Events
  • In conjunction with the current exhibition Patterns Bigger Than Any of Us: Jesse Fleming / Pat O'Neill in Ben Maltz Gallery, May 7 - August 12, 2017.

    In Conversation: Jesse Fleming and Pat O'Neill, moderated by LA-based idependent curator and historian Ciara Moloney

     

    Jesse Fleming (b. 1977) is part of an emerging group of artists and technologists that examine the convergence of media art and mindfulness. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Five Car Garage; 356 Mission; and Night Gallery, all in Los Angeles, CA; and the University of Texas in Austin, TX.

    Pat O’Neill’s (b. 1939) artistic and filmmaking career spans over 50 years, and he is highly-regarded for his experiments with film and optical printing. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, CA; Monitor in Rome, Italy; VeneKlasen/Werner in Berlin, Germany; Quinta do Quetzal in Vidigueira, Portugal; Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York, NY; and Cherry and Martin in Los Angeles, CA.

    Ciara Moloney is an independent curator, editor, and writer based in Los Angeles. She was formerly Curator of Exhibitions and Projects at Modern Art Oxford where she curated exhibitions by Barbara Kruger, Josh Kline, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Christian Boltanski and Kiki Kogelnik.

  • Amelia Gray is the author of the short story collections AM/PM, Museum of the Weird, and Gutshot, as well as the novels Threats and, most recently, Isadora, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Tin House, and VICE. She is winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, of FC2's Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. 

  • Luis J. Rodriguez was Los Angeles Poet Laureate from 2014-2016. The twenty-fifth edition of his first book, Poems Across the Pavement, won a 2015 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement. He has written fourteen other books of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and nonfiction, including the best-selling memoir Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. Rodriguez is also founding editor of Tia Chucha Press and co-founder of Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the San Fernando Valley. In 2016 Tia Chucha Press produced the largest anthology of L.A.-area poets, Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles. Rodriguez’s last memoir It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. His latest poetry collection Borrowed Bones appeared in 2016 from Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press.

  • Raised in Philadelphia, with roots in South Africa and Trinidad, Zinzi Clemmons’ writing has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, Transition, The Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and support from the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction. She is co-founder and former Publisher of Apogee Journal, and a Contributing Editor to LitHub. She teaches literature and creative writing at the Colburn Conservatory and Occidental College. Her debut novel, What We Lose, as well as a second title, are forthcoming from Viking.

  • Louise Sandhaus is a graphic designer and graphic design educator. She was previously Director of the Graphic Design Program at CalArts where she currently is faculty. Her recent book on California graphic design, Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires and Riots: California and Graphic Design 1936-1986, co-published by Metropolis Books and Thames & Hudson, has received laudatory reviews from The New York Times, The Guardian, Eye, and Creative Review. The book received the Palm d’Argent for best art book at FILAF (International Festival of Art Books and Films on Art).

  • Photo Credit: Jesse Pniak

     

    F. Douglas Brown received the 2013 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (selected by Tracy K. Smith) for Zero to Three, published by the University of Georgia. He also co-authored the chapbook Begotten with Geffrey Davis as part of Upper Rubber Boot Book's Floodgate Poetry Series. Both a past Cave Canem and Kundiman Fellow, his poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets, The Virginia Quarterly, Bat City Review, The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Southern Humanities Review, The Sugar House Review, Cura Magazine, and Muzzle Magazine. He is co-founder and curator of un::fade::able - The Requiem for Sandra Bland, a quarterly reading series examining restorative justice through poetry as a means to address racism. Brown currently teaches English at Loyola High School in Los Angeles.

  • Emily Raboteau’s nonfiction work Searching for Zion was named a best book of 2013 by the Huffington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle, and was a finalist for the Hurston Wright Legacy Award, grand prize winner of the New York Book Festival, and a winner of a 2014 American Book Award. She is the author of a novel, The Professor’s Daughter, and her fiction and essays have been published and anthologized in Best American Short Stories, the New York Times, The New Yorker, Tin House, Buzzfeed, LitHub, The Guardian, Guernica, Virginia Quarterly, The Believer, and Salon. Other honors include a Pushcart Prize, the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award, and fellowships from the NEA, the Lannan Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony. Raboteau teaches creative writing at City College in New York.

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Creating Effective Research Assignments

Set Clear Research Objectives

What do you want your students to learn and be able to do as a result of the assignment?

Example: Students should be able to discern between scholarly and non-scholarly journals.

Teach Research Strategies

A research strategy is a method for organizing a research project. It needs to take into account the kinds of information sought and the type of sources that should be consulted.

Research strategies often seem obvious to experienced researchers but are generally completely unclear to students.

Example:

  1. Define and focus your topic using an encyclopedia article or other reference book for background information.
  2. Browse the subject and develop a list of alternation subject terms.
  3. Look for books using your subject terms in the library catalog and for articles in library databases.

Teach Students How to Evaluate Their Sources

Not all information is created equal. The same information source may work perfectly well for one use, but be wholly inappropriate for another. Teaching students about evaluating information is an important critical thinking that prepares them for lifelong learning. Don't accept sloppy thinking!

Librarians has prepared two short tutorials that address this issue: Types of Information and Criteria for Evaluating Information. These are also available as a video learning object through YouTube called Identify Your Sources.

Faculty have created an Onlline Resource Form (ORE) that may you may require your students to complete. It is used in several LAS classes and it available for use in any Otis course.

Test the Assignment Yourself

Come to the library and do the assignment yourself, or ask a librarian if it's doable. Make sure your students have a reasonable expectation of successfully completing the assignment. If you don't find the materials you expected to find, please talk to a librarian and let them know.

Show the assignment to a fellow teacher in your department or review it with one of the librarians.

Ask your students for feedback on the assignment.

Do You Want Anything Besides Web Materials In A Student's Bibliography?

If not, then require that they use of books and journals!

State in your syllabus and tell students when discussing assignments that all papers must contain a certain number or percentage of books and journals. Depending on the assignment, you can also require that no free-web material be used. Although this is a common academic practice, it might be better to allow certain academic web materials. If you do this, students need clear instructions on how to evaluate materials found on the free/surface web.

If students are doing a lengthy paper, require a working annotated bibliography to be submitted several weeks before the paper is due and make sure books and journals are included. You can probably direct them to good materials they may not have found, or tell them to come ask a librarian for help.

Don't assume because your students are under the age of 30 that they are good Web researchers. While some of them may be, most are not aware of the more scholarly resources (print and online) that you may prefer them to use.

The Otis Library has an excellent selection of databases which contain millions of articles in academic journals as well as a database of more than 30,000 electronic books. Never accept the excuse that "the Library didn't have anything." If that is true, the Librarians want to know so that they can buy it!

Assist The Students

Librarians everywhere have produced many guides for students and and can create a specific guide just for your class or assignment. We call these Pathfinders.

Information Literacy Tutorials are available to assist you and the students.

Consult With The Librarians And Use Their Services.

Services Include:

  • Consultation in designing assignments, determining appropriate research strategies, and ensuring that needed materials are available.
  • Printed or electronic subject guides, bibliographies for a discipline or a specific assignment and Pathfinders.
  • Library or class instruction on specific tools and methods. These can be done in the library or in your classroom. If you schedule such a session tell your students why it is important, and be there during the session to contribute and to encourage student participation. Talk with them afterward to see what they learned, and ask them again at the end of the semester for feedback on the session.
  • Use course reserve services to ensure access to required materials for all students.

Consider Alternatives To The Typical Research Paper.

Students keep a research log, analyzing sources and techniques used, what worked and what didn't, and how their research affected their thinking about the topic.

Students prepare an annotated bibliography of information sources on their topics.

Students choose and define their own topics with faculty guidance.

Students write an abstract of a journal article.

Students, working in groups, prepare a bibliographic guide (paper or electronic!) that introduces information sources in the subject field.

Avoid These Common Problems:

The mob scene! An entire class looking for one piece of information or researching one topic. This is seldom a positive library experience for students.

The shot-in-dark assignment: Students working from incomplete/incorrect information; materials assigned that the library does not own; inappropriate methods given in instruction; impossibly vague topics assigned.

The scavenger hunt: Students given obscure factual questions and told to find the answers without any guidance. The librarian does all the work and the student doesn't really learn anything.