Science Fiction Collection Dedicated to Professor John Fekete

Posted on November 21, 2013

Bata Library Dedicates Science Fiction Collection to Professor Emeritus John Fekete

 Long-time Cultural Studies professor honoured for his role in developing the collection

 At a special ceremony held on November 19, 2013, the Library and Archives honoured Trent professor emeritus Dr. John Fekete by dedicating its science fiction collection in his name. A permanent plaque was unveiled at the dedication in the collection’s location on the second floor of the Bata Library, noting Professor Fekete’s involvement in the development of the collection.

 Prof. Fekete was instrumental in personally selecting and recommending titles to the library for the collection, which contains approximately 3,000 volumes of science fiction novels by a variety of writers from Isaac Asimov to Roger Zelazny, from 1940s to the present day, including Philip K. Dick, Orson Scott Card, Ursuala LeGuin, Joanna Russ, William Gibson, and Kathleen Goonan.

Asked to say a few words at the event, Prof. Fekete recalled the creation of the collection as a “labour of love,” and recounted stories of hunting through second-hand bookstores in order to fill out the list.  He noted that the collection has become a rare-book collection with paperback and out-of-print novels, with interesting cover art.

Speaking of the dedication, Robert Clarke, University Librarian, commented that when he heard Prof. Fekete was retiring last June, he worked with the chair of the Cultural Studies program, Dr. Victoria deZwaan, to find a way to honour Prof. Fekete’s long-time service at Trent. Naming the collection he helped develop in his name was a fitting tribute.

Prof. Fekete was a professor in Trent’s Cultural Studies and English Departments from 1976 to 2012. During his early years at Trent, Prof. Fekete introduced a science fiction course which became a very popular course for the English, and now Cultural Studies, program. Prof. Fekete commented one of the nicest things about teaching the science fiction course was that it attracted students from all disciplines.

At the ceremony, Prof. Fekete read a letter from a former Trent student who wrote that one of his favourite memories of Trent was spending time in the science fiction reading room in Bata Library where the collection was once housed. This alumnus commented that even though he was a Chemistry major, he developed a great love of reading science fiction while in Prof. Fekete’s course that continues today.

The plaque unveiling ceremony was attended by faculty from the Cultural Studies program, Trent students, a former graduate student, as well as librarians and Bata Library staff.