‘Hate in the Homeland’ Is Next Book Project Title

Previous selections for the Campus Community Book Project with 'Hate in the Homeland'
Cynthia Miller-Idriss’ ‘Hate in the Homeland’ is the 2023-24 selection for the Campus Community Book Project. (Megan Macklin/UC Davis)

The Campus Community Book Project’s longstanding tradition of encouraging deep conversations around a common topic continues this fall with the committee’s 2023-24 selection, Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far Right by Cynthia Miller-Idriss.

The book examines questions of where and when young people encounter extreme messages, according to publisher Princeton University Press.

Hate in the Homeland shows how tomorrow’s far-right nationalists are being recruited in surprising places, from college campuses and mixed martial arts gyms to clothing stores, online gaming chat rooms and YouTube cooking channels,” the publisher says.

The upcoming academic year will feature discussions, lectures, screenings and other activities designed to promote discussion and explore and highlight campus and community research, scholarship, advocacy and activism that advance antidotes to hate. All are encouraged to participate: students, faculty, staff and community members. The book project’s programming culminates with a visit by Hate in the Homeland author Miller-Idriss at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, Feb. 5. Tickets to that talk will be available later this month.

Any member of the campus community can participate in the programming process by completing an online sign-up form. The program planning committee will meet by Zoom every few weeks this month through September.

A long history of respectful discussion

The book project began in 2002, in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as a way to unite UC Davis’ broad community in discussion over common themes, and as a way to remind us of the university’s Principles of Community — that is, we encourage the freedom of expression, even when we do not all agree. A full list of past selections is available online.

Laci M. Gerhart, an assistant professor of teaching in the Department of Evolution and Ecology and a member of the selection committee for the Campus Community Book Project, said the committee had an especially difficult task this year.

“On this year's topic, the committee faced a bit of a conundrum in terms of discussing a topic like white supremacy and ethnonationalism in a way that wouldn't promote or glorify such perspectives,” she said. “For instance, we debated if choosing a memoir of a white supremacist individual or organization would, in effect, give these ideas a broader voice.

“I personally was drawn to Hate in the Homeland because it does not focus on a single individual or organization but instead on the landscape of where and how extremism operates and especially how young people can be exposed to extremist ideas or actively recruited by extremist organizations even in mainstream spaces.”

Gerhart said she appreciated how the book mostly focuses on young people, given that she works every day with young people, who make up such a large part of the UC Davis community.

“I hope that the book generates conversations on being more aware of the subtle messaging that exists even in mainstream spaces, and how to recognize if you or someone close to you are trending towards extremist viewpoints,” Gerhart said.

Copies of Hate in the Homeland will be available from UC Davis Stores later this month.

Help choose the next book

The book project’s selection committee is already planning ahead to 2024-25, when the campus will come together to discuss a book centered on health equity and justice.

“This theme continues the Campus Community Book Project’s 20-plus-year commitment to examining a contemporary issue through a lens focused on inclusion, equity and the richness of diverse experiences,” said Megan Macklin, who directs the book project and is director of campus climate and inclusion Initiatives in the Office of Campus Community Relations. “At a time when reproductive rights, gender-affirming care and affordability and accessibility are hotly debated, we look forward to building community, sharing dialogue and learning collectively towards the advancement of health equity and justice for all.”

The committee is encouraging nominations of books on that theme, which can be submitted by email until July 24. Simply send the title and author of a book to ccbp@ucdavis.edu. A short explanation of why the book is being nominated is optional. A full list of selection criteria can be found on the book project website.

All are welcome to join the book selection committee for 2024-25 by completing an online sign-up form. That committee is scheduled to meet virtually every few weeks in late July or early August through December.

Media Resources

Cody Kitaura is a News and Media Relations Specialist in the Office of Strategic Communications, and can be reached by email or at 530-752-1932.

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