February 22, 2024

Common Read 2020 – Civility and Political Action – seeking nominations

Dear UMW Community:

The UMW Common Read is one of the first experiences for incoming first-year students to interact with members of the greater UMW Community. The Common Read is both an academic and social experience where incoming students have the opportunity to engage critically with each other, returning students, faculty, staff, and community members. The Common Read Committee has selected Civility and Political Action as the theme for the 2020 Common Read.

As President Paino mentioned a few weeks ago, “2020 will be a particularly significant year” both for our campus and nationally. We are soliciting suggestions from the UMW community that will embody the Farmer Legacy 2020 and our commitment to our Community Values (ASPIRE). Please review the tips below and nominate your selection(s) by Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

Here are a few tips as you consider your nomination(s):

  • Non-partisan
  • Multi-disciplinary perspectives
  • Appropriate level for first-year students
  • Relevant to today
  • Likely to generate rich discussions
  • Not limited to texts – common experiences, music, videos, podcasts, or hybrid experiences can be nominated as well
  • 2020 milestones:

o   the 100th anniversary of Dr. James Farmer’s birth

o   the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment ratification (women’s suffrage)

o   the 30th anniversary of the James Farmer Multicultural Center

o   the 30th year of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

o   the 10th anniversary of UMW’s Women’s and Gender Studies program

o   National election in November

  • Past UMW Common Read works:

o   The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

o   Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County by Kristen Green

o   Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

o   Dear Evan Hansen (musical) by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Steven Levenson

o   Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

For questions about UMW Common Read, please contact April Wynn, Faculty Director of the First Year Experience at awynn@umw.edu.