Thursday, June 2, 2011

2011: The Summer of Alida Allison

You can tell what the first half of my summer plans are when I tell you I am emailing from DaLi in Yunnan Province, China.

I'm on a grant-funded educational tour of Chinese cities and universities along with ten other profs from SDSU. In addition to Shanghai and Fudan University, we are going to Beijing and also to Xiamen in Fujian Province, to the university with which SDSU has its Confucius Institute partnertship. Before meeting up with the rest of the group, I am visiting my family in Yunnan (son & fiancee). They speak Chinese, so you can imagine I am hugely enjoying not only their company but their China expertise.

In addition to the planned tour activities, I've arranged to meet with two of China's top children's publishers, one in Shanghai and one in Beijing. This is exciting! Luckily, two of the Chinese profs from our SDSU group are coming with me to these meetings, and as I enjoy the company of Lei Guang (Poli Sci Prof and Director of our Center for Asia Pacific Studies) and ZS Zhang (Chinese Program), this is perfect.

I'll also be giving talks on children's lit at Yunnan University and for a joint audience in Beijing of students from Beijing Normal University and Capitol Normal University.

After returning to San Diego, I'll be teaching during the second session of summer school, so contact me then if you're in town.

I am here announcing a dim sum in mid-July honoring Jerry Griswold. Hope the gang of our children's lit grads and current students can come, and that this will be the first of the continuation of our dim sum tradition.

What am I reading over summer? At present, A Modern History of China and also Six Contemporary Chinese Women Writers. During summer school, in addition to a lot of student essays, along with the class I'll be reading M.T. Anderson's Feed, Karen Hesse's Out of the Dust, Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and To Kill a Mockingbrd (plus the MLA Handbook...).

And remember-- if you read a good kids' or YA book over the summer, you are invited to send us a review to post at

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