald Dahl, eds. Charlie Butler and Ann Alston for Palgrave MacMillan.

On a more basic level, I hope to tile the entry way and downstairs rooms of our house up there and work some more on getting the grounds in order, including keeping the deer from eating whatever food we manage to grow. I will be coming back to San Diego for at least one interval during the summer, and will finish tiling the master bathroom, and adding some decoration to the fishpond I have just finished building. I will also be preparing for the summer party of the Friends of the Library which it is my responsibility to host as current President.

Translating the Garmann Books

Among the most curious contemporary books are Stian Hole's Garmann books. Here's an interview with Don Bartlett who translated them from Norwegian. In the Montreal Gazette:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2010: The Summer of Jerry Griswold

It's the same phenomenon every summer. I first saw this described in Wind in the Willows: Either I go on the road (and have dreams about planting a garden) or I stay home and plant a garden (and have dreams about traveling with my backpack). This summer I'm planting the garden (and thus far my dreams have been about riding horseback through Canyon de Chelly).

Summer is also a time for me to catch up on my reading. I've already finished Patti Smith's "Just Kids" (an autobiography about her rock-and-roll days with Robert Mappelthorpe) and loved it. On the bedside table are two books I've begun: Jay McInerney "How It Ended" (short stories by the author of "Bright Lights, Big City" and other books I like) and Natsume Soseki's "Sanshiro" (which is novel about a Tokyo University student a hundred years ago).

As always, I'll continue my journalism because it's fun for me. Next up, I think, is Natalie Merchant's "Leave Your Sleep"--an interesting anthology of children's poetry and a double CD set where these are put to music.

2010: The Summer of Ann Bahde

SDSU's Special Collections Librarian Ann Bahde writes about her summer plans:

First my cousin's marriage to an Iranian woman in Chicago in May, which promises to be a rollicking good wedding;

then a presenting a seminar on using special collections materials in instruction at the awesome Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (ACRL) Preconference in Philly at the end of June;

read/worship Emily Dickinson on a shady green next to a brook in an Oregon valley for vacation in first weeks of July;

in August a visit to my fellowship(ping) husband (in Chicago for the month).

In between all that traveling, I'll be writing and producing video tutorials on key concepts in special collections usage, and trying to put together a weekly salon-ish program for the fall, which will invite all interested persons to come together to view and discuss a particular source or collection in our holdings from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Siobhan Parkinson Named Irish Children's Laureate

SIOBHÁN PARKINSON was officially announced as Ireland’s first laureate for children’s literature by President Mary McAleese at a ceremony at the Arts Council in Dublin’s Merrion Square yesterday...

See also the Guardian:
Read her on the Irish famine in Horn Book: http://www.hbook.com/magazine/articles/2002/nov02_parkinson.asp

2010: The Summer of June Cummins

I will be:
*Presenting at the Children's Literature Association conference about writing the biography of Sydney Taylor
*Presenting at the Association of Jewish Libraries conference about contemporary Jewish boys' fiction
*Presenting at the International Women Writers conference about contemporary Jewish girls' fiction
*Working on Sydney Taylor biography
--June Cummins

Monday, May 10, 2010

2010: The Summer of Joseph Thomas

I will be in Roanoke VA for most of the summer, teaching a graduate course in Hollins' esteemed Children's Literature Program. I was hired as a Visiting Associate Professor of English, and will be living in the uppermost room of a strange, eldrich home, my quarters marked by queer angles and the faint residue of chalked diagrams and formula from some forgotten geometry.

While ensconced in those ancient rooms, I will continue my researches on the iconoclastic Sheldon Silverstein, hoping to complete the third chapter of my new book.

I will also be giving a paper at the ChLA this summer, an investigation of the incantatory power of Silverstein's folk music and oral poetry and their relation to forgotten evil of unnameable power, an evil which sits, squat, on the dusty planes of regions beyond time and space.

--Joseph Thomas

2010: The Summer of Alida Allison

First and most delightfully, with five graduate students who are presenting papers, I'll be in Fresno mid-May for the Oz conference.

Summer for me means Southwest Colorado, but I'll be back in San Diego in June for an academic collaboration I'm much looking forward to: SDSU's China Workshop, 10 professors, will meet with China experts from across the country to update our knowledge of and ability to teach about China. I hope to offer a "Post-1975 Chinese Literature" class in Spring '11.

I will also work this summer on my presentation for the PAMLA conference next November in Honolulu; I'm writing about The Island of the Blue Dolphins on its 50th anniversary this year.

I will also be working on my keynote address for the November Children's Literature Association of India conference in Kerala (my third time!).

And... working on the book I want to do about Kids' Brains and Kids' Books.

And, as usual during my Colorado summers, I will also be making pizzas at my sister-in-law's restaurant in Ridgway, Panny's Pizza.

--Alida Allison

2010: The Summer of Phillip Serrato

This May I'm presenting (at the convention of the American Literature Association) my paper "'What Are Young People to Think?': The Critical Potential of Francisco Jimenez's The Circuit."

This summer I'm teaching English 525 (American Literature, 1960-present) in which I'll be covering texts as diverse as Steinbeck's The Winter of Our Discontent, Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, Mazzy Star's So Tonight That I Might See, and Montoya's Palestine, New Mexico.

After this I'll tend to the yard that ends up neglected 9-months out of every year.

--Phillip Serrato

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Centre for Research in Young People's Texts and Cultures (Canada)

"The Centre for Research in Young People's Texts and Cultures (CRYTC) supports scholarly inquiry into literary, media, and other cultural texts for children and youth. The Centre provides a focus for research in the field in the Department of English and more broadly at the University of Winnipeg, houses the journal Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, facilitates the development and management of collaborative national and international research projects, hosts visiting speakers and researchers, and maintains links with other research centres in children's studies internationally..."

Is this For You? Digital Children's "Books"

"Touch-screens and app stores have given new tricks to old books, and the number of new titles is blossoming...."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

For Cinco de Mayo: Interview With Juan Felipe Herrera

A few years ago, Phillip Serrato invited Juan Felipe Herrera to campus to give a talk. I got the chance to go to lunch with him and do an interview:

My parents were migrant farm workers in the Fresno area, and I eventually ended up teaching creative writing at California State University in Fresno. Other Latino/a children’s writers–Gary Soto, Pam Muñoz Ryan–are from there and write about Fresno. Even Francisco Jiménez writes about that area. There are tribes of writers and we are definitely a crew. . . .

Monday, May 3, 2010

Doctoral Program Acceptances

Several graduate students have received acceptances to doctoral programs in Children's Literature:
U. of Florida: NaToya Faughnder & Sean Printz
George Washingtom University: Naomi Lesley

Kira Hall will be studying for her Doctor of Jurisprudence:
And Martin Woodside, having completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Romania, will begin in the doctoral program in Childhood Studies at Rutgers University (Camden):
Our congratulations to them and to all our graduates who have headed out, each in their own direction.