HSU Press releases Vo Phien and the Sadness of Exile

The latest publication from Humboldt State University Press, Võ Phiến and the Sadness of Exile, is a rereleased book about the life and work of one of the most respected writers in the Vietnamese diaspora: Võ Phiến. In the first book-length study in English of a modern Vietnamese writer, emeritus English professor John Schafer provides a vital perspective on European colonialism and the revolution to overthrow it, the spread of communism and the attempts to suppress it, and the flight of people across the earth to escape war and political upheaval. Schafer tells Võ Phiến’s own moving life story—his brief time as a member of the liberation army, his disillusion with communism, his family’s struggle to adapt to a new life in the U.S. Included also are close readings of Võ Phiến’s stories and< essays about how war affects humble villagers.

“When water buffaloes fight, flies and mosquitoes get killed.” This proverb speaks to the dangers of living where political and military battles of the major powers take place. We hear the buffaloes’ perspective, but rarely that of someone like Võ Phiến who grew up in Bình Định, a province that was a battleground for a quarter of a century. “Võ Phiến’s achievement,” Schafer says, “was that he took country characters, ordinary people who were not heroic or physically attractive, and made readers see beauty in them.”

Võ Phiến wrote over forty books and published works by other exile writers to give voice to the voiceless. Now English-speaking readers can experience for themselves one of the great writers of the Vietnamese exile community. The book is available in print as well as free online at Digital Commons @ Humboldt State University. Proceeds from the sale of the print version will support the Library Scholars Internship program, which makes open-access publishing at Humboldt State University Press possible.

“In John Schafer’s book we meet a host of fascinating characters created by Võ Phiến, a writer with a keen appreciation for the lives of the ordinary Vietnamese who endured the trials of wars and then went into the lonely void of exile. Schafer’s book opens a door to a secret Asian world that most of us would otherwise never be able to enter.” -- Barry Hillenbrand, Correspondent TIME magazine, Saigon Bureau 1972-74

“John Schafer’s Võ Phiến and the Sadness of Exile is essential reading for students of modern Vietnamese literary history as well as a major contribution to scholarship on post-colonial literature, Asian-American studies, and the social and cultural history of the Vietnam War.” -- Peter Zinoman, Associate Professor, Southeast Asia History: Vietnam, University of California, Berkeley

“Võ Phiến and the Sadness of Exile is a lucidly written stimulating, and novel study of Võ Phiến and his literary works. It demonstrates a high, intense level of scholarship on Vietnamese literature and reflects meticulous research.” -- Quang Phu Van, Senior Lector II, Vietnamese Language Studies, Yale University

Tom Killion Art Talk + Poetry Reading
Artwork by Tom Killion

Capturing the beauty of the California coast through exquisite woodcut prints and prose, California’s Wild Edge: The Coast in Prints, Poetry, and History is a new traveling exhibition appearing at HSU’s Reese Bullen Gallery from Sept. 1 to Oct. 8. California-born artist Tom Killion is well known for his four decades of work in the medium of woodcut printmaking. Killion uses Japanese carving tools, papers, and his own adaptation of the traditional key-block process to create relief prints of landscapes. Killion currently resides in Point Reyes, CA and recently released his newest text, also entitled California’s Wild Edge: The Coast in Prints, Poetry, and History, through Heyday Books in the summer of 2015. The exhibit, based on this book, was originated by the artist and the San Francisco Public Library and is traveled by Exhibit Envoy.

The Reese Bullen Gallery is open Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 12 to 5 p.m., Thursday 12 to 7 p.m., Friday 12 to 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 to 2 p.m., with free admission to exhibits and events. To accompany the exhibit at HSU, an artist talk by Tom Killion with poetry readings by Jerry Martien and Jim Dodge will be held on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 5:30 p.m. in the HSU Authors Hall, located on the second floor of the HSU Library. A reception will follow in the Reese Bullen Gallery.

See more examples of Tom's art and read more at the Humboldt State Now article.

Banned Books Week
Stand Up for Your Right to Read - Read a Banned Book badge

Celebrate Banned Books Week, September 25 - October 1, by joining the Humboldt Center for Constitutional Rights and the Library as we host a Banned Books Read-Out in the Library Lobby on Wednesday, September 28 from 3-5pmRegister now to guarantee a participation slot!

Need ideas?  Go to the HSU Library's Banned Books Week website for more information including the list of most challenged books for 2015, videos, and infographics. See the display in the wall case by the 1st floor restrooms running through October 3. Check out a book on the truck by the display or find one on the lists and Stand Up for Your Right to Read.

Meditation Room Available in Library's Lower Level
Meditation Room

HSU students, faculty and staff are welcome to use the HSU Library Meditation Room, a small room available for quiet contemplation, meditation, reflection, or prayer.

The Meditation Room is located in Library 21 and is available to all HSU students, faculty, and staff Monday-Friday 7:30am-8:00pm. Check out the key from the Library Checkout desk. Use is limited to 30 minutes, and multiple individuals may use the space at the same time, maximum 6 people. The first person to check out the room has full use of the room during the entire time the room is checked out, but we ask users to be mindful of the needs of others.

We are happy to provide this meditation space to meet a variety of campus community needs. If you have comments or suggestions about the library, please contact the Library Dean, Cyril Oberlander.

Take a Brain Break in the Library Brain Booth
collage of various people taking a brain break

Take an intentional brain break in the University Library. There are two Library Brain Booth sessions offered weekly on a drop-in basis this semester: Wednesdays 10am-Noon in Library 114 and Thursdays 1pm-3pm in Library 208. We hope you'll join us. Visit our libguide to learn more and see this great article in the Flapjack Chronicle!

Book Reading by David Mohrmann
David Mohrmann

XOCOMIL is a story that begins and ends at Lake Atitlan. It travels from traditional Mayan villages through the war-torn mountains of Guatemala, from cornfields in Kansas through the jungles of Vietnam. It is about simple lands full of complex intrigues. David Mohrmann taught in Theater Film and Dance at HSU and is a trained practitioner in "Theatre of the Oppressed." Join us in the Library Fishbowl on Friday, September 9 from 3-4:30pm for this book reading and discussion.

Library Scholar Interns Wanted!
HSU Library Scholar Internship information

This internship offers three students an opportunity to work in the Scholarly Communications Office to build the first open-access platform for HSU faculty and students. Over the course of one semester, students will:

  • Create faculty profiles
  • Manage copyright
  • Publish scholarly works
  • Promote scholarship
  • Work in the open access platform Bepress

For more information about the internship and how to apply, please visit the HSU Library Intership page or contact the Scholarly Communications and Digital Scholarship Librarian Kyle Morgan at

Application deadline is August 29 at 9am.

Math Lab & Writing Studio in New Location!
1st floor library map

The Learning Center is excited to launch the Math Tutoring Lab and Writing Studio in their new locations on the first floor of the Library. 

The Math Tutoring Lab will open on Tuesday, August 30.

The Writing Studio will open on Tuesday, September 6.

The Science Tutoring Lab will continue to operate out of Lower Library 55 / Mad River Room and opens on Sunday, August 28.

The Learning Center welcomes your feedback as they refine the space.

Welcome Back Open House Thursday
HSU Library Presents Welcome Back Open House

Join us Thursday, August 18 from 3-4:45pm in the Library Lobby for refreshments and peruse the numerous tables full of information. See what new items can be checked out (hint - GoPro!). Learn about textbooks on reserve. Talk to the people who can help with Moodle and meet the friendly Tech Help Desk folks. Find out what the Digital Media Lab is all about. Get a copy of the new SkillShops schedule and learn how they can help students. Get hands-on with the Brain Booth and get excited with the numerous special events to be held in the building like IdeaFest and UnConference.

Plus get updated on all the physical changes to the building inside and out occurring with the Seismic Retrofit Project.

We'll see you there!

Further Conversations around Where Do We Go From Here Webinar
Further Conversations around Where do we go from here?

Join us for the rebroadcast of this webinar facilitated by Dr. Shaun Harper and Dr. Lori Patton Davis as our individual and collective voices are brought together to discuss strategies for creating change within our families, campuses, and communities. Click here for a flyer to share.

If you are unable to attend, you can watch the webinar here.

L4HSU: Special Collections Showcase
Special Collections Showcase Friday, July 29 11-12pm

Join the Library Scholar Interns as they showcase some of the materials found in the Library's Special Collections. With over 92 different collections available to choose from, each intern will offer a different assembly of items that they have found especially interesting or significant.  Learn some secrets the 3rd floor holds!

See the L4HSU calendar entry for more information and sign up now!

New and Changing Library Faculty

Please help welcome to the Library, Gabby Fuentes, Brianne Hagen, Kyle Morgan, and Kimberly Stelter and please join us as we congratulate Carly Marino and Tim Miller on their new positions!  More information...

New Seismic Retrofit Project Newsletter
HSU Library Seismic Retrofit Newsletter

Want a quick read on what's happening with the HSU Library Seismic Retrofit Project?  The November newsletter contains a student report and is now available!

You can also read the October newsletter, both produced by library staff member Bernie Fosnaugh.

Read more details about the changes that have occurred and will occur at Tranforming HSU's Library and the Library Seismic Retrofit Project. While plans are always subject to change, the most current information from campus facilities can be found here.

Database News: WestLaw Campus Research & LexisNexis Academic

The Humboldt State Library is pleased to announce the availability of WestLaw Campus Research, provided beginning in June through the CSU Chancellor's Office. WestLaw is a premier research service for news, business, and law-related information.

Beginning in July 2016, access to LexisNexis Academic will no longer be provided. This resource is no longer included in the electronic collections available through the Chancellor's Office.

Any questions regarding this change can be directed to the Collection Development Librarian, George Wrenn. Librarians are available to help with this database transition and with searching WestLaw.

Congratulations to Carly Marino!
Carly Marino

After being a temporary librarian for several years, Carly is now the official tenure-track Special Collections Librarian and will continue her great work with Library Scholar Interns, processing and curating special collections, and helping with the exciting changes coming to the third floor!  Congratulations, Carly!

Maasai Dictionary Newest Publication from Humboldt State University Press
Maasai Dictionary Cover Art

This dictionary of English-to-Maa (the language of Maasai peoples of Kenya and Tanzania) was written and compiled by Charles Richmond. It is one of the earliest Maasai dictionaries. The dictionary was developed from 1935 until 1951 while Charles lived in the back country of Kenya colony, East Africa as a subject of the King of England. His stay there began as a Captain in the King’s African Rifles, in which position he fought alongside tribal chiefs in northern Kenya and Ethiopia against the Italian dictator, Mussolini during WWII. Subsequent to his military service, he returned to England to study theology and to be ordained as a minister in the Church of England. He then returned to the Maasai and Samburu tribes of central and northern Kenya colony near Lake Rudolph, as a missionary.

Read more on Humboldt State Now, listen to an interview on KHSU with HSU President Emeritus Rollin Richmond and publication specialist Claire Reynolds, and download a free copy from Humboldt State University Press.

L4HSU is Underway!
July L4HSU Calendar of workshops

The Library Lifelong Learning Lounge is in full swing and has lots of exciting upcoming events!  Join us this summer for technology training, teaching tolerance webinars, book circles, musical performances, and campus walking tours.  There will be workshops on book repair and print screening in June and July.  Learn the history of modern Olympic games to get you ready for the Rio Summer Olympics and participate in the very popular Japanese Tea Ceremony.  All this and more is open to campus and community members.  Check out the calendar and register now to reserve your spot or print off the new schedule for July.

Summer Library Newsletter Now Available!
Check Out the Library Summer 2016 Newsletter

It was a busy spring semester in your library!  Read about and see photos from the ever-expanding IdeaFest that included student works from Theatre, Film, and Dance along with over 100 research posters. SkillShops are over for the academic year but they will be back, and with more partnerships from campus entities, they will be increasing in scope and frequency for 2016/17.  This summer, please join us for L4HSU events that include mini book circles, technology training, film screenings, campus walks, and much more. The 2016/17 HSU Book of the Year will bring an exciting author to talk about the forgotten father of environmentalism - Alexander Von Humboldt. And read about the Library Interns who delivered archive material to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

All this and more can be found in the HSU Library's Summer Newsletter. Check it out online or pick up a copy around campus.

HSU Sustainable Learning 2016 Workshops
OER Open Educational Resources

Faculty and lecturers are invited to register by May 12 for one of three workshops (May 20, May 31, or June 1) on Sustainable Learning and become eligible for a Professional Development Award of $300.  Please see the HSU Sustainable Learning website for more information including results from the Fall 2015 project.

Call for Submissions
Call for submissions

ideaFest: Interdisciplinary Journal of Creative Works and Research from Humboldt State University is an annual journal that showcases the work of faculty, staff, and students at Humboldt State University. The journal is edited by a rotating review board and is meant to showcase the diversity of scholarly and creative output at Humboldt State University. The journal accepts work in multiple genres and from across all disciplines and enables Humboldt State University researchers to connect with audiences worldwide and efficiently communicate findings with a sense of timeliness. The journal is an outgrowth of Humboldt State University’s IdeaFest, a day-long event which celebrates the collaborative research and creative projects of faculty and students from across campus.