Multicultural literature is the study of literary works that deal with strong cultural content. Traditionally, such readings would predominantly deal with non-dominant, United States domestic culture, i.e., African American, Latino, Asian and Native American. However, this limited scope supports outdated concepts of diversity and excludes subcultures that are European in descent and international cultures that help us have greater historical understanding of U.S. culture and views about the western world. Accordingly, for the purposes of this book discussion group, we will use a broader definition of multicultural.

Like traditional literature, multicultural literature (MCL) deals with universal themes and the elements and techniques of whatever genre of literature. However, with the study of MCL, greater emphasis is placed on creating historical context, understanding elements of culture and exploring biases.

We, often, focus on differences and mentally separate ourselves from other cultures, creating an "Us versus Them" mentality. MCL provides us with the opportunity for greater understanding and appreciation of those cultures we deem different from our own.

Who can join?
The Book Club is open to all faculty, staff, students and community members.

How often does it meet?
The Book Club meets once a month, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Bring your own lunch.

Where does the club meet?
The Book Club meets at either the Intercultural Center or at the Library.

How do I get a copy of the book?
Contact Barbara Stransky, ext. 7279, to reserve a book for check out. Otherwise, you can borrow one from the Intercultural Center or purchase the book at a local store online.

What's in it for You?

  • Increased understanding and appreciation of cultural differences
  • Ability to articulate norms associated with individual cultures
  • Possible ways to integrate elements of multiculturalism or multicultural literature into the classroom (faculty)
  • Great books, great conversation and great fun!

Book List Spring 2016

The Underground Girls of Kabul -Jenny Nordburg

A bacha is a third kind of child – a girl who be raised as a boy and presented as a son to the world. Afghan women and girls clandestinely live on the other side of the gender divide that grants females little rights and freedom.

February 9th at the Library

Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah is about a Nigerian woman, Ifemelu, who moves to the United States, where she experiences America both as a black woman and as an African woman. 

February 9th at the Library

Subprimes - Karl Taro Greenfeld

In the future, people become their credit scores. Extreme wealth inequality has created a class of have nothings – Subprimes, fugitives who must keep moving to avoid arrest.

March 8th at the Library

Ishmael - Daniel Quinn

A disillusioned writer answers a personal ad and meets a wise gorilla, Ishmael, that can communicate telepathically. The two have philosophical dialogues about the history of civilization and the assumptions at the heart of many global problems.

April 12th at the Library
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