Modern steampunk characters can dress in a blend of futuristic and Victorian era costume.  Picture a female air pirate in leather corset and long silk skirt storming the skies in a dirigible airship.

While you might not see yourself in steampunk, the genre excites readers with its alternative exploration of science, literature, art, engineering and romance.

“There is a book within you to write or out there with you in it,” Blasingame said. “Imagine if you were asked to read literature in school but there was never anyone like you in it, nothing that reflects you? If kids find someone like them in a book, they will read.” 

The Night of the Open Door mini-con, Blasingame says, is a pilot for something larger.

“Cosplay is trending and ASU is a great testing ground for new forms of literature and expression.”  

This event is also another way to share with the public that English language and literature are vital, something more than diagramming sentences. English is flexible, Blasingame says, capable of doing new things, from the language of air traffic control to wherever your imagination takes you.

“It’s kind of like the Borg" — recurring antagonists in the Star Trek series — "it absorbs all around it and grows.”

Likewise, Night of the Open Door combines humanities, technology, math, engineering and art – much like steampunk does, and offers fertile ground for creativity, discovery and family fun. Over the last few years, Blasingame has hosted sessions from Cowboy Poetry to a Zombie Romp with notable YA authors.

On Feb. 27, ASU visitors can meet Blasingame, Lazear and other authors and students, be part of a 12-Bar Blues Lyrics Workshop or stop by the Noble Library to create a book or creative refrigerator poetry at #CreativeWrite. Celebrate Dr. Suess’ birthday or tackle giant crossword puzzles with Regents’ Professor and Poet Laureate of Arizona Alberto Rios, learn Haiku, create stories and rockets and more than 300 other activities, performances, demos and events. Come ignite your creative side

Margaret Coulombe

Director, Executive Communications, Office of the University Provost