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Book Groups


Book groups are gatherings that usually last one-semester.  They are charged with the goal of fostering campus dialogue through viewing and discussing informative books.

These groups are faculty run and are usually held in CETL.  For those who do attend any of these book groups, CETL provides the book.  What a deal!

If you are interested in facilitating a book group that corresponds with the book group goal feel free to contact CETL for more information.  Let us know if you have any questions.

 Fall 2014 Book Groups

Peak Performing Professor

Peak Performing Professor: A Practical Guide to Productivity and Happiness

Grounded in research on neuroscience, faculty development, work productivity, positive psychology, and resilience, this faculty development guide is filled with the techniques and strategies that go beyond a discussion of work-life balance and teaching tips to offer practical tools for managing the life of the professor while maximizing his or her potential.

This book discussion will be led by Jennifer Muehlenkamp, Associate Professor of Psychology. Participants will discuss the book's ideas and complete the book's exercises to anchor their work, roles, and use of time in a way that maximizes one's potential and happiness in both personal and professional domains.  If you would like to make this a community of practice, contact Angie or Cindy to discuss your project.

Meetings will be held in the CETL lobby on Tuesdays from 3:00 - 4:00 pm and on Fridays from 9:00 - 10:00 am.  

Books will be provided.  Please register with CETL by September 10.


What Does it Mean to be White? Developing White Racial Literacy

What does it mean to be white in a society that proclaims race meaningless yet is deeply divided by race?

Robin DiAngelo argues that a number of factors make this question difficult for whites: miseducation about what racism is; ideologies such as individualism and colorblindness; defensiveness; and a need to protect (rather than expand) one's worldview. These factors contribute to what she terms 'white racial illiteracy.'

Speaking as a white person to other white people, Dr. DiAngelo clearly and compellingly describes how race shapes the lives of white people, explains what makes racism so hard for whites to see, identifies common white racial patterns, and speaks back to popular white narratives that work to deny racism.

In anticipation of a campus visit by Dr. Robin DiAngelo this fall, David Jones (Professor of English) and Mary Canales (Professor of Nursing) will hold two discussion sessions prior to her visit and a third session to meet with her and further discuss the book.

All meetings will take place in CETL on the following days:

September 18, 12:30 - 1 pm (book distribution, introductions only)
September 25, 12:30 - 1:45 pm
October 9, 12:30 - 1:45 pm
October 23, 12:30 - 1:45 pm, Dr. Robin DiAngelo, Author of What Does it Mean to Be White, will be joining the conversation on this day.

Facilitators: David Jones, Honors/EDI Fellow and Professor of English; Mary Canales, Honors/EDI Fellow and Professor of Nursing

Books will be provided. Please contact CETL to register.  Priority will be given to those who register before September 10.



Capital in the Twenty-First Century

What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But satisfactory answers have been hard to find for lack of adequate data and clear guiding theories. InCapital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty analyzes a unique collection of data from twenty countries, ranging as far back as the eighteenth century, to uncover key economic and social patterns. His findings will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.

Piketty shows that modern economic growth and the diffusion of knowledge have allowed us to avoid inequalities on the apocalyptic scale predicted by Karl Marx. But we have not modified the deep structures of capital and inequality as much as we thought in the optimistic decades following World War II. The main driver of inequality--the tendency of returns on capital to exceed the rate of economic growth--today threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic values. But economic trends are not acts of God. Political action has curbed dangerous inequalities in the past, Piketty says, and may do so again.

A work of extraordinary ambition, originality, and rigor, Capital in the Twenty-First Century reorients our understanding of economic history and confronts us with sobering lessons for today.

Dr. Thomas Kemp
Dr. Rose-Marie Avin
Professors of Economics

Number of meetings,
15 meetings over 2 semesters (each meeting will cover roughly one chapter of the book)

All will be held in CETL on Fridays from 12-1 pm 

Fall Dates,
September 12, 26

October 10, 24

November 7, 21

December 5

We will begin again in the spring semester to finish discussing the book.  Those dates will be announced at a later time.  

Books will be provided. Please contact CETL to register. Priority will be given to those who register before September 10.


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