Summertime Book to Art Club

Book covers around the world: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret ...


As the last bit of our FUTURE TENSE:  IMAGINED WORLDS FROM THE MARGINS programming,  this summer, we will be focusing on Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, an important novel that has spawned many adaptations, art in other mediums, and important discussions about feminism, bodily autonomy,  and dystopian America.  While not exactly a beach or hammock read, Atwood’s work offers fertile ground for creative interpretation and we hope you join us for reading, artmaking, and virtual discussion.

How to Participate:

1. Read the book.  There are many inexpensive physical copies available via online retailers (used & new).  It is also available for download as a free e-book. You can also heck out some of the great cinematic adaptations available, including the most recent, Hulu network’s The Handmaid’s Tale. 

2.  In July, we’ll be creating alternative book covers and movie posters for The Handmaid’s Tale, which will be featured in a virtual exhibit in the Fall.   Translate your vision of the story into whatever medium strikes your fancy–collage, paint, photography, printmaking, illustration, & more…

3.  Join us all along in our Book to Art Discussion Board, where we will be hosting virtual discussions of the book’s themes, the adaptations, and its place in the feminist canon, as well as in dystopian literature, and more.  Also, keep an eye on our social media, where we will be collecting resources and other points of interest related to the book and its adaptations.

All Book to Art Club activities are open to the Columbia College Chicago community and the greater public.

Manifest Rises! Library Artist in Residence, Julia Arredondo & more…


Untitled (Soul Jazz)

Join the Library for a celebration of our 2019-2020 Library Artist in Residence, Julia Arredondo, part of Manifest Rises, a student powered festival of the arts.

View our virtual exhibit, here., which features a selection of work and an interview with the artist.




Screenshot 2020-05-07 at 11.29.09 PM

Also part of Manifest, you can get a peek at our Aesthetics of Research workshop-generated exhibit, Art and Propaganda, an evolving collection of work and resources from the Columbia College Chicago Community exploring the intersections of creative and propagandic modes of expression, as well as details on how to submit your own work to the project.

Future Tense Recommended Reads: Science Fiction and Disability


From Janelle Monae’s “Dirty Computer” (2018)

Below you find a great list of links to articles and resources exploring the intersections of science fiction with disability studies and culture. Enjoy!

Disability and Neurodivergence in Science Fiction and Fantasy

5 Examples of Disability Accurately Represented in Science Fiction Films

Space Crip

People With Disabilities Are About to Destroy Science Fiction

A Conversation about Disability in Science Fiction and Fantasy

The Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Manifesto

Disability, Race, and Gender in Speculative Fiction

Space the Nation–The Future is Female and Black and Disabled

Sages, Villains, and Seers:  Mapping Disability in Science Fiction and Fantasy




Culture From Your Couch | Weird Wednesday Edition


La Isla de las Muñecas

This week brings you more links to great virtual tours, articles, and more to scratch the itch for art & culture without leaving your house. On tap this week?  All things wonderful, weird, and creepy…

Pitt Rivers Museum Odditorum

Take a virtual tour through the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, England. This museum within a museum is filled to the brim with curiosities. A free tour, from the privacy of your own home, is just a click away.

Atlas Obscura’s  Wonder from Home Series

These online experiences range across topics Atlas Obscura’s followers know and love, including “Supernatural Cats of Japan” and “Backstage With a Magician.”

Museums Battle for Creepiest Objects on Twitter

A weekly Twitter battle for museums highlighting their most disturbing collections

New Orleans Cemetery Tour

NOLA has some of the loveliest and spookiest cemeteries in the country.  Take a virtual tour of several of them from the comfort (and safety!) of home.

Winchester Mystery House

Full of ghosts and architectural puzzling novelty. one of California’s most unique attractions is offering a free virtual tour of the house built by the widow of the Winchester Rifle fortune.

Salem Witch Trial Tours

Get a taste of Salem and surrounding areas important in the infamous witch trials in the early days of the US.

The Paris Catacombs

A creepy look at the underbelly of a marvelous city.

Mexico’s Island of the Dolls  (La Isla de las Muñecas)

An exploration of this disturbing attraction just south of Mexico City, as well as its history and legend.







Future Tense Recommended Reads: Queer Speculative Fiction


In honor of Future Tense  Imagined Worlds from the Margins, we are bringing you some excellent resources on LGBTQ generated writing in the sci-fi genre.  Enjoy!


Queer Universes: Sexualities in Science Fiction (Liverpool Science ...

Library Resources

Queer Universes:  Sexualities in Science Fiction

Science Fiction As a Young Person’s First Queer Theory | Science Fiction Studies

Marginalized Bodies of Imagined Futurescapes:  Ableism and Heteronormativity |Culture Unbound

Rereading Queerly: Science Fiction, Feminism, and the Defamiliarization of Gender | Science Fiction Studies

Alien Cryptographies:  The View from Queer |Science Fiction Studies

Identifying the Alien:  Science Fiction Meets It’s Other | Science Fiction Studies


Web Resources

15 of the Best LGBTQ Science Fiction Books

8 Queer Sci-Fi Books to Read Right Now

Queer Sci-Fi Speculative Fiction Publishers

Science Fiction Needs to Reflect that the Future is Queer

9 Influential LGBTQ Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors

Changing Images of Trans People in Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature



Our Spring 2020 focus topic, Future Tense:  Imagined Worlds from the Margins is devoted to exploring various views of the future, wonderful or horrific, utopian or dystopian, through the lens of traditionally marginalized communities–POC, women, LGBTQ, disability, etc.



Future Tense: Imagined Worlds from the Margins Online!

MOD Strike a Pose

Jamie Primack

With the Library’s physical space temporarily closed, we have put our Spring focus exhibit online and available for perusal. You can also check out a link to related resources in the main menu.

Future Tense:  Imagined Worlds from the Margins is devoted to exploring various views of the future, wonderful or horrific, utopian or dystopian, through the lens of traditionally marginalized communities–POC, women, LGBTQ, disability, etc.  

Part of our spring 2020 focus series, the exhibit explores our visions of the future, both positive and negative,  in reaction to the imperfect present, as well as what they say about our best hopes and our worst fears.

The exhibit features work by both Columbia and Chicago community artists, including Sara Peak Convery, Audra Jacot, Sara Ditchman, Laura Hawbaker, Maria Speck, Sam Hensely, Kimberly Nguyen, Jamie Primack, Kristy Bowen, Kirsten Beard, and Raj Patel.  

Visit the online exhibit here:


How to Tuesday | Art and Propaganda


Shepard Fairey

Join us online on April 28th, for our very first online self-directed How To Tuesday experiment!  In honor of this semester’s FUTURE TENSE:  IMAGINED WORLD’S FROM THE MARGINS, we will be turning our attention to the friction and fission between art and propaganda. The workshop will be rife with history and examples of artists inspired by/ using propagandic modes in their artmaking, as well as propaganda makers who incorporate art-making techniques and inspirations into their messaging.   Plus, techniques and tutorials in how you can incorporate some of their techniques into your own work, as well as ways to think about your art in terms of activism and social change.

Keep an eye on the Library’s social media on the 28th,  or you can sign up in advance here:

The code to join is “olf4yyn”