Fall 2004

September 59.2



English Department

English, Speech, Humanities, Classics

School of Liberal Arts


OFFICE Batmale 556

PHONE (415) 239-3406

FAX (415) 239-3995


City College of San Francisco

50 Phelan Avenue, Box L161

San Francisco, California 94112


English Department Home Page

The Lab Page

City Currents

This is a beta version of the English Department e-newsletter. 

Please send electronically formatted contributions to ckleinma@ccsf.edu

If you cannot or will not contribute electronically, then please give your materials to Mary Amsler in Batmale 560 (mailbox L 182).

Please also submit newsletter ideas, photos, poems, teaching tips, recipes, gossip, propaganda . . .



The City College of San Francisco

English Department


The English Eligibility Exam will be given four times during the week of Nov. 15:

  • Tues., Nov. 16, 2‑4, in Arts 303

  • Wed., Nov. 17, 3‑5 in Arts 303

  • Thurs., Nov. 18, 7‑9 in R304

  • Fri., Nov. 19, 9‑11 in E101 

Information sessions will be held

  • Wed., Nov. 3, from 2:30‑4:30 in R 304

  • Tues., Nov. 9, from 3‑5 in R 304

Contact Joan Wilson for more information.

In Celebration of Oscar Wilde

Thursday, 9/23, 6:30 p.m.--TONIGHT

Del Santo Reading Room, Lone Mountain Campus.

In observance of the 150th birthday of Oscar Wilde, Joseph Pearce will lecture on "The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde." Professor Christopher Greger will provide the response; the program will be introduced and moderated by Peter Robinson. This event is sponsored by Gleeson Library Associates. For more information, please call (415) 422‑2036 or email hawkj@usfca.edu. This event is open to the public.


For absences, instructors should phone Velma at 239-3232 before 8am and the Office of Instruction at 239-3312 after 8am--first to put up signs, etc. and then the English Dept., 239-3406.  For emergencies, please phone the Office of Instruction first and then John Batty-Sylvan's direct line, 239-3407, the number you should also use for confidential calls.

Student Story: José Francisco Martinez

José Francisco Martinez completed English 96 with Deanne Spears, English 1A with Mary Amsler, and English 1B with Barbara Scrafford.   Last spring Jose was accepted as a transfer student in economics for fall 2004 at the University of Chicago, Emory University, the University of Notre Dame, and Harvard College. He was also wait-listed at Yale and Stanford.  After long and careful thought, José decided to attend Harvard.  The competition was keen:  At Harvard, for example, his acceptance letter stated that 1,000 students applied for only 75 places available for transfer students.  

While at CCSF, José also served as a docent for the Diego Rivera mural, studied Japanese, and served as president of the economics-political science club. 

When he showed up in my English 96 class two years ago, I was astonished to learn that he had arrived in the U.S. from El Salvador only the week before.  When I asked him about his nearly impeccable English, he told me that his father had encouraged him to read widely in English and that he often talked to his cousins in America on the telephone, which helped erase his accent.  But the primary source of English for him was watching American sit-coms (Friends and Seinfeld) on cable television in El Salvador.

His long-term goal is to improve trade between Central America and Japan. Needless to say, we are extremely proud of José’s accomplishments, and we wish him well in his studies.

Carol Hansen attended the 14th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf 23-26 June 2004 at the Institute of English Studies, University of London, Bloomsbury. Cecil Woolf, who gave the opening address, published Carol's monograph entitled "The Life and Death of Asham: Leonard and Virginia Woolf's Haunted House" in 2000. Leading Woolf scholars including Hermione Lee, Lyndell Gordon, and Gilllian Beer, also presented illuminating papers.

Tuesday, October 19 at 6:30 pm at the Italian Cultural Institute (425 Washington Street Suite 200, (between Sansome and Battery), San Francisco

Patrick Barron will present his recently published Italian Environmental Literature: An Anthology, a collection of poetry, prose, and nonfiction essays by over 40 authors from the deep and broad tradition of Italian environmental writing from the past 150 years (New York: Italica, 2003). Barron will read selections from the anthology in both English and Italian. The presentation will also be accompanied by a slide show of photographs of various Italian landscapes, both urban and rural. As scholar Rebecca West from the University of Chicago writes in a review of the book, “nature and culture are both astoundingly complex realms within the small ‘boot’ called the Italian nation, as this most welcome anthology makes clear.”   For more, jump to <http://www.sfiic.org/events/special/_detail/353>

Louise Nayer's poem "Twentieth Century" was published in Abalone Moon (on-line). Her piece "The Panic" will be in the Sunday magazine section of the Chronicle on Nov. 7. Also, Louise  would like to set up a faculty/student prose and poetry reading. Please phone 239-3483 if you or your students are interested in reading.



San Francisco Symphony order forms are on the desk in the hall of our department office--50% off, such a deal!

College Night at the Legion of Honor will be on Friday, October 15, 6-8:45 pm.  Free admission, food, music, and other delights.

House party for the Democratic National Committee at Bill McGuire's house on Saturday, October 23, 3-6 pm.  Call him at 415.387.7971 if you plan to attend.  Contributions greatly appreciated.

Contact Bill McGuire for more information.


Carol Hansen also attended the 24th Annual Steinbeck Conference on John Steinbeck at  the National Steinbeck Center August 6-8 2004 in Salinas, California. Leading Steinbeck scholars presented, and the conference focused on Steinbeck and the environment and politics. The conference was sponsored by the San Jose State University Center for Steinbeck Studies.