August Coppola Conference Room


In Memoriam: Comparative World Literature and Classics Conference Room (MHB 518) named after Dr. August Coppola

The Comparative World Literature Program would like to honor the memory of August Coppola (1934-2009), one of the founding members of the Comparative Literature Department in 1967.

Dr. Coppola’s laurels at CSULB are extensive

  • He founded and was the first Director of the University Honors Program, which thrives today, and he won the first Distinguished Teaching Award given at CSULB.
  • In the spirit of California’s Master Plan for Education, Dr. Coppola founded Weekend College at CSULB, which made advanced education available to people who worked full time.
  • He also founded the literary journal Genre, which has been published by the Department since 1967.
  • He was a co-founder of the Annual Comparative Literature Conference at CSULB, which is still organized to this day.
  • Dr. Coppola’s influence on campus was such that Governor Jerry Brown nominated him to the Board of Trustees for the CSU.

His scholarly and intellectual interests were broad.

  • From his early work on philosophical and psychological issues in Hemingway and Sartre, he came to explore the relation of these issues to human perception.
  • He created an experimental interactive exhibit, a “touch museum”, at CSULB which he designed to be experienced through touch alone.
  • Dr. Coppola also published a novel, The Intimacy, about a man who privileges touch over other senses.
  • After Dr. Coppola moved to the Bay Area, he developed this interest in tangibility by working to create the Tactile Dome at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.
  • Dr. Coppola also published an audio-book, The Sound of World Poetry, in which he read selections from world literature. He completed a second, yet unpublished, novel on John Wilkes Booth, and was at work on a third novel.

The August Coppola Conference Room has been in use since 2009.

  • It is impossible to recount all of the learning opportunities which Dr. Coppola created during his tenure at CSULB. The Department plans to honor Dr. Coppola by devoting the next issue of Genre to his scholarly interests.