Calhoun Announces 2014 Big Read Event; Pulitizer Prize Nominated Author and Historian to be Keynote Speaker


Pulitzer Prize Nominated author and historian Dr. Wayne Flynt to be keynote speaker

Calhoun Community College will culminate its 2014 “Big Read” project with a free community event to be held Wednesday, May 7, 2014, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Huntsville/Madison County Public Library, 915 Monroe Street. Featured book for this year’s Big Read is “All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren.

Keynote speaker for Wednesday’s event will be Dr. Wayne Flynt, who will speak on the topic, “Political Idealism, Disillusionment, Accommodation, and Cynicism: Where the Historical and Literary Worlds of Willie Stark and Huey Long Intersect”.

Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at Auburn University, Flynt has won numerous teaching awards and been a distinguished university professor for many years. His research focuses on Southern culture, Alabama politics, Southern religion, education reform, and poverty. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Online Encyclopedia of Alabama.

Of his twelve books (three co-authored), two deal with Florida politics, two with evangelical religion, three with poverty, and three are broad surveys of Alabama history.   Two of his books have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Flynt has been invited to lecture at universities and at “Big Read” programs in cities across America.  He has also been invited to lecture at Cambridge University, the University of Sussex, Queens University (Northern Ireland), University of Vienna, University of Szechuan, China, at the Roosevelt Center in the Netherlands, in Denmark, at a number of universities in India, and on ABC Radio Australia’s nationwide “Book Club.”  He was research scholar for a semester at Hong Kong Baptist University and also served a semester as Eudora Welty Visiting Scholar of Southern Studies at Millsap College, Jackson, MS.

Last fall, Calhoun kicked off its participation in the nationwide “Big Read” project, designed to encourage shared reading by having the college and surrounding community read and discuss the same book.  “Modeled after the National Endowment  for the Arts, Calhoun’s ‘Big Read’ has the goal of  engaging students, faculty, staff and the community in an energetic, robust, and academically-driven reading and sharing experience,” commented Leah Vallely, Calhoun faculty member and coordinator of the Big Read project.

Hundreds of students, faculty, staff and community members have spent the last few months reading the book selected for Calhoun’s “Big Read” program.

For more information on the Big Read Event, contact Vallely at 256-306-4758.

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