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Winthrop’s Common Book Inspires Global Programming This Fall

Quick Facts

 Issues from the book highlight Common Book-related programming throughout the fall semester, beginning Sept. 10.
 All events are free, approved cultural events and open to the public.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
ROCK HILL, S.C. — William Kamkwamba’s “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” Winthrop University’s newest Common Book, addresses many issues, including religion, education and the impact humans have on the earth.

These and other issues from the book highlight Common Book-related programming throughout the fall semester.  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; and 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.

Common Book programming includes:

Tuesday, Sept. 10, 11 a.m.
In a lecture entitled “Shamanism, The Negative and Positive Aspects of Indigenous Medical Knowledge,” Associate Professor of Anthropology Rick Chacon will provide a balanced picture of shamanism. Shamanism is typically defined as a religious practice in which a “shaman” gains powers through a trance or religious experience.

Thursday, Oct. 3, 11 a.m.
Bryan McFadden, a geography instructor, will talk about Malawi’s geographical location and take a look at the life of the average Malawian. The Common Book is set in Malawi, a country located in southeast Africa.

Tuesday, Oct. 22, 11 a.m.
David Levett, an electrical engineer with Infineon Technologies, gives a lecture entitled “Electricity 101.”

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 8 p.m.       
In a special Winthrop Earth Hour, all lights in the residence halls will be turned off for an hour to save energy.

Tuesday, Oct. 29, 11 a.m.
In “Global Ecological Footprints,” Marsha Bollinger, chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, will discuss the impact of our consumer choices on the ecological health of the planet.  She will compare lifestyles in several countries, including Malawi and the United States. 

All events will be held in Dina’s Place, are free, open to the public and are approved cultural events.

For more information on the Common Book, visit the Winthrop University Common Book Project website.

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