Convocation Book Committee 2009-10


  1. Monday, 14 September 2009, 12:30-1:45PM, A&S 315 > Notes
  2. Wednesday, 8 October 2009, 12:30-1:45PM, A&S 315 > Notes
  3. Monday, 30 November 2009, 12:30-1:45PM, A&S 315 > Notes
  4. Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 12:30-1:45PM, A&S 315 > Notes


College/Department Email
Blazer, Alex (Chair)
A&S: English & Rhetoric
Bragg, Beauty (Fall only) A&S: English & Rhetoric
Palmer, Eustace A&S: English & Rhetoric
Whitaker, Elaine A&S: English & Rhetoric
Sams, Doreen "Dee" Business: Marketing
Gregg, Diane Education: Foundations/Secondary Education
Tucker, Nathan Graduate Student: A&S: English & Rhetoric
Butler, Scott Health Sciences: Kinesiology
Hobbs, Will Health Sciences: Kinesiology
Harshbarger, Bruce Student Affairs
Jahr, Paul Student Affairs

Goals and History

In 2008, the Committee chose from Arab/Persian and Arab/Persian-American memoirs, broadly defined, because they introduced the students to diversity and globalism, two goals of GCSU's philosophy statement:  The book we select should broach some of these values:

In our 14 September 2009 meeting, the Committee further clarified that the Convocation Book should


Amazon = plot and reviews

Dropbox = downloadable excerpt


No Longer Being Considered

To Be Considered for 2011



Fred Chappell’s Brighten the Corner Where You Are (a comic novel set in 1946 and told by the son of an innovative rural North Carolina schoolteacher whose approach to the theory of evolution sets him at odds with the local school board)


Denise Giardina's Storming Heaven (a historical novel tracing the pain of unionizing the coal mines of Kentucky and West Virginia in the early 20th century)


Dr. Lori Arviso Alvord’s The Scalpel and the Silver Bear (autobiographical tale of a Navaho torn between practicing the methods of medicine preferred by her culture versus the ways taught by her professional training at Dartmouth and Stanford)


Lee Smith’s Oral History (a novel that captures the folklore and the history of an Appalachian family from the late 19th century to the late-mid 20th century)


Melissa Fay Greene’s Praying for Sheetrock (a nonfiction story of the rise and fall of the first black commissioner of McIntosh County, Georgia)


Janisse Ray’s Ecology of a Cracker Childhood (a memoir of growing up in a junkyard in South Georgia interlaced with Rachel Carson-like chapters that recount the history and the effects of the loss of the state’s native longleaf pine forests)


J. Joaquín Fraxedas’s The Lonely Crossing of Juan Cabrera (a Hemingway-like novel of three Cubans who endure a hurricane as they flee on a small raft from their homeland to Florida)


Ruben Martinez’s Crossing Over (an ethnography of Mexican American immigrants, both legal and illegal, set in their homes in Mexico and in their adopted homes in the U.S.)
2006 Silas House’s Clay’s Quilt
2007 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus
2008 Tayari Jones’ Leaving Atlanta
2009 Nawal El Saadawi's Woman at Point Zero