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BOOK PROJECT: Theme chosen for 2013-14; nominations welcome

By Dave Jones on May 23, 2012 in University News


From The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down in 2002-03 to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian in 2011-12, all of our completed book projects.

Also read a story that may remind of the 2005-06 selection, The Kite Runner.

The theme is set — gender issues-gender equity — and nominations are now being accepted for the 2013-14 Campus Community Book Project.

The Campus Council on Community and Diversity decides the theme each year. The 2012-13 theme of civility and civil rights led to this selection: The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson.

Now the process begins for the book after that one.

“Given that there’s a lot of buzz in the political arena that deals with gender (from health care to the economy, access to equal pay), there are no doubt many fiction-nonfiction works that will address the many issues dealing with the topic,” said Mikael Villalobos, book project coordinator.

“Also, revisiting the definition of gender may also work, since there’s a lot of exploration lately about how gender is defined and the need to explore beyond the traditional binary categories.”

He noted that the topic is inclusive of all genders, and equity is one of the themes that may be explored by any given title.

General criteria:

  • Compelling and thought-provoking to engage us in dialogue about contemporary controversial issues and to raise questions that have many possible answers.
  • Well-written, accessible and engaging to a general audience.
  • Short enough to be read within the timeframe usually allotted for coursework.
  • Provocative and intriguing to as many members of the community as possible, to invite diverse participation and integration into discussion groups and courses across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
  • In print in paperback (by spring of the year before the project) and affordable.
  • Written by an author who is still living and an engaging public speaker, available to give an author’s talk during the span of the project, and who would be a campus guest.

Nominations are welcome from anyone in the campus community, with a deadline of July 13.

Villalobos is putting together a selection committee to read the nominated books through summer and into the fall; people interested in being part of the committee should contact Villalobos at (530) 752-2071 or

He also would like to hear from people interested in serving on the 2012-13 Book Project Planning Committee, for The Warmth of Other Suns. This committee will convene in late May.

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Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,