Important Updates on the City Tech Science Fiction Collection’s Library Exhibit and Amazing Stories Symposium

Creating the library exhibit. Photo by Sean Scanlan.

This semester, I have been doing a lot of work with the City Tech Science Fiction Collection that culminated with a City Tech Library window exhibit (see photo above) and the well-attended symposium on Amazing Stories: Inspiration, Learning, and Adventure in Science Fiction.

The library exhibit was a fun project to undertake. I had not installed something like this before, so I had to do a lot of planning and sought support from the School of Arts and Sciences for access to a wide-format printer. Despite the best planning, it still took over four hours to completely dress the window display by myself (with the help of masonry line that I picked up at Lowes). I describe how I created the library exhibit using materials in the City Tech Science Fiction Collection on the Science Fiction at City Tech OpenLab site here.

Presenting at the symposium. Photo by Sean Scanlan.

The symposium was a much larger undertaking, but not one that I lacked experience in. Previously, I organized the academic track of a symposium at Georgia Tech as an undergraduate student, and later, I handled scheduling for the 2009 SFRA Conference in Atlanta, GA (with approximately 100 presenters). I served as the chair of the Symposium on Amazing Stories organizing committee. My colleagues Mary Nilles provided a lot of useful brainstorming early in the process, and Aaron Barlow gave me good advice. Jill Belli handled the important student session planning, which turned out to be the most well-attended panel during the symposium. I organized twelve presentations across three serial sessions, opened the symposium, presented a paper, read a paper for an absent presenter who was ill, presented on the acquisition of the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, and gave a tour of the collection with Keith Muchowski. Besides having this great opportunity to learn from my colleagues and scholars from Columbia, CUNY, York, and Yale, I was thrilled that so many students came to each session, asked questions, and joined the conversation. Also, I learned a lot from the students during the student roundtable during the penultimate panel. The Symposium on Amazing Stories program can be found here, and the symposium wrap-up with photos can be read here.

Answering questions in the archives. Photo by Sean Scanlan.

Published by Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.