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The Great American Read Lecture Series: Literary Themes -- Who Am I?
Each episode of PBS's The Great American Read will explore one of five overarching literary themes. Join the discussion about why the books we read matter, why we're drawn to these themes and what they tell us about ourselves.
Dr. Rewa Burnham of Trinity Washington University will lead the discussion. This week's theme: Who Am I? Ages 13 and up.
Who Am I?
In this hour, we examine some of your best-loved books that reflect our feelings as we attempt to find our way, to figure out how we relate to others and to develop our personal moral compass. These stories help us make sense of our own lives, as we observe the characters going through their own rites of passage—at every stage of life.
Regardless of the age of the characters or how old we are when we first read these books, they all teach us important lessons about empathy and coping with change. And they give us new perspectives that we may not have had before.
OVERARCHING QUESTION: How do our favorite books about self-discovery help us navigate our life’s journey?
Rewa Burnham is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Trinity Washington University. She teaches African American literature, multicultural literature, and twentieth century American literature. Her research examines fugitive figures in contemporary African American literature and representations of the body in black women's autobiographical writing. She is currently working on a personal history that highlights similarities between the lives of black women across four generations.
Ph.D. and M.A., English Language and Literature, University of Maryland, College Park; B.A., English and Public Affairs, Trinity College