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Common Reading Events

The Common Reading Program is made possible through the generous support of the Shepherd University Foundation. All events are free & open to the public.


Wednesday, Sept. 5th – 7:00 pM

Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History & Education Auditorium

“We Will Never Do Without Family”:  Hyeonseo Lee’s Escape from North Korea – lecture by Dr. David Gordon

Hyeonseo Lee’s story is rooted in the history of Korea, an ancient civilization that was tragically divided into north and south after World War II.  Lee and later her mother and brother escaped North Korea, a land that both flattered and brutalized its people.  This lecture compares Lee’s description of North Korea with the totalitarian regime depicted in George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, finding many similarities and one major difference:  In North Korea, family serves as a quiet but secure lifeline for its citizenry.

Refreshments to follow.

David B. Gordon holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Hawaii and has taught at Shepherd University since 2000.  His research focuses on modern East Asian intellectual history.  In 2009, his college-level biography of Chinese revolutionary Sun Yatsen was published by Pearson Prentice Hall. 

Friday, Sept. 14 – 9:00 aM

Annual Breakfast on the Porch, Scarborough Library Front Porch, until 11 a.m. – Recognizing the 12th anniversary of the Common Reading Program. Sponsored by Scarborough Library and Student Library Advisory Board


Monday, October 1st – 7:00 pM

Frank Center Theater

Hyeonseo Lee – Author Visit & Book-Signing

Hyeonseo Lee, a North Korean defector and the author of the 2018-2019 Common Reading “The Girl with Seven Names”, will speak at Shepherd University as the featured event of this year’s common reading program. Book signing and refreshments to follow. Sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation.

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