Belmont University has selected Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures for their 2014 First-Year Seminar common book program.
All first-year students will enroll in a First-Year Seminar, a core General Education course that encourages a lifetime of intellectual engagement:
What is Knowledge? Are there multiple ways of knowing and understanding the world around us? How do we apply knowledge gained in the classroom to the world around us?
Every seminar emphasizes practical skills for success as a student at Belmont and as a citizen beyond: critical thinking, engaged reading and listening, effective communication.
However, each seminar is organized around a different theme; some cover literature or film, some draw on scientific principles, some explore history or religion. First-year students may enroll in a seminar based in their intended field of study or explore a new area. Faculty from disciplines across the academic spectrum teach these seminars, and they will all incorporate The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.
The book complements Belmont’s 2014-2015 academic theme: “Living in a Global Community.” The annual theme, Belmont Questions, is a campus-wide tradition “developed to create a sense of community and stimulating dialog among students, faculty and staff.” Since Fall 2008, when the university hosted the Town Hall Presidential Debate, members of the Belmont community have been invited to propose ideas for a new annual theme. The common book selection, as well as many other programs, events, and activities, reflect the chosen theme each year.
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down • Farrar, Straus and Giroux • 368 pages