Antiracist & Antioppression Work in (and beyond) the City Tech Library

The City Tech Library Antiracism/Antioppression Working Group was born out of our desire to craft a clear direction for the library’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and to name the specific goals and tasks we planned to implement in order to make those efforts impactful. It is open to all library faculty and staff, and works in support of our City Tech Library Diversity Commitment.

The Working Group has created and maintains this library guide to document and share resources both in and beyond the Library. We hope these resources are useful, and we welcome feedback.

Call for Papers: The Sixth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium on Access and Science Fiction

The question guiding the Sixth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium is: Who has access to the genre in terms of opportunities to create, enjoy, celebrate, identify with, and connect with others? Access, of course, is a shared concern of many historically marginalized and oppressed groups, including women, the disabled, LGBTQ+ persons, and the working class. Please refer to the Call for Papers for more details. 

Organizers Jill Belli, Wanett Clyde, Jason W. Ellis, Lucas Kwong, and A. Lavelle Porter invite proposals for 10-20 minute scholarly paper presentations or 40-60 minute panel discussions related to the topic of Access and SF. Please send a 250-word abstract with title, brief professional bio, and contact information to Jason Ellis ( by October 15, 2021

Issues of access were an important concern before the pandemic, but these were amplified and intensified in new ways, including library closings and book deserts. Reduced access to computers, Internet, and study spaces delayed or derailed important opportunities for many.

These issues with access before and during the pandemic extend to Science Fiction. William Gibson’s aphorism, “The future has arrived–it’s just not evenly distributed yet,” offers a conceptual lens for this. While Gibson’s use of the term “future” equates to the technoscientific, Science Fiction also represents many imagined futures, and those futures are not yet evenly distributed in terms of access to the genre for creators, readers, fans, and critics. 

Lack of access isn’t only a problem for those who might find enjoyment, meaning, and community through SF in the present; it may also affect the stories produced, the characters created, and the control of narratives. 

The Sixth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium will investigate the theme of “Access and SF” and we will question together: what are the tensions between access and SF, what’s at stake and for whom, how to foster alliances, and how to achieve access for all. Also, Analog Science Fiction and Fact will announce the winner of their inaugural Analog Award for Emerging Black Voices at this year’s symposium. 

Topics with a connection to Access and SF include but are not limited to:

•    Access to Science Fiction for an Audience 

•    Access to Science Fiction as a Fan 

•    Access to Science Fiction as a Creator 

•    Access to Science Fiction as a Scholar 

•    Access to Science Fiction where Roles Collide 

•    Barriers to Access of Science Fiction for an Audience 

•    Barriers to Access to Science Fiction as a Creator 

•    Accessibility, Disability, and Science Fiction 

•    Technologies of Access and Accessibility that Relate to SF  

•    Access, Openness, and SF 

•    Affinity Politics and Intersectionality 

This event is free and open to the public as space permits: an RSVP will be included with the program when announced on the Science Fiction at City Tech website. Free registration will be required for participation. ​As with last year’s symposium, the on-going pandemic necessitates holding this year’s event online, too.

The Annual City Tech Symposium on Science Fiction is held in celebration of the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, an archival holding of over 600-linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and scholarship. The City Tech Science Fiction Collection contains near-complete runs of major science fiction magazines and extensive holdings of science fiction anthologies, novels, and scholarship, including rare books and first editions. Additionally, there are significant selections of fringe texts, including mystery, horror, and the supernatural. It is housed in the Archives and Special Collections of the Ursula C. Schwerin Library. 

If you would like to inquire about the collection for research purposes, please read the library’s access policy for the City Tech Science Fiction Collection and contact Assistant Professor and Collections Management and Archives Librarian Wanett Clyde by phone at 718-260-5496 or email

Black Foodways Collection

The themes of food justice and activism have been in the forefront of public consciousness as we live through a pandemic. Our recent virtual exhibit, Sustainability & Self Determined Food Systems, examined the intersection of food justice and Black Power, and featured people rebuilding relationships to the land and reimagining food systems.

This Black History Month, our African American Studies department hosted a virtual event with similar themes. Environmental and food justice activist, Tanya Denise Fields’ conversation with City Tech’s Dr. Emilie Boone called to mind the library’s collection of texts related to Black foodways. We have been steady in our intention to acquire newly published works by Black authors as well as those about to Black culture. We are also fortunate to have many important out-of-print or difficult to find texts in our collection.

Though we are currently away from campus, please enjoy this selection of titles.

You may also wish to view:
Winter Holiday Foodways and Cookbooks, Part 1 of 2
Winter Holiday Foodways and Cookbooks, Part 2 of 2

The Fifth Annual City Tech Symposium on Race and Science Fiction

The Fifth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium on Race and Science Fiction will be held on Thursday, Nov. 19 from 9:00am-5:00pm online via Zoom Webinar.

To participate in this free event, attendees will need to (1) Signup for a free Zoom account here (if you don’t already have one), and (2) Register here to receive access instructions to the Zoom Webinar. Participants may register any time before or during the event!

For those who would like to watch the event without registering, you can join the YouTube Livestream here.

In addition to the Zoom Webinar Chat and YouTube Live Chat, join the event conversation with the event hashtag #CityTechSF and follow on Twitter @CityTechSF.

As indicated on the program, some symposium content is pre-recorded to offer more time for discussion on the day of the event. Pre-recorded content includes author readings and full paper presentations. Some of this content is in production and will be posted soon.

Visit the collection’s OpenLab page for participant bios, the full program and additional information.

New York Archives Week 2020

NY Archives Week banner via

This year, the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York will celebrate New York Archives week online. Though the NYCCT Archives is currently inaccessible as we continue to restrict access to campus while the city contends with Covid-19, Archives Week is a great opportunity to highlight our collection as well as introduce you to our new NYCCT Archives Research Guide.

The Archives contain historical materials from City Tech’s precursors: the New York Trade School, Voorhees Technical Institute, and New York City Community College. These collected student records, yearbooks, university catalogs, photographs, newspapers, and more can enrich a research project or provide detail of past coursework completed at City Tech . In Spring 2016 the City Tech Science Fiction Collection  joined the Archives. This collection has been used to support coursework in the English department and is at the center of an annual symposium.

Visit the new NYCCT Archives Research Guide for information about our visitation policy, how to view the Science Fiction Collection, to peruse our collections policy or to reach out the archivist. We look forward to welcoming you to the Archives in the future.

Until then, enjoy a selection of photos from when City Tech was the New York Trade School. The entire collection is available via Academic Works.

Students, likely studying carpentry, are shown working on the roof of a model of a house in a classroom at the New York Trade School.
Students in the Paper Hanging Department at the New York Trade School are shown in various stages of hanging paper. Black and white photograph.
Two students learning painting at the New York Trade School are shown here working on decorative designs. Black and white photograph.
An electrical classroom at the New York Trade School is shown here absent of any students. Black and white photograph that is yellowing and is torn in the upper left-hand corner.
A lithography student at the New York Trade School is shown working on a machine. Black and white photograph.

Sustainability & Self Determined Food Systems: A Virtual Library Exhibit

Image Credit: Soul Fire Farm, 2014

One of the unexpected outcomes of this wholly unexpected pandemic is the way it has fundamentally changed how we eat and share food. The pandemic has sparked a renewed interest in cooking and has changed the way restaurants, grocery stores, and community farms operate. Some of us are fortunate to have continued, uninterrupted access to fresh food. Others are struggling with food insecurity during a time when a lot of the systems in place to feed hungry New Yorkers have been disrupted. Still others are working in urban farms and in the food service industries that are trying to adapt to a new reality while keeping workers safe. 

The pandemic, and the lockdown on businesses and resources that resulted from it, has highlighted the unsustainability of the buy-rather-than-make mentality of the masses. It has also shone a light on the many New Yorkers who continue to live by an older standard, one that already includes many of the pandemic suggested shopping tips. Communities of color need no guidance on how to shop in bulk or stretch home cooked meals. Many of them continue practices from ancestral homes in the Caribbean or abroad while some maintain the roots of southern cuisine and food storage. 

This turn towards sustainability is reflected in the number of Black people reclaiming their connection to the land, looking backward towards the food justice lessons learned during the Black Power movement of the 1960s. During this time, the Black Panthers and other activist groups emphasized the importance of self-determined food systems and land rights. The ability to eat is the ability to live, so the Black Panthers prioritized providing for the most vulnerable and valuable with their revolutionary school lunch program.   

Image by Emory Douglas

First you have free breakfasts, then you have free medical care, then you have free bus rides, and soon you have FREEDOM! -Fred Hampton, Deputy Chairman, Black Panther Party, Illinois

It is impossible to disentangle food systems from systems of oppression—colonialism, slavery, and the exploitation of migrant workers, which is why conversations about food justice are multifaceted, global, and include discussions of issues like land reparations and indigenous sovereignty. Back in the 1970s, BIPOC activists advocated for boycotts of large agriculture conglomerates like Del Monte to expose how these companies profited from Apartheid in South Africa.

Image by the San Francisco Poster Brigade, 1977.

Indigenous communities across America are still fighting for stolen land and calling for decolonization; Black residents in Flint, Michigan are fighting for safe drinking water; Black and Latinx families in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx are demonstrating against environmental racism; migrant farmworkers and low-waged laborers in the meat processing industry are fighting for safe working conditions. We see these issues of inequity and resistance at work all over the country and here in New York, where communities of color are still likely to live in areas with more air pollution, less green space, and less access to healthy food. 

This harsh reality has resulted in a number of organizers dedicated to teaching their communities how to grow their own food at home. Introducing aquaponics, hydroponics and microgreens to city dwellers makes it possible for anyone with a few feet of space to start an urban garden. There are farmers working on a larger scale encouraging BIPOC to make a deeper commitment to land ownership and self determination by sharing their own experience with reclaiming land and the skills to make it fruitful. 

Through city organizations like Green Thumb, local chefs and farmers are hosting workshops at community gardens and community centers. They have adapted to the demands of the pandemic by moving the remainder of this year’s educational offerings online. Larger operations like the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust and Soul Fire Farm in Troy, NY provide educational opportunities that help communities build new relationships to the land and reimagine food systems. Recent updates to their infrastructure have made it possible to expand and increase their online presence through Instagram and YouTube and has introduced them to a wider audience. 

There’s even a community farming initiative at CUNY, housed on the Kingsborough Community College campus in south Brooklyn. The KCC Urban Farm is a space for students and volunteers to learn about urban farming and “explore their roles in local and global food systems.” Fresh produce harvested from the farm is used in classrooms and distributed for free to students and families in need. 

Check out the resources below from the City Tech Library and beyond to learn more about the food justice movement and the BIPOC communities from Puerto Rico to New York to Iowa who are leading the way. 



Oral History with Fannie Lou Hammer (library login required for access);
Image Credit: Matt Herron, 1964

EBOOKS from the City Tech Library

Social Media

Happy Healthy Latina

Soul Fire Farm

Black Food Folks

KCC Urban Farm

This post was written collaboratively by Profs. Wanett Clyde and Nora Almeida

The Fourth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium, An Astounding 90 Years of Analog Science Fiction and Fact

City Tech’s annual Sci-Fi Symposium kicked off, as usual, with a beautifully crafted library exhibit which made great use of all four of our exhibition cases. The items featured brought together various City Tech contributors with works created by Analog magazine, this year’s symposium partner.

“The exhibits were a collaboration between City Tech and Analog Science Fiction and Fact. City Tech Student Design Intern Julie Bradford created the symposium poster, Prof. Ellis designed posters on the City Tech Science Fiction Collection and the history of the City Tech Science Fiction Symposium, Analog designed posters highlighting the symposium speakers, a timeline of the magazine’s long history, and Analog supplied the cover artwork that fills in the background of each display case. Artifacts in each case were pulled from the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, including the Jan. 1934 issue of Astounding. ” – Professor Ellis

Main Display case highlighting the 4th Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium in celebration of 90 years of Analog SF. Courtesy of Professor Jason Ellis.
Display case highlighting the City Tech Science Fiction Collection. Courtesy of Professor Jason Ellis.
Display case highlighting the published work of speakers at the 4th annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium. Courtesy of Professor Jason Ellis.
Display case highlighting the history of the annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium. Courtesy of Professor Jason Ellis.

On December 12, 2019 over 100 attendees, many of whom traveled from out of town to participate, gathered in the Academic Complex to celebrate Analog, their contributors and our historic Science Fiction collection.

Fourth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium Poster by Julie Bradford.

Visit the collection’s OpenLab page to view the program of the day’s events, video of the readings and panel presentations, peruse the live finding aid, or to learn more about the collection.

50 Years of African American Studies

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of African American Studies courses coming to college campuses across the country. The City Tech Library was proud to offer our support the African American Studies Department as they celebrated with a series of displays and events that took place during Black History Month.

The Department sponsored an exhibit of materials related to Zora Neale Hurston and her unique contributions to anthropology, literature, and folklore. There was an opening ceremony for the exhibit on February 5th and the exhibit ran through the month of February.

Professor Clyde participated in this years’ National African American Read-In event held at the City Tech Academic Complex on February 14th. City Tech students, faculty and staff read excerpts from seminal Africana texts.

The celebration of Black History Month ended with a keynote event featured author T.R. Simon and musician/composer Khuent Rose. City Tech students presented during the community conversation that focused on storytelling in Africana communities.

There was an incredible amount of academic innovation in the field over the last 50 years and this changed academia and the culture at large.  It is particularly exciting to
envision where the field will be in the next 50 years.

Visit African American Studies at City Tech online for course listings, student resources, and to learn how to qualify for the AFR Option on your Associate degree.


Celebrating 50 Years of African American Studies

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of African American Studies courses coming to college campuses across the country. The City Tech Library is proud to support the African American Studies Department as they mark the occasion with a series of displays and events taking place during Black History Month. Our February book display was curated in support of their annual exhibit, Black History Month and in light of the events highlighted below.

“Please join African American Studies as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Discipline. Through the theme The Legacy of Storytelling: Celebrating 50 Years of African American Studies, the department will continue to recognize that it is a part of an intellectual tradition, whereby students, faculty and community members around the globe continue to engage in the rigorous study of the African Diaspora. During the 2018-2019 academic year, African American Studies will launch curricula and programming initiatives for the 50th Anniversary. One initiative includes a unified reading project. With support from the CityTech Library, the department has designed an OpenLab site, which gives AFR students and faculty easy access to W.E.B. DuBois’ book The Souls of Black Folk and Audre Lorde’s essay “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action.” We encourage the entire CityTech community to celebrate with us by accessing the readings through this link:” -via AFR @ City Tech

Visit African American Studies at City Tech online for course listings, student resources, and to learn how to qualify for the AFR Option on your Associate degree.

Follow this link for Black History Month celebrations across CUNY.

Read with PRIDE!

LGBTQ History Month, Read With Pride sign with rainbow backgroundThis June the City Tech Library is celebrating LGBTQ Pride month.  Near the library entrance there is a book display featuring books by LGBTQ authors and LGBTQ topics.

There are many CUNY resources available to support its LBGTQ community and to foster queer studies and research. Check out LGBT Life , a database with broad coverage of national and international LBGTQ publications.

Explore LBGTQ Studies at CUNY, the CUNY LGBTQI Student Leadership Program a year-long social justice training program, and the Free Queer CUNY: An Open Pedagogy Project a queer pedagogy initiative that seeks to encourage further queer studies course options at CUNY .

For happenings outside of CUNY, check out the Lesbian Herstory Archives, a local institution with a long history and commitment to collecting and protecting materials by and about lesbians and their community. Let other projects like the NYC LBGT Historic Sites Project, Mapping NYC’s Historic Queer Nightlife and StoryCorps Outloud bring you inside queer stories and locales.

Grab a book. Write a paper. Take a class. Explore a map. Listen to a story.

Happy Pride!