Faculty, staff and students invited to nominate books for next year’s freshman class
University of Mississippi faculty, staff and students are invited to take part in the selection process for next year’s Common Reading Experience by nominating a suggested title.
This will be the fourth year for the project, which provides all incoming freshmen with the selected book with the requirement that it be read before the fall semester begins. The text is then used during first-year classes for discussion and enriches the sense of community among classmates. The larger university family, including faculty and staff, are also encouraged to read the book.
“The purpose of the CRE is to center social and academic activities around one text, allowing students, faculty and staff to build community through the spirit of academic inquiry,” said Robert Cummings, director of the UM Center for Writing and Rhetoric and Common Reading Experience co-chair. “Each group has a different perspective to bring to the selection process, and the selection committee has to balance these views. In order to do so effectively, it’s vital that each group participate in the nomination and selection process.”
The selection committee will meet between now and January to discuss all suggestions and finalize a decision. Nominations can be made via the online form, located at http://umreads.olemiss.edu/suggest-a-book/, by Nov. 1.
Variety is important, so recommendations from as many people as possible are encouraged. A few key qualities of desirable books are that they are less than 400 pages, available in paperback, written by a living author, published within the last five years and accessible to both students and community readers.
Previous selections are “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” by Rebecca Skloot (2011), “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter,” by UM associate professor Tom Franklin (2012) and “The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier’s Education” by Craig Mullaney (2013).
“We are a community of readers, and the Common Reading Experience provides opportunities for students, faculty and staff to engage in discussions about one book.” said Leslie Banahan, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and committee co-chair. “The experience strengthens the overall academic atmosphere of the university, connects students to peers and instructors, and provides a variety of programs and events that are linked to the selected book. It’s one of many efforts to enrich the Freshman Year Experience.”
—Katie Davenport, Ole Miss News Desk