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Common Reading Program Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement

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WSU Common Reading Program

October 2021

Amber Wichowsky on “Inequality and Class”

October 19 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Amber Wichowsky (Marquette University) will talk about the fact that, despite a sharp increase in inequality over the past decades, there has not been an equivalent demand for economic redistribution.  Wichowsky is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Marquette Democracy Lab.  Her book, The Economic Other: Inequality in the American Political Imagination, examines how Americans use social comparisons to make sense of income inequality and how those frames affect attitudes toward redistribution and political power. Hosted by the…

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Brian Blanchfield (visiting Writers Series)

October 19 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, WSU Pullman campus

Brian Blanchfield is the author of three books of poetry and prose, most recently the collection of essays Proxies that was awarded a 2016 Whiting Award in Nonfiction and was a finalist for Lambda and PEN awards as well. His poetry and prose have appeared in a variety fo publications including Harper’s, The Nation, and the Paris Review.  He has taught creative writing in a number of programs, including The Iowa Writers Workshop and has also worked in arts administration, radio, and publishing. A native of North Carolina, Blanchard currently teaches creative…

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Kelsey Ellison on “Disability Representation in Film

October 20 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Did you know that disabled people are still among the most underrepresented people in Hollywood, even though globally there are 1 billion disabled people? And did you know that nearly 80% of all disabled roles are portrayed by non-disabled actors? This talk will explore how disability is represented in media, especially in the film industry and screen and behind the screen, highlighting positive examples and places where change is needed. Ellison is an actor, dancer, and online influencer who creates…

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Rain Dove and Kelsey Ellison on “Disability and Relationships”

October 20 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Kelsey Ellison and Rain Dove are an intersectional couple on many levels: Kelsey is disabled, Rain has no gender, and they both identify as Queer. They will share their experiences on what it’s been like to love, live, and learn with all of these aspects and how they’ve helped to support each other as a couple.  This talk will include performance re-enactments and sketches from Kelsey and Rain, and will encourage questions and conversations from the audience. The aim is to show, educate,…

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David Treuer on “Modern Native America and Environmental Justice: Changing the Narrative of our American Moment”

New York Times best-selling author David Treuer, an Ojibwe from the Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota, will discuss ways in which to reframe Native American history that center resilience, sovereignty, and place-based cultural and ecological renewal. Hosted by WSU Vancouver as a 2021 Lane Family Lecture on Environmental Science. Those attending on the Vancouver campus can attend the talk in person at the Dengerink Administration Building, Room 110; those on other campuses can attend via livestream link available at:

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November 2021

Christopher Faricy on “Inequality and Public Policy”

November 2 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Christopher Faricy, an professor of political science at Syracuse University, specializes in American politics, social policy, and income inequality and public opinion. He is the author of Welfare for the Wealthy: Parties, Social Spending, and Inequality in the United States. Hosted by the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service. View on livestream at 

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Reyna McCoy McDeid on “Asserting Beyond Assumption: Confronting Racism in Disability Organizations”

November 3 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Oftentimes in the disability community, racially marginalized leaders are expected- either implicitly or explicitly- to maintain a level of affability and decorum that can feel constricting to the point of oppressive.  This talk invites both racially marginalized and white participants to critically examine how social mores must also be included in discussions of inequity in professional environments in order to truly facilitate just and equitable work environments for all. McDeid is an activist who works at multiple intersections of marginalization and has been appointed by the Biden…

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Joe Soss on “Inequality and the Criminal Justice System”

November 17 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Joe Soss, a faculty member in the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, explores the interplay of democratic politics, societal inequalities, and public policy. He is especially interested in the sources and consequences of policies that shape life conditions for socially marginalized groups. He is the coauthor of the award-winning book Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race. Hosted by the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service. View on livestream…

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Mia Ives-Rublec on “Disability Justice and Inclusion 101”

November 17 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Disability intersects every facet of human life. But many organizations continue to struggle with how disability affects the issues they care about and how to be inclusive of the disability community. This workshop provides participants the opportunity to understand the basics of Disability Justice and learn how to make their own organizations and businesses more inclusive of the disability community. Ives-Rublee is a disabled transractial adoptee who has dedicated her life’s work to civil rights activism. She is the founder of the Woman’s March…

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Discussion of Sick: A Memoir, by Porochista Khakpour

November 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The Access Center is hosting monthly discussions of Sick: A Memoir by Prorchista Khakpour, a memoir of chronic illness, misdiagnosis, addiction, and the myth of full recovery. This month’s discussion will feature chapters 8-11, but attendees do not need to have read the book to participate as a summary will be included. The Access Center is also offering WSU students an opportunity to receive a free copy of Sick: A Memoir based on need and interest in participating in the discussions; see the Access Center website for…

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