Common Book 2013 - 2014: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Attention all members of the UW Bothell community; join us as we discuss the story behind the HeLa cells and how they have revolutionized the medical field.
Date: Friday, November 22nd, 2014
Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm
Location: North Creek Events Center
From the publisher:
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.
The Common Book program at UW Bothell is an interdisciplinary project that engages students, staff, faculty and community members in the collective reading and discussion of a common text.
Each spring, our committee selects a text that connects to a wide range of academic disciplines and is relevant to our learning communities. A slate of year-long programming will include author lectures, performing arts events, visual arts exhibits and student conferences.
Common Book 2012 - 2013: Respect An Exploration by Sara Lawrence Lightfoot
The University of Washington Common Book was introduced in 2006 with the goal of engaging new students in the University’s intellectual community. This year, the Center for University Studies and Programs (CUSP) at UW Bothell joins this project by reading Respect: An Exploration by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot. In this work, Lawrence-Lightfoot skillfully relates stories in which the theme of respect takes center stage. Respect will be integrated into appropriate courses and act as a catalyst for thought-provoking conversation and inquiry during the 2012-2013 academic year. Events will include an author reading at UW Seattle, a digital media arts project, and student-driven conferences on the topic of respect. We welcome you to join us in this reading and enjoy the corresponding events!
Kristine Kellejian, Director of Composition, Center For University Studies & Programs (CUSP)
Serving First Year and Pre-Major Students
From UW Seattle's Website:
Respect: An Exploration, by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, is a compelling investigation into the meaning and role of respect in our personal, professional, and civic lives. Through the eloquently told stories of six ordinary people—midwife, pediatrician, teacher, photographer, professor, and hospice worker—Lawrence-Lightfoot challenges us to rethink traditional understandings of this fundamental value and shows us instead how it can be a transformative force of empowerment and symmetry in our relationships, identities, and everyday experiences. Respect is a powerful example of deep inquiry and analysis by a celebrated academic. It is also a beautifully written, approachable, and revealing book on a topic that will always be relevant in the lives of individuals and central to the work of the University of Washington.
In the author’s own words:
“In this book, I hope to shape a new view of respect. Usually, respect is seen as involving some sort of debt due people because of their attained or inherent position, their age, gender, class, race, professional status, accomplishments, etc. Whether defined by rules of law or habits of culture, respect often requires expressions of esteem, approbation, or submission. By contrast, I focus on the way respect creates symmetry, empathy, and connection in all kinds of relationships, even those, such as teacher and student, doctor and patient, commonly seen as unequal. Rather than looking for respect as a given in certain relationships, I am interested in watching it develop over time. I see it not only as an expression of circumstance, history, temperament, and culture, rooted in rituals and habits, but also arising from efforts to break with routines and imagine other ways of giving and receiving trust, and in so doing, creating relationships among equals.” (p. 10-11)