Today’s Fall for the Book Highlights

Posted: September 23, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Fall for the Book on the Fairfax Campus concludes today with the awarding of the 2004 Fairfax Prize to author Joyce Carol Oates. Some of today’s highlights include:

10:30 a.m., Johnson Center, Room 116—María Herrera-Sobek, professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of Northward Bound: The Mexican Immigrant Experience in Ballad and Song, presents a portion of her current research on the Mexican Corrido (traditional ballads) and narco-corridos, Mexican/Chicano contemporary balladry that documents the lives and exploits of drug smugglers on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Noon, Center for the Arts, Grand Tier III—Charlene E. McGee Smith discusses her book, Tuskegee Airman, which remembers her father, Col. Charles E. McGee, and offers a glimpse at the history of the Tuskegee airmen in general, who overcame racism and proved themselves heroes in an America on the brink of rapid social change.

1:30 p.m., Concert Hall, Center for the Arts—Fifty years after the landmark court case, Brown v. Board of Education, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Roger Wilkins, professor of history and American culture at George Mason, and a panel of distinguished writers and scholars discuss the legacy of the Supreme Court decision. How far have we come? And where are we going next? Part of the Finley Lecture Series.

3 p.m., Concert Hall, Center for the Arts—Scholar and philosopher Cornel West speaks on “the arrested development of democracy” as he discusses his new book, Democracy Matters, a follow-up to his provocative 1993 bestseller, Race Matters.

4:30 p.m., Center for the Arts, Grand Tier III—Eric Goodman, author of Child of My Right Hand, and Michael Parker, author of Virginia Lovers, read from novels set in small-town America and dealing in part with the challenges of and community reaction to teen homosexuality.

4:30 p.m., Johnson Center, Room 116—Dawn Lundy Martin, coeditor of The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism, discusses a movement which expands on earlier feminist ideas with an emphasis on “young women’s empowerment” and an eye toward “global humanism”—discussing such topics as the media, culture, politics, technology, and globalization.

6 p.m., Center for the Arts, Grand Tier III—Poet D.A. Powell reads from his recent collection, Cocktails, which completes a trilogy of books about growing up gay in the age of HIV and about living with the virus himself.

8 p.m., Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall—Odi Gonzales, a Peruvian poet who writes both in Spanish and in Quechua, the language of the Incas, headlines an open mike reading in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Cosponsored by George Mason’s Office of Diversity Programs and Services.

8:15 p.m., Concert Hall, Center for the Arts—Joyce Carol Oates, prolific novelist, short fiction writer, poet, playwright, and essayist, reads from her recent work, including the just-published novel, The Falls, and receives the 2004 Fairfax Prize for lifetime achievement in the literary arts.

For a full schedule of today’s activities, see the Fall for the Book web site. Other Fall for the Book sponsors are the Washington Post, WJLA-TV ABC 7, Fairfax County Public Library, City of Fairfax, Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative, and Dominion.

Write to at