Campus hosts NEA Big Read series

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Staff Writer

IU South Bend is hosting the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Big Read for the month of March.

According to website, “The NEA Big Read exposes people to new genres and ideas and challenges their current tastes in literature….Showcasing a diverse range of contemporary titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, the NEA Big Read aims to inspire conversation and discovery.”

Last year IU South Bend received a grant to host the NEA Big Read in St. Joseph County. According to a press release from campus, “IU South Bend is one of 75 nonprofit organizations (and one of only three in the state of Indiana) to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host a community reading program.”

According to Jay Vanderveen, the must-attend events are a TEDx Talk on Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m. in Education and Arts room 1011 titled “Not Yet Dead Talks,” and Thursday, March 21 with author Tom Hart at 7 p.m., again in Education and Arts room 1011 for an event titled “Capturing Emotion in Graphic Memoir.”

One of the books that Jay Vanderveen is eager for students to learn about that is featured is “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” by Roz Chast.

“The format of the book is accessible in a way people don’t think,” Vanderveen said. “We think of comics as juvenile or humorous, but comic books are an old form of communication that is getting a new life. ‘Persepolis’ about a middle Eastern woman trying to survive her life or ‘Maus’ that is about the Holocaust told through the eyes of the mouse. It’s the same of way telling a story but in a new format.”

Students who are interested in learning more about the upcoming events can go to for more info.

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