Each year, the co-directors of the InFocus program select a book related to the upcoming year’s InFocus theme. All incoming first-year students are required to read the book and submit an assignment prior to their arrival on campus in the fall as part of the First Year Writing Seminar (FYWS) Program.
Over summer 2018, students were encouraged to consider more deeply the reality of nuclear war through reading of a short nonfiction classic, Hiroshima, written by journalist John Hersey in 1946, one year after the global shock and crisis of the first use of atomic bombs in history. Hersey wrote about the actual lives of people who survived despite mass death and who experienced life under the mushroom cloud, which connects to the year’s InFocus theme of War, Peacebuilding and the Just Society.
A core approach of both InFocus and FYWS is that faculty across disciplines can engage with themes, writing, and reflection through their specific knowledge domain. There are FYWS classes in a variety of fields of study, which leads to robust discussion across campus regarding war, peacebuilding and the just society as students, faculty, and writing fellows engage with the summer text and annual theme from myriad perspectives.
Over the 2018-2019 year, InFocus will continue the conversation about war, peacebuilding and the just society on campus by hosting events and providing opportunities for all students, faculty, staff, and the broader community to engage with these issues.