Dr. Patrick B. Sharp
Professor and Chair
See my most recent curriculum vitae here.
My research is most deeply concerned with the cultural dimensions of science and technology, and how beliefs about science and technology intersect with beliefs about race and gender. My first book, Savage Perils: Racial Frontiers and Nuclear Apocalypse in American Culture, looks at how Darwinist narratives of race and progress have influenced political rhetoric and stories about nuclear apocalypse. I have also co-edited with Dr. Jeannette Eileen Jones an anthology entitled Darwin in Atlantic Cultures: Evolutionary Visions of Race, Gender, and Sexuality that was published by Routledge in late 2009. One of my current book projects focuses on representations of women in evolutionary science and science fiction. I am also working with Dr. Lisa Yaszek on an edited anthology of women's contributions—as artists, science journalists, poets, fiction writers, and editors—to the pioneering science fiction magazines of the 1920s and 1930s.
I recently completed three essays for publication. The first is an essay on The Hunger Games novels and movies for an anthology of scholarship on nuclear issues in the post-9/11 world. The second is an essay on Darwinism and colonialism for the Oxford Handbook of Science Fiction edited by Dr. Rob Latham. The third is an essay on Leslie Marmon Silko's novel Ceremony and how it can be understood as an example of Indigenous futurism published in the anthology of scholarly essays entitled Black and Brown Planets edited by Dr. Isiah Lavender III.
Teaching and Advising
I teach courses that help students to develop their understanding of the disciplines, while working with them to build knowledge across disciplinary boundaries. I also work with students on developing their reading, writing, and research skills in interdisciplinary contexts (and have published a textbook on this). I have developed courses in the Liberal Studies department that I still teach regularly when my duties as chair allow (including LBS 301, 302, 386, 420, 489, and 490). As with my research, I place a heavy emphasis in my teaching on the cultural and social dimensions of science and technology.
Like all faculty in the Liberal Studies department, I treat the advisement of students as an extension of my teaching. Helping students to understand the curriculum, develop career paths, and pick appropriate courses is directly linked to helping students understand how disciplines work. Part of my job as a faculty member is to help students succeed through quality advisement, so a large part of my time is dedicated to ensuring that our many Liberal Studies majors get the information and advisement they need to be successful and to graduate in a timely fashion.
Projects and Leadership
I have engaged in a number of projects focused on revising and updating curriculum since coming to CSULA in 2001. Working with my colleagues in the Liberal Studies department and across campus, I have spearheaded three major revisions of the Liberal Studies curriculum that have improved student retention and time to graduation while strengthening the core of the major. I participated in the campus-wide conversation on general education reform and attended national conferences and regional workshops focused on improving general education for our campus. I have also participated in two funded campus initiatives to improve collaboration between humanities and STEM fields.
In addition to my current position as Chair of Liberal Studies, I am the faculty director of EagleCon, CSULA's annual convention dedicated to diversity in comics and science fiction sponsored by the Art Directors Guild and the Costume Designers Guild. I am also serving as Special Assistant to the Dean of Arts and Letters working on project management, promotion, and community alliances.
In the past, I have chaired the faculty advisory boards of the American Communities Program and the Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities. I have also chaired the Academic Senate subcommittee on Academic Advisement, the search committee for the Dean of Arts and Letters, and the Department Chairs committee for the College of Arts and Letters. From 2008-2010 I was the Director of the CSULA Writing Proficiency Exam, and I have worked on several campus initiatives and with many departments to improve writing instruction.