Gustavus Adolphus College has selected the books Where Am I Wearing and Where Am I Eating by author and journalist Kelsey Timmerman as its Reading in Common books for the 2014-15 academic year—the 15th year of the program at Gustavus. All first-year students are expected to read one of the two books during the summer before meeting with faculty members and other Gustavus students during New Student Orientation to discuss them. New Student Orientation is also loosely based around the themes found in the books. Timmerman will be on campus September 10 to give a free public lecture.
In his first book, Where Am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes, Timmerman takes readers on a journey through Asia and Latin America. From a 20-something t-shirt maker in Honduras to a single mother of two in Bangladesh, Timmerman humanizes the issues of globalization, intimately describing the connection between impoverished garment workers’ standards of living and the all-American material lifestyle, bridging the gap between global producers and consumers.
In his second book, Where Am I Eating: An Adventure Through the Global Food Economy, Timmerman introduces readers to the farmers and fishermen who grow and catch our food. The book tells fascinating stories of the people who produce the food we eat, explaining what their lives are like and how our habits affect them. The book also explores the global food economy including workers’ rights, the global food crisis, fair trade, and immigration.
Timmerman’s reporting has appeared in publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Condé Nast Portfolio and has aired on NPR. He has spoken at more than 70 universities, colleges, and high schools across the country. He empowers students to think globally and act locally, engages them with their education and the world, and helps students see where they fit in as doers, learners, consumers, volunteers, and glocals (local and global citizens).
Books for the Reading in Common program are chosen based on their literary quality, reading manageability, interdisciplinary nature, and the author’s availability for a campus appearance. Copies of Where Am I Wearing and Where Am I Eating will be available for purchase in the Book Mark beginning Friday, April 11 for $16 apiece. For more information about the Reading in Common program at Gustavus can be found online at gustavus.edu/orientation/ReadingInCommon.php.
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