Volume 40:14

April 17th, 2014

1. Announcements

Welcome back to one and all and here’s hoping every one of you had fabulous spring breaks if you can even remember them now as we gear up for the end of this action-packed academic year. Time now to hang on to your various hats and have a great ride.

Speaking of the end of the year, it has come to our attention that a number of our graduate students are experiencing difficulties with their graduation tickets. We are working on this but in the meantime, if anyone knows of about any unused and available tickets that they could donate to this good cause, please let me know so we might start a “bank” of our own. Don’t assume, however, that you have tickets of  your own you can donate. This year, all faculty who wish to attend but do not plan to participate officially in the ceremony will also need tickets of their own. If you think you might be in that situation, please do email Commencement Services at commencementtickets@csun.edu. And since students will be limited to four guests this year, let’s all plan to attend the Department reception to show our support for our students and their families — all of them!

As previously announced, the all College meeting with Provost Harry Hellenbrand and Dean Elizabeth A. Say will be held on Monday, May 12, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Whitsett Room, Sierra Hall 451. This meeting will provide an important opportunity to hear Provost Hellenbrand speak about the future of CSUN to share your own questions/concerns/observations about the same. Light refreshments will be served.

The Northridge Creative Writing Circle will host a Northridge Review Workshop Panel featuring David Morck, George Fekaris, Garrett Rego, and Dustin Lehren, all poets and fiction writers with recent publications. The published writers will discuss the path to publication with other students. The event is organized by alumnus Justin La Torre (BA ’13, English, Creative Writing) and board members of the NR and the NCWC. Copies of the NR will be available for sale. The panel will be held on Friday, May 2, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., in the Linda Joseph Nichols Reading Room (JR 319).

The Northridge Creative Writing Circle will host a starred panel of fiction writers and publishers, featuring two distinguished CSUN alumni, Tyson Cornell and Joseph Mattson. Rare Bird Lit & Barnacle Book Publisher Tyson Cornell will lead the panel with COLA Award-Winning novelist and editor Joseph Mattson (Eat Hell, Empty the Sun) along with Jerry Stahl, legendary Los Angeles writer, Pushcart Prize winner and best-selling author (Permanent Midnight, Happy Mutant Baby Pills). The panel will be held on Monday, April 21, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., in Chaparral Hall Room 5126.

Martin Pousson has been invited to read at Beyond Baroque in Venice in celebration of National Poetry Month on Saturday, April 26. He will read two poems, “Hoodoo” & “Voodoo,” both published in The Rattling Wall. Copies of the journal will be available for purchase. Wine and cheese will be served at 8:00, with poetry readings to follow. The event is free, and all are welcome to attend.

Here are two more upcoming opportunities to join in the conversation about The Postmortal by Drew Magary, which will be CSUN’s 2014-2015 Freshman Common Reading. Take your choice: Monday, April 21 form 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in SH 439 (CIELO) with Stacey Bieber, or Wednesday, April 23, form 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in SH 439 (CIELO) with Ronit Sarig. RSVP to me Cheryl Spector at Cheryl.Spector@csun.edu, or to x6535 (CIELO) so planning can be done for refreshments. For more information about The Postmortal at CSUN (including another discussion opportunity in July), please visit http://www.csun.edu/afye/Postmortal-for-Faculty-and-Staff.html.

2. Reminders

Since the last issue of TN came out just in advance of our late spring break, here’s a recounting of several events you won’t want to miss:

Tomorrow night, April 18, features the Northridge Review publication party, which will begin at 7:00 p.m. in CSUN’s beautiful Planetarium.

On Saturday, April 19, at 4:00 in the afternoon, Kate Haake and Mona Houghton will be reading at Off Ramp Gallery in Pasadena. The afternoon will celebrate work by members of Los Angeles’ Glass Table Collective and feature art work by GRONK. Wine and  refreshments will be served. Off Ramp Gallery can be found at 1702 Lincoln Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103.

And most importantly, don’t forget that the deadline for spring department awards will fast be upon us, so please get your nominations and letters in order and have them submitted by Tuesday April 29, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. The spring awards include the following:

UNDERGRADUATE AWARDS

The Linda Nichols Joseph English Merit Scholarship: In memory of Linda Nichols Joseph, an English major who graduated cum laude from CSUN in 1981, up to two prizes of $2,000 will be awarded this spring to undergraduate English majors who have demonstrated excellence in their studies.

The Henry Van Slooten Scholarship in English: A prize of $500 will be given to a student whose essay in ENGL 258, 259, 275, or 355 best demonstrates a passion for the English language.

The Lesley Johnstone Memorial Award: In honor of Lesley Johnstone, a professor of English at CSUN from 1965 to 2010 who specialized in Eighteenth-Century British Literature and who loved and cherished nature, a prize of $500 will be given to a student who is the author of the best written work on some aspect of the natural world or environment.

The Robert apRoberts English Honors Essay Prize: To commemorate Robert apRoberts, Professor Emeritus and founder of the Honors Program, an annual prize of $250 will be awarded to the English Honors student whose paper completed in the Honors Revision Seminar (497A) is judged to be the best submitted during that academic year.

GRADUATE AWARDS

The Professor Mitchell Marcus Prize in English: In memory of Mitchell Marcus, a former Professor in the Department (1958-1983), a prize of $3,000 will be awarded each spring semester to the graduate student whose achievements in the study of English are considered by the faculty as the most distinguished.

The Mahlon Gaumer Award In honor of Mahlon Gaumer: In honor of Mahlon Gaumer, a professor of English at CSUN from 1969-1997 who specialized in linguistics and Medieval literature, an award of $500 will be given to a graduate student who is the author of the best critical essay on English literature—with emphasis on the use of language.

The Harry Finestone Award in English: In honor of Harry Finestone, a gifted teacher and innovative administrator at CSUN from 1962-1983, an award of $750 will be given each year to the graduate student with the most distinguished essay in the study of literature completed in the department’s capstone graduate seminar, ENGL 698D.

The Richard Lid and Helen Lodge Scholarship: An award of $500 will be given to a graduate student enrolled in English and/or Secondary English Education to help pay fees for graduate work. The applicant must concurrently be teaching in middle school or secondary school or be on sabbatical.

3. Opportunities

CSUN will be hosting two Faculty Scholar Academies this summer. These proposal writing and curriculum development academies are designed to connect researchers on campus with experienced coaches in a workshop environment with the expected outcome that all participants will submit a proposal at the end of each academy. For more information, please see http://www.csun.edu/research-graduate-studies/announcements or contact Crist Khachikian, Associate VP for Research & Graduate, at
crist.khachikian@csun.edu. But don’t delay, as the deadline is April 28.

The new Center on Mexico and Latin American Studies (CMLAS) is pleased to announce its inaugural annual research competition that will support faculty research projects on Mexico and Latin America. The grants will provide support of up to $5,068. All faculty are eligible to apply, including both full and part-time, and from all colleges in the University. For more information, please contact Stella Theodoulou, Acting Director, Center for Mexico and Latin American Studies, at stella.theodoulou@csun.edu.

4. Achievements

Scott Andrews has been appointed to the CSU Task Force for Advancing Ethnic Studies created by Chancellor White to assess the status of ethnic studies departments on the CSU campuses and to make recommendations on policies and practices for their governance.

Current creative writing graduating senior, Matthew Kahn, was recently featured in salon.com for his   blog project inspired, presumably, by one of us. Or, as salon.com reports:

When Matthew Kahn, a creative writing student at California State University at Northridge, learned from one of his professors that the bestselling book of 1926 was “The Private Life of Helen of Troy” by John Erskine, he was struck. The class wasn’t reading it, but the book they were reading, “The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway, was published the same year. “I thought that was interesting, Kahn told me. “When we think of the books of 1926, we think modernists. We don’t think about the books that most people were actually reading at that time.” So Kahn decided to read them, 100 years of No. 1 bestsellers, from 1913 to 2013, and post reviews on his blog, Kahn’s Corner.

http://www.salon.com/2014/04/02/lessons_from_stephen_king_and_valley_of_the_dolls_reading_100_years_of_bestsellers/

Kahn’s Corner can be found at http://www.kahnscorner.com/2013/02/100-years-94-books.html. Matthew is currently up to 1968, topped with Arthur Hailey’s Airport, and he’s got a break coming up when Johnathan Livingstone Seagull topped the list in both 1972 and 1973. Keep up the good reading, Matthew; this is seriously cool.