For the last few years, Indiana University Northwest in Gary has been doing a "One Book" program inspired by the famous librarian Nancy Pearl. Pearl came up with the "If All Seattle Read the Same Book" initiative when executive director of the Seattle Public Library back in 1998, and which has since spread across the country.
The idea is that everyone in a community reads, discusses and contemplates the themes of the same book.
IUN's "One Book … One Campus … One Community" book this year is “Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility and the Duty of Repair," by Sarah Schulman, is about the contemporary culture of scapegoating and how accusations of harm are used to avoid accountability.
"Schulman discusses how personal and collective self-criticism becomes punishment and that differences are somehow used to justify cruelty and shunning," IUN said in a news release. "She describes the ways that various group relationships bond through their refusal to change their self-concept. The book rejects the notions of blame, cruelty and scapegoating and describes how individuals in powerful positions use fear of others to achieve their goals."
Schulman, who's also a playwright, screenwriter and AIDS historian, will give a lecture about her book at 1 p.m. March 6 in the Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium in the Savanah Center. It will be followed by a book signing and reception that will wrap up by 3:30 p.m.
Her book also has been integrated into classroom curricula throughout the academic year.
"The book’s description on Amazon notes that 'this important and sure to be controversial book illuminates such contemporary and historical issues of personal, racial, and geo-political difference as tools of escalation towards injustice, exclusion, and punishment, whether the objects of dehumanization are other individuals in our families or communities, people with HIV, African Americans or Palestinians,'" the release said.
For more information, visit iun.edu/onebook.