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The Common Reading Program at RWU provides an introduction to academic life at the University for our new students and serves as a vehicle to bring the community together over a shared intellectual endeavor. This program was started in 2006 and has become a tradition that promotes the importance of academics, community, and discourse.  Each year the Common Reading Selection Committee meets to discuss possible books and carefully considers themes and topics that are integral to student learning, academic exploration and discussion. The authors of the selected books are invited to campus to provide a lecture and to participate in related activities, including classroom discussions. The result is a program that encourages new students, upperclassmen, and faculty and staff to explore interesting topics together and to share a common experience during the first weeks of the new semester each year.

Common Reading Events:

Thursday, 10/3
Mayflower Themed Dinner
Dining Commons

Enjoy a dinner typical to the Colonists & Native Americans.

Sponsored by Bon Appetit dining services.

Thursday, 10/3
Common Reading Lecture “From Mayflower to Bunker Hill: The Search for Liberty in New England”
7:00PM in the Campus Recreation Center

RWU welcomes noted author and historian Nathaniel Philbrick to campus to share his perspective on events that have shaped four centuries of American history, from King Phillip’s War to the Battle of Bunker Hill. In his books, Philbrick takes readers beyond the myth to paint a complex and captivating portrait of nascent America - a history that even in its earliest stages was defined by a quest for tolerance and freedom against a backdrop of race relations, religious conflict, and endemic violence.

Tuesday, 10/15
“The Impact of Colonization on Indigenous/Native People”
6:30PM Mary Tefft White Cultural Center, University Library

Learn more about Columbus’ legacy and the impact of colonization on indigenous/native people. Panelists include Annawon Weeden of the Wampanoag Nation, and Professors Jeremy Campbell and Charlotte Carrington.

Co-Sponsored by MSU, the Intercultural Center & the Common Reading Committee.

Wednesday, 10/16
Wampanoag Pow Wow
7:30PM University Library Entrance

Celebrate American history by joining drummers and dancers of the Wampanoag Nation for an evening of music, dancing and storytelling.
Kettle corn will be served.

Co-Sponsored by MSU, CEN, the Intercultural Center and the Common Reading Committee.

Sunday, 10/20
“A Walk to King Philip’s Chair”
2:00PM to 4:00PM

Step back in time with RWU Prof. Charlotte Carrington and Kevin Smith of Brown University to retrace the steps of Metacomet, a.k.a. King Philip,
Sachem of the Wampanoag Nation. Visit King Philip’s Chair, a natural niche in the granite outcropping along the base of Mount Hope and the site of Philip’s many councils and audiences. Enjoy coffee & and cocoa at Mt. Hope Farm’s Cove Cabin after the walk. To register please call (401) 254-3095.

Saturday, 11/9
Trip to Plymouth Plantation & Tour of Mayflower II

Tour the English Village, a re-creation of the small farming and maritime community built by the Pilgrims. Next, explore the full scale reproduction of the Mayflower and learn about the 1620 voyage.

To register go to:

Sponsored by the Common Reading Committee

Books that have been selected over the years have included:

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri 2006
Along Way Gone by Ishmael Beah 2007
The Working Poor by David Shipler 2008
The World Without Us by Alan Weisman 2009
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder 2010
Sailing Alone Around the Room by Billy Collins 2011
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot 2012
Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War by Nathaniel Philbrick 201