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Common Reading Program Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement

Screening of “He Named Me Malala” film hosted by WSU Common Reading April 18

The Washington State University Common Reading Program presents an encore screening of the award-winning documentary “He Named Me Malala” Tues., April 18 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Todd 116. The public is welcome at this free campus event.

The 2015 film directed by Davis Guggenheim is an intimate portrait of Malala Yousafzai, author of this year’s common reading book for WSU students titled I Am Malala. Yousafzai is the youngest recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize, awarded for her efforts speaking out for women’s education in her home country of Pakistan. To stop the schoolgirl’s work, she was shot by the Taliban, but survived to carry on with her campaign and her own education.

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WSU Common Reading panel explores Title IX’s impact on women and U.S. higher education Feb. 7


PULLMAN, Wash.— Title IX and its impact on women and higher education in the United States will be discussed on Tues., Feb. 7 at 4:30 p.m. in CUE 203 by a panel hosted by Washington State University’s Common Reading Program.

Panelists include Holly Ashkannejhad, Pamela Bradetich, Melynda Huskey, and Anne McCoy. The event is free and open to the public.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 deals with eliminating discrimination of the basis of sex in education programs and activities that receive/benefit from federal financial assistance. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual assault along with the more publicized aspects of Title IX, like equality in school sports.  Presenters will address the history of Title IX and its impact on WSU and other universities.

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Keeping up with news and “fake news” topics of Common Reading presentation by Lorena O’English Tues. Jan 24

PULLMAN, Wash.— The Washington State University Common Reading Program welcomes WSU librarian Lorena O’English to discuss “Current Events and Conversation: Keeping Up with International (and All That ‘Fake News’ in the News)” at 4:30 p.m. on Tues., Jan. 24 in CUE 203. This event is free and open to the public.

O’English, on faculty with WSU Libraries, will discuss how and why people get news, some ways to keep up with current events, and some ways to think critically about news and reportage.

According to O’English, “We live in an exciting and event-filled world, but it can be hard to keep up with what is going on internationally. This talk will provide strategies for staying current with big world events.”

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WSU hosts Oscar and Emmy winning Pakistani activist and filmmaker to speak Nov. 15


Washington State University welcomes Oscar-winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy For a public address Tues., Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Beasley Coliseum. This event, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the WSU Student Entertainment Board in collaboration with the Common Reading Program and the Global Campus.

Through her Pakistani production house SOC Films, American-educated Obaid-Chinoy makes films that bring key social issues to light. Her two Academy Award winning films, Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015), focus on gender violence in Pakistan. 

Her work has also been recognized with six Emmy Awards, including an international Emmy Award for her 2009 film Pakistan’s Taliban Generation.


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War and terrorism in historical and political contexts topic of Nov. 7 Common Reading lecture

The Common Reading Program hosts a presentation by Clif Stratton titled “Parsing Violence: War and terrorism in historical and contemporary political discourse” on Mon., Nov. 7 at 4:30 p.m. in Todd 216. The public is welcome at this free event.

Stratton will explore the ways in which Western media and officials in government and academics discuss war and terror in cultural terms, and the historical decisions and political agendas that continue to produce political terror. The dichotomy often presented to us, Stratton said, assumes that war and terror are mutually exclusive, and that war is, if not desirable, at least justified, while terrorism is never justified. He will discuss how the historical relationship between war and terror complicates the black and white notions of legitimate versus illegitimate forms of violence.
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Volunteering in the Peace Corps topic of Nov. 1 Common Reading Lecture

The Common Reading Program hosts speaker Kyla Allen-Grant on her experience as a Peace Corps volunteer on Tues. Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. in Todd 130.  The public is welcome at this free event.

Allen-Grant, a WSU alumna and WSU’s Peace Corp representative, will speak on her personal experiences in the Peace Corps.  Through her volunteering experience in Togo, a country in West Africa, she has gained first-hand experience of the challenges girls face and the importance of educational access.  She will go into the specifics of her work in Togo.  In addition to talking about her projects in Togo, Allen-Grant will also share avenues for exploring Peace Corps service.

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WSU Common Reading welcomes Pakistani social entrepreneur Khalida Brohi to present Pullman lecture Sept. 27

Banner showing a portrait of Khalida Brohi and giving details of the time and location of the 2016 Common Reading Annual Invited Lecture

PULLMAN, Wash.—The tenth annual Common Reading Invited Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tues., Sept. 27 in the CUB M.G. Carey Senior Ballroom will feature Khalida Brohi, Pakistani activist for women’s rights, global speaker, and founder of the Sughar Empowerment Society and Foundation to help educate and empower women. The public is welcome.

“Ms. Brohi is an acclaimed advocate for the improvement of the lives of women in her country, and she works every day to bring positive changes to that nation and its culture,” said Karen Weathermon, co-director of the Common Reading Program, lecture sponsor and a unit of WSU Undergraduate Education.

“Much of her life parallels that of her fellow Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai, the author of I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, this year’s common reading book for thousands of WSU first-year and other students at campuses in Pullman, Tri-Cities, Spokane, and Puget Sound/Everett, and the Global Campus,” said Susan Poch, program co-director.

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Women’s engineering participation in other countries topic of Common Reading lecture Oct. 11

The Washington State University Common Reading Program hosts “Women’s Engineering Participation in Diverse Cultural Contexts,” a lecture by Julie Kmec and Nehal Abu-Lail on Tues. Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in CUE 203.  The presentation is free and open to the public.

Kmec, professor of sociology, and Abu-Lail, associate professor of chemical engineering and bioengineering, will present preliminary research on a collaborative project that seeks to identify the factors that shape women’s relatively high levels of engineering participation in some predominantly Muslim countries. 

The presenters were recently named as principal investigator and co-principal investigator, respectively, on a two-year, $589,200 grant funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to investigate the subject.

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Oct. 5 Common Reading event to discuss women and the Qur’an

The Washington State University Common Reading Program hosts a lecture Wed. Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. in Todd 216, presented by Lipi Turner-Rahmen, a professor of history and member of the WSU Libraries Staff, will speak on the Qur’an and female education.

Turner-Rahmen said the limitations on girls’ education in the Islamic world have their roots in cultural perspectives rather than religious ones. She will discuss how what the Qur’an advocates regarding female education and how Muslim women today study the Qur’an.

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Common Reading book nominations for 2017-18 open through Nov. 1, 2016

If you’ve read a good book lately that relates to “frontiers of technology, health, and society,” you should consider nominating it to be the next common reading book used by thousands of first-year and other students at Washington State University.

An online form on the common reading website makes the process easy for nominators to enter valuable information for the selection committee to consider—notes about such things as what makes the book memorable and worthy of campus engagement, and whether the book connects to or highlights existing university research or activity.

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