Volume 40:12

March 20th, 2014 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

1. Announcements

We begin this issue of Thursday’s Notes with the sad announcement that we have lost another of our warmly remembered emeritus colleagues, Lary Hazelton Gibson, who passed away recently after a struggle with pneumonia and heart problems. After earning his PhD in English from the University of Oregon, Lary taught at Fordham University from 1967-1969 and then joined our department in 1969. A writer of poetry, novels, short stories and film and television scripts, Lary taught creative writing, along with courses in contemporary literature, and was instrumental in the development of the department’s literary magazine program. Lary was promoted to Associate Professor in 1975 and to Professor in 1980. He joined the Faculty Early Retirement program and was granted emeritus status in 2001. In particular, Lary was noted for his generous support of student achievement, shepherding many, many students through independent studies. Here, one such student, our own Mona Houghton, remembers Lary fondly:

One of the luckier chance occurrences of my life happened in the mid-eighties when I walked into Lary Gibson’s creative writing class. I was in my early thirties and desperate to find the story-maker I had lost track of in my twenties—and there was kind and patient Lary holding  open the door. I couldn’t have landed a better guide at that juncture. He kept me coming back with his kind encouragement, his low-key humor, his ability to call me out without scaring me away—and the years whizzed by. And during them all, I always knew if I lost my way on the yellow brick road that I could find a seat in Lary’s  office and he would have the time and patience to ease me back to where I needed to be. Above all, he was a teacher and his students never doubted his love of being in the trenches with all of us. I feel totally confident in saying  there are thousands of people, who, like me, hold Lary, and many memories of him, close to their hearts.

In other sad news, our sympathies go out to Lisa Riccomini and her mother Linda who lost their father and husband, Marino John Riccomini, this past week. The obituary can be read here: http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/obituaries/index/x152644613/Marino-John-Riccomini.

For those of you who have been anxiously awaiting  news on the cliff-hanger ending to our last edition of Thursday’s Notes to find out what Bob Noreen has actually been charged with in his recent appointment by the U.S. Department of Education to a five member panel, the long wait is now over. Bob, with his panel, will be reviewing the English exams being prepared for the “Race to the Top” national Common Core program. A daunting task. Closer to home, Bob supervises the scoring of the CSU English Placement Test for the Educational Testing Service, and also for the Early Assessment Program (EAP). And he’s also been traveling, having visited  65 countries to date in retirement. This edition of TN will find him either on in New Zealand or on a cruise around the South Sea Islands (Bora Bora, Tahiti, Fiji, et.al.). Bon voyage, Bob!

As we start to gear up for the end of the term, it’s time to think about nominating students for our various department awards, along with the University-wide 2014 Outstanding Graduating Senior Awards. Four exceptional students will be selected for this award based on academic excellence, campus and community service, and exceptional achievements or personal life circumstances that have been overcome. Each student will receive a $1,000 award, which will be presented during the Honors Convocation ceremony at the Oviatt Library Lawn on Monday, May 16, 2014, at 6:00 PM. Candidates must submit an Application Form (available online at http://www.csun.edu/studentaffairs/ogsa/ ) and two letters of recommendation (one of which must be from a CSUN faculty member).  All materials must be received in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs by the application deadline which is Monday, April 14, 2014.

The faculty general election is taking place now! This is an important opportunity to participate in faculty governance and decide who will represent us as Faculty Officers, Statewide Academic Senators, and Senators-at-Large, so please log on and cast your vote here http://www.csun.edu/senate/electionballot. The election will end on March 26 at 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon. If you have questions, experience technical difficulties, and/or would prefer a paper ballot, please contact Heidi Wolfbauer in the Faculty Senate Office (heidiw@csun.edu or X3263).

Please do what you can to support next year’s first year students (sure to be another bumper crop) by coming to one or more of the Postmortal Previews. Choose April 1, 2, or 3 and come learn about the book from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. each day, in CIELO (SH 439). For more information, please see http://www.csun.edu/afye/Postmortal-for-Faculty-and-Staff.html#Preview. And for more on the book, don’t miss the upcoming Postmortal Book Discussions on April 21, April 23, and July 17. Details at http://www.csun.edu/afye/Postmortal-for-Faculty-and-Staff.html. For more information or to RSVP: x6535 or cheryl.spector@csun.edu.

Here’s a big thanks to Bob Chianese for alerting us to The Big Read project in Ventura. Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, this year’s main books is Tim Obrien’s The Things They Carried. Bob be participating with a presentation at the Topping Room on Monday April 7 at 7:00 pm in the downtown library, talking about why O’Brien chose fiction to tell the “real” story of a group of soldiers he fought with. For more information about this and other related events, please see http://www.cityofventura.net/bigread.

Stephanie Satie will be performing her  solo play, Silent Witnesses, directed by Anita Khanzadian, based on interviews with Child Survivors of the Holocaust at The Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. 90025, for one night only, Saturday, May 10th at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the box office : 310-477-2055 ext. 2. They are open after 1:00 until curtain time Tuesdays -Sunday, with student and senior discounts available only by phone or at the box office.

Please announce to your students that we will be celebrating the publication of the Northridge Review Spring 2014 Issue at  The Planetarium BP3100 (or Citrus Hall CH3100) on April 18, 2014, starting at 7 p.m. It will be a party. Invite  family and friends. There will be refreshments and wonderful entertainment.

The Northridge Creative Writing Circle has two big readings coming up. On March 27th. at 7 p.m. the NCWC, is hosting Kate Gale in Chaparral Hall room 5126. Kate Gale, a CSUN alum, is the author of several poetry collections and is the founder and managing editor of Red Hen Press and an editor of the Los Angeles Review. And on April 21, also at 7 p.m. in Chaparral Hall room 5126, the NCWC will be hosting Jerry Stahl, Joseph Mattson, and Tyson Cornell. Save the date now and look for more details in the coming weeks. 

2. Reminders

Sigma Tau Delta is holding its annual conference, “ISMs: An Exploration into the Invisible Barriers of Classification,” this Saturday, March 22, in the USU. Beginning at 8:15 with breakfast and a meet and greet, followed by scintillating panels throughout the day, the conference features, well, scintillating panels, and a keynote address by Dodie Bellamy, author of nine prose works, including Academonia and The Buddhist, at 2:30 in the afternoon. Please try to come out and support our students and visiting student presenters and enjoy their terrific work.

The Office of Community Engagement has now opened the grant cycle for 2014-15. The purpose of this grant is to support faculty in revising a current course to reflect service learning pedagogy for the 2014 – 2015 academic year. The project must be developed in collaboration with a non-profit community-based organization, provide a meaningful service-learning experience for students, and fulfill a need defined by the community organization. Funded faculty will receive $1000 and be required to revise the course and implement the new syllabus during the 2014 – 2015 AY. The application is due by April 14, 2014. Interested? Please contact me Joyce Burstein at joyce.burstein@csun.edu. And while you are working on your excellent ideas, you won’t want to miss the Last Minute Service Learning Grant Advice from the Office of Community Engagement. This worksop will take place on April 1 and April 2, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. i CIELO Conference Room 439. Drop by to receive some advice on preparing your Service Learning Grant Application from Dr. Joyce Burstein, and have a few refreshments as well.

3. Opportunities

Glimmer Train‘s Short Fiction Contest has a March 31 deadline coming up for work with a “family matters” theme. 1st place wins $1,500 and, of course, publication in Glimmer Train Stories; 2nd place wins $500, or, if published, $700; and 3rd place wins $300, or, if published, $700. The reading fee is $15 per story. Winners and finalists will be officially announced in the June 1 bulletin, and contacted directly by the previous week. Three CSUN students and/or alum — Karlee Johnson, Justin Le Torre, and Gina Srmabekian — have already earned recognitions in this noteworthy competition. Let’s keep it up, CSUN writers!

4. Achievements

Esteemed former colleague, Brian Leung (2002-2006), has been appointed  Director of Creative Writing at Purdue University, starting in Fall 2014. In February, he learned that his application for a grant to direct the U.S. Department of State Institute on Contemporary American Literature in summer 2014 at the University of Louisville has been approved. The grant brings scholars in Contemporary American Literature from 18 different countries to Louisville for six weeks of study, and for travel within the U.S. to meet important scholars and U.S. writers. Brian will marry his partner of four and a half years this spring.

Kim Young‘s terrific book of poems, Night Radio, was one of two finalists for the prestigious Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Congratulations to Kim on this notable distinction. Kim also has a review, “The Self as Sediment,” of Judith Kitchen’s book length essay The Circus Train coming out in the Los Angeles Review of Books at the end of March.

Volume 40:11

March 6th, 2014 | Posted by khaake in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

1. Announcements

Wendy Say

Let’s begin this issue of TN with a hugely warm and most grateful welcome the newest member of our fabulous office staff, Wendy Say! We look forward to working with her and wish her the best in her new work home.

And let’s second that with a huge vote of thanks to Wendy for arranging for another new and, again, most welcome addition to our department — our very long overdue bottle and can recycling bin! Let’s make excellent use of it.

Bottle and can recycling bin

Once again, the Dean’s office has  offered to pay for our commencement regalia if we are interested in attending and/or serving as a Marshal. To take advantage of this generous offer, all you have to do is fill out the form you received via email and in your mailbox, and send it to Noreen Galvin by  Tuesday, March 18. Here’s a link with useful commencement information, http://www.csun.edu/commencement, but the short version is that this year’s Honors Convocation will take place on Friday, May 1, at 6:00 p.m., and the College of Humanities Commencement will take place jointly with the Michael D. Eisner College of Education on Thursday, May 22, also at 6:00 p.m.

And after all the excited, sad, happy, and proud goodby’s of each year’s commencement, as we turn our attention back to our continuing students, we should also look forward to those future students who might not yet even know that their destiny is already written to be, after all, an English major. Please do your part to let such students know what a terrific option English may be for them. And just a reminder that if you do have promising writers and readers in your first and second year classes, drop a line to Kate Haake (me) at kate.haake@csun.edu to tell her (me) about them. It’s always a pleasure to reach out to such students with a warm invitation to think about joining our convivial ranks.

In recent news from our graduate corner, the AGSE annual conference will take place this Saturday, March 8, from 9-430, in the University Student Union. This year’s conference theme is Intersections, and the day feature 40 academic papers and presentations by CSUN graduate students and undergraduate students, as well as scholars from UC Riverside, USC, University of St. Thomas, Loyola Marymount, Bowling Green State University, San Diego State, and the California Institute of Integral Studies. There will also be a panel of CSUN freshmen and a panel of Taft High School students. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Joseph Boone, Professor of English, Gender Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. A well-known and respected theorist in the areas of modernist literature/culture, queer theory, and gender studies, Professor Boone is the author of Tradition Counter Tradition: Love and the Form of Fiction (1989), Engendering Men: The Question of Male Feminist Criticism (1991), Libidinal Currents: Sexuality and the Shaping of Modernism (1998), and The Homoerotics of Orientalism (2014). A program for the conference is located outside the mailroom for your perusal, and the conference website can be accessed at http://agseintersections.wordpress.com/. Come if you can; it will make you proud. Plus, a good time will be had by all.

Speaking of a good time, the Sigma Tau Delta conference is also fast approaching and will be held on March 22. The theme of this year’s conference is ISMS: An Exploration Into the Invisible Barriers of Classification. Featuring keynote speaker Dodie Bellamy, author of Academonia and The Buddhist, this conference, too, promises to be a scintillating and enjoyable day. Look for details in the next issue of TN.

Here’s another great invitation from Cheryl Spector, who has already provided many of us with copies of next year’s Freshman Common Reading text, The Postmortal, by Drew Magary. Cheryl is hoping we’ll make time to join her and other colleagues for  for a faculty-staff discussion of the book. Even if you can’t find time to read the whole book in advance of the group’s first meeting, please do try to join them tomorrow, Friday, March 3, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon in CIELO (Sierra Hall 4th floor). For more information about The Postmortal, see http://www.csun.edu/afye/Postmortal-for-Faculty-and-Staff.html.

On Wednesday, March 12, and Tuesday, March 18, an open form on Incivility in the Academe will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Sierra Center second floor conference room. Sponsored by CSBS Climate Committee, University Counseling Services, Faculty Senate Educational Equity Committee, CFA and CSUEU, this forum promises to generate a lively discussion and provocative preparation for  author Leah Hollis’ April 2 talk on Bully in the Ivory Tower.

On Monday, March 3rd at 12:30 in JR 319, Professor Amy Ulmer, Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Pasadena City College, will be coming to Irene Clark‘s  English 600A class to give a talk titled “Teaching Opportunities at Pasadena City College.” All are welcome.

Each year, the President of the United States holds a service honor roll competition. This prestigious award committee selects higher education institutions that show commitment to serving their communities through all forms of external unpaid activity, including academic service learning, volunteer projects, internships, and community service. As part of their mission, they seek to quantify the service hours our students spend engaged in projects to better our community. If you have students who have formally or informally volunteered at local community organizations, worked in a service-learning capacity, interned, or completed observation hours/unpaid work in the community, please consider taking the below survey with regard to the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters. The survey will take about 3-5 minutes to complete, and even less if you have the data readily available (number of students, hours completed, etc), and can be reached https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PresidentialHonorRoll_2014projects. Our students do good work and people should know, so thanks to Danielle Spratt for bringing this opportunity to our attention.

Former CSUN creative writing student, Ashlyn Morse, currently in her first year of medical school at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has  reached out to us as part of her fundraising activities for Project Medishare, which provides healthcare in Haiti to people without access to the most basic medical needs. In addition to ongoing community health programs, Medishare takes groups of volunteer medical professionals and students, among whom Ashlyn soon will be one, to Haiti to conduct health fairs and mobile clinics. On past trips the Medishare groups have delivered babies, diagnosed and treated various illnesses, and literally saved lives. Donations can be made at Medishare Donation Page, and Ashlyn herself can be reached at amorse@umiami.edu. Please help spread the word and do what you can to support this important work. Ashlyn — and the people she helps — will greatly appreciate it.

The spring Dialogues with the Provost (DWP) will take place on Friday, March 28,  from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the USU Northridge Center Complex, and focus on interdisciplinary scholarship. Please use the following link to RSVP for the event by Friday, March 14, 2014 and let them know how you already do or would like to collaborate with colleagues: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1EzGT7KzS3X88aoafrTDusafcEdD0Qmn9a-B-_v10sW4/viewform. These responses will be used to help facilitate conversations among colleagues. For more information, please contact Crist Khachikian, Associate VP for Research & Graduate Studies and Graduate Dean at crist.khachikian@csun.ed or Cristina Cadavid at ana.cadavid@csun.edu.

2. Reminders

This weekend, Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 9th at 2:00 a.m.  March also holds the half-way point for the Spring Semester, and officially marks the arrival of Spring on March 20th! (And how, exactly, is that possible?)

Don’t forget that our travel form has changed. The new form can be found at http://www.csun.edu/sites/default/files/travel-approval-request.pdf. Please use this one and not the old one. And have safe, pleasurable, and productive journeys.

 3. Opportunities

The Academy of American Poets Prize Competition is now accepting submissions for the 2013 award. The winner will receive a cash prize from the Academy of American Poets and publication in the Northridge Review. One Honorable Mention will also be awarded. New for this year, AAP is pleased to announce the Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank Most Promising Young Poet Award. Students 23 years-old or younger who have won the AAP prize will be considered for an additional $1000 award. The deadline is Friday, April 18. For more information, please contact poets Leilani Hall or Dorothy Barresi. And do let your students know.

While they are at it, student poets should also consider submitting to the first-ever Sigma Tau Delta poetry contest, judged by award winning poet Patty Seyburn. The winner will be published in the Fall 2014 Northridge Review and will received a signed copy of Patty Seyburn’s Hilarity. All finalists will be given the opportunity to read with Patty Seyburn at an upcoming event. Submissions are open from March 1 through March 31. Students should submit up to three previously unpublished poems, along with a cover letter and a $5 entry fee to the English Department Office or to any of the Sigma Tau Delta board members.

The Office of Community Engagement has now opened the grant cycle for 2014-15. The purpose of this grant is to support faculty in revising a current course to reflect service learning pedagogy for the 2014 – 2015 academic year. The project must be developed in collaboration with a non-profit community-based organization, provide a meaningful service-learning experience for students, and fulfill a need defined by the community organization. Community service-learning courses are expected to build students’ civic responsibility, enhance learning through community engagement, and build the capacity of community-based organizations to meet the needs of residents in the Greater San Fernando Valley. Funded faculty will receive $1000 and be required to revise the course and implement the new syllabus during the 2014 – 2015 AY. The application is due by April 14, 2014. Interested? Please contact me Joyce Burstein at joyce.burstein@csun.edu.

The California Journal of Women Writers, an online literary journal, is looking for writers to join their project. The journal features original reviews and criticism of women’s literature from across North America, as well as interviews with authors, commentary on critiques published elsewhere, and the occasional post boasting literary theory. This is a space devoted to fostering and enhancing the visibility of North American female authors, and narrowing the wide gender gap found in discussions in the literary world. This is a remote volunteer position, but will give your writing exposure and online publication status with a growing and note-worthy literary journal. They are open to collaborating for internship course credit, so this might be a great opportunity for our students. Please check out further details here at http://tcjww.org/2013/08/26/join-our-team/ and send an email to editor@tcjww.org if you are interested.

On April 25th, from 10-2, there will be a conference at Woodbury College oriented toward fostering connections between community colleges and four year colleges. Dr. Richard Matzen, who is in charge of the conference, is looking for someone to someone to give a short presentation (10:45-11:15) on developing multimodal assignments; the presenter will receive $100 honorarium.  Attending this conference will be several Composition directors from local area community colleges, so it might be useful for you to meet them. If you are interested, please contact Irene Clark for more information.
For all those WW I fans, that is the essay topic of this year’s California Academic Decathlon, which will be holding the essay portion of its competition on the 6th of March and is  looking for college instructors to judge essays online and in their spare time. Interested faculty will have until March 18 to complete their volunteer scoring. For more information, please contact, Tammy Serpa, Program Specialist, Lake County Office of Education, at Tammy Serpa tserpa@lakecoe.org. Thank you for considering this opportunity to serve.

4. Achievements

Kate Haake moderated a panel, Poetry, Fiction, & Gronkfest: Celebrating Five Years of What Books Press, at last weekend’s AWP Conference in Seattle where some 15,000 creative writers gathered, among them a healthy contingent of CSUN graduate students who did a great job representing us. Well done, students!

Bob Noreen, happily retired in Palm Spring, was appointed last spring by the U.S. Department of Education to a five member panel which is charged with reviewing the English exams being prepared for the “Race to the Top” national  Common Core program. Good luck with that, Bob; we miss you.