Events

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ADMISSION
Wittliff Collections events are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and FREE, unless noted.

DIRECTIONS + PARKING
Click here for VISITOR INFORMATION

ACCOMMODATION + ACCESS
If you require accommodations due to a disability in order to participate,
please call 512.245.2313 at least 24 hours in advance of the event for assistance.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
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VIDEOS
For videos of some of our past events, see the EVENT VIDEOS page or watch on YouTube.
Videos of the Lindsey Literary Series readings can be viewed on the site for Texas State's literary journal, Front Porch.


SPRING 2014 EVENTS

Call 512.245.2313, ext. 0 if you need immediate information about our spring happenings.


JANUARY 14, 2014, TUESDAY, 5:00 PM
MFA POETRY + FICTION READING
Texas State's Master of Fine Art students read from their work in the creative writing program.


JANUARY 30, 2014, THURSDAY, 3:30 PMPersonae cover courtesy of The University of Chicago Press
SERGIO DE LA PAVA  
Fiction Reading  |  Book Signing  | 
5:00 PM Q&A
In 2008, Sergio De La Pava self-published his 700-page-debut novel, A Naked Singularity, to little fanfare, until an intrepid reviewer at the Quarterly Conversation snagged a copy and lit up the blogosphere with chatter that the book was “one of the best—and most original—novels of the decade.” Republished in 2012 by the University of Chicago Press, the sprawling, obsessive opus—a potboiler for literary introverts interested in whittling away at the inheritances of Dostoevsky, Melville, and Woolf—has since been profiled by the Millions, the Chicago Tribune, and the Wall Street Journal. It was a finalist for the Believer magazine 2013 Book Award. His second novel, Personae, will be published later this year. This Lindsey Literary Series event is sponsored by the Burdine Johnson Foundation and Texas State’s Wittliff Collections, Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, and Department of English. Following the book signing will be a formal Q&A at 5:00 p.m. Books will be available for purchase at the event courtesy of the University Bookstore.

JANUARY 31, 2014, FRIDAY, 7:30 PM
Sergio de la Pava will also read at Texas State's
 Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center in Kyle.


FEBRUARY 4. 2014, TUESDAY, 5:00 PM
MFA POETRY + FICTION READING
Texas State's Master of Fine Art students read from their work in the creative writing program.


FEBRUARY 11, 2014, TUESDAY, 6:30 PMCFAN
FINE LINE exhibition discussion with MICHAEL NYE  
Michael Nye, photographer of FINE LINE: Mental Health / Mental Illness, discusses his documentary exhibition of voices, stories, and portraits on view at the Wittliff through March 30, 2014. This event is presented in conjunction with Texas State's 2013–2014 Common Experience theme, Minds Matter: Exploring Mental Health and Illness, and is sponsored by the university’s Wittliff Collections and Common Experience, and the CFAN Company.  Attendees are asked to RSVP: thewittliffcollections@txstate.edu.

MORE INFORMATION HERE.


FEBRUARY 20, 2014, THURSDAY, 3:30 PMPhoto by Ben E. Watkins
FANNY HOWE  
Poetry Reading  |  Book Signing   
5:00 PM Q&A
In 1940, Fanny Howe was born in Buffalo, New York. She is the author of more than 20 books of poetry and prose. Her recent collections of poetry include Come and See (2011); The Lyrics (2007); On the Ground (2004); Gone (2003); Selected Poems (2000); Forged (1999); Q (1998); One Crossed Out (1997); O'Clock (1995); and The End (1992). Howe is also the author of several novels and prose collections, including, The Winter Sun: Notes on a Vocation (Graywolf, 2009); The Lives of a Spirit / Glasstown: Where Something Got Broken (Nightboat Books, 2005) and Nod (Sun & Moon Press, 1998). She has written short stories, books for young adults, and the collection of literary essays The Wedding Dress: Meditations on Word and Life (University of California Press, 2003). Howe was the recipient of the 2009 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. She also won the 2001 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for her Selected Poems, and has won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Poetry Foundation, the California Council for the Arts, and the Village Voice. She is currently a professor of writing and literature at the University of California, San Diego. This Lindsey Literary Series event is sponsored by the Burdine Johnson Foundation and Texas State’s Wittliff Collections, Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, and Department of English. Following the book signing will be a formal Q&A at 5:00 p.m. Books will be available for purchase at the event courtesy of the University Bookstore.

FEBRUARY 21, 2014, FRIDAY, 7:30 PM
Fanny Howe will also read at Texas State's
Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center in Kyle.


FEBRUARY 24, 2014, MONDAY, 2:00 PMCrazy Like Us by Ethan Watters - cover
ETHAN WATTERS  Reception  |  Lecture
Acclaimed journalist Ethan Watters, author of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche, discusses how the most devastating consequence of the spread of American culture across the globe has not been our golden arches or our bomb craters, but our bulldozing of the human psyche. American-style depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anorexia have begun to spread around the world like contagions, and the virus is us. Traveling from Hong Kong to Sri Lanka to Zanzibar to Japan, Watters witnesses firsthand how Western healers often steamroll indigenous expressions of mental health and madness and replace them with our own. In teaching the rest of the world to think like us, we have been homogenizing the way the world goes mad.

Watters is also the author of Urban Tribes, an examination of the mores of affluent “never marrieds” and the coauthor of Making Monsters, a groundbreaking indictment of the recovered memory movement. A frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine, Discover, Men’s Journal, Details, Wired, and PRI's This American Life, he has appeared on such national media as Good Morning America, Talk of the Nation, and CNN. His work has been featured in the Best American Science and Nature Writing series. Watters is co-founder (along with Ethan Canin and Po Bronson) of the San Francisco Writers' Grotto where he sometimes teaches writing classes. This Common Experience event is sponsored by Texas State's department of sociology.


FEBRUARY 25, 2014, TUESDAY, 4:00 PM
TEXAS STATE FACULTY  Readings  |  Book Signings
Three Texas State University faculty authors read from their new work. Book signing to follow. Books will be available for purchase courtesy of the University Bookstore.

RENÉ LeBLANC  WHERE THE BODY ENDS
Despite loss, betrayal, and illness, LeBlanc’s stories approach the reader with an honest heart and an open hand. Unsentimental living—for those forced to sell their plasma or lock themselves away at night as protection from their disabled children—happens where the body ends and the world begins. LeBlanc received her MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State, where she teaches in the English department and is a Student Learning Development Specialist for SLAC.

TOMÁS Q. MORÍN  A LARGER COUNTRY
Winner of the APR/Honickman Prize, Morín’s poems are “as infectious and spooky and darkly humorous as the Brothers Grimm, as shapely and colloquial and eloquent as John Donne, and as skeptical and addicted to history-as-fable as Zbigniew Herbert.” (Tom Sleigh, from the introduction) Morín was educated at Johns Hopkins University and Texas State, where he teaches literature and writing.

DONALD W. OLSON  CELESTIAL SLEUTH
Using Astronomy to Solve Mysteries in Art, History, and Literature

Called “…the leading practitioner of…‘forensic astronomy’” by Smithsonian magazine, Olson calculates phases of the Moon, determines the positions of the planets and stars, and identifies celestial objects to crack mysteries, spark our imagination, and provide a better understanding of the skies. Olson received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California-Berkeley and studied galaxy structure at UT-Austin. A professor of Physics and Astronomy, he has been teaching at Texas State since the early 1980s. The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) announced February 19 that Texas State University physics professor Donald W. Olson is the 2014 recipient of the Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award. The prestigious award places Olson in the company of such past winners as Neil deGrasse Tyson of the Hayden Planetarium and James E. Hansen of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. This award recognizes educators who have made notable and creative contributions to the teaching of physics.


FEBRUARY 27, 2014, THURSDAY, 5:00 PM
TERESA VAN HOY  Lecture  |  Q&A
Dr. Teresa Van Hoy—O'Connor Chair for the History of Hispanic Texas and the Southwest at St. Mary’s University—presents a lecture focusing on the final stage of the French Intervention. By 1865, the Republican cause in Mexico was nearly lost. Yet, as Van Hoy reveals, those of Mexican origin resident in California and the Rio Grande valley helped Mexico reassert its sovereignty and defend its territorial integrity. This analysis of Mexican-Americans’ role offers a timely contribution to our understanding of the French Intervention and the Civil War during the sesquicentennials of these twin conflicts that embroiled the borderlands in the 1860s.

Light refreshments will be served at a 5:00 p.m. reception prior to the lecture at 5:20 p.m. Sponsored by Texas State's Center for the Study of the Southwest.


MARCH 4, 2014, TUESDAY, 5:00 PM
MFA POETRY + FICTION READING
Texas State's Master of Fine Art students read from their work in the creative writing program.


MARCH 10-14, 2014
SPRING BREAK  |  Exhibitions are open
The exhibitions Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Illness, Man and Beast, and Lonesome Dove are open for viewing at the Wittliff Collections, Alkek Library, Seventh Floor, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


MARCH 27, 2014, THURSDAY, 4:00 PMActing Up and Getting Down
ACTING UP AND GETTING DOWN:
Plays by African American Texans  
Exhibition Reception  |  Book Launch
This exhibition reception, discussion, and book signing celebrates the new volume in the Wittliff’s literary series with the University of Texas Press. Guest speakers include the book’s editors, Texas State faculty members SANDRA MAYO and ELVIN HOLT. Mayo is Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Theatre and Dance and Associate Professor of Theatre at Texas State. Holt is Professor of English at Texas State. Mayo has edited several scholarly books, and both authors have published numerous essays in the field. Books will be available for purchase at the event.

READ THE STORY behind the book and exhibition.


MARCH 28, 2014, FRIDAY  |  9:00 AM – 3:30 PMSymbolicInteraction
THE COUCH-STONE SYMPOSIUM: Symbolic Interactionist Takes on Music
A day of international and inter-disciplinary discussion of the role music plays in defining, ordering, and celebrating everyday life. Topics include the growing importance of music scenes and festivals, the social and cultural architecture of pop songs, and the effects of music on self-identity. Sponsored by Texas State’s Department of Sociology, Center for Social Inquiry, Center for the Study of the Southwest, and Center for Texas Music History. Interested attendees should register with Dr. Joseph Kotarba, director of the Center for Social Inquiry, at 512.245.8905 or jk54@txstate.edu.


APRIL 1, 2014, TUESDAY, 5:00 PM
MFA POETRY + FICTION READING
Texas State's Master of Fine Art students read from their work in the creative writing program.


APRIL 3, 2014, THURSDAY, 6:30 PM
WRITING BEYOND BORDERS  Conversation  |  Book Signing
The Wittliff Collections are proud to present four distinguished authors to discuss the past, present, and future of Latina/o literature—in a world where writers are frequently moving beyond traditional borders and boundaries. Texas State Distinguished Alumnus TINO VILLANUEVA, Houston poet, memoirist, and editor SARAH CORTEZ, and filmmaker, playwright, writer, and Wittliff donor SEVERO PEREZ will engage in a conversation moderated by San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, CARMEN TAFOLLA. Co-sponsored by Texas State’s Center for the Study of the Southwest, College of Applied Arts, College of Education, Department of Modern Languages, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and Department of English. Book signing to follow; books will be available for purchase courtesy of the University Bookstore.

Attendees are asked to RSVP to thewittliffcollections@txstate.edu.

SARAH CORTEZ
A Houston poet and police officer, Sarah Cortez is an award-winning author of several books, including How To Undress a Cop. As an editor, she has compiled several anthologies, including Indian Country Noir and Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery. Her most recent book, Our Lost Border: Essays on Life amid the Narco-Violence, co-edited with Sergio Troncoso, received the Southwest Book Award. Cortez has recently been named to the council of the Texas Institute of Letters.

SEVERO PEREZ
Filmmaker and author Severo Perez is best known for his movie …and the earth did not swallow him, which won top honors at film festivals worldwide and is considered a classic of Chicano cinema. As a playwright, he has collaborated with Luis Valdez's El Teatro Campesino. As a novelist he is the author of The Challengers Aero Club, praised by Kirkus as "an engaging, thorough novel about forgotten heroes of aviation history." Perez recently donated his extensive archive to the Wittliff Collections.

TINO VILLANUEVA
Texas State Distinguished Alumnus Tino Villanueva was born in San Marcos to a family of migrant workers. He is the author of seven books of poetry, including his American Book Award-winning Scene from the Movie GIANT. Writing in both Spanish and English, at times sliding back and forth between the two languages, Villanueva's poems explore memory, longing, and history. His newest book, So Spoke Penelope, gives voice to the wife of Odysseus.

CARMEN TAFOLLA
The internationally renowned author of more than twenty books and one of the most highly anthologized of Latina writers, Carmen Tafolla has published an impressive array of award-winning works for both children and adults. Named by Mayor Julian Castro as the first Poet Laureate of the City of San Antonio, Tafolla has been called a "world-class writer" by Roots author Alex Haley, and has long been considered one of the madrinas of Chicana literature.


APRIL 4, 2014, FRIDAY, 2:00 PM
Sherman AlexieSHERMAN ALEXIE   |  Q&A
Sherman Alexie the author of, most recently, War Dances, a collection of stories and poems from Grove Press, and Face, a book of poetry from Hanging Loose Press. He is the winner of the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award, the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the 2001 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, and a Special Citation for the 1994 PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Fiction. Smoke Signals, the film he wrote and co-produced, won the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. He lives with his family in Seattle. This Lindsey Literary Series event is sponsored by the Burdine Johnson Foundation and Texas State’s Wittliff Collections, Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, and Department of English.

APRIL 4, 2014, FRIDAY, 7:30 PM
Sherman Alexie will also read at Texas State's
Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center in Kyle. This event will include a book signing.


APRIL 5, 2014, SATURDAY   |   8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
LONE STAR UNIONISM AND DISSENT SYMPOSIUM:
The Other Civil-War Texas

Support for the Union in Texas and rejection of the Confederacy did not solely consist of Sam Houston’s famous refusal to take oath of allegiance to the Confederacy. Before, during, and after the Civil War, significant numbers of Texans of all social, economic, and ethnic groups actively opposed the dominant southern slaveocracy for a variety of reasons. This symposium explores the diversity of that opposition and challenges the myth of a monolithic pro-Confederate Texas.Center for the Study of the Southwest

Presented by Texas State’s Center for the Study of the Southwest, this all-day symposium offers two morning sessions and one afternoon session of three presentations each, followed by keynote address and a Q&A period.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ITINERARY.


APRIL 8, 2014, TUESDAY, 3:30 PMKing of Cuba cover courtesy of Scribner
CRISTINA GARCÍA   Author Talk  |  Book Signing
Cristina García is the author of six novels: Dreaming in Cuban, The Agüero Sisters, Monkey Hunting, A Handbook to LuckThe Lady Matador’s Hotel, and King of Cuba, recently published by Scribner. García is the editor of two anthologies, Cubanísimo: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Cuban Literature and Bordering Fires: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Mexican and Chicano/a Literature. She is also the author of two works for young readers, The Dog Who Loved the Moon and I Wanna Be Your Shoebox, published in 2008, a collection of poetry, The Lesser Tragedy of Death, published in 2010, and Dreams of Significant Girls, a young-adult novel set in a Swiss boarding school in the 1970s. García’s work has been nominated for a National Book Award and translated into 14 languages. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers' Award, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and an NEA grant, among others. García is currently serving as the University Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State. This event is sponsored by the Department of English, the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, the Wittliff Collections and Texas State University. Books will be available for purchase at the event courtesy of the University Bookstore.


APRIL 10, 2014, THURSDAY, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
LIBRARY FILM SERIES: The PHD Movie  
Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD) is a live-action adaptation of the popular web comic strip by Jorge Cham. With humor and heart, the film follows the personal journeys of two graduate students as they struggle to find their place in the confusing (and often hilarious) world of high-stakes academic research. Along the way, they learn that the journey is as much about finding truth in books and experiments as it is about finding truth in yourself. Filmed on location at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the film features real scientists and researchers (including two MacArthur 'genius' award recipients).

This event, sponsored by the Albert B. Alkek Library and the Graduate College at Texas State University, is free and open to the public.


APRIL 14, 2014, MONDAY
2:45 PM RECEPTION  |  3:00 PM READING
T Edward Bak's ISLAND OF MEMORY
T EDWARD BAK  
Graphic Novel Reading  |  Book Signing  | 
Q&A
ISLAND OF MEMORY, T Edward Bak’s first volume of WILD MAN—The Natural History of Georg Wilhelm Steller, examines the human condition within the natural order at the extremes of the unknown. Part natural history, part adventure yarn and part experimental narrative, this 72-page full-color fever dream is the artistic realization of Bak’s inquiry into the socio-ecological consequences of empire. T Edward Bak's presentation will include a discussion of the natural history and works which inspire and inform the narrative of his graphic novel. GEORG WILHELM STELLER (1709-1746), the protagonist of Bak's story, journeyed as a naturalist with the historic Second Kamchatka Expedition, which brought the Russians to Siberia and Alaska in the 18th century. Steller’s first-hand descriptions of the natural and human worlds at this crossroads of continents illuminate the unique confluence of culture and ecology binding North America to Asia via the North Pacific.

An informal Q&A and book signing with Bak will follow the reading. Books will be available for purchase courtesy of the University Bookstore.

5:30 PM WORKSHOP  |  ROOM #1124 in the JOANN COLE MITTE BUILDING
After the event at the Wittliff Collections, Bak will host a comics workshop in the Joan Cole Mitte Building, room 1124. Contacts: Tara Spies Smith 512.245.1636 and Matt Rebholz 512.638.1632.

T Edward Bak teaches and lectures on comics in the Pacific Northwest, where he studies Environmental Studies. He was the 2007 Center for Cartoon Studies Fellow and is the cartoonist of Service Industry, and WILD MAN: The Natural History of Georg Wilhelm Steller. His stories appear in The Graphic Canon, The Best American Comics, MOME, and Drawn & Quarterly Showcase. A native of Colorado, Bak resides primarily in Portland, Oregon, but often migrates throughout the North America.


APRIL 17, 2014, THURSDAY, 3:30 PMJorie Graham
JORIE GRAHAM  
Poetry Reading  |  Book Signing  | 
5:00 PM Q&A
Jorie Graham is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including the Forward Prize-winning and T.S. Eliot Prize-nominated PLACE (Ecco, 2012), Sea Change (2008), Overlord (HarperCollins, 2005); Never (HarperCollins, 2002); Swarm (2000); The Errancy (1997); The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994, which won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; Materialism (1993); Region of Unlikeness (1991); The End of Beauty (1987); Erosion (1983); and Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts (1980). She has also edited two anthologies, Earth Took of Earth: 100 Great Poems of the English Language (1996) and The Best American Poetry 1990.
This Lindsey Literary Series event is sponsored by the Burdine Johnson Foundation and Texas State’s Wittliff Collections, Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, and Department of English. Following the book signing will be a formal Q&A at 5:00 p.m. Books will be available for purchase at the event courtesy of the University Bookstore.

APRIL 18, 2013, FRIDAY, 7:30 PM
Jorie Graham will also read at Texas State's
Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center in Kyle.


APRIL 27, 2014, SUNDAY, 2:00 PM    
MARY ELLEN MARK—MAN AND BEAST: Photographs from Mexico and India  
Reception  |  Talk with Artist  |  Book Signing
Join us as we celebrate the exhibition based on the newest volume in the Wittliff Collections’ photography series with the University of Texas Press. The program will feature a dialogue between Wittliff director David Coleman and internationally renowned documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark about her work and career. Mark will also sign copies of her new book, which will be available for a special price at the event. Attendees are asked to RSVP: thewittliffcollections@txstate.edu.

MORE INFORMATION HERE.Twin Brothers Tulsi and Basant, Great Famous Circus, Calcutta, India, © 1989, Mary Ellen Mark

[right] Twin Brothers Tulsi and Basant, Great Famous Circus, Calcutta, India, © 1989, Mary Ellen Mark