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IU Northwest selects ‘The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable’ for 2020-21 campus-wide reading initiative

By: Indiana University Northwest Last Updated: August 25, 2020

Virtual presentation by Author Amitav Ghosh planned for October 29

Indiana University Northwest’s One Book…One Campus…One Community reading initiative has announced its selection for the 2020-21 academic year, “The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable,” by Amitav Ghosh.

Throughout the academic year, the book’s themes will be integrated into classroom curricula, and explored on campus and in the community through discussions, film screenings, and other public events.

Author Amitav Ghosh will give a virtual presentation on October 29. The time and details about how to access the discussion are forthcoming. The talk will be moderated by Erin Argyilan, professor of geosciences, and Doug Swartz, clinical associate professor and director of the Writing Composition Program, who will also facilitate an audience Q&A session with questions submitted via a chat room.

About the book

The Great Derangement book

The acclaimed Indian novelist addresses what he calls an “imaginative failure in the face of global warming” and examines our inability—at the level of literature, history, and politics—to grasp the scale and violence of climate change.

The extreme nature of today’s climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. He also suggests that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action.

The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence—a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all cultural forms. His book serves as a summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.

About the reading initiative

The One Book … One Campus … One Community reading program is intended to build an intellectual and social rapport among students, staff, faculty, and community members. Through the collective experience of reading, thinking about, and discussing challenging ideas and themes about important social issues – especially those surrounding issues of diversity – campus perspectives are enriched.

Inspired by a similar program hosted on the IU Northwest campus from 2006 until 2010, the One Book...One Campus...One Community initiative has introduced a different book each year since January 2013.

Get Involved

The community is invited to join in the reading program by participating in public events. For more details and event updates, visit iun.edu/onebook.

“The Great Derangement” is available for purchase at the IU Northwest Book Store, as well as through Amazon.com.