The discussion marks the start of a year-long exploration of the best-selling book that tells the story of the young women of Oak Ridge, Tenn., who unwittingly played a crucial role in one of the most significant moments in U.S. history: the development of the atomic bomb.
Community Read events will enable a broad examination of Kiernan’s work through lectures, film screenings and discussions over the next several months, culminating in March with a presentation and book signing featuring the author.
The panel talk on Sept. 20 will include professors Katherine Jewell (Economics, History and Political Science), Eric Budd (Economics, History and Political Science), Elizabeth Gordon (Earth and Geographic Sciences) and Emma Downs (Biology/Chemistry), along with Dean of Health and Nautral Sciences John Schaumloffel. A question-and-answer session will follow the panelists’ remarks, moderated by librarian Connie Strittmatter.
The events continue at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26 at the Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster, with an intergenerational discussion of the book led by Professor Robert Carr (Communications Media) and his students. Admission is free. Carr and his students will present another intergenerational discussion at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the Fitchburg Public Library, 610 Main St.The series returns to campus at noon Wednesday, Oct. 25, with a book club-style discussion of the book in the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library in Hammond Hall, 160 Pearl St. The discussion will be led by librarians Connie Strittmatter and Asher Jackson, along with Dani Langdon from the University’s Center for Professional Studies.
Professor Joseph Moser (English Studies) will present a pair of film screenings at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. Millions Like Us (1943) explores women’s contributions to the British war effort, while Raggedy Man (1981) tells the story of a woman who goes to work as a telephone operator in Texas at the height of the war.
Returning to the main campus, librarian and archivist Asher Jackson will introduce an exhibit entitled “World War II-Era Women of Fitchburg and Leominster” in the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library in Hammond Hall, 160 Pearl St. at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8. The exhibit in the university archives runs through Friday, March 30.
The Community Read Keynote Address will be given Thursday, March 29, when the campus hosts The Girls of Atomic City author Denise Kiernan. Kiernan will attend a reception and book signing at 5:30 p.m. followed by an author talk at 7 p.m., both in the main lounge of Hammond Hall, 160 Pearl St. Admission is free and open to the public.