One Book, One University

2016OneBookAs part of the Freshman La Verne Experience, all freshmen will participate in a common reading program in their FLEX Learning Community to help integrate into the broader community of learners at the University of La Verne.  The One Book, One University program promotes reading and the discussion of diverse perspectives as a common intellectual experience, teaches writing as a way of learning through reflection, and encourages civic communication while actively engaged in the world. In particular, the One Book, One University Program integrates La Verne’s four core values into student learning:

  • A values orientation that encourages students to reflect upon personal, professional, and societal values;
  • A respect for diverse communities and the biodiversity of the planet;
  • Active lifelong learning;
  • Engaged community service.

This year’s selection is Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine.

(Amazon): A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine’s long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking book Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric.

Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.

Awards: Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry; Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry; Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism; Winner of the NAACP Image Award; Winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize; Winner of the PEN Open Book Award.

Critical Acclaim: ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, Boston Globe, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, NPR. Los Angeles Times, Publishers Weekly,Slate, Time Out New York, Vulture, Refinery 29, and many more . . .

Author Background

Claudia Rankine (born 1963) is a poet, essayist, playwright and the editor of several anthologies. She is the author of five volumes of poetry, two plays and various essays. Rankine is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and the Aerol Arnold Chair of English at the University of Southern California. MORE


Campus Activities Associated with this year’s selection:

All events associated with this year’s book selection are free.
November 2, 2016, Morgan Auditorium:
1) FLEX Students Only: 11:45am-1:10pm;
2) University-wide Lecture: 3:30pm.
La Verne Campus directions.

Previous One Book, One University selections include:

2015                      2014                      2013                     2012

ConservManifestoScottRussellSanders2015 EnriquesJourney  LJRodriguez_Book






2011                       2010

MBayoumi_Book    SLopez_Book