Michael Willard holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. His teaching, research, and publications focus on popular/youth culture and racial formation in Los Angeles of the past and present. He co-edited Generations of Youth: Youth Cultures and History and Sports Matters: Race, Recreation, and Culture. His articles have appeared in American Quarterly and edited collections on popular culture and American cultural history.
Dr. Patrick B. Sharp
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.
In the early 2010s I completed three essays for publication. The first was 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 was an essay on Darwinism and colonialism for the Oxford Handbook of Science Fiction edited by Dr. Rob Latham. The third was an essay on Leslie Marmon Silko's novel Ceremony and how it can be understood as an example of Indigenous futurism; this essay was published in the anthology Black and Brown Planets edited by Dr. Isiah Lavender III.
In 2016 I completed co-editing an 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. The anthology is entitled Sisters of Tomorrow: The First Women of Science Fiction, and it won the 2017 PCA/ACA Susan Koppelman Award for the best anthology in feminist studies. In 2018 I completed a monograph entitled Darwinian Feminism and Early Science Fiction: Angels, Amazons, and Women that was published by the University of Wales Press and which received a Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries. I also co-edit the book series New Dimensions in Science Fiction for the University of Wales Press.
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 3010, 3020, 3860, 4200, 4890, and 4900). I also designed our new Minor in Science Fiction, and teach courses such as LBS/ENGL 1665 (Intro to SF), LBS/ENGL 2665 (Multicultural SF), LBS/TVF 2666 (SF Film and TV), LBS/WGSS 3665 (Gender and Sexuaity in SF), and LBS/TVF 4665 (SF Across Media). 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 Eagle-Con, Cal State LA's annual convention dedicated to diversity in fantasy and science fiction across media sponsored by the Art Directors Guild. I also served for six months as Interim Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Letters and two years as Special Assistant to the Dean of Arts and Letters working on project management, promotion, and community alliances.
Office: E&T A411
Email: [email protected]
Victor Hugo Viesca is a Los Angeles native who was trained in American Studies at New York University in New York City. His teaching and scholarship draws from the fields of ethnic studies, urban studies, and cultural studies. His work has appeared in the American Quarterly, the British journal Cultural Values, and in a newly published collection of classic and contemporary writings on popular culture titled Popular Culture: A Reader (Sage, 2005). Professor Viesca is also the co-founder of the urban art and skateboard company UN SK8's which provides after-school workshops for middle school youth in Boyle Heights. Victor was recently awarded a UC President's Post-Doctoral Fellowship which he will use to revise his dissertation, “Chicana/o Youth Culture in Post-Industrial Los Angeles: Race, Space, and Migration in the Greater Eastside,” into a book.