Memoirs as a means to personalize global issues is subject of WSU Common Reading lecture March 21

PULLMAN, Wash.— “Personalizing the global: memoirs as instruments of healing, advocacy, and resistance” is the topic of a Common Reading Program lecture on Fri., March 21 at 4 p.m. in Todd 130 at Washington State University. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The talk will focus on memoirs, the literary genre of this year’s common reading book, I Am Malala. Co-presenters are Debbie Lee, author and professor of literature and creative writing, and Ray Sun, author and professor of history. 

Memoirs serve to give a personal voice to important global issues. Lee will share from a memoir she is writing that links personal challenges to her first-hand encounter with the effects of global warming in the Artic. Sun, a scholar in genocide studies, will focus on how memoirs provide unique and accessible sources that enable us to grasp the impact of war and genocide on societies, cultures, and individuals.

The Common Reading Program began in Pullman in 2007 to help students, their teachers, and the community better engage in academically centered critical thinking, communication, research, and learning around a body of shared information presented in a single, specially selected book. This year’s book aligns with the program’s 2015-2017 theme of “social justice and leadership.”

For more information about the Common Reading and upcoming events visit


Karen Weathermon, Common Reading Program co-director, WSU Undergraduate Education, 509-335-5488,

Emma Epperly, Communications and Marketing Assistant, WSU Undergraduate Education, 509-335-9458,