Milestone the Second.

Things have been very busy for me over the past six months on a number of levels, but on the academic side there’s been a good reason for the relative silence: in addition to the usual load of class preparation, grading and meetings, I’ve been working towards promotion. I’m happy to announce that the University […]

Continue reading →

New essay on V.S. Naipaul released

I just received a copy of A House for Mr. Biswas: Critical Perspectives, a new collection of critical essays from Pencraft International Press (you can find a good rundown of the book’s contents here).  I contributed “‘His Own Portion of the Earth’: The Rhetoric of Alienation and Separation in Naipaul’s A House for Mr. Biswas” […]

Continue reading →

And we’re back!

Hi all,      I’m happy to report that thanks to the tremendous work of webmaster extraordinaire Kevin Grinberg, my website is fully back online after a database collapse, and we’ve taken the opportunity to make some overhauls to the look and feel of the site.  Those tweaks will continue over the next few weeks, but […]

Continue reading →

Quick update to my Media section…

I’ve just uploaded a new item to my academic Media page, a panel I did at Worldcon in Chicago as part of the AboutSF program.  This was an interesting panel tying together my interests in teaching, writing, and fantasy and science fiction, and I’d love to hear what you think.  Otherwise, I’m spending the holidays […]

Continue reading →

Worldcon–September 2, 2012–Teaching SF Focus On Educators

I’ve been involved with the AboutSF program for about two years now, the description for which is in the notes for the panel above. This panel was an interesting and far ranging one about methods, processes and theories of education in the fantasy and science fiction fields, and David-Glenn Anderson (also the coordinator), Tim Griffin, Violette Malan, Chris Mirell and I covered a lot of ground with a lot of thoughtful questions to answer (and it was nice to have longer than an hour to talk about this stuff, for a change!).

Brandon Sanderson–Q and A with Fantasy Fiction Course at St. John’s University, March 2012

I’d love to take total credit for this one, but in some ways this opportunity sort of fell in my lap. I met Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling fantasy author and one of the ones I most admire in our field, at Worldcon in 2011, hoping to get him to agree to an interview for my podcast Speculate!; during the course of our conversation, he not only agreed to do that but volunteered to do a video session with my fantasy fiction students the following semester. We ended up studying his brand new novel The Alloy of Law, and as promised Brandon spoke with my class from his home in Utah for nearly an hour, fielding questions from my students and me. As expected, my students loved the experience, and (though I admit to being a bit biased) they asked a lot of great questions…so it worked out well for all concerned. The video quality isn’t amazing, but I think it’s clear enough to give you a sense of the session.

Bryan Thao Worra–Presentation to Creative Writing Course at St. John’s University, February 2012

The concluding presentation to my creative writing course from professionals in other creative disciplines was done by Bryan Thao Worra, whom I first met at a small conference in Minnesota called Fantasy Matters. Bryan is the first Laotian American poet to receive a Fellowship in Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts, and if you have a chance to read his work you’ll understand why–it’s interesting, creative, and often startling in its insight and reach. Here Bryan explains some of the differences in the way most people see the world as compared to how a poet is trained to see it.