Sunday, September 26, 2010

Celebrate Banned Book Week

This is Banned Book Week, September 25-October 2; sponsored by the American Library Association in conjunction with several other organization, Banned Book Week is meant to call attention to our freedom to read what we want and the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Celebrate Banned Book Week by reading a book or part of a book that's been banned, either recently or one of the classics that's been frequently banned.

For a list of the top 100 banned and/or challenged books of the 20th century, go here: ALA top 100 banned books of 20th century

For more about Banned Book Week and the ALA's efforts to combat censorship, go here: ALA Banned Book Week

Explore the ALA site for more information about libraries, books, and advocacy/issues sponsored by the ALA.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Origin of the Word, Penny

The Penny's British Heritage

Like so much else American, the name penny comes from England. The first modern English coin was the silver penny of Offa, the 8th century king of Mercia. By the 18th century — when the first U.S. coins went into circulation — Brits still used the word penny as the singular for pence, just as they do today. The coin's name derives from the Old English pennige, pronounced, roughly, penny-yuh.

Read more at Time magazine.

Review of Howl Film

Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's movie "Howl," which features one of James Franco's best performances to date, as legendary Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, is a very mixed bag. It's an oddly dry fusion of documentary and narrative film that arguably doesn't quite click on either level. But I honestly feel bad about pissing on a movie that has so much beauty and purity of spirit in it, so let's accentuate the positive. Fans of either Franco's acting or Ginsberg's poetry absolutely have to see this, of course, and it features a memorable, if controversial, animation by Eric Drooker that illustrates both the themes and the literal story of Ginsberg's eponymous poem.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kafka's Kafkaesque Legacy

During his lifetime, Franz Kafka burned an estimated 90 percent of his work. After his death at age 41, in 1924, a letter was discovered in his desk in Prague, addressed to his friend Max Brod. “Dearest Max,” it began. “My last request: Everything I leave behind me . . . in the way of diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others’), sketches and so on, to be burned unread.” Less than two months later, Brod, disregarding Kafka’s request, signed an agreement to prepare a posthumous edition of Kafka’s unpublished novels. “The Trial” came out in 1925, followed by “The Castle” (1926) and “Amerika” (1927). In 1939, carrying a suitcase stuffed with Kafka’s papers, Brod set out for Palestine on the last train to leave Prague, five minutes before the Nazis closed the Czech border. Thanks largely to Brod’s efforts, Kafka’s slim, enigmatic corpus was gradually recognized as one of the great monuments of 20th-century literature. ...

Read more at the New York Times.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Conference at South Texas College Feb 24-26, 2010

Call for Submissions

“De Diosa a Hembra to Chicana: Celebrating the Last
40 Years of Chicana Activism.”
2011 NACCS-Tejas Regional Conference
South Texas College, McAllen, Tejas
24-26 February 2011

The Mexican American Studies Program at South Texas College is accepting
submissions for papers, exhibits, performances, or cultural productions for the
2011 NACCS Tejas Regional Conference at South Texas College. The year
1971 can be considered a turning point in Chicana activism as a group of
Chicana leaders from across the United States came together to voice their
concerns as women. These concerns stemmed from discrimination in the home,
work place, school, and within the Chicano Movement itself. Other issues
addressed at the conference included concerns over healthcare and the
relationship to other feminist movements and sexuality. These women,
numbering in the hundreds, united and disunited in Houston, and sought various
resolutions to their concerns as they strived for social, cultural, racial, gender,
and sexual equality. This is the historical spirit that will be celebrated and
examined during the 2011 NACCS Tejas Regional Conference that will be held
on the 24th through the 26th of February at South Texas College. The NACCS
Tejas Regional conference will provide a forum through which we can
collectively explore the past, present, and future of Chicana activism.
While the primary theme for the conference centers on analyzing and reflecting
on Chicana activism, other topics related to the Chicana/o, Latina/o, or Mexican
American experience are also welcomed. A 100-250 word abstract should be
submitted for the paper, panel, exhibit, performance, or other.

Deadline for Submissions: December 7, 2010

Send questions and proposals electronically to Victor Gomez at

Friday, September 10, 2010

Follow EGADS! on Facebook

EGADS! now has a page on Facebook. Follow us for the latest news, discussion and English-nerd tidbits.