UPDATES OF ALL SORTS!

Just a quick rundown of cool stuff on our end:

  1. New material has been added to The Unjournal of Children’s Literature! This completes our first issue, themed “Transformations.” We are now in the works of getting the next issue ready. If you’re an artist who would like to be featured, contact the journal directly (childlitunjournal@gmail.com) and we’ll go from there.
  2. The GSA now meets weekly on Thursdays at 2:15 pm in Arts&Letters 266. We have been doing a LOT of planning for something very exciting this semester… keep your eyes open for an announcement in the next few weeks. April is going to be festive! As a result, we’ve had to hold off on holding an forums this semester, but if there’s something you’d like to meet up and talk about, let us know!
  3. Check out the SDSU ChildLit blog for lots of updates on news and CFPs. There are some deadlines approaching for MLA 2015…
  4. ShelPosterGSA advisor, NCSCL Director, and SDSU professor Joseph Thomas will be speaking at Pomona College on March 12th at 4:15 pm (preceded by reception at 3:45 pm). His talk, titled “The Devil’s Favorite Pet: Shel Silverstein, an American Iconoclast” discusses Shel’s life and work and is a preview of some of the major themes of Thomas’ forthcoming book of the same name.

Remember to look out for some delicious updates to come!

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Forum: Comics and Graphic Novels

Upcoming ChildLit GSA Forum

When: Friday, November 15 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Where: Living Room Cafe @ 5900 El Cajon Blvd 

Topic of the Night: “Graphic Novels and the Comic-verse”

The next GSA Discussion Forum is set to explore the expansive universe of comics and graphic novels, from the classic superheroes to infamous stuffed tigers, and every single character in between.

The GSA Forums are a chance to engage with like-minded folks on all realms and levels of Children’s Lit. Comics make up a huge repository of adventures for many a childhood, teenhood, and young (and old) adulthood, so it’s about time we brushed up on our heroes and villains, anime and Peanuts, and all the fabulous graphic novels that don’t get enough love (and the few that do). Bring some brilliant things to share about the ever-evolving stories of Batman, Spiderman, X-men, and such. Or think about the influence and presence of works like Persepolis and A Game for Swallows. One of the newest Marvel characters was just revealed, a Muslim-American teenage girl–what are your thoughts on that? Discuss the changing dynamics of San Diego’s Comic-Con and the rise of Comic Cons internationally. It’s quite amazing how pervasive comics and graphic novels are, especially when we stop to think one of the most beloved child characters is Calvin… and Hobbes.

In fact, bring some of your favorite or most interesting books/novels to share with others, and expose those of us a bit less than well-versed in the realm of comics. Or just come and hang out, play a pub(lication) quiz, win a silly prize, and feel like the sovereign of the evening. The forum is meant to be a welcoming and casual gathering.

Forums are open to all folks interested. That means faculty, grad students, undergrads, and you! So whether you have tons to discuss or you just feel like listening in, please drop by! It also provides an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded peers and scholars of the field.

We’ll be holding the event at The Living Room Cafe from 7 pm to about 9 pm, so stop by any time and stay for as long as you like.  Looking forward to meeting up, hanging out, and diving into a comic book with you.

For more information about the ChildLit GSA, please visit us at:

On Twitter: @SDSUChildLitGSA

Forum: The Paranormal and Supernatural in Children’s Lit

First ChildLit GSA Forum of Fall 2013 
When: Friday, September 13 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Where: Living Room Cafe @ 5900 El Cajon Blvd 
Topic of the Night: “Paranormal and Supernatural in Children’s Lit”
The GSA Discussion Forums reconvene for the new semester, hoping to bring an energetic community together for lively and fright-filled discussion on spooky spirits, spine-chilling species, and more.

The GSA Forums are a chance to engage with like-minded folks on all realms and levels of Children’s Lit. This month we feel like starting off with a journey into unsettling and haunting territory, and what better day then Friday (September) the 13th to do that! We hope to dive into such topics as the popular Goosebumps series, Paranormal YA’s strange success, myth/folklore/legends, the influence and longevity of Frankenstein and Dracula, issues of spirituality (angels and demons galore) and yes, even the star-crossed combo of Werewolves and Vampires. We could even spend the evening talking Neil Gaiman: Coraline, Good Omens, and The Graveyard Book pretty much cover all the spook and spirits for me, that’s for sure. If you’re a fan of horror, come and share with us your insights on the genre or why B-rated horror films attract so many kids. Love the recent spooky kids’ films like Paranorman or Frankenweenie? Come by and tell us why!

In fact, feel free to bring anything to share, whether on or off topic–the forum is meant to be a welcoming and casual gathering. But don’t worry! The GSA officers will come prepared with topics too, as well as a of fun activities… and who knows, maybe another prize cupcake or more.

This Forum is open to all folks interested. That means faculty, grad students, undergrads, and you! So whether you have tons to discuss or you just feel like listening in, please drop by! It also provides an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded peers and scholars of the field.
We’ll be holding the event at The Living Room Cafe from 7 pm to about 9 pm, so stop by any time and stay for as long as you like.
Looking forward to meeting up, hanging out, and exploring the paranormal with you.
For more information about the ChildLit GSA, please visit us at:
On Twitter: @SDSUChildLitGSA

Fall 2013 is Sneaking Up on Us! — Updates

The Unjournal of Children’s Literature was published earlier this summer. Discussions forums were held last year. Many of our members made it to the ChLA conference in June and represented us proudly. The ChildLit GSA has accomplished a lot in one short year, and are gearing up to tackle even more this coming year. Fall Semester is just around the corner, and we are excited to continue our work on the Unjournal, as well as host more forums and plan a few exciting events. 

First up will be our First Discussion Forum of the school year on September 13 (yup, Friday the 13th) at 7 pm. More details to come soon, but brush up on your knowledge of the paranormal in children’s lit. Should be a fun evening! 🙂 Or just come to hang out, meet new peers, and learn what the GSA is all about!

 

THE UNJOURNAL: A Preview

After a long and determined journey, the ChildLit GSA is really excited to present an introductory look at our new journal, The Unjournal of Children’s Literature. We have worked tirelessly — especially in the last month — to pull this endeavor together. Despite setbacks that always seem to pop up at the most inopportune moment, we are thrilled to give you a glimpse into what’s in store, right in time for the ChLA Conference this week!

The Unjournal is set to showcase budding voices in the field of children’s literature, hopefully encouraging emerging scholars to pursue their passion of children’s literature, while also attracting a wide readership: established scholars (of children’s lit and otherwise), writers and artists, and children’s lit enthusiasts of any kind.

Part of the unjournaling process includes a more unconventional system of “publishing” an issue — pieces will be shared over the course of many months, culminating in a large collection of works. These works will include a diverse assortment of material; articles and book reviews will certainly be featured, but so will notable interviews, lots of artwork (illustrations and child-themed pieces), and down the road some curious eclectic articles as well. It will also be an interactive experience, with a live twitter feed and discussion comments to figure in the mix.

Expect the first batch of the inaugural issue to be published soon, but for now explore the site, at least to take in an excerpt of Dr. Jerry Griswold’s interview with the editors. We hope you’ll enjoy this unjournal 365 days of the year.  Also, keep an eye out for upcoming CFP’s, opening up to graduate students and new independent scholars nationwide (and across a border or ocean too, 😉 ).

Classic versus … Mediocre??

A friend shared an op-ed piece from her local news journal, in which the author hails the superiority of the charter school’s Core Knowledge approach to education versus CA’s Common Core.  The portion that stood out glaringly to me as an English MA student (particularly Child Lit) was this:

The fifth-grade Common Core state that students will “Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text.”

Again, the question left unanswered is which stories, which dramas and which characters. Core Knowledge has an answer: the classics. Fifth grade students will read Shakespeare, Cervantes, Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Chief Joseph, Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, Arthur Conan Doyle, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and others.

In short, while students in most California classrooms are reading “Sign of the Beaver,” students in Core Knowledge schools are reading “Don Quixote.” When other students are reading “Frindle,” Core Knowledge students are immersed in “A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.”

You’ve never heard of “Sign of the Beaver” or “Frindle?”

That’s exactly the point. Those books, aside from being mediocre works of literature, contain no “core knowledge” that an educated person needs to know.

On the other hand, everyone should know the phrase “tilting at windmills” from Don Quixote. Moreover, everyone should know the content of the Gettysburg Address and Chief Joseph’s “I Will Fight No More Forever.”

I know quite clearly how I feel about these statements. I’m wondering what other people think? Is it at all justifiable to ignore contemporary and culturally significant novels in favor of those “mainstays” of literature, the most venerable of all, the “classics”?  Do we hinder the chance to explore cultural, ethnic, political, or social issues by bypassing the products of later generations so that children can be well-read in Quixote? Or am I just offended because I really enjoyed Frindle? And I remember reading Sign of the Beaver in school?

The article may be found here.

Forum and a Movie: Oz!

Hi all!

Join us on Saturday, March 23 at AMC Fashion Valley for our next Discussion forum… with a movie involved. And guess what, Lunch is on us 🙂

This Saturday: GSA Movie Meetup and Discussion Forum
 
When: Saturday, March 23, 10:30 am to 3:00 pm
Where: AMC Theatres at Fashion Valley, followed by (free!) lunch most likely at California Pizza Kitchen
Topic of the Day: Frank L Baum’s World of Oz and all its reincarnations
 
The GSA Discussion Forum is doing something a little new, a little exciting, and a little fantastic: meeting to watch Oz the Great and Powerful before convening for lunch and discussion on the movies, the books, and more! And good news: lunch will be covered by the GSA!
 
We’ll be meeting to watch the film around 10:30 am. Once the movie timings are listed and confirmed for this Saturday, we will announce the precise time to meet for the movie and for lunch afterward, around 1:30 pm. Keep your eyes tuned on Our Facebook Page for more information.

Please let us know if you intend to join for the movie, the discussion/lunch afterward, or both.