BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University’s Common Reading Program has named Nora Krug’s award-winning graphic memoir “Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home” as its 2021–22 book selection for the university’s incoming class of first-year and transfer students.
The selection of a graphic novel marks a first in the program’s history, according to Dr. Don Presnell, director of the Common Reading Program, a unit within University College.
For the past 24 years, the Common Reading Program Committee has selected a book for incoming first-year and transfer students to read together in order to jump-start intellectual engagement both inside and outside the classroom. Students will receive an e-book copy of “Belonging” during their orientation sessions.
“Nora Krug’s poignant graphic memoir reminds us that identity cannot be confined to a single time, place, culture or family. Regardless of our backgrounds and present circumstances, all of us are continually exploring who we are, where we are from and where we are going,” Presnell said. “More than a record or document, ‘Belonging’ is — for all its readers — an invitation to continue searching and learning.”
The story and themes of “Belonging” should be especially meaningful for first-year students, Presnell said, whose entry into higher education will begin a new chapter in their own personal and educational journeys.
The Common Reading Program selection is a required component of App State’s First Year Seminar courses, but Presnell encouraged colleges, departments and faculty across the university “to integrate the book into their curricula and disciplines so that all App State students can participate in and share a common reading and intellectual experience.”
Krug is scheduled to visit App State as part of a series of yearlong virtual events surrounding the Common Reading Program experience, beginning in mid-September. Details will be made available as they become finalized.
Krug, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian and Le Monde diplomatique, is the recipient of fellowships from the Maurice Sendak Foundation, Fulbright Program, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.
She is an associate professor at Parsons School of Design in New York and lives in Brooklyn with her family.
Visit App State’s Common Reading Program website for updates and to learn more about the program.
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About the Common Reading Program at Appalachian
Since 1997, incoming first-year students at Appalachian State University have been asked to read a book as part of their orientation to the university. By participating in the Common Reading Program, students establish a common experience with other new students that will help develop a sense of community with their new environment and introduce them to a part of the academic life they are beginning at Appalachian. This program is an exciting facet in Appalachian's orientation of new students to life on campus. Learn more at https://commonreading.appstate.edu/about.
About University College
Formed in 2007, University College consists of the university’s general education program, faculty and student support, and co-curricular programming and support – all designed to support the work of students both inside and outside the classroom. All students at Appalachian begin their education in University College and benefit from its programs until they graduate. Learn more at https://universitycollege.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.