Category Archives: pedagogy

Prof. Lucas Kwong’s ENG2420 Science Fiction Class Visits the City Tech SF Collection

City Tech Science Fiction Collection Presentation

Today, Prof. Lucas Kwong brought his ENG2420 Science Fiction students to visit the City Tech Science Fiction Collection as a part of their final paper research. The goal of the visit was to introduce students to SF magazine culture by inviting students to see, hold, and browse a selection of different kinds of magazines held in the collection.

Consulting with Prof. Kwong before the class, Prof. Jason Ellis pulled a selection of magazines that students could read in the Archives classroom:

Analog Science Fiction and Fact (with fan letters)
June 1995
July 1995 (check out this editorial)
Aug 1995
Sept 1995

Amazing Stories (with fan letters)
Jan 1985
Mar 1985
May 1985
July 1985

Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (no fan letters)
Aug 1989
Sept 1989
Oct 1989
Nov 1989

Vertex (no fan letters)
Jun 1973 (article on water and ecological catastrophe)
Feb 1974 (Joanna Russ’ famous “Image of Women in Science Fiction” essay)
Apr 1974 (interview with Harlan Ellison–I can tell the class about Ellison’s history in Red Hook)
June 1974 (Poul Anderson’s reply to Joanna Russ’ essay)
Oct 1974 (Philip K. Dick’s reply to to Joanna Russ)

Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine (Brooklyn’s own, with fan letters)
Nov 1991
Dec 1991
Mid-Dec 1991
Jan 1992

Omni
June 1981
Aug 1981
Sept 1981
July 1982 (William Gibson’s “Burning Chrome”–introduction of the word cyberspace to English lexicon)

After meeting the students outside the library, Profs. Kwong and Ellis led the students to the fifth floor of the library and the Archives classroom where they met with Prof. Keith Muchowski, who arranged for the Archives class visit. Prof. Ellis delivered a brief oral history of the collection and talked about SF magazines in general (presentation file embedded above). Then, Prof. Kwong asked his students to study and discover interesting things in the magazines that we handed out. After making the rounds of each group of students, Prof. Kwong asked students to mingle around and see how their first magazines are similar to and different than the other magazines. While students were looking at these magazines, some asked Prof. Ellis for specific issues and books in the collection, which he brought out for them to see for their research.

This is one model for students visiting the City Tech SF Collection. If you’d like to bring your class to the archives, please reach out to Prof. Keith Muchowski (kmuchowski at citytech.cuny.edu). If you’d like help planning the visit or would like me to talk about the collection to students, feel free to email me (jellis at citytech.cuny.edu).

Jill Belli’s ENG 2420 Science Fiction Class Visit to the City Tech Science Fiction Collection

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On Thursday, December 1, 2016, Prof. Jill Belli held an ENG 2420, Science Fiction class session in the Atrium 543 Archives Classroom for a special introduction of the City Tech Science Fiction Collection to her students. Prof. Keith Muchowski coordinated with Prof. Belli to arrange the visit. Prof. Belli’s class is the first to officially visit and use the City Tech Science Fiction Collection as part of a class discussion. Prof. Jason W. Ellis pulled materials from the collection based on student interests for students to use during an in-class exercise, gave an oral history presentation on how the collection came to be at City Tech, and gave several mini-tours of the collection to groups of four students at a time (this permits students to browse the collection without overcrowding in the archive and makes it easy for the tour guide to respond to questions and talk with the students). One of Prof. Belli’s students exclaimed, “This is a MAGAZINE??!!” Students were able to hold, read, and discuss the magazines with one another. Prof. Belli and Prof. Ellis responded to their questions about the different magazines in the collection, issues with publication and preservation, the magazines’ contents (stories, editorials, letters, advertisements), and the magazines’ smells. When class was over, no one seemed to want to leave!

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Prof. Jill Belli Plans to Use the City Tech Science Fiction Collection in Her SF Class

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Prof. Jill Belli visited the City Tech Science Fiction Collection with Prof. Jason Ellis on Monday, August 22, 2016. Prof. Belli is teaching ENG 2420, Science Fiction this coming semester, Fall 2016. She is planning how to incorporate the collection and access to its materials into her Science Fiction class.