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University and Local Communities Attend Read-In

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 13th, 2013

People from the University and Morgantown communities gathered together recently at the Downtown Campus Library to participate in a read-in and discussion focused on the Libraries’ new collection of Islamic culture books.

The event, hosted by the Libraries, the WVU Religious Studies Program, and the Islamic Center of Morgantown, promoted the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf, a collection of books, films, and an online database funded through an award by the National Endowment of the Humanities and the American Library Association.

Students from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds read selections from poetry, prose, and personal narratives. Participants took time to discuss each reading and offered their thoughts the on works.

“Sharing literature helps us recognize commonalities that transcend geographic origins or religious beliefs,” said Beth Toren, media and religious studies librarian for the WVU Libraries. “Recognizing our common humanity broadens and balances our perspectives.”

WVU is among 840 institutions across the nation to receive the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf, which provides an introduction to Islamic cultures in the United States and around the globe. Muslim Journeys is the first in the National Endowment of the Humanities Bridging Cultures series.

Marzia Martignoni, a graduate student in the World Languages Department, explains why she selected the passage she read.

Alaina Tetrick, a first-year graduate student in the counseling program, reads portions from a book she found interesting.

Brendan Muckian-Bates, a master’s student in history and a graduate teaching assistant with the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, offers some thoughts before reading a few poetry selections.

A group of students and a faculty member discuss their thoughts on a reading.

The Muslim Bookshelf contains an array of books and DVDs that have been added to the Libraries’ collection and are available to be checked out.

Fellow grant recipients pose for the camera following the read-in: Imam Sohail Chaudhry, who teaches at WVU and serves as Imam at the Islamic Center of Morgantown; Beth Toren, media and religious studies librarian for the WVU Libraries; and Aaron Gale, chair of the WVU Religious Studies Program.

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