“Oz: The Books,” the weekend-long national conference hosted by the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at California State University, Fresno and the International Wizard of Oz Club, begins Friday, May 14 on campus.

The conference will bring Oz fans from across the world to Fresno State to attend lectures ranging from Oz character discussions to the impact of “The Wizard of Oz” on pop culture presented by Oz experts, authors and artists.

Featured speakers are:

  • Gregory Maguire, author of “Wicked”
  • Michael Patrick Hearn, author of “The Annotated Wizard of Oz”
  • John Fricke, co-author of “The Wizard of Oz: An Illustrated Companion to the Timeless Movie Classic”
  • Kathleen Krull, author of “The Road to Oz: Twists, Bumps and Triumphs in the Life of L. Frank Baum”
  • Eric Shanower, graphic novelist and author/artist of “Adventures in Oz.”

The musical, “Time Again in Oz,” performed by Fresno State Department of Theatre Arts students, will take center stage at 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, May 10-15, and at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 15.

The play is directed by J. Daniel Herring. Playwright Suzan L. Zeder, who based “Time Again” on the third Oz book, “Ozma of Oz,” also will speak during the conference.

Throughout May, the Henry Madden Library will be home to an Oz exhibit showcasing original book art, costumes from the Broadway play “Wicked” and a pair of ruby slippers. The exhibit, mounted in the Leon S. Peters Gallery on the second floor of the Table Mountain Rancheria Tower, is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 1-5 p.m. Saturday and 2-5 p.m. Sunday.

The Arne Nixon Center Advocates will sponsor the conference reception. Community sponsors include Fresno Pacific University and the Fresno County Public Library.

For more information, contact Angelica Carpenter President of the International Wizard of Oz Club and curator of the Arne Nixon Center, at angelica@csufresno.edu or 559.278.8116.

(Copy prepared by University Communications news intern Amanda Fine.)