Columbia’s “One Read” program is officially underway with a month of educational and entertaining events planned around this year’s selection “The Ruins of Us” by Keija Parssinen.
If you haven’t read the book yet, I highly recommend it. It’s not a book I would necessarily pick out for myself but once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. Really. I finished it in a weekend. The Tribune’s Amy Wilder has a wonderful profile of Parssinen and her work if you need a quick overview.
The September One Read schedule is full of discussions, films and other events exploring the themes in the book. While I’m sure they’ll all be worthwhile events, I think you should definitely plan to attend the panel discussion we’re having on campus Sept. 25.
Why ours? For one, there’s free food. We’re having a reception ahead of the program where you can indulge in wine and appetizers such as mini-sandwiches, fruit, crackers and cheese, pita and spinach dip, desserts. Um…. Yum.
Mostly, though, you should come for the discussion. We have some awesome women who will be exploring some of the key themes in the book, which, of course, is full of women’s issues.
Stephens President Dr. Dianne Lynch will moderate the event and if you know Dr. Lynch, you know that means it’s going to be fun as well as informative.
We have some stellar faculty members on the panel. Laura Flacks Narrol traveled through the Middle East before moving to Columbia in 1996. She’s currently an assistant professor of business and marketing, and she understands the role of social media in cultural discourse. She won the 2013 outstanding advisor award, so our students love her, too.
Then there’s Dr. Tina Parke-Sutherland, a professor of English/Creative Writing and a longtime Stephens faculty member. She’s well versed in the Middle East, as well, using Middle Eastern texts in her honors class and having researched women in Islam. She’s also a poet with her latest collection coming out this fall.
And Monica McMurry, who recently completed her dissertation, will talk about the role of expression through fashion in the book—think Mariam’s eggplant-colored abaya. McMurry, Dean of our School of Fashion and Design, is an expert in expression through fashion, so she’ll have some interesting perspectives.
Clearly, this is going to be an awesome One Read event. It’s slated for 7 p.m. in the Kimball Ballroom in Lela Raney Wood Hall. Come at 6:30 p.m. for the reception. Did I mention there will be wine and appetizers? See you here.