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IU Lifelong Learning: Immigrants and the Power of Words

  • Monroe County Public Library 303 East Kirkwood Avenue Bloomington, IN, 47408 United States (map)

A two-part class exploring the immigrant experience in the United States through American literature. Learn more and register.

Note: Class fee is $65 and includes one ticket to The Power of Words: An Evening with Jamie Ford at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater and admission to the author reception gala following the event.

About the Course:

Thursday, November 2 (7–8:30 PM)
Our conversation begins with Elizabeth Gray’s presentation of American Literature and the Immigrant Experience. American literature is filled with stories portraying the immigrant experience. From the explosive descriptions of immigrant exploitation in The Jungle to modern day conflicts between immigrant parents and their children, these stories provide insight into their lives. This class provides a look at the history of immigrant fiction in American literature and how it shapes our culture, as well as a discussion on the portrayal of immigrants in author Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You.

Thursday, November 9 (7–8:30 PM)
IU faculty member, Ellen Wu, will continue with her lecture The Great American Melting Pot: Myth or Reality? Americans love to think of their country as a land that has long attracted the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” and the quintessential “Melting Pot.” But how useful is this framework for comprehending the experiences of the nation’s myriad peoples-and indeed, for grasping the meanings of “America” itself? This session explores the various ways that Americans and newcomers through the ages have treated migration as both a problem and a solution. The aim is to provide historical context that will deepen our understanding of today’s hot-button immigrant debate.

Friday, November 17 (7 PM)
The final highlight will be the opportunity to hear from and meet author Jamie Ford at the Power of Words gala at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

Note: This course is approved by the Indiana State Library for six General Library Education Units (LEU’s). If you choose not to register for the IU Lifelong Learning course, you can still earn two LEU’s by attending The Power of Words: An Evening with Jamie Ford—a free ticketed event. Contact Bara Swinson for further information and requirements.