Monthly Archives: September 2015

Banned Book Week 2015

layout of all 4Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2015 celebration will be held September 27-October 3.

Students in Prof. Schmidt’s Gateway class (Banned & Burned) worked in groups to create
interactive, educational displays celebrating Banned Books Week. Four exhibits will be on display on the entry level. Check out some of the photos on The Ames Library’s Facebook page. Do you have ideas for an exhibit? Get in touch with Meg Miner for details on how you can create your own!


Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 311 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2014, and many more go unreported. The 10 most challenged titles of 2014 were:

1)     The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”

2)      Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”

3)      And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”

4)      The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”

5)      It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris

Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”

6)      Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group. Additional reasons:

7)      The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence

8)      The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”

9)      A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

10)  Drama, by Raina Telgemeier

Reasons: sexually explicit

More information on banned and challenged books is available on theAmerican Library Association website.

Nation Divided(?) : Puerto Rico

“The Sovereign Colony: Puerto Rico in the Olympic Movement”

Dr. Antonio Sotomayor

Assistant Professor, Historian, and Librarian for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Beckman Auditorium – Monday, 28 September, 4pm

Ceded to the United States unde
r the terms of the Treaty of Paris after the Spanish-American War of 1898, Puerto Rico has since remained a colonial territory. Despite this subordinated colonial experience, however, Puerto Ricans managed to secure national Olympic representation in the 1930s and in so doing nurtured powerful Flag_of_Puerto_Rico.svgideas of nationalism. By examining how the Olympic movement developed in Puerto Rico, Antonio Sotomayor illuminates the profound role sports play in the political and cultural processes of an identity that developed within a political tradition of autonomy rather than traditional political independence. Dr. Sotomayor’s talk describes the surprising negotiations that gave rise to Olympic sovereignty in a colonial nation, a unique case in Latin America, and uses Olympic sports as a window to view the broader issues of nation building and identity, hegemony, postcolonialism, international diplomacy, and Latin American–U.S. relations. Dr. Sotomayor’s lecture is part of the 2015-16 University Theme “A Nation(s) Divided?” For more information on this event, please contact Prof. Carmela Ferradáns

First-Year Summer Reading Essay Winners!

We are pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural First-Year Summer Reading Essay Contest, open to all members of Illinois Wesleyan University’s Class of 2019. The general topic of the essay this year was our Summer Reading selection,Unlikely Disciple: digi comm 1st yr winners 2015A Sinner’s Semester at
America’s Holiest University
, by Kevin Roose. Students had the opportunity to discuss this selection during New Student Orientation, take part in programming for this year’s intellectual theme of Nation(s) Divided?, hear the voices of our faculty members and even the voice of Kevin Roose himself, but the discussion stands incomplete without the most important voice of all—our students’ voice, the many voices of the men and women who are Illinois Wesleyan University’s Class of 2019.

Read each of the award-winning essays by clicking through to the Digital Commons @ IWU!
First place winner

Still a Jerk, by Benjamin Alan Zentner ’19

Honorable Mention essays

Between Two Worlds by Emma Marie Haan ’19

The Complexity of Balance by Kathryn Halford ’19.

Nations Divided?: Interactive Wall at Ames

20150914_125647Are nations constructed of arbitrary borders traced on a map, or are they more purposeful, formed around kinships and collectives, representing common values, ideals, and epistemologies? Can a nation or nations be truly united, or do the forces that shape human meaning-making stem from the differences that parse us one from another?

The histories of nations and peoples are framed by divisions. This year the United States will recognize the sesquicentennial of the conclusion of the Civil War, which saw this nation divided and led to a loss of life unrivaled in our national history. The conclusion of this conflict saw a period of Reconstruction and reunification, but historians have and continue to question the degree to which the United States has ever been truly united from its founding as an independent republic. Current political, cultural, social, and economic fissures reify national divides in public opinion and lived experience. Many nations experience a similar phenomenon of unity/disunity as individuals seek authentic, lived experiences that transcend national boundaries, loyalties, identities, histories, and geographies.

The theme of “Nation(s) Divided?” invites us to cross, intersect, and transcend borderlands in the ways we 20150914_125703think about others and ourselves by deconstructing notions of unity and division, of nations and national identities. We invite all students, faculty, and staff to explore the concepts and realities of “Nation(s) Divided?” through the Interactive Wall at The Ames Library. Located in the southeast corner of the first floor, this space is available for faculty and students to share their course work or any other projects related to the IWU intellectual theme of “Nation(s) Divided?”.

Within the world, global conversations are taking place around: immigration and emigration, environment and human impact, threats and risks to global health, economic and political instability, freedom of expression as it intersects with faith and religion, and constructions of human identity and self-understanding, just to name a few. These conversations have the potential to unite or to divide us as nations and as individuals, but we have an opportunity to achieve mutual and holistic understanding through nuanced, thoughtful exploration in the best tradition of the liberal arts.

What’s New Wednesday? New Popular Titles Available at Ames Library

Did you know that in addition to checking out some physical books for reading for fun (popular reading collection on the entry level) you cankindle check out a Kindle and borrow books electronically?

Use this form to reserve a Kindle and use this form to request a Kindle title if you don’t see one you’re interested in reading. For Kindle titles, allavailable titles can be browsed/searched through Amazon. The maximum price for a requested Kindle title is $20.00.

We’ve got over 300 titles available on Kindle – here are some of the newest titles.

New Popular Books:

FORGOTTEN ROOM                        LINCOLN CHILD

TRAUMA                                             MICHAEL PALMER


WATER KNIFE                                    PAOLO BACIGALUPI


FINDERS KEEPERS                            STEPHEN KING


SICK IN THE HEAD                            JUDD APATOW

KILLING MONICA                             CANDACE BUSHNELL

SEVENEVES                                         NEAL STEPHENSON

BRADSTREET GATE                          ROBIN KIRMAN


go-set-a-watchman-harper-leeGO SET A WACTHMAN                  HARPER LEE


PRETTY BABY                                      MARY KUBICA

ALERT                                                    JAMES PATTERSON

TRUST NO ONE                                 PAUL CLEAVE

BEST OF ENEMIES                            JEN LANCASTER

DOG MASTER                                    W. BRUCE CAMERON

CIRCLING THE SUN                          PAULA MCLAIN

WHO DO YOU LOVE                        JENNIFER WEINER


X                                                             SUE GRAFTON


UNDERCOVER                                   DANIELLE STEEL

LAST BUS TO WISDOM                   IVAN DOIG


Kindle Titles:

Epilogue: a Memoir                         Will Boast

Pitch Perfect                                      Mickey Rapkin

Execution                                            Dick Wolf

Leaving of Things                             Jay Antani

Last Flight of Poxl West                 Daniel Torday

Animals                                                Christian Kiefer

the night crewNight Crew                                         Bryan Haig

Dark Lure                                             Loreth White

Fourth of July Creek                       Smith Henderson

Tinseltown                                          William Mann

Glass Kitchen                                     Linda F. Lee

Heiresses                                            Sara Shepard

Ross Poldark                                      Winston Graham

One Second After                            William Forstchen

Summer Reading Author to Speak at President’s Convocation

Author and TV writer and producer Kevin Roose will speak Sept. 9 at the President’s Convocation at Illinois Wesleyan University. Roose is the author of The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University , which was selected for the University’s Summer Reading Program.

speaker-roose-kevinRoose was a self-described fairly typical Brown University student who “studied English lit, drank fair-trade coffee, attended the occasional anti-war protest, and sang in an a cappella group” before he became fascinated with Liberty University, a Christian liberal arts college founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. Roose wanted to know more about his Christian peers, so in his junior year he transferred to Liberty to live among fellow students while pretending to be one of them. The Unlikely Disciple (Grand Central Publishing, 2009) is the story of that semester.

“The setup for this book sounds like a joke…But Kevin Roose, a strong and thoughtful writer, pulls it off without caricatures or condescension, and with a whole lot of humor and soul-searching,” according to a review in The Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The Unlikely Disciple also received praise from numerous news outlets, including Jewish Week,, and The Paris Review.

Roose is also the author of Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits, a 2014 New York Times bestseller looking at the lives of eight young Wall Street bankers. He has written for GQ, Esquire, the New York Times, and New York magazine, among others. He is currently a senior editor and co-executive producer at Fusion, the joint venture between Univision and Disney/ABC.

The President’s Convocation, which begins at 11 a.m. in Presser Hall’s Westbrook Auditorium (1210 N. Park St., Bloomington), traditionally opens the academic year at Illinois Wesleyan with a prominent speaker. Roose’s address is free and open to the public. Roose will sign copies of The Unlikely Disciple at 1 p.m. Sept. 9 in the Young Main Lounge of the Memorial Center (104 E. University).

This article originally appeared on the IWU News & Events page – Aug. 26, 2015

Discussion of the Diversity Progress Report

Members of the University Council on Diversity will discuss the IWU 2020: Diversity progress report on Wednesday, September 2 at 11am. This report outlines successes from 2014-15 and goals for 2015-16. The entire campus community is invited to review and discuss our campus diversity commitments and initiatives.3D-logo-color