Jury Highlight: Samantha Dunn

You may recognize Samantha Dunn’s name from 1888’s bookshelves, from her work as editor of Coast Magazine, or as a faculty member of both the UCLA Extension Writers Program and the Idyllwild Arts Academy. Her debut novel, Failing Paris, was a finalist for the PEN Center Fiction Award and her memoir, Not By Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life, rose to bestseller lists in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Her second memoir, Faith in Carlos Gomez, has been in production at Lifetime Television.

Dunn’s work is widely anthologized, including her short story collection, Women on the Edge: Writing from Los Angeles. Her essays have appeared in numerous national publications such as O (Oprah) Magazine, Ms., and Salon. If you want to hear more that you can’t find in her books, you can listen to forty-five minutes full of conversation, advice, and wisdom on the 179th episode of the 1888 podcast, which you can find on any podcast platform or straight from our website.

As a renown figure in Orange County arts and because of her work with Coast Magazine and literature, we’ve brought Dunn onto our Laureate committee to thank her for influencing this community of orators, impacting the canon of narrative. Ultimately, writers and creators like Dunn are what weave our county into a community, bringing people together both through and because of shared stories.

The window is open until October 31st. For updates on the program or where to nominate your neighbor, visit: 1888.center/laureate.

 


 

Through storytelling, we synergize the creative efforts of individuals to provide essential tools for cultural and civic enrichment—empathy, opportunity, and a collaborative network.

Jury Highlight: Stephen J. Mexal

Stephen J. Mexal is a professor of English and the Chair of the English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics Departments at California State University, Fullerton. In addition to writing numerous academic articles on nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, he is the author of Reading for Liberalism, which examines literary representations of political liberalism in nineteenth-century California. His interest in the connections between narrative and civics has led him to write about subjects as wide-ranging as Mexican travel narratives from the 1830s to hip-hop in the 1980s.

Mexal’s research focuses on the multiple ways in which imaginative narratives participate in American political life. When Mexal isn’t researching, writing, or teaching, he spends his time with his wife and two children, exploring the great outdoors, frequenting theme parks, perusing classic cars, and engaging with the community. Mexal told us that “it’s exciting when any writers or artists think about what it means to work creatively in Orange County–that is, Orange County as a creative center in itself, not just something in the shadow of Los Angeles.”

1888 Center is proud of the strong relationships we’ve made with academic institutions in our community, which would not be complete without California State University, Fullerton. As a thank you to the university and the faculty and students who have helped 1888 succeed and make it through our first year, we’ve added Mexal to our Laureate committee, and we are confident that his relationship with the community will help us choose a nominee who is passionate about Orange County and the people who make it thrive. Mexal says of 1888 Center’s work in the community: “Creative work is frequently lonely, and spaces like the 1888 Center, or programs like the laureate program, can do the valuable work of helping writers and artists remember that they’re a part of a community of creators.”

The window is open until October 31st. For updates on the program or where to nominate your neighbor, visit: 1888.center/laureate.

 


 

Through storytelling, we synergize the creative efforts of individuals to provide essential tools for cultural and civic enrichment—empathy, opportunity, and a collaborative network.

Jury Highlight: Julia Reinhard Lupton

Julia Reinhard Lupton directs Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Art and Culture Initiative at the University of California, Irvine. As associate dean for research, she organizes public programming for UCI’s School of Humanities. She is also the co-director of the UCI Shakespeare Center, the author or co-author of five books on Shakespeare, and a former Guggenheim Fellow.

Currently, Lupton is writing a book on Shakespeare and virtue arguing for literature as a tool for empowerment and organizing an author series for the UCI campus. On her work with UCI, Lupton says, “I love bringing great writers to the region. Orange County is a great place to write, listen, and learn, whether you are hanging out at the 1888 Center, spending time in the Santa Ana arts district, seeing what’s new at South Coast Rep, or coming to UCI for concerts, readings, and performances.” Lupton believes the Orange County Laureate program will bring new attention to the wealth of creative work coming out of our vibrant and diverse cities and neighborhoods.

Both Lupton and UCI have collaborated with 1888 Center. We’ve brought Lupton onto our committee as a thank you to her and her colleagues at the university who have helped the center make it through this year and ultimately flourish.

The window is open until October 31st. For updates on the program or where to nominate your neighbor, visit: 1888.center/laureate.

 


 

Through storytelling, we synergize the creative efforts of individuals to provide essential tools for cultural and civic enrichment—empathy, opportunity, and a collaborative network.

Jury Highlight: Patrick Fuery

Patrick Fuery is a graduate of Murdoch University, Australia, with a BA, Master of Philosophy, and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and has held positions at the University of London, Sussex University, and the University of Newcastle, Australia. He is also the current Dean of Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Chapman University. The author of eight books, his most recent book is titled Madness and Cinema. Dr. Fuery is interested in psychoanalysis, semiotics, literary and cultural theory, gender studies, film, and visual studies, medicine, and the arts. He is currently in the process of completing two books: a study on cultural disturbance and the sublime; and an edited collection on medicine, culture, and the arts.

Most recently, Dr. Fuery has led and directed the newest addition to Wilkinson College, a minor on the study of creative and cultural industries. The minor will examine how the creative sector form culture, emphasizing the economic impacts of these industries, such as publishing, media, fashion, music, and film. On the structure of this innovative program, Fuery states, “We want to create a Californian-specific model of this minor to study (and expand on) the creative culture here… the creative industry in California is a massive part of the state economy, as Los Angeles represents a really interesting case study on how the industry within this state has a global reach.”

Chapman University is a founding partner of 1888 Center and has continued in assisting and endorsing the center’s endeavors. As Dean of Wilkinson College, Dr. Fuery has shown his support for both the center and the Orange community in his collaboration with 1888 events and university initiatives. We’ve appointed him to this committee as a thank you for his work with the center and the community.

The window is open until October 31st. For updates on the program or where to nominate your neighbor, visit: 1888.center/laureate.

 


 

Through storytelling, we synergize the creative efforts of individuals to provide essential tools for cultural and civic enrichment—empathy, opportunity, and a collaborative network.