Reading in Common Book Chosen at Gustavus

Posted on April 24th, 2006 by

<i>Honky</i> by Dalton Conley is the Gustavus Reading in Common book for 2006.

<i>Honky</i> by Dalton Conley is the Gustavus Reading in Common book for 2006.

The Gustavus Reading in Common book for 2006-07 is Honky by Dalton Conley, a coming of age memoir about community, diversity, and justice. The book, a record of Conley’s childhood as one of the few white boys in a neighborhood of mostly black and Puerto Rican housing projects on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, presents serious social issues such as race, class, and privilege in a non-threatening way.

Conley is the director of the Center for Advanced Social Science Research and an associate professor of sociology and public policy at New York University. Previously, he taught in the sociology and African American studies departments at Yale University. Other books Conley has written include Being Black, Living in the Red: Race, Wealth and Social Policy in America, and The Pecking Order. His essays have appeared in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. Conley is scheduled to visit Gustavus Sept. 20-21, 2006 to provide opportunities for interaction with students about the book’s content.

The books for the Reading in Common program are chosen based on their literary quality, reading manageability (college level reading but not too long), interdisciplinary nature, and the author’s availability for a campus appearance. All first-year students entering Gustavus are asked to read the chosen book over the summer and then meet with faculty members during new student orientation to discuss it. The book is also used as a reference or resource in the students’ First Term Seminar classes, and a website is maintained with discussion boards and other resources relating to the book and its subject matter. Finally, the author visits Gustavus during fall semester to speak about the topic and the issues raised throughout the book.

The goals for the program are to encourage intellectual interaction among students and faculty, facilitate a shared academic experience for all students, emphasize reading as a significant component of the college experience, and provide opportunities for first-year students to explore issues and ideas relevant to our community and our world.

The St. Peter Reads program has also chosen Honky as its fall reading and will schedule discussions of the book for members of the St. Peter community.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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