The Ogden Honors College Selects New Shared Read
The LSU Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College has selected Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by renowned sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild as its 2017 Summer Shared Read text. Published in 2016, Strangers in Their Own Land follows Hochschild’s journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, to deeply conservative Louisiana.
In the book, Hochschild dives into Louisiana culture, attending gumbo cook-offs and church services; listening to pipefitters and plant operators; and tries to scale an “empathy wall” between opposing ideologies. Strangers in Their Own Land puts a spotlight on the country’s deep political divide, but also offers a way forward.
Strangers in Their Own Land was chosen for its relevance to HNRS 2000, a critical analysis course required for incoming Honors students that will address many of the topics discussed in the book. This year’s theme is “A House Divided,” and will explore different sides of often polarizing issues, including climate change.
Author Arlie Hochschild is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include family, market culture, global patterns of care work and social psychology with a recent focus on the relationship between culture, politics and emotion. Strangers in Their Own Land is a 2016 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction, a New York Times Best Seller and is considered one of the “6 Books to Understand Trump’s Win” according to the New York Times.
The Ogden Honors College Shared Read Program is designed to introduce new students to the academic and intellectual culture of the Honors College through a common reading experience. Each spring, the Ogden Honors College selects a single text as required summer reading for all incoming students and as recommended reading for current Honors students. Our academic year then begins in the fall with Honors Convocation and an address by the author of the Shared Read text. This year’s convocation is scheduled for August 30.
Incoming Ogden Honors students are required to read Strangers in Their Own Land by the time they arrive on campus in August. All other members of the College and its community are encouraged to participate in the Shared Read as well. Students can purchase the book at the Barnes and Noble on LSU’s campus, or at their local bookstore.
Article by Zoë Williamson, Ogden Honors College