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.
Prof. Jason Ellis met with Chief Librarian Maura Smale and College Archivist Keith Muchowski on August 16, 2016 to discuss the collection’s on-going inventory, protocols for class/student visits to use collection materials, and preservation materials, and coordinate on upcoming initiatives, including a symposium and library display exhibit. There are some exciting things in the works. More to come soon. Stay tuned!
NANO New American Notes Online is an online, peer-reviewed journal edited by Prof. Sean Scanlan and supported by the New York City College of Technology, CUNY. Prof. Jason Ellis is on NANO’s editorial board. Together with their colleague Prof. Alan Lovegreen of Orange Coast College, they are co-editing an upcoming special issue focused on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Their call for papers is included below and the original CFP is available on the NANO website.
Call for Papers: NANO New American Notes Online Issue 12 on Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Deadline: February 1, 2017
Special Issue: Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Narrative, Characters, Media, and Event
Guest Editors: Jason W. Ellis, Alan Lovegreen, and Sean Scanlan
This thing [Star Wars] communicates. It is in a language that is talking to young people today, and that’s marvelous.
–Joseph Campbell in conversation with Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth (1988)
There are certainly many more themes in The Force Awakens that speak to us, and help us to learn more about these characters and what makes them tick.
–Dan Zehr, “Studying Skywalkers” column on starwars.com (May 18, 2016)
It is the aim of this special issue of NANO to address the significance of the latest installment of Star Wars by exploring its narrative, characters, media, and event. Across nearly four decades, audiences spanning generations have experienced Star Wars through films, television programs, books, video games, special events such as the annual “celebrations,” and other storytelling media, including action figures and LEGO. Following Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, George Lucas’ production company, audiences experienced a new transmedia event and a continuation of the old stories with the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens in 2015. Joseph Campbell’s earlier observations about the first film raises new questions that deserve to be answered about the latest: How does this new film communicate? What language does it use? And, to whom is it speaking?
One way to approach these issues of communication and language is through the convergence of the film’s narrative and characters, especially how the transmission of this convergence gets revealed through a variety of media as an event. For example, how does the film’s narrative respond to, continue, and challenge those that it follows? And what about the cast of characters—some returning and some new? What do these characters and their performance of the narrative have to say about the here-and-now as well as the past? Of course, the narrative is told through media, which includes different film technologies, digital distribution, DVD and Blu-Ray discs, websites, video games, and apps. And stepping back for a larger perspective, the release of the film and its transmedia supporting elements inform The Force Awakens as an event, in part orchestrated by Disney/Lucasfilm, and in part connected to contemporary events, including #oscarssowhite, #womeninfilm, and #paygap. Furthermore, how does its event(s) relate to those of the past, including specifically those centered on the release of the earlier films and subsequent events awakening fans’ nostalgic enthusiasm. The Force Awakens’ considerable box office performance and tie-in successes signal how significant this film (and its progenitors) is, and it is the aim of this special issue to explore the promise and pitfalls of its cultural influence.
This issue welcomes multimodal essays up to 4,000 words (excluding works cited) exploring topics relating to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, including but not limited to the following:
* transmedia storytelling and The Force Awakens (including “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens” publications, such as Chuck Wendig’s novel, Star Wars: Aftermath, and comic books Star Wars: Shattered Empire and Star Wars: Poe Dameron
* media transformation and adaptation (e.g., comparing the film with Alan Dean Foster’s novelization)
* materiality and The Force Awakens (e.g., LEGO, play, and collecting)
* Star Wars fandom and cosplay
* Star Wars reference materials and publications
* starwars.com and the official Star Wars app
* Star Wars videogames including LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars Battlefront, and the now defunct Disney Infinity tie-ins
* Jakku Spy VR experience
* Star Wars Celebration and ComicCon special events
* social and political movements’ coinciding/connecting with The Force Awakens
* the hero’s journey and the heroes’ journeys
* movement and storytelling
* vehicles as characters
* nostalgia and familiarity
* inclusive casting/characters
* droids and aliens
* hidden bodies/cgi characters (e.g., Maz Kanata/ Lupita Nyong’o and Captain Phasma/Gwendoline Christie)
* race and gender in The Force Awakens
* terrorism, insurgency, war, and militarism
Direct questions to the Special Issue co-editors: Jason W. Ellis [email@example.com], Alan Lovegreen [firstname.lastname@example.org], and Sean Scanlan [email@example.com].
NANO is a multimodal journal. Therefore, we encourage submissions that include images, sound, or video in support of a written argument. These multimodal components may consist of objects and data sets that go beyond traditional media. The multimodal components of the essay must be owned or licensed by the author, come from the public domain, or fall within reasonable fair use (see Stanford University Libraries’ Copyright & Fair Use site, http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/ and the U.S. Copyright Office’s Fair Use site, http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html for more information. NANO’s Fair Use Statement is available on its submission page, http://www.nanocrit.com/submissions-information/).
For questions about video, audio, or image usage, please contact NANO: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NANO uses modified MLA (Modern Language Association) formatting and style.
Submission style guidelines: http://www.nanocrit.com/submissions-information/style-guide-nano/
Submission form: http://www.nanocrit.com/submissions-information/submission-form-page-nano1
Keywords and abstract: Each author is asked to submit 5 keywords and a 150-word abstract to accompany their submission.
Schedule: Deadlines concerning the special issue to be published in NANO:
* Submission deadline: February 1, 2017
* Complete comments and peer review June 2017
* Pre-production begins August 2017
We look forward to receiving your contributions.
Using the inventory data generated over the past several weeks, Prof. Jason W. Ellis created a temporary finding aid for magazine issues held in the City Tech Science Fiction Collection.
Available in PDF format here (sfcollection-magazines-inventory.xlsx.pdf) and linked on the Library/Collection page, it is organized alphabetically by title, publication date, volume/number (when needed), and shelf location (row.stack–aisle to wall.shelf–top to bottom). This finding aid supplements the photographic inventory of each shelf’s holdings in the collection. It indicates that there are 4,147 magazines on the shelves (the collection’s Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Magazines remain boxed while additional shelf space is found).
In the coming months, Prof. Ellis intends to create other temporary finding aids for the monographs, journals, anthologies, and novels in the collection, and those will be made available here when completed.
On July 21, Prof. Jason W. Ellis spent two-and-a-half hours in the library’s archives completing the magazine portion of the City Tech Science Fiction Collection’s inventory. It took 17 hours total to inventory over 4,000 items!
This session included The Twilight Zone, Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Omni, Other Times, and Last Wave. Now that the magazine inventory has been completed (at least for what is currently shelved–Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock are still boxed due to limited shelf space), a temporary finding aid will be linked on the Library/Collection page and a notification will be made here on the blog when it is available.
On July 20, Prof. Jason W. Ellis spent two hours in the library’s archives inventorying the magazine portion of the City Tech Science Fiction Collection. This part of the inventory included Fantastic Story, Science Fiction Age, two mislaid Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction issues, Fantasy Book, Fantastic Novels, Startling Stories, and Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. Some magazine covers from this day’s inventory are included below.
On July 14, 2016, Prof. Jason Ellis spent two-and-a-half hours in the archives inventorying the magazine portion of the City Tech Science Fiction Collection. He completed Analog and row 115, and moved to row 114 to catalog Thrilling Wonder Stories, Science Fiction Plus, Vertex, Future Science Fiction, and Fantastic Stories. The current inventory is over 3000 items. He would be further along, but it takes more time to inventory the older pulps, many of which are missing spines or the date portion of the spine. In most of these cases, he uses the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (this is one among several important research tools, which are also linked on this site’s Resources page) to look up issue information based on the cover story instead of pulling and opening the issue, which could damage the magazines before they are properly stabilized. Nevertheless, the end of the magazines is in sight! (Then, the larger portion of the inventory can begin.) Below are images of some covers from the inventory session.
On July 13, 2016, Prof. Jason Ellis spent two hours in the library archives today inventorying an extra shelf of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, a variety of large format magazines, OMNI, and Analog. He is at the end of row 115, and hopes to turn the corner onto 114 tomorrow or next week. The inventory has over 2,500 items now. Below are some covers that he spied during the inventory.
On July 7, 2016, Prof. Jason Ellis spent two hours in the library archives continuing the inventory. Prof. Sean Scanlan, editor of NANO: New American Notes Online, stopped by to see the collection and snapped the photo to the left. As you can see, he has progressed from the back wall to about halfway down the first row of SF magazines and the inventory has surpassed 2000 entries! This day’s efforts focused on Astounding Science Fiction, Beyond, Space Science Fiction, and Science Fiction Stories. During the inventory, he took photos of some interesting magazine covers included in the gallery below.
On July 5, 2016, Prof. Jason Ellis spent three hours continuing to inventory the magazine portion of the City Tech Science Fiction Collection. This session focused on the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Satellite, and Infinity. Below are some of the magazine covers that he saw while doing the inventory.