January 24, 2019
The program invites members of the campus community to read a common text—Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie—and participate in small-group discussions and talks throughout the spring.
It is one of several inclusive community projects awarded funding at the end of the fall semester for implementation this spring. One Book, One Ursinus presents an opportunity to share a campus-wide common experience outside of the classroom while simultaneously discussing important and interdisciplinary views.
Americanah follows the life of young and in love Ifemelu and Obinze who leave Nigeria for the west. Separated by circumstance in a post-9/11 world, the pair begin new lives in America and London respectively, facing distinct new challenges along the way.
“We talked about a lot of book possibilities and one thing that was really appealing about Americanah is that it talks about cultural differences and similarities between Nigeria and the United States, but it doesn’t feel like homework,” said Talia Argondezzi, director of the Center for Writing and Speaking.
Argondezzi organized the program with Meredith Goldsmith, professor of English and associate dean of the college; Patricia Lott, assistant professor of African American and Africana Studies; Diane Skorina, director of research, teaching and learning services, LIT and co-director of the Teaching and Learning Institute; and Katie Turek, assistant director of UCARE.
At a program launch event during MLK Week, faculty, staff and students were encouraged to grab a free copy of the book and sign up for meetings and chapter discussions.
“I just think that this type of program is such a good way to bring the community together,” Skorina said.
Pick up a copy of the book in the Myrin Library, UCARE, the Writing Center, the Institute for Student Success, or the Institute for Inclusion and Equity and sign up for group discussions online. —By Mary Lobo ’15