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2013-2014 Events

CALS kicked off Fall 2013 as a co-sponsor for the marathon read of Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. Spring 2014 saw an incredible line-up of events for the academic and local community, including symposiums on ethnic American literature and the alternative academy, the annual Community Read, and the second First Book Institute.

#Alt-Ac: A CALS Symposium
September 15, 2014 (originally scheduled for March 3, 2014)

The “Alt-Ac” symposium was dedicated to discussing the alternative academic (#alt-ac) careers in which a growing number of scholars trained in the liberal arts are employed.  Six invited speakers—scholars working in alternative academic careers on and off university campuses and faculty who have been leading voices on issues affecting contingent, non-academic, and alternative academic labor—joined Penn State presenters to explore what this new reality means in a rapidly transforming information age, university environment, and labor market.


2014 First Book Institute
June 8-14, 2014

The First Book Institute aims to assist scholars in transforming their book projects into ones that promise to make the most significant impact possible on the field of American literary studies. Following on the success of the inaugural First Book Institute in 2013, CALS invited eight young scholars from around the country for a week of workshops and presentation under the tutelage of institute faculty.


A Voyage with Mary Roach
April 15, 2014

The culminating event of the 2014 Centre County Reads/CALS Community Read, “A Voyage with Mary Roach” featured the best-selling science writer discussing her adventures researching her latest book, Packing for Mars. Penn State’s Katie O’Toole moderated the discussion, which covered Mary Roach’s early interest in science, writing process, and quirky anecdotes about space travel.


"Writing Science for the Masses" Roundtable
April 8, 2014

In Packing for Mars, author Mary Roach transforms intricate scientific details into understandable and stimulating prose—a combination that encourages scientific literacy among the general populace.  Accordingly, this Community Read roundtable asked three panelists to reflect on the task of translating the esoteric language of science into an accessible form, as well as why cross-pollination between science and literature is crucial to the success of both fields. Invited speakers included Amy Teitel, Alison Fromme, and A’ndrea Messer.



"Writing the (Un)Known" Contest
April 5, 2014

This writing contest was part of the 2014 Centre County Reads/CALS Community Read of bestselling author Mary Roach’s Packing for Mars, a playful inquiry into man’s exploration of our universe. The contest asked writers what they perceived to be “(un)known” in five categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and best entry for a writer under 18.


Alien Form: Genre and the Production of Ethnic American Literatures - A CALS Symposium
March 31, 2014

"Alien Form" focused on how genre and literature’s formal properties can be deployed to counter the strong desire to read Ethnic American literary production in terms of “identity,” “culture,” and “the authentic.” The slate of invited speakers included the award-winning writers Karen Tei Yamashita, Stephen Graham Jones, Sheree Renée Thomas, Nelly Rosario, and Ken Liu.


Marathon Reading of One Hundred Years of Solitude
September 13-14, 2013

Following the tradition established by the inaugural 2013 Marathon Read, this year’s event featured members of the Penn State community reading five-minute sections of Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude aloud over a 24-hour period. With readings in Spanish, Italian, German, French, and Mandarin, the event exemplified CALS’s commitment to the power of public literature.