books recently read - jan/feb 2021

The Call of the Wild + Free by Ainsley Arment

The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart

When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön

Midwest Futures by Phil Christman

Things You Would Know If You Grew Up Here by Nancy Wayson Dinan

The Overstory by Richard Powers 

Home Learning Year By Year by Rebecca Rupp 

The Rise and Fall of English by Robert Scholes 

books recently read - sep/oct 2020

Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London by Lauren Elkin

The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante

The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling

A Burning by Megha Majumdar

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad

Intimations by Zadie Smith 

You Will Never Be Forgotten by Mary South 

books recently read - jul/aug 2020

Fallout by Lesley M.M. Blume

Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

The Death of Sitting Bear by M. Scott Momaday

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

Real Life by Brandon Taylor 

Barn 8 by Deb Olin Unferth

Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer

welcome to word power

Good evening, and welcome to Word Power: How Words Define and Confine Our Reality.

We just had the pleasure of experiencing James Brown, MD, on his Arborlune.

My name is James Schirmer and I'm currently chair of the English department at the University of Michigan-Flint.

It is my honor and privilege to not only welcome you to this event but to also recognize my incredible colleague Dr. Erica Britt as tonight's moderator.

Before turning everything over to her, I have a couple things to share.

First, this is a public event streaming through both Zoom and Facebook Live.

Those interested in Q&A participation should be viewing Word Power through Zoom, but we'll keep an eye out for any comments or questions on Facebook.

Second, you should feel free to click on the "Live Transcript" button in Zoom to follow along a bit easier.

Third, words matter. With apologies to the late, great Prince, words, like albums and black lives, still matter.

The words we choose to use, the reading and writing and speaking of them, the tapping and typing, the scribbling and swiping, constrain and frame, praise and blame, construct and destruct who we and others are.

Of course, that understanding is why we are here.

So, again, I am honored and privileged to be here, to listen in on what lies ahead and behind and now.

And I am glad you are here, that we are here, amid pandemic and police brutality, despite uncertainty and strife.

We are here and we are ready to hear. Dr. Britt, let's begin...

books recently read - mar/apr 2020

The World-Ending Fire by Wendell Berry

Incidental Inventions by Elena Ferrante 

Dictionary of the Undoing by John Freeman

That Wild Country by Mark Kenyon

Inland by Tea Obrecht

Weather by Jenny Offill

Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener

books recently read - jan/feb 2020

Walking by Erling Kagge

Waking Up White by Debby Irving

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

Walking Art Practice by Ernesto Pujol

Little Weirds by Jenny Slate 

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson 

books recently read - nov/dec 2019

Make It Scream, Make It Burn by Leslie Jamison

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

A Walking Life by Antonia Malchik

White Flights by Jess Row 

Trace by Lauret Savoy 

The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine 

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher 

Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson 

books recently read - sep/oct 2019

Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Impossible Views of the World by Lucy Ives

Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

Because Internet by Gretchen McCulloch

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

The Need by Helen Phillips

The Third Horseman by William Rosen 

The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Tsing