Required Summer Reading Experience
Each fall semester, all incoming students arrive to campus having read the same book. This common book is chosen to enrich our perspectives and to invite conversation from across our different fields of interest. We hope this initial experience will help you get a sense of the intellectual community here at Millersville. We think it's an exciting program and look forward to you joining us.
One Book, One Campus Selection for 2012-13
The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone
We are pleased to announce The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone as the One Book, One Campus selection for the 2012-13 academic year. The goal of the One Book program is to stimulate discussion and critical thinking around a common book’s theme, enhancing a sense of community among students, faculty, and staff as we engage with each other’s diverse perspectives.
Written by the co-host of National Public Radio’s “On the Media,” The Influencing Machine explores the role that media play in our culture. Gladstone covers a wide span of history to debunk the belief that the media exerts one-way control over the public. Instead of a machine that supposedly influences us, the media is just as likely to reflect the perspectives we already believe, given our ability to select and filter what we see and hear. The book challenges us to question our trust in “objectivity” and exposes many of our most powerful yet least noticed biases.
The history and ongoing debates over media influence are illustrated throughout the book in very engaging visual style that mirrors the author’s own witty narrative voice. According to Gladstone, the graphic novel form allows her to better focus on the details of such a diverse and hotly disputed topic, taking us from the publications in Ceasar’s Rome to the Penny Press of the American Revolution to the agendas of contemporary journalists. Ultimately, Gladstone tries to give us tools to better navigate, consume, and engage with the media.
Programming around the book will build upon campus events surrounding the fall 2012 election season and the opening of the university's Visual and Performing Arts Center. We will be looking for other opportunities to engage the campus around Gladstone's unique and relevant message. We hope faculty will consider integrating the book and its themes into courses during the 2012-13 academic year. We appreciate the continued support of faculty, staff, and students to enrich our comunity through this program.
Copies of The Influencing Machine will be available for purchase in the University Bookstore in the spring 2012 semester.
We thank the One Book, One Campus Committee for their work.
One Book, One Campus Committee: Dr. Caleb Corkery (chair), Dr. Jeff Adams, Dr. Lesley Colabucci, Dr. Dennis Downey, Dr. Oliver Dreon, Dr. Natalia Dushkina, Dr. Noel Heitmann, Dr. Erin Dorney, Dr. Christine Filippone, Dr. Gregory Seigworth, Ms. Angela Simmons, and Ms. Melissa Pottinger.