Each year, the Department of First-Year Programs at Kennesaw State University selects a book that will be the common reader assigned in all First-Year Seminars. When they chose Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? for the 2012-2013 program, there were no plans to extend the selection over two years.
But the book was such a success that it’s been named the 2013-2014 common reader, as well.
Jim Davis, Assistant Professor of Theatre & Performance Studies and Chair of the Common Reader Selection Committee for the Department of First-Year Programs, writes, “the book worked so well with the class we decided to do it again . . . It’s served us really well.”
In the fall, first-year students will enroll in one of Kennesaw’s four First-Year Seminars: KSU 1101: Traditional Seminar, KSU 1111: Globally Focused Seminar, KSU 1121: Community Engagement Seminar, or KSU 1200: Leadership Development Seminar. Justice will be assigned reading in all of these classes.
Every new student takes a first-year seminar, either as an independent three-credit course or as part of a Learning Community, which is a group of “20-25 first-semester students who co-enroll in two or more courses that are linked together with a common theme.” These choices offer freedom and flexibility to a student body with diverse interests and goals, and all the seminars aim to develop students’ “life skills, strategies for academic success, campus and community connections, and foundations for global learning.”
For instance, Professor Davis’ seminar is part of a Learning Community for Theatre & Performance Studies majors. Last fall, he “used [Justice] as a starting point for a series of performances based on how the students were handling the election year.” Practicing “techniques of ethnography, theater-for-social-change and improvisational theater,” students produced performances pieces that reflected some of the specific issues and questions presented in the book as well as the reality of facing those issues and questions as young adults and new college students.
In the past, KSU has also adopted Paul Loeb’s Soul of a Citizen and Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone for the common reading program. Click here to see the other schools that have adopted these Popular Picks for common reading from Macmillan!
Justice • Farrar, Straus & Giroux Paperbacks • 320 pages