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06/12/2013

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Selected as 2013-14 Common Book

Quick Facts

 William Kamkwamba’s “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” has been selected as the latest Common Book for Winthrop.
 The book is the second Common Book selected under Winthrop’s Global Learning Initiative, a five-year plan designed to improve students’ global knowledge, attitudes and engagement.
 A year-long calendar of programming is in the works.

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Gloria Jones
ROCK HILL, S.C. – William Kamkwamba’s “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” has been selected as the latest Common Book for Winthrop University.

The book is the second Common Book selected under Winthrop’s Global Learning Initiative, a five-year plan designed to improve students’ global knowledge, attitudes and engagement.

According to Gloria Jones, dean of University College, “The book was selected to reinforce the goals of the Global Learning Initiative, as well as the self explorations expected in HMXP 102 – The Human Experience: Who Am I? – the course where students will have the opportunity to draw from the book in their class discussions and writings, as well as participate in a variety of themed programming designed to complement the book. While the book is set in Malawi, Africa, its themes connect very clearly to the four divisions of Winthrop’s HMXP text: the Self and Education, the Self and Community, the Self and the Natural World, and the Self and the Sacred.”

In the book, William, his family, and his community wrestle with the clash between Christianity and long-held beliefs about the spirits that inhabit their world. They struggle with corrupt government officials; access to education; the impact of the natural world on their water supply, their food supply, and their health. But William recognizes early in his life that education--even knowledge that is self-acquired-- can bring important, life-changing innovation to his village.

A year-long calendar of programming is in the works, and the fall semester will feature activities and events on Malawi 101, Electricity 101, sustainable energy, witchcraft and shamanism, and others that are still in the planning stages. Jones noted that conversations with the author about a spring 2014 visit to campus are also underway.

New students will receive a customized copy of the book at Orientation and will be required to read the book over the summer.

The Common Book Project, in place at Winthrop since 2004, works to integrate Winthrop students into the university environment and acquaint them with Winthrop’s strongly held intellectual and academic values.

For more information, contact Jones at 803/323-3900 or jonesg@winthrop.edu.

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