Books from Previous Years
A few words about Kingsborough's common reading for 2012 - 2013,
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot:
Science journalist Rebecca Skloot tells of the discovery and life of the immortal "HeLa" cells that have changed the world and of the woman those cells belonged to. She details why these uncanny cells have been indispensable to medical science, recounts the biography of Henrietta Lacks and her family, and reiterates each step of her own arduous research journey.
We are excited about the book in part because it engages nearly every discipline in meaningful ways. It is a work of American history concerning everything from science and medicine to various ethical and legal concerns, from matters of speech and representation to those of social justice and religious belief. In this highly readable book, Skloot illustrates aspects of class, race, sex, religion, gender and health in American life, as well as the broad social, political, and historical contexts for the scientific history that is her chief subject.
In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a set of diverse disciplinary interests and avenues of inquiry come together:
The possibilities in terms of response and analysis run the gamut. The visual arts seem a natural inspiration and, eminently possible too, is for students in Music, Performing Arts or literature classes to compose poems, stories or dramatic monologues inspired by Henrietta Lacks' life and story, as well as personal essays, music or dance interpretations. In terms of visual arts, Madeline Sorel has been having her art students work on illustrations inspired by the book, which will continue across the year. And, then, there is the more obvious potential to produce wonderful science projects and posters through work in chemistry, biology, nursing, health classes, etc., as well as critical essays tackling the book's themes in writing, history, behavioral science, political science, business, philosophy, ethics, and speech courses, among others.
See this informational video about KCC Reads and Rebecca Skloot's book. It was made in Spring 2013 by developmental English students working with Professor DL Anderson on the book:
Click the links below for support materials on the book as well as program info and events of the 2012 - 2013 academic year:
Inaugural Lecture with Prof. Susan Farrell, Dept. Chair, Behavioral Sciences & Human
Black History Month: "The History of Black Struggle and the Struggle for Black History"
Women's History Month:
"Women Biologists Respond to Henrietta Lacks and 'HeLa'"
"Women's Studies & Women's History: The Importance of the Henrietta Lacks Story"
Conference Poetry Session: