UW-Madison News: Immigrants and community chosen as “Go Big Read” book theme, submissions sought

CONTACT: Sheila Stoeckel, [email protected], 608-265-2755

MADISON – Building on its most successful year yet, the selection committee for Go Big Read has announced that immigrants and community will serve as the common-reading program’s topic for the 2016-17 year. Students, faculty, staff and members of the Madison community are encouraged to recommend titles for consideration by Sunday, Jan. 24.

“America is a nation of people with roots throughout the world,” says Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “Immigration is a topic that will lend itself to sharing our own stories of where we come from, as well as sparking a wide range of discussions about how we build community.”

Immigration has played a central role in public discourse this year, both here and abroad, and the selection committee encourages a diverse set of submissions. Books can be fiction or nonfiction, focusing on personal narratives or policy matters such as human rights, economics, race relations, social justice, the law and politics.

After the submission period ends Jan. 24, a review committee will spend a month reading and discussing books before making recommendations to Chancellor Blank, who will make the final selection.

Nominated books should advance one or more of the following program goals:

-Promote enjoyment of reading by being readable, relevant and engaging

-Incorporate sufficient depth and scope to promote sustained discussion of different points of view

-Appeal to individuals from a variety of backgrounds

-Contain cross-disciplinary flexibility that can tie into a variety of campus activities and programming

Go Big Read has a history of choosing timely topics that are part of the national discussion. This year’s Go Big Read book, “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson, talks about racial inequality and the need to reform America’s justice system. It prompted record participation with more than 170 courses using it in the fall semester, in disciplines including business, education, English, history, law, nursing, political science and social work. More than 5,000 new UW students received copies of “Just Mercy” during Wisconsin Welcome Week in early September.

Previous Go Big Read books include “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” by Malala Yousafzai and “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki.

To suggest a book, visit https://gobigread.wisc.edu.

The Go Big Read Program is sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor.