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)
July 1995 (check out this editorial)
Amazing Stories (with fan letters)
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (no fan letters)
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)
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).