Connecting the Classroom and the World
Faculty book discussions hosted by the Multicultural Center seek to bridge students’ experiences in the classroom and their daily lives. By focusing on the work of Georgia State University faculty and staff, book discussions tap into a rich and varied resource. Faculty from the History department, the Institute for Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and the administration were featured during the fall semester focusing on topics as diverse as urban gentrification, global policies related to terrorism and racial identity.
The first book discussion this academic year was part of Atlanta’s inaugural celebration of National Welcoming Week and featured Dr. Kathryn Wilson’s book, Ethnic Renewal: Space, Place, and Struggle in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. In a letter of thanks, Mayor Kasim Reed described the book discussion as “a wonderful way to learn about the immigrant experience and how cites can best welcome their most recent arrivals.”
Dr. Darryl Holloman’s book, Boyhood to Manhood: Deconstructing Black Masculinity through a Life Span Continuum, was another of the featured books this semester. As occurs in many book discussions, Dr. Holloman’s discussion not only focused on the book itself and its inspiration but on wider critical social trends (in this instance, sexuality and masculinity of black men).
I strongly believe that the book discussion events held through the Multicultural Center [are] critically important to advancing knowledge both on and off campus.
– Dr. Holloman
Students who have attended agree! When asked what they expect from the book discussions, students have noted that book discussions provide them with “more knowledge,” “help to grow,” an opportunity to expand their knowledge and increased confidence as a minority student.
In an attempt to foster connections between prior knowledge, new information and personal experiences, book discussions include time for formal presentation on the publication and related topic, Q&A with featured presenter and informal discussion time for everyone present.