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BOOKS, ETC.: 'Half the Sky,' creative readings, author events

By Dave Jones on September 27, 2013 in University News

The Campus Community Book Project is under way — as faculty, staff, students and the wider community are encouraged to join together in reading and discussing a common volume, which, for 2013-14, deals with the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.

Also, “Opening Night” is Oct. 2 for creative writing teachers, who will read from their work; and three faculty authors have book presentations set for next week: Sasha Abramsky, Amber Boydstun and Paul Knoepfler.

UC Davis Stores is selling the paperback at the discounted price of $11.95 (list price $15.95).

This year’s campus book is Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, who have three Pultzer Prizes between them for their work at The New York Times.

The Campus Community Book Project began in 2002, in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as a way to inspire people to look at the world in different ways, to acknowledge and consider different perspectives, and to engage in respectful discussion.

Half the Sky is a book and a movement, self-described as “cutting across platforms to ignite the change needed to put an end to the oppression of women and girls worldwide, the defining issue of our time.”

The book project includes dozens of programs, including lectures, films, exhibitions and discussions, on the Davis and Sacramento campuses, and off campus (at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, for example). All events are open to the public, and all are free except Kristof's talk at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts (Jan. 13) and the Crocker events. See the complete list of events.

The first two presentations, organized by the Sacramento campus’s Interprofessional Book Club, are scheduled for next week.

Half the Sky: Unconscious Bias and Stereotype Threat Related to Gender — Andreea Seritan, associate professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, School of Medicine; and Kupiri Ackerman-Barger, assistant professor, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. Noon-1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 1222 Education Building, 4610 X St., Sacramento.

Future of Nursing: The Global Perspective Heather Young, associate vice chancellor, UC Davis Health System, and dean, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. Noon-1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, 1204 Education Building, 4610 X St., Sacramento.

For discussion purposes, the book club has split the book into three sections, for meetings on Oct. 11, Nov. 22 and Jan. 17, all Fridays, from noon to 1 p.m. in 3225 Education Building.

Lunch is provided at the noon programs and discussions; no RSVPs required.


The Unitarian University Church in Davis has launched a Half the Sky book and film discussion group; the remaining sessions are scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. on Mondays, Sept. 30, and Oct. 7 and 21, in the library at the church, 27074 Patwin Road.

Susan Steinbach and Leslie Anastassatos are guiding the group through readings and film, with the possibility of a call to action. The last session will feature guest speakers actively working on girls’ and women’s rights around the world.

Register for the group by email.


Half the Sky is among three documentary films to be presented as part of a fall seminar series, Women in Leadership, organized by Nicole Chaffee and Jeni Lee, doctoral students in biotechnology.

The film presentations — Girl Rising, Half the Sky (in two parts) and Makers: Women Who Make America (in three parts) — are scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Oct. 9-Nov. 13, in the auditorium of the Genome and Biomedical Sciences Facility. RSVP for the films.

The Women in Leadership series will conclude Wednesday, Dec. 2, with a panel discussion, 3:30-5 p.m., Conference Center Ballroom. The organizers said Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and Maureen Stanton, vice provost of Academic Affairs, will be among the participants.

The Campus Community Book Project itself will present the Half the Sky documentary in its entirety (3 hours, 28 minutes), between 11 a.m and 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in the Hamilton Room at the Heitman Staff Learning Center.

‘Opening Night’

In what has become a tradition at the start of the academic year, creative writing teachers read from their work, in a program that is free and open to the public.

Starting time is 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, on the Wyatt Deck in the arboretum. Sponsored by the Department of English and the arboretum.

Participants: Joshua Clover, Lucy Corin, Pam Houston, Yiyun Li, Joe Wenderoth and Alan Williamson.

Author events

• Amber Boydstun, assistant professor, Department of Political Science — Making the News: Politics, the Media and Agenda Setting. Noon-1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, Fielder Room, Memorial Union.

• Sasha Abramsky, lecturer, University Writing Program — The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives. 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, Griffin Lounge, Memorial Union. €

• Paul Knoepfler, associate professor, Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, and Genome Center; and associate investigator, Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, Shriners Hospital, Sacramento — Stem Cells: An Insider’s Guide. Noon-1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, bookstore lounge, Memorial Union.

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Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,