Bradley, D.R., Oehrli, A., Rieh, S.Y., Hanley, E., & Matzke, B.S. (2020). Advancing the Reference Narrative: Assessing Student Learning in Research Consultations. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice 15.1: 4–19.
As reference services continue to evolve, libraries must make evidence based decisions about their services. This study seeks to determine the value of reference services in relation to student learning acquired during research consultations, by soliciting students’ and librarians’ perceptions of consultation success and examining the degree of alignment between them. Study findings suggest that research consultations remain a valuable element in a library’s service model and an efficient use of human resources.

Foundation 126

Matzke, B.S. (2017). “‘The Weaker (?) Sex’: Women and the Space Opera in Hugo Gernsback’s Amazing Stories.” Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction 126: 6-24.
Histories of science fiction often assume that women were absent from the genre’s early years in pulp magazines, or that their contributions took the form of more romantic or sentimental stories. This paper analyzes Hugo Gernsback’s Amazing Stories (1926-1929) and argues that while women were underrepresented, they were crucial in moving the genre towards action and adventure stories. By examining letters by women as well as fiction by Clare Winger Harris and Lee Hawkins Garby, the magazine’s first two female authors, it becomes apparent that, in a real way, women invented the space opera.

Popular Culture

Matzke, B.S. (2017). “Hardboiled Feminism: Vera Caspary’s Laura as an Interrogation of the Detective Genre.” The Journal of Popular Culture 50.1: 109–126.
Laura holds a privileged place in detective fiction and film noir, yet Vera Caspary’s novel has received little critical attention. This paper asserts that Caspary’s novel, written within a context of a hypermasculine culture, constitutes a significant feminist revision of the genre that disrupts the hardboiled/scientific binary. By self-reflexively reworking the tropes of the hardboiled detective and using a casebook format associated with scientific detectives, the author crafts a narrative free from the strictures of a male-centered genre, creating a noir novel that boldly breaks from its hardboiled contemporaries.