Volume 39:3

September 27th, 2012 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

1.  Announcements

Congratulations to our new lecturers’ representative–Tina Love, who will be attending department meetings as Lecturer Representative; and Amanda Harrison and Angie Misaghi, Composition Committee Reps; Noreen Lace, Educational Technology Committee Rep; and Pat Swenson, Literature Committee Rep. We appreciate your participation–and that of everyone who put their names forward–and look forward to working with you.

We have been reminded by Chancellor Reed and our campus Academic Affairs division that “using the classroom to inform students about Proposition 30, including dismissing class early and speaking to volunteer students who remain after class, crosses the line into inappropriate political advocacy.”  We have also been directed to the guidelines for political and election issues in the CSU, which can be found in the Office of General Counsel Elections Handbook at http://www.calstate.edu/gc/Docs/ElectionIssues.pdf.  “It is impossible,” the Handbook states, “to establish clear or bright lines that apply universally in every situation, because the law is premised on reasonableness and balance, and the facts are different in each individual circumstance.”  The Handbook also states, “Factual  information about consequences that will result from the passage or failure of a political measure, even including some value judgments and opinions, may be acceptable so long as moderate in tone.”

Sigma Tau Delta, AGSE, 4Humanties@CSUN, Associated Graduate Students in History, and various individuals have joined forces with Better World Books, a “for-profit social enterprise or social business venture” that “uses the power of business to change the world,” to run a book drive that will benefit the literacy initiatives of Books for Africa (http://www.booksforafrica.org). If you have  unwanted college-level books published within the past 10 years (highlighting/writing in the books is fine) that you would be willing to donate to a good cause, please put them in the hall designated for later pick-up or leave them in the donations box in the English mail room. The drive will begin sometime later on in October, but it’s not too early to start clearing out now. Sub-Sahara Africa is in dire need of textbooks, and this is your chance to help.

The Northridge Creative Writing Circle will be presenting poet Michelle Bitting at CSUN this Thursday, September 27, at 7:00 p.m. in the Oviatt Library, Room 25. Bitting, a fourth-generation Angeleno, is author of the DeNovo award-winning Good Friday Kiss and the just-released Notes to the Beloved. Her poems have been published widely, including in American Poetry Review, Narrative, and L.A. Weekly. Dancer, actor, musician, and community activist, she teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. And mark your calendars now for the next NCWC event–Ben Loory reading on October 25, also at 7:00 p.m.!

The College of Humanities announces a Call for Proposals for Academic Programming Support open to all full- and part-time faculty in the college. Funding from this source will provide supplementary support for academically related activities and events only (e.g., guest lecturers, workshops, performances). Funding from this source will not be allocated to support individual faculty stipends, curriculum development, travel, faculty research or creative projects, materials or resources for faculty or student training, and/or to hire student assistants. Please submit your one page proposals (including budget summary and contact person email and phone number) describing how the proposed activity or event supports a course or other academic program to: Academic Programming Fund, College of Humanities, SH 461, mail code 8252. But be quick–the deadline is Monday, October 1, by 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon.

For the last couple of years the College of  Humanities has featured the work of a creative writing student on the Dean’s office holiday card.  Believe it or not, it’s time to be thinking of this again!  The Dean’s office is looking for a poem or excerpt from something that captures the spirit of the season—but not specifically religious or Christmas-y (more something that evokes winter, etc) and needs to have it no later than Halloween so that they can get the card designed and to the printer.  They might also be willing to accept artwork—but it would basically need to be black and white because we don’t do full-color cards. Be on the lookout for high quality work, and pass it along to me (Kate Haake) when you find something good.

Provost Harry Hellenbrand cordially invites you to the 4th Annual Research Fellows Colloquium on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. in the Jack and Florence Ferman Presentation Room, Oviatt Library.  Come and hear our distinguished faculty speak about their research.

The CSUN Faculty Retreat Planning Committee also shines, and for the 2013 Faculty Retreat has adopted the title “CSUN. Shine. Illuminating Pathways to Success.” This year’s retreat will be held on the CSUN campus on January 14 and 15, 2013. Faculty interested in making a presentation at the retreat are invited to submit proposals that think about illuminating pathways to their personal and professional successes at CSUN.  The presentation proposal form is available at: http://www.csun.edu/senate/retreat/proposalform2013.doc . Additional information on registering for the Faculty Retreat will be sent to all faculty in late October.  The Retreat website will include updates as planning proceeds; be sure to visit: http://www.csun.edu/senate/retreat.html .

The Faculty Mentor Program & Educational Opportunity Program is accepting nominations for the 2011-2012 Don Dorsey Excellence in Mentoring Awards. The nomination deadline is Friday, Oct. 26, 5 p.m. These awards are presented to faculty, staff, and administrators who have been exceptional mentors at CSUN.  Faculty, staff, and administrators may be nominated for these awards, which recognize exceptional mentoring of past or present CSUN students; a holistic approach to mentoring, including academic and personal support and in informal and intangible ways; and support of the university’s commitment to the success of students of diverse backgrounds and communities. A reception honoring the recipients will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., in the Whitsett Room, fourth floor of Sierra Hall. The nomination deadline is Friday, October 26, 5:00 p.m. For more information, please contact Glenn Omatsu, Coordinator, Faculty Mentor Program, EOP Central, University Hall 205 (campus mail code: 8366); e-mail:  glenn.omatsu@csun.edu.

On-line training is  now available to help faculty and staff recognize and support students may be in distress.  We are pleased to also provide training that addresses the specific needs and challenges of student veterans, whose numbers are expected to grow on our campus.  The skills acquired in these sessions will help us to promote wellness within our community and make speedy referrals, when necessary, to the appropriate campus resources.

Just a heads up that the Associated Students will be sponsoring a non-partisan Political Fair on Bayramian Hall Lawn on Thursday, October 4, 2012 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.  This is open to any/all group wanting to distribute and share information on candidates and/or ballot initiatives for the upcoming elections.  The event will include the use of amplified music from 12:30 – 1:30.

On October 13, Kate Haake and Mona Houghton will be reading with What Books author, Chuck Rosenthal, at Bart’s Bookstore in Ojai at 6:00 p.m. For more information, please see the Bart’s webpage at http://www.bartsbooksojai.com.

2.  Reminders

Please be sensitive to University policy regarding religious observances. Although we have made it through the Jewish High Holy Days, there may be other occasions on which your students will be absent due to a religious holiday, which they should be allowed to observe without negative consequences in class.

As previously announced, you are invited to a book release party for Rick Mitchell’s new collection, Ventriloquist: Two Plays & Ventriloquial Miscellany, at The Last Bookstore, Downtown Los Angeles (453 S. Spring St.), on Friday, September 28th, at 8:00 p.m. The reading will feature actors (and a dummy) performing excerpts from Rick’s play Ventriloquist Sex. Also, on Sunday, September 30th, at 5:00 p.m., Rick will be giving a book-related presentation, The Art of Ventriloquism,” in the Poetry Corner at the West Hollywood Book Fair (West Hollywood Park). For further information on the first event: http://lastbookstorela.com/ai1ec_event/rick-mitchells-ventriloquist-two-plays-ventriloquial-miscellany/?instance_id=17529.  And for info on the second event, please see: http://www.westhollywoodbookfair.org/?page_id=3744.

Also, again, at the West Hollywood Bookfair, on September 30, Mona Houghton will be speaking on a What Books Panel from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. in the Poet’s Corner. Immediately after, also in the Poet’s Corner, Kate Haake will be reading from her new novel (which, ok, has been described as a “long modernist poem that looks like a novel”) with the actual poet, Gail Wronsky.

3.  Opportunities

So to Speak: a feminist journal of language and art is now accepting submissions for the Spring 2013 issue! This issue will feature poetry and nonfiction contest winners, as well as fiction and visual art. Submissions will be accepted from August 15-October 15 through the online submissions manager at http://sotospeak.submishmash.com/submit. Full submission guidelines are available at http://sotospeakjournal.org/. Looking into the future, the judge for their Spring 2013 Poetry Contest will be Danielle Pafunda and for the Spring 2013 Nonfiction Contest will be Julie Marie Wade. Winners will receive prize money and publication, and finalists will also be published. The contest entry fee of $15 will include a free copy of the Spring 2013 issue for all entrants.

The Oklahoma Review, an online journal published by the Department of English and Foreign Languages at Cameron University,  will be accepting submissions in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry until October 15. Submissions may be sent via email to okreview@cameron.edu.

4.  Achievements

On July 26, Joel Athey aced the 4th hole at Balboa Golf Course using a 4-iron on the 172-yard par 3. This is his second hole-in-one; the first was in Kansas in 1968. Joel’s playing partner was Don Brownlee, outgoing chair of Speech. For non-golfers, a ready distance comparison: a center field home run at Dodger Stadium travels 400 feet, or 133 yards.   And a person hitting a home run doesn’t have to nail a target the size of a teacup. Many golfers never make a hole-in-one in their lifetimes because it takes skill plus a whole lot of luck in the bounces.

Scott Kleinman taught a workshop on text mining at THATCampSoCal (The Humanities and Technology Camp). He also led a follow-up session and session on regional collaboration in the Digital Humanities. THATCampSoCal was also attended by Ashley Chang and Joshua Spurgeon, two students from his current course on Literary Criticism and Analysis in the Digital Age, as well as by Kristin Cornelius and Michael Green, two graduates of his course on The Technology Textuality from previous semesters.

Fred Field, who is still an official member of the English Department but who will remain one of us even after he leaves for Linguistics in the spring, has been offered a contract from Cambridge University Press for a book tentatively titled, Spanish and English in the United States:  The Collision of Two Giants.  Now, Fred cheerfully notes, all he has to do is write a 300-page book.

Volume 39:2

September 13th, 2012 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

1.  Announcements

Congratulations to this year’s English Department Personnel Committee, Dorothy Clark, Anthony Dawahare, Sharon Klein, Martin Pousson, and Beth Wightman. Thanks in advance for your very good work.

The September 19 deadline for the 2012/2013 Distinguished Speakers Program is fast approaching. Applications may be made in two categories: 1)  for up to $700 to request support for classroom visits or department seminars by a guest lecturer, and 2) for up to $1,800 to request funds for individuals or small groups of scholars with broad appeal to the university community to participate in artistic performances, public lectures, or topical conferences. (Please note that International speakers may have up to 30% of honorarium withheld for taxes.) Applications can be found at http://www.csun.edu/grip/graduatestudies/events/faculty.html. And let’s get some money to bring some of the accomplished and fascinating people we know to make a visitation this year!

Speaking of distinguished speakers, on Thursday, September 27, at 7:00 p.m. in the Grand Salon, CSUN’s brand new Department of Linguistics is pleased to co-sponsor, with the Department of Political Science, a conversation with Henry De Sio, Jr., Former Deputy Assistant to President Barack Obama and 2008 Chief Operating Officer at Obama for America, in which he will offer lessons from the campaign trail on leadership, organization, and the power of words.

You’re invited to a book release party for Rick Mitchell’s new collection, Ventriloquist: Two Plays & Ventriloquial Miscellany, at The Last Bookstore, Downtown Los Angeles (453 S. Spring St.), on Friday, September 28th, at 8:00 p.m. The reading will feature actors (and a dummy) performing excerpts from Rick’s play Ventriloquist Sex. Also, on Sunday, September 30th, at 11:30 a.m., Rick will be giving a book-related presentation, The Art of Ventriloquism,” at the West Hollywood Book Fair (West Hollywood Park). For further information on the first event: http://lastbookstorela.com/ai1ec_event/rick-mitchells-ventriloquist-two-plays-ventriloquial-miscellany/?instance_id=17529.  And for info on the second event, please see: http://www.westhollywoodbookfair.org/?page_id=3744.

Also at the West Hollywood Bookfair, on September 30, Mona Houghton will be speaking on a What Books Panel from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. in the Poet’s Corner. Immediately after, also in the Poet’s Corner, Kate Haake will be reading from her new novel (which, ok, has been described as a “long modernist poem that looks like a novel”) with the actual poet, Gail Wronsky.

Stephanie Satie will be presenting her new solo play, Silent Witnesses, based on interviews and conversations with child survivors of the Holocaust, on Thursday, September 20, at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Room of the South Pasadena Public Library, at 1115 So. El Centro St. South Pasadena, CA 91030. Telephone, 626-403-7335. Refreshments will be served.

The Graduate Reading Series (the GRS) team invites you and yours to our first reading of Fall 2012. Come hear the fiction of Miles Simon, the poetry of Cody Deitz, and the dramatic works of Jessa Reed, while enjoying light refreshments and the company of CSUN’s wonderful creative writers. Friday, September 14, from 7 to 9 p.m., we’ll turn the Linda Nichols Joseph Reading Room into the graduate reading room. They hope to see you there!

Of special interest for those of you who work extensively with Freshman, don’t miss the new Fresh Connections roundtable on Thursday, September 13, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Whitsett Room (SH 451). Join presenters Erin Delaney (English and BCFS/AFYE) and Kim Henige (Kinesiology and BCFS/AFYE) to learn new strategies for teaching time management (including this Academic Planner assignment<http://www.csun.edu/afye/documents/Planner-Assignment.docx>) and for engaging freshmen in the classroom. And bring your best strategies to share! The session will repeat on Friday, September 14, from 3:00-4:00 p.m., again in the Whitsett Room. Please RSVP to CIELO<http://www.csun.edu/cielo/> at x6535 with your choice of Thursday or Friday. More information about the roundtable:  http://www.csun.edu/afye/BCFS-AFYE-Roundtable-Fresh-Connections.html.

The University Student Union at California State University, Northridge is proud to announce the Grand Opening of two new resource centers on campus, the Veterans’ Resource Center  (http://vrc.csun.edu/) and  the Pride Center (http://pride.csun.edu/). Both centers are a result of student-led initiatives and have been serving the campus community since the first day of this Fall semester. The Grand Opening for the Veterans’ Resource Center was yesterday, so if you weren’t there, you already missed it. But there’s still time to make the Grand Opening of the Pride Center, next Thursday, September 27, at 10:00 a.m., in the Pride Center itself.

2.  Reminders

Do not forget, please, the first department meeting of the year, which is tomorrow, 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon in the Linda Nichols Joseph Reading Room. We’ll be discussing the MOU and other things. And there will be refreshments!

Do not forget, either, to post your office hours on the department webpage.  Here’s how:  log in to the English Department administrative system by clicking “Faculty Login” in the top right corner of the English Department web site.  (If you have forgotten your user name or password, click on the “forgot password” link on the log in page.  You will be sent a new password and a reminder of your username.  If you have not yet been assigned an account, contact Tonie Mangum (antoinette.mangum@csun.edu), and she will create an one for you.) After logging in, click “Office Hours” in the main navigation menu. Make sure that the current academic session (Fall 2012) is selected in the dropdown menu and then enter your office hours in the form. Your office hours can be a maximum of 200 characters. When you are finished, click the “Save” button, and your office hours will appear automatically on your profile page. If you need to change your office hours at a later date, you can login again and follow the same procedure.

And another important thing not to forget is the Wings/New Voices ceremony, in which the fabulous work of our students is recognized and celebrated. In the words of Irene Clark, this event “reminds us of why we entered this profession. It will make you happy.”  The ceremony will take place on Friday, September 21st from 3:30-5:30 in the Grand Salon. Light refreshments served. And please encourage your students to attend as well.

We are now in the Open Enrollment period for a wide range of our employee benefits. If you are looking to switch health plans or sign up for a Health or Dependent Care Reimbursement Account, now is the time to do it.  Open Enrollment ends on October 5.

Also due by October 5 are travel requests. Here is the form  http://www-admn.csun.edu/travel/forms/travel-approval-form.pdf. Fill it out and submit it to Tonie, or you may be flying the redeye.

And while you are at it, Tonie wants to know which classes you would like to have student evaluations done in this fall. Please remember that all full-time faculty, beginning in their second year, who are being considered for retention, tenure or promotion will be evaluated in all of their classes. The rest of us get to choose two classes for review. The deadline for letting Tonie know which two these will be is September 27.

President Dianne Harrison and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Harry Hellenbrand invite all candidates who will be reviewed in the RTP process this year, including faculty under review for retention, tenure, and/or promotion in rank to Associate Professor as well as faculty seeking promotion in rank to Professor, to attend a Retention, Tenure, and Promotion informal discussion on Friday, September 21, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in the Ferman Presentation Room at the Oviatt Library. Members of reviewing agencies such as Department Chairs, members of Department and College Personnel Committees, and Deans and faculty planning to seek promotion in rank in future years are also invited and urged to attend.

Those of your who are teaching one of our GE courses such as 208, 255, 258, 259, 275, 300, 306, 311, 313, 316, 333, 364, or 371 might want to consider participating in the GE Paths. Curious? For more information, see the project webpage at http://www.csun.edu/gepaths/.

Just in case you missed this, CSUN has a new CSUN Today news webpage, and the COH webpage is new too. You can check them out at http://csuntoday.csun.edu/ and http://www.csun.edu/humanities/. Both look great!

And while we’re on the subject of webpages, there’s also a new CSYou, the California State University’s new systemwide employee intranet. This site marks the first time all CSU employees, regardless of location, can access employee-specific information from one location. You can find it and log in at http://csyou.calstate.edu. There’s also a cheat sheet at http://www.csunalumni.com/Schools/CSUNorthridge/Bemail/Files/CSYou-Cheat-Sheet-Campus.pdf that can help you figure out what this site can do for you. Please let me know when you do.

Jackie was gentle, but I’ll be blunt–don’t sell your textbooks to text book buyers, especially if you got them free. That’s against University policy. Just a thought–it’s probably best not to sell books to them at all, as this simply encourages them. If you have used books (NOT desk copies or other textbooks you have received for free from publishers) you don’t want to give to students for their sales or to your local library for the tax deduction but do want to sell (for their enormous resale value?), it’s generally probably best to take them to a proper used book store. Maybe try The Last Bookstore, officially ranked as one of the world’s 20 most beautiful bookstores. That alone will make it worth your trip.

3.  Opportunities

The department has had an inquiry from Daniel Holmes, Activities & Volunteer Coordinator at Sunrise Senior Living of Woodland Hills who is looking looking for someone to help enrich the cultural experience of the Sunrise residents. Specifically, he’d like someone to come in twice a month to facilitate a class or discussion group devoted to poetry. The sessions would take place in the early evening or afternoon and last an hour.  For more information, Holmes can be reached at 818/346-9046. Please do help spread the word–this could be an amazing opportunity for the right person. Preference will be given to upper level students and/or TA’s who are looking to earn community service hours, but Holmes is will to work with “fresh talent” provided the desire is there.

Also for students: Senator Feinstein’s Los Angeles office is looking for highly motivated college students for internship positions for the fall, winter, spring, and summer sessions and will be accepting applications on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.  Successful applicants will support Field Representatives and Staff Assistants in drafting memos to the Senator, scheduling or attending meetings with staff, constituent letters, conducting background research, phone calls, document requests, morning press clippings, research projects, and attending events with the Senator when she is in the area. The office is looking for polite and friendly students with some familiarity with the American political system and current events. Additionally, strong writing and communication skills are a plus. The position will require a minimum of 12 hours per week, but hours will be flexible, according to student schedules.

Now that we have a contract, we need to turn our attention to the November election and do what we can to ensure that the Governor’s Tax Initiative (Proposition 30) passes and increase our funding and halt this year’s tuition increases. Check with our local chapter of the CFA if you want to contribute to this effort (or to the defeat of the Koch brothers-sponsored Proposition 32) this effort by doing some phone banking and community walking.  (And that’s not saying anything about the rest of what’s at stake in this election!)

4.  Achievements

Irene Clark’s review of Mary Soliday’s book, Everyday Genres: Writing Assignments Across the Disciplines, appeared in the journal Composition Studies (Spring 2012, Vol 40,Number 1).

Kate Haake’s new novel, The Time of Quarantine, was an SPD Bestseller last summer.

An excerpt from the Japanese translation of Jack Solomon’s “The Signs of Our Times” is being used as part of the entrance examination to Tokyo Gakugei University.