Let’s talk about Queen’s Reads

Insight behind the engagement of critical thinking on campus

The Break is about of a Metis family grappling with intergenerational trauma and growth. 

Queen’s Reads is an annual on-campus reading program which distributes a free book to anyone interested. Queen’s Reads Development Coordinator Carolyn Thompson discussed what the program means for interested students as well as detailing the reasons behind choosing The Break. Below is an e-mail interview with The Journal. 

What is Queen’s Reads?

Queen’s Reads is a common reading program that will run over the 2017-2018 academic year for students, staff, faculty and community members. The 2017-18 Queen’s Reads book is The Break by Winnipeg author Katherena Vermette. The program aims to engage the campus in meaningful discussion, encourage critical thinking, and promote a sense of community. Interested students will be able to pick up a free copy of the book at locations around campus, including the Student Experience Office, the AMS Office, Stauffer Library and Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre. All interested students, undergraduate and graduate/professional are welcome to participate. 

Who chose the book?

The Break was selected by the Queen’s Reads Advisory Group, which had representatives from AMS, Student Affairs, Residence Life, the Student Experience Office, Student Academic Success Services and the Queen’s Learning Commons. Additionally, a student Residence Don, a student-at-large, and a student employee of the Student Experience Office sat on the Advisory Group.

Why was The Break chosen? Does the subject matter of the book have any effect on that choice or is it for other reasons?

The Advisory Group felt that diversity and inclusion, along with resiliency, were important themes to consider when choosing a book for Queen’s Reads. These are part of The Break. The book tells an intergenerational story of a Metis family as they navigate the effects of trauma. The themes align with many of the conversations Queen’s has been having about our own identity, our relationship with our local community and each other. 

What hopes do you have for this book on campus this year beyond it being given away in September?

Students will have the opportunity to participate in events, discussion groups, a writing/media contest and a visit from the author, no matter how much (or little) of the book they’ve read!

We hope the community will use Queen’s Reads, its related programming and events to talk about the book’s important messages related to identity, diversity, Indigenous culture, sexual violence and resilience.

Those interested in finding out more about the program can visit our website: queensu.ca/studentexperience





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