9.11.2012

where i've been (updated)

I was planning on spending the final few weeks of my summer reading, and blogging the remainder of my notes from Marxism 2012. That all changed when the Rivera family was ordered to leave Canada by September 20.

While Kim and lawyer Alyssa Manning pursue all avenues to challenge this injustice in court, the War Resisters Support Campaign is trying to make visible the widespread support for Kim, and for allowing all US war resisters to remain in Canada. If you're in Canada, check this page for local actions you can participate in - or call a friend and organize your own.

Today begins the final year of my Master of Information degree. This year I'm taking all electives, and actually not dreading the start of school. Not-dread is the most I can muster, but that's a big improvement. This term I have "Children's Cultural Texts"* - "texts" being current academia-speak for all messaging (books, movies, games, advertising, and so on) - and "Public Library Advocacy," which is about advocating for the public library with government and in the community. Next term is Issues in Children's and Youth Services, and Graphic Novels and Comic Books in the Library.

I am also the new chair of the Children's and Youth Advocacy group at the iSchool, a student association for people interested in children's library services. I agreed to chair with extreme trepidation, as I don't exactly have spare time on my hands. I've belonged to this group for three years without being able to attend a single event! But no one else had stepped up to chair in 2012-13, and I do want the group to exist. It's a good resume hit, and I'll need everything I can to compete for a librarian job once I have my degree. I'm setting very modest goals for the group, trying to get someone to co-chair, and keeping my fingers crossed.

That's an extremely partial update of what I've been up to. Watch this space for big news, coming soon. Either that or utter dejection.

* Update. The class is actually called Children's Cultural Texts and Artifacts. It's best described as children's cultural studies and media analysis. Among the long list of what's meant by cultural artifacts: toys, dolls, candy, fairy tales, public television, advertising, food packaging, characters, series books, movies, collectibles, characters, video games... and more. It seems super interesting.

14 comments:

James Redekop said...

Let me know if you need to borrow any comic books or cartoons. ;)

James Redekop said...

(By the way, I recently picked up Metamaus, the book about the creation of Art Speigelman's graphic novel Maus. Excellent work.)

Amy said...

Have a good first day of school. Good luck with the Rivera matter and with your chairing of the committee. And you have piqued my curiosity about the big news!

laura k said...

Thank you, Amy! Piquing, yes, that was the point. :)

James, Metamaus looks so interesting. I'd like to read it, but first that will mean re-reading Maus and Maus II, and they're so devastating, I've avoided doing so. But I will at some point.

deang said...

Congratulations on reaching your final school year. As always, I'm impressed by how much you're able to do all at once. Good luck with everything!

James Redekop said...

Maus is amazing on a number of levels.

BTW, I'll also recommend Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics if you haven't read it. It's an excellent guide to the language of comics and how comics differ from other media.

laura k said...

Thanks deang. :) Much appreciated.

James, haven't read it, but perhaps it will be on the syllabus for that course in the winter term. I've read very few graphic novels, but I love the form. I'm looking forward to learning more and analysing them.

But first: children's cultural texts and library advocacy.

James Redekop said...

Have you read Will Eisner's New York stories? A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories is brilliant.

Amy said...

James, thanks for that recommendation. Will Eisner bought the house I lived in when I was in high school (which my father had designed). When my parents had to sell the house for financial reasons, they were so relieved that they could sell it to an artist who would appreciate it. Will's son John was a high school friend of mine as well. So I really should read this book.

James Redekop said...

Wow, how fun to have such a close connection! Eisner's like no-one else in comics/graphic novels/etc... He literally wrote the book on the subject (two books, actually: Comics and Sequential Art and Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative).

I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't actually have much Eisner at home, I've only read library copies. I really should flesh out my collection.

laura k said...

So James, do you still want graphic novels in hard copy? I know you're into digital books, I think almost exclusively, but I wonder if graphic novels are the exception.

James Redekop said...

Comic strips, graphic novels, etc, I still prefer on paper. Some digital readers are ok (tablet-based ones -- e-ink ones are pointless), but they're often low-resolution, and/or end up breaking up the page into individual panels (or even smaller partial panels), which can really spoil the flow of the book.

laura k said...

I thought that was probably the case.

James Redekop said...

This might be relevant to your interests: Tor.com has a preview of a new graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time