‘Go Big Read’ panel of UW-Madison experts scheduled for Oct. 9

J.D. Vance's "Hillbilly Elegy," the common-reading program's selection for this year, has people talking as it touches on a wide range of pressing contemporary issues.

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In “Hillbilly Elegy,” J.D. Vance tells the story of what it feels like to be born into a region and class that has experienced serious economic disruption. He shares his family’s story, starting with his grandparents’ move from Appalachia to Ohio following World War II in hopes of escaping poverty.

The book has people talking as it touches on a wide range of pressing contemporary issues, including opioid addiction, access to education, and the pursuit of the American dream.

That conversation will continue at the Go Big Read Keynote Event at 7 p.m. Oct. 9 at Memorial Union’s Shannon Hall. The event is free and no ticket is required.

Bucky Badger helps distribute complimentary copies of "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis" following the Chancellor's Convocation for New Students at the Kohl Center. (Photo by Jeff Miller, UW-Madison)
In “Hillbilly Elegy,” J.D. Vance tells the story of what it feels like to be born into a region and class that has experienced serious economic disruption. (Photo by Jeff Miller, UW-Madison)
The book is the 2017-18 selection for Go Big Read (GBR), a UW–Madison common-reading program designed to engage students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members in a shared, academically focused reading experience. (Photo by Jeff Miller, UW-Madison)
The Go Big Read program is sponsored by the office of UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, shown preparing to hand out free copies of "Hillbilly Elegy." (Photo by Jeff Miller, UW-Madison)

A panel from the University of Wisconsin–Madison will share its expertise on themes addressed in the book. The panelists include political science Professor Kathy Cramer, author of “The Politics of Resentment,” who will talk about politics and cultural anger; social work Professor Katherine Magnuson, who will discuss poverty and stress in childhood; and family medicine Assistant Professor Aleksandra Zgierska, who will talk about addiction, chronic pain and opioids.

An audience question-and-answer session will follow the panel discussion, which will be moderated by English and American studies Professor Russ Castronovo, whose own research focuses on politics and critical citizenship.

The keynote event will also be livestreamed at gobigread.wisc.edu.

Last year’s Go Big Read selection, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” by UW–Madison alumnus Matthew Desmond, won a Pulitzer Prize in April. Desmond received his doctorate from UW–Madison in 2010 and is an associate professor of sociology and social studies at Harvard University, and an affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the UW.

The Go Big Read program is an initiative of the Office of the Chancellor.

Story courtesy of University Communications.