The Common Reading Experience 2008-2009

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Persepolis book cover

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First-year students enrolled in ASC 101: Introduction to University Life will share the common experience of reading Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi.

The goal of this common reading program is to create a shared learning experience that fosters student engagement, retention, and personal development beyond the classroom.  In pursuing this initiative, CSU joins college campuses throughout the country that make this part of the freshman year experience.  Although directed primarily at freshmen, we hope to engage the entire campus in this reading experience through promoting the book in other courses and sponsoring campus-wide activities to highlight the reading and its intersection with different disciplines and issues.

The book, Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi, is a graphic novel that charts the life experiences of a young girl growing up in Iran during the Shah’s overthrow and the Islamic Revolution of 1979.  The young heroine struggles to make sense of her faith, her politics, and her place in society as an Islamic girl amidst political upheaval and change.  Written in the tradition of works like Art Spiegelman’s Maus (1993) the book communicates powerful social and political commentary through a combination of black and white illustrations and text.

Books chosen for the Common Reading Experience in previous years include:

engaged learning

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