Skip to main content

Book Club Events

The Student Affairs Book Club is a professional development opportunity open to all Student Affairs staff. This year’s Book Club selections for the winter, spring, and summer quarters are listed below. Each Book Club meeting is over a lunch hour. Lunch is provided, as is a free copy of the book(s) to be discussed. If you are interested, please look for sign-up information as dates get closer. Approximately 12-15 people attend each of the Book Club discussions.

The Death of Expertise: The campaign against established knowledge and why it matters

Book description:

As Tom Nichols describes in The Death of Expertise, people are now exposed to more information than ever before, provided both by technology and by increasing access to every level of education. These societal gains, however, have also helped fuel a surge in narcissistic and misguided intellectual egalitarianism that has crippled informed debates on any number of issues. Nichols has deeper concerns than the current rejection of expertise and learning, noting that when ordinary citizens believe that no one knows more than anyone else, democratic institutions themselves are in danger of falling either to populism or to technocracy-or in the worst case, a combination of both. The Death of Expertise is not only an exploration of a dangerous phenomenon but also a warning about the stability and survival of modern democracy in the Information Age.

I Love Learning, I Hate School: An anthropology of college

Book description:

In "I Love Learning; I Hate School," Blum tells two intertwined but inseparable stories: the results of her research into how students learn contrasted with the way conventional education works, and the personal narrative of how she herself was transformed by this understanding. Blum concludes that the dominant forms of higher education do not match the myriad forms of learning that help students―people in general―master meaningful and worthwhile skills and knowledge. Students are capable of learning huge amounts, but the ways higher education is structured often leads them to fail to learn. More than that, it leads to ill effects. In this critique of higher education, infused with anthropological insights, Blum explains why so much is going wrong and offers suggestions for how to bring classroom learning more in line with appropriate forms of engagement.

Braving the Wilderness: The quest for true belonging and the courage to stand along

Book description:

Social scientist Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives—experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other.