ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop organizers have planned a semester of events to help promote the Depression-era themes of poverty in this year’s common book, “Growing Up,” by journalist Russell Baker.
In an effort to involve the whole campus and community, the university will offer several fall performances featuring popular entertainment from the first part of the 20th century.
The book is timely because of the current economic woes, said Tim Daugherty, associate dean of University College who has helped coordinate the Common Book Project events. "This is a book about hope, about finding different pathways through challenging times," he said. "Research shows that people are much more successful if they can find more than one pathway to their goal."
The city of Rock Hill recently declared September Common Book month as a celebration of this year's reading. Area book clubs are encouraged to read the book this fall, and University College officials said they would be glad to help lead discussions.
Below is a list of the Winthrop activities:
• Lecture: “The Evolving Role of Newspapers in American Democracy: Comparing the 1930s to Today;” Sept. 11., 2:30 p.m.; Irvin and Jean Kirby Plowden Auditorium; speakers: Karen Kedrowski, political science; Justin Brown and Guy Reel, mass communication; Arthur Takahashi, editor of the student newspaper, The Johnsonian; and Paul Osmundson, editor of the Herald. They will discuss how the mass media have changed since the 1930s, and include the impact of bloggers, talk radio, social networking sites on the citizenry and American democracy. Also on Sept. 11, Osmundson, Reel and Kedrowski will be guests on WFAE’s “Charlotte Talks” to discuss the same topic.
• Lecture: “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover: Examining Your Cultural Perspective;” Sept. 15, 7 p.m.; Plowden Auditorium; speakers: Shebby Neely-Goodwin and Justine Gradillas, both of social work, and Katie Garypie, residence life.
• Behind the Scenes: Artistic Background for “You Can’t Take It With You;” Sept. 20, 7 p.m.; 204 Owens Hall; speakers: Andrew Vorder Bruegge and Janet Gray, both of theatre and dance.
• Performance: “You Can’t Take It With You;” Sept. 28–Oct. 4; Johnson Theatre; tickets may be purchased online.
• Lecture: “The Economic and Psychological Impact of Unemployment;” Sept. 29, 11 a.m.; Frances May Barnes Recital Hall; speakers: Gary Stone, economics, and Tracy Griggs, psychology.
• Eagle Cinema Presents: Common Book Cinematic Connections (campus cable channel 20): movies include: “Cinderella Man,” “The Color Purple,” “Of Mice and Men” and “Avalon” – as well as a movie about an earlier common book, “Into the Wild.” Speakers: Howard Seidler, residence life, and Jeannie Weil, sociology.
In addition, freshmen will participate in service-learning projects throughout the fall semester. The projects include preparing meals for youth at the Children’s Attention Home and senior citizens at Highland Park, participating in York County’s CROP Hunger Walk and a campus CanStruction event. During Welcome Week, students turned over a community garden to prepare it for fall harvest at nearby Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church.