Thursday, August 18, 2022

New MALAS Graduate Seminar, Fall 2022 with Professor Lashon Daley | THE WRITING OF FICTION !!!



Calling all cinephiles: have you ever wanted to adapt your favorite film into a novel? Or your favorite TV show into a collection of short stories? In this course, you will learn the basics of writing fiction while producing original works of fanfiction. Through a series of writing exercises and in-class workshops, you will develop skills on how to write strong characters, climactic plots, and descriptive settings. This course is not about becoming a professional creative writer. Rather, it is about learning the skills of creativity, communication, style, and voice.

We will read How to Write Mind Blowing FanFiction by Roslyn Thomas as well as participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to help us dive more deeply into fanfiction and develop community around our writing. 

This course will help you compose a short story or a compilation of flash fiction pieces totaling an approximate count of 6,500 words based on your favorite film, TV series, or web content. Weekly reading and writing assignments, and in-class workshops will be used to practice specific composition skills.

Lashon Daley is the director of the National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature and an assistant professor of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University. She earned her PhD in Performance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in New Media from the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in Folklore from UC Berkeley. Her children’s book, Mr. Okra Sells Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, was released in February 2016.

ENGL-581W 03 21615 THE WRITING OF FICTION 3.0 Lecture 1230-1345 TTH COM-206 L. DALEY 0/27 Footnotes: 04 , 15 , S , Y

MALAS-600D 03 34444 THE WRITING OF FICTION 3.0 Seminar 1230-1345 TTH COM-206 L. DALEY 0/3

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

New MALAS Graduate Seminar, Fall 2022: Meagan Marshall's LIVING WRITERS

MALAS 600A.03 / ENGL 579: Living Writers

Professor: Meagan Marshall  | Wednesdays 7-9:40

Derek Walcott’s Fortunate Traveler asserts, “…literature is an old couch stuffed with fleas.” This course aims to counter his assertion by examining the texts of living writers who are working to maintain literature’s livelihood. Guest authors will visit the class to conduct discussions, writing workshops, and readings centered on their work and experience in the literary world. This course provides the rare opportunity to work closely with visiting authors while exploring multiple genres and mediums, including poetry, prose, and creative nonfiction. Active participation and inquiry will expand your perception of literature and strengthen your ability as a writer and reader. This course promises to shake the fleas from static written word. Writers of all experience-levels and genres are welcomed and encouraged.   

About the Professor:  

Meagan Marshall is a poet, performer, and professor. She directs the Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series and teaches in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She is a recent recipient of the Pitt and Virginia Warner Innovation Award. She also teaches in the English Department at San Diego City College. Her work has appeared in various journals, including The Portland Review, Web Del Sol, San Diego Poetry Annual, Charlotte: A Journal of Literature and Art, Poetry Internationaland elsewhere. Meagan is co-author of the essay “The Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series at San Diego State University: How One of the Nation’s Oldest Reading Series Found a Home in the Library” (McFarland 2017). She is commissioned frequently by San Diego Dance Theater and has written and performed several micro-fictions with the company including “Pillow: Case” (2015), “Requiem for an Ocean” (2016), “Shaker Loops” (2019), and “Janus II” (2020).      

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Section Details:

Schedule #34443
Full TitleInterdisciplinary Study in Liberal Arts and Sciences: Cultural Studies
DescriptionMALAS seminars are divided into four general areas with content that varies semester to semester. Each course may be repeated once with new content. See Class Schedule for specific content. Maximum credit six units for MALAS 600A.
PrerequisiteGraduate standing.
This course is stacked with ENGL 579 "Living Writers." Not open to students currently enrolled in or with previous credit in ENGL 579 "Living Writers."
The following student levels are allowed: Graduate.

Monday, August 15, 2022

New Fall MALAS Graduate Seminar! Comix and History, aka #eyegasm22


New Fall MALAS Graduate Seminar! 
Comix and History, aka #eyegasm22

Graduate students can take an MA-level version of this class! More info here:… or write Professor Bill Nericcio at

May be an illustration of one or more people

A great sequence from Marjani Satrape's EMBROIDERIES (Translated from the French by Anjali Singh) ... one of the comix volumes in my Fall class at #SDSU ... The class is called #eyegasm22 and is focused on visual culture, comix, history, autobiography, and more ... book info here class info here

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

New MALAS Seminar Fall 2022: Techniques of the Novel with Professor Matt de la Peña!

ENGL 573/MALAS 600A.02  

Techniques of the Novel

Matt de la Peña, Wednesdays 3:30 to 6:10, Storm Hall 316


Writing a novel is a long, messy, exhilarating, frustrating, and profoundly beautiful undertaking. Most novel writers get lost at some point during the journey and fear they no longer know where the story is going. Author Denis Johnson didn’t see this as a problem. “You get in your teacup and take your oar and strike off for Australia,” he once said, “and if you wind up in Japan, you’re ecstatic.” In other words, novel writing is about the journey, not the destination. Similarly, a good novel doesn’t set out to provide answers, it asks interesting questions while following interesting characters. 

In this course we will honor the mystery of the novel, while also studying techniques all writers should be exposed to as they take on this work. We will examine published novels, explore how-to philosophies and generate original creative materials. In addition to our course texts, I will bring in other literature to help spark discussion and/or help initiate generative exercises. We will explore many of the tools in our novel-writing toolboxes, such as character, setting, scene, POV, pacing, plot/theme and revision. You will be required to offer both written and oral feedback to your classmates during workshop. Our focus in this class will be craft, but there will also be some discussion of the marketplace and the business side of the writing life.

Matt de la Peña is the #1 New York Times Bestselling, Newbery Medal-winning author of seven young adult novels (including Mexican WhiteBoy and We Were Here) and seven picture books (including Patchwork and Last Stop on Market Street). In 2016 he was awarded the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award. Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship. In 2019 Matt was awarded an honorary doctorate from UOP.

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Section Details:

Schedule #34442
Full TitleInterdisciplinary Study in Liberal Arts and Sciences: Cultural Studies
DescriptionMALAS seminars are divided into four general areas with content that varies semester to semester. Each course may be repeated once with new content. See Class Schedule for specific content. Maximum credit six units for MALAS 600A.
PrerequisiteGraduate standing.
Stacked with ENGL 573. Not open to students currently enrolled in or with prior credit in ENGL 573 "Techniques of Novel."
The following student levels are allowed: Graduate.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

New MALAS Course for Fall 2022

Posted by MALAS, the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences at SDSU on Thursday, June 30, 2022
More info here:

How to be a Successful MALAS Graduate Student and MAYBE Have a Shot at a TAship!!!!

updated 30, June 2022

How to be a Successful MALAS Graduate Student and MAYBE Have a Shot at a TAship!!!!

Ozzie Monge
MALAS alumni/Ph.D Candidate, SDSU 2022

Ah, the life of an interdisciplinary student!  We lucky MALASheads have the university as our intellectual smorgasbord, feeding our insatiable curiosities by sampling from the courses that are offered.  But this blessing might also be a bit of a curse for those who wish to pursue a future in teaching.  Arguably, having experience as a Graduate Teaching Assistant is a fine addition to any CV for those who wish to one day become a professor.  Traditionally, the Graduate TA works with undergraduates from the same discipline, and usually there is a “department” associated with that discipline.  MALAS does not have a corresponding undergraduate program where a MALAS head can TA, which raises the question:  what options are there for those of us MALAScriados who wish to gain teaching experience?

Fortunately, there are options out there.  For example, there are a few programs on campus which have the opposite problem, that is to say they lack a graduate component.  You can potentially befriend the faculty from that department and, over time, demonstrate your ability to be a capable TA.  This is a bit more difficult in that they would likely have to justify the creation of the TA position, not an impossible task but certainly not a very straightforward one.  Some departments to consider include: American Indian Studies, Africana Studies, Religious Studies, Chicana/o Studies, and Classics & Humanities.

Let me tell you about the path I chose to take…

There is a department on campus that has an ongoing need for graduate TA’s and accepts applications from across the disciplines (and you don’t get much more “across the disciplines” than MALAS):  The Rhetoric and Writing Studies Department!

Almost every incoming freshman is required to take a developmental writing course at SDSU.  That typically is RWS 100 one semester, followed by RWS 200 the next.  Many of these classes are taught by graduate student Teaching Assistants (TAs). The TAs are limited to a class size of 25.  When you consider the amount of incoming freshmen at SDSU in any given year (approximately 3,700), you’ll understand why there is a need for so many TAs to teach these required classes.  Each TA is assigned a class of no more than 25 students.

So, how do you become a TA?  There is an application process! But before we get to that…

There is also a required class, RWS 609, Theory and Practice of Teaching Composition, in which you must enroll before you will be offered TA contract.  You can enroll in this class during the same timeframe that you intend to apply for a TA position (for the next semester).  That is to say, you don’t have to take the class and wait until the following semester to apply – which would result in you waiting for nearly a whole year (although if that’s what you want to do, you can).  To clarify what I am saying, let me share the application deadlines from this year:

·      October 26 (to apply to teach in Spring)
·      March 01 (to apply to teach in Fall)

So it is completely possible for an incoming, first year MALAS student to take RWS 609 during their first fall semester, apply during that semester while still taking the course, and teach an RWS 100 class in the spring semester (assuming their application is accepted). 

Here’s the catch:  taking the class does not necessarily guarantee that you will be brought on as a TA, so it is a gamble in that you will have potentially “wasted” 3 units, and the money to pay for those 3 units.  Bear that in mind, but do not let it discourage you.

Also, there is a greater demand for RWS 100 TAs in the fall semester, than there are in the spring.  There are fewer RWS 100 classes offered in the spring, typically for those who had to take the non-credit bearing RWS 92A, and some of the TAs who have already been offered contracts may opt to teach two classes during their second semester.  Therefore, it may make more sense for an incoming MALAS student to take RWS 609 and apply during their spring semester, which is precisely what I did.

Now, back to the application process…

Once you have enrolled in RWS 609, the next step will be to prepare your application.  You will need to submit the following:
  • ·      An application form
  • ·      Transcripts
  • ·      Three current letters of recommendation that will be sent directly to the DRWS office.
  • ·      A statement of purpose
  • ·      A writing sample of about five pages of expository prose

The application form is straightforward.  You can download it from the DRWS web site. 

Transcripts are rather self-explanatory as well.  And, yes, they do include your undergraduate record. They do not require formal transcripts – a print out from the SDSU Web Portal was sufficient for their needs.  Fortunately (for me), the transcripts themselves do not appear to be a heavily weighted determining factor in the application process.  Let’s just say that my undergraduate performance a few decades back was less than ideal. However, my performance in graduate school, which is of course far more recent, had to be above the 3.0 threshold that they require of TAs.

I will say this about the letters of recommendation:  do not wait until the last minute to request them.  And if it is at all possible, seek them from professors on campus who have had an opportunity to get to know you and your writing abilities, and of course have a favorable view of both you and your skills.

Your statement of purpose relates why you want to teach RWS 100, not why you want to teach in general. I’ll say it again: this is about WHY you are so passionate about teaching the RWS 100 developmental writing class, and NOT about why you’d like to teach, in general.

The writing sample must be expository in nature. It cannot be that amazing sonnet you wrote nor an excerpt from the Great American Novel you’ve been working.  I would recommend that you use a paper that you wrote at SDSU for which you earned an A.  I also recommend that you request one of your letters of recommendation from the professor for who you wrote the paper.

Rather than continue to explain the process further, I will direct you again to the DRWS’s web page that explains their TA program.  The entire URL is:

If you do have any questions at all, or would like some assistance in preparing your application, I will happily make myself available to you.  Just get in touch with me via and we’ll go from there.  Good luck!

Sunday, April 24, 2022

SDSU MALAS LECTURE SERIES! The [Mexican-] American Revolution With Myriam Gurba and Alex Espinosa

Monday, February 28, 2022

Friday, February 18, 2022

Unessays! MALAS Graduate Student Work Showcased!

click to enlarge!

From: Kristal Bivona <>

Date: Wed, Feb 16, 2022 at 4:04 PM
Subject: flyer for student art exhibition
To: William Nericcio <>

Hey there,

Now that we're back on campus, I planned this event for the students from MALAS 600d / ANTH 529 / BRAZ 496 last semester to show their final projects. It's open to all and the flyer is attached. Please come by if you're around and share with the other MALAS students. Thanks!


Kristal Bivona, Ph.D. 
Assistant Director, Behner Stiefel Center for Brazilian Studies
Lecturer, College of Arts and Letters
San Diego State University
Pronouns: she/ela/ella