Community Read launches with faculty talk

September 5, 2019
Community Read launches with faculty talk

Cover of "Maus I: My Father Bleeds History" by Art Spiegelman
Art Spiegelman’s groundbreaking graphic novel Maus is the subject of Fitchburg State University’s Community Read for 2019-20. This year’s exploration of the text launches with a panel talk at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26 at Ellis White Lecture Hall in Hammond Hall, 160 Pearl St. Admission is free and open to the public.

Maus tells the story of the author interviewing his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor. It is part memoir, biography and history.

On Sept. 26, a panel of English Studies faculty will discuss the work from the Jewish literary, graphic novel, and pedagogic uses perspectives. Professor Lisa Gim will moderate the panel that will include Professors Michael Hoberman, Heather Urbanski and Katharine Covino.

Other upcoming events include:

A panel discussion entitled “Nazi Symbolism and Propaganda: From Medieval Times to the Present,” will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15 at Ellis White Lecture Hall in Hammond Hall. In this program, Professors Katherine Jewell, Ben Lieberman and Kisha Tracy will discuss the medieval origins of Nazi symbolism and propaganda, and its historical and contemporary uses from Nazi Germany to modern day Nazi Culture in the United States.

A hands-on workshop entitled “(Mis)appropriation of the Middle Ages: Confronting Misuses of History in the Age of the Meme” will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22 in the library instruction lab of the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library. In this program, attendees will analyze pre-selected artifacts that represent the misuse of history by the KKK, Nazis, and other groups to articulate their messages. Visitors will learn research techniques to fact check these memes.

There will be a Community Read book discussion at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12 in Room 210B of the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library led by students from Fitchburg State’s English Honors Society

The Community Read, now in its seventh year, is a community-wide collaboration to celebrate not only the act of reading but to also to explore themes in the book through a series of panel discussions, lectures, film screenings and exhibitions. The Community Read program is a collaborative effort between Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, Leominster, and Lunenburg Public Libraries, Fitchburg High School and the Lunenburg Council on Aging. Maus is available to borrow at the Fitchburg, Lunenburg, and Leominster public libraries, as well as the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library at Fitchburg State University. To learn more, visit the Fitchburg Community Read website.

The Community Read is also part of Fitchburg State’s 125th anniversary celebration. Throughout the 2019-20 academic year, Fitchburg State will host a series of events and exhibits commemorating its evolution since its founding in 1894 as a teacher-training school and based around the theme of “125 Years of Changing Lives.” Learn about Fitchburg State’s history and keep up with anniversary year events on the Anniversary page.

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