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Books That Shaped America

Books That Shaped America series logo

Join us for Books That Shaped America—conversations for the American University and metro-D.C. communities about books that have helped shape American society. Each discussion starts with a focal text, but the conversations stretch far beyond the pages of the books themselves. Each discussion is led by a faculty or staff member from AU.

Attendees are encouraged—but not required—to have read the featured text. The event list below also provides references and links for additional materials attendees may find interesting. Admission and parking are free for this series, and no RSVP is required to attend.

The Books That Shaped America series is cosponsored by the American University Library and the Humanities Lab at American University. The series was co-founded by the American University Library and the School of Professional and Extended Studies.

2014–2015 Events

 

New Hampshire by Robert Frost
New Hampshire by Robert Frost

Tuesday, September 9, 2014
7-8:30 p.m.
Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library
Discussion Leader: Michael Manson, Director, University Honors Program

Call Number: Collected Poems of Robert Frost PS3511 .R94 A17 1930
Alternate and Supplemental Materials: Robert Frost LibGuide



A Street In Bronzeville by Gwendolyn Brooks
A Street In Bronzeville by Gwendolyn Brooks

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
7-8:30 p.m.
Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library
Discussion Leader: Timothy Staples, Assistant Director of Training and Leadership Development, Housing and Dining Programs

Call Number: On Order
Alternate and Supplemental Materials: Gwendolyn Brooks LibGuide; Conversations with Gwendolyn Brooks PS3503 .R7244 Z5235 2003; Essential Gwendolyn Brooks PS3503 .R7244 A6 2005



The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

*All-American Weekend*
Saturday, October 18, 2014
2-3:00 p.m.
Mud Box, Lower Level, Bender Library
Discussion Leader: Lewis Grossman, Professor, Washington College of Law, Affiliate Professor of History

Call Number: Available publicly online and as downloadable eBook; eBook for AU community or on campus; or PS2068 .A1 1986
Alternative or supplemental materials: Sleepy Hollow HU DVD 10716 (Media Services)



Sexual Behavior in the Human Male by Alfred Kinsey
Sexual Behavior in the Human Male by Alfred Kinsey

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
7-8:30 p.m.
Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library
Discussion Leader: Jonathan Tubman, Vice Provost for Research & Dean of Graduate Studies

Call Number: HQ18 .U5 K5
Alternate and Supplemental Materials: Kinsey HU DVD 1327, Media Services



Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
7-8:30 p.m.
Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library
Discussion Leader: Erik Dussere, Associate Professor, Department of Literature, College of Arts & Sciences

Call Number: PS3515 .A4347 A6 1999



Common Sense by Thomas Paine
Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Tuesday, January 27, 2015
7-8:30 p.m.
Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library
Discussion Leader: Richard Wilson, Professor, Director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic, Washington College of Law

Call Number: eBook for AU community or on campus or E211 .P145 1946



Beloved by Toni Morrison
Beloved by Toni Morrison

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
7-8:30 p.m.
Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library
Discussion Leader: Keith Leonard, Associate Professor, Department of Literature, College of Arts & Sciences

Call Number: PS3563 .O8749 B4
Alternate and Supplemental Materials: Beloved HU DVD 1747, Media Services



The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill
The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
7-8:30 p.m.
Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library
Discussion Leader: Karl Kippola, Assistant Professor, Department of Performing Arts, College of Arts & Sciences

Call Number: PS3529.N5 I16
Alternate and Supplemental Materials: Streaming video (AU community and on campus); The Iceman Cometh HU DVD 10814, Media Services; 20th Century Interpretations of the Iceman Cometh PN94 .T91 v.24; O'Niell's The Iceman Cometh: Reconstructing the Premier PS 3529 .N5 I438



Family Limitation by Margaret Sanger
Family Limitation by Margaret Sanger

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
7-8:30 p.m.
Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library
Discussion Leader: Mary Clark, Interim Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice Provost, Professor, Washington College of Law

Call Number: Available publicly online from New York University
Alternate and Supplemental materials: Margaret Sanger LibGuide



Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
7-8:30 p.m.
Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library
Discussion Leader: Marianne Noble, Associate Professor, Department of Literature, College of Arts & Sciences

Call Number: Available publicly online and as downloadable eBook; eBook for AU community or on campus 150th Anniversary Fascimile Edition or modern edition; hard copies PS3201 1900 or PS3201 1959
Alternate and Supplemental Materials: Walt Whitman LibGuide

Past Events

April 2014: Assistant Professor Nimai Mehta, School of Professional & Extended Studies, led a discussion of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, video (coming soon), photos

April 2014: Associate Dean Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, School of International Studies, led a discussion of Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein, audio, slides, photos (audio and slides courtesy of Patrick Thaddeus Jackson)

February 2014: Assistant Professor and Director of Creative Writing Kyle Dargan, Department of Literature, College of Arts & Sciences, led a discussion of The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, video (coming soon), photos

January 2014: Dean Carola Weil, School of Professional & Extended Studies, led a discussion of The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois, photos

November 2013: University Librarian Nancy Davenport led a discussion of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury photos

October 2013: Professor Lewis Grossman, Washington College of Law, led a discussion of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, photos

September 2013: Department Chair Nathan Harshman, Department of Physics, College of Arts & Sciences, led a discussion of Experiments and Observations on Electricity by Benjamin Franklin, photos

June 2013: Assistant Professor Thomas Merrill, Department of Government, School of Public Affairs, led a discussion of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass, photos

May 2013: Department Chair Pamela Nadell, Department of History, College of Arts & Sciences, led a discussion of How the Other Half Lives by Jacob Riis, photos

April 2013: Professor Cynthia Jones, Washington College of Law, led a discussion of To Kill a Mockbird by Harper Lee, photos

Books That Shaped America

The "Books That Shaped America" list was created by the Library of Congress. See the full list of texts or explore the interactive electronic exhibit created by the Library of Congress.

Engage with this series on social media using #AUBTSA

Have a question? Want to receive information about upcoming events?

Contact:
Lennea Bower
Library Programming Coordinator
202-885-3847
LibEvents@american.edu

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