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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Faculty Diversity Book Club

Meeting consistently in the fall and spring, the club has read books that relate to women with diverse backgrounds as well as reading books with science fiction and fantasy aspects.
The+Faculty+Diversity+Book+Club+is+reading+Take+My+Hand+for+Oct.+
Photo by courtesy of Penguin Publishing Group
The Faculty Diversity Book Club is reading “Take My Hand” for Oct.

The Center for Teaching and Learning offers the Faculty Diversity Book Club for all faculty and staff working across campus to read, discuss and connect with each other once a month with a book.

Meeting consistently in the fall and spring, the club has read books that relate to women with diverse backgrounds as well as reading books with science fiction and fantasy aspects.

“The diversity book club served for a couple different purposes. It allows people to meet outside of their own context, outside of their own department and offer the chance to just talk about a book, because we have a lot of readers on this campus who really love to read,” Jennifer Maney, coordinator of the Faculty Diversity Book Club, said.

The club meets every third Friday of the month on Microsoft Teams. The book club has continued to meet on Microsoft Teams since the pandemic, so it gives an opportunity for all faculty and staff to participate.

One of the first members of the club Wendy Volz Daniels, Teaching Associate Professor in Social and Cultural Sciences, in the College of Arts & Sciences said it allows her to track people across campus that she otherwise wouldn’t have interacted with. One of the friends she made in the book club is Roberta Gaither retired adjunct in the College of Arts & Sciences.

“Every time that we would talk, we would like learn more about these things that we’re like, sort of similar,” Daniels said.

The different genres of books can spark conversations for the club. Daniels said she has interests in different genres, such as science fiction and fantasy, so she often encourages her to read books outside of her comfort zone.

While I may not be a reader of the fantasy genre, I’m a finisher. Even if I don’t like it, I push myself to read it and get through it,” Daniels said.

Maney picks the books for the club that include diverse fictional stories, but also stories written by diverse authors.

“We made it very intentional that we would pick representative authors, so authors with all different kinds of identities based on gender, based on sexual orientation, racial, ethnic language, country of origin, all those kinds of things,” Maney said.

In the past, the club has set up themes for the year. Last year, the theme was diverse women’s writers. Now, while this year there is no theme for the club, Maney said they have dived it into different genres, including science fiction and fantasy.

The choice of diverse books read in the club has brought the members together to recognize a variety of stories and narratives. Maney said she tries to connect narratives of characters in the book to students on campus.

“If you’re on staff, and you’re working with students in a different way than the classroom. It’s what are the stories of the students sitting in front of me, because I’m immersed in all these other stories? What are their stories? And I think that’s a nice kind of peripheral,” Maney said.

For the month of October, the book club is reading “Take My Hand” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez and will meet on Teams Oct. 20. Maney said all faculty and staff across Marquette’s campus are welcome to become immersed in the diverse narrative of the book and make connections.

This story was written by Reyna Galvez. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Reyna Galvez, Arts & Entertainment Reporter
Reyna Galvez is a junior from Chicago, Illinois studying Digital Media with a double minor in Communication Studies and Creative Writing. She is an Arts & Entertainment Reporter and Designer for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire, she loves to dance, watch movies and spend time with friends. Reyna is excited for her first year at the Wire!

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