What is InFocus?
What is InFocus & the First-Year Summer Reading Assignments?
Moravian’s InFocus program helps the University community engage with the most urgent and compelling problems facing humans and the world. Each year, we focus on one of four key areas:
➢ Health and Justice
➢ War and Peace
➢ Poverty and Inequality
➢ Sustainability and Eliminating Environmental Degradation
The Theme for academic year 2022-23 is War and Peace. We will be exploring this theme more deeply through the lens of reconciliation.
Conflict, whether physical, psychological, or moral, challenges us to reflect on our relationships and the values on which our lives are built. Too often we view differences among us as irreconcilable and are blind to similarities that could bind us together rather than tear us apart.
Wars often are fought based on differences and a refusal to compromise or empathize with others. War between nations, conflict between political parties or racial/ethnic groups, and disagreements among individuals all result in instability and turmoil. Efforts to reconcile and renew are necessary to achieve peace and a just society, at all levels of interaction.
This year‘s theme, “War and Peace” is a topic that can feel overwhelming. It connects to numerous geopolitical, societal, and interpersonal issues that are themselves broad in scope as well as complex in depth. These issues also intersect with health, poverty and inequality, and sustainability, the other key areas of InFocus. So, yes, the theme may feel too big to tackle, but the ocean is huge, too. Big as it is, though, you can still wade into it, and explore it. Don’t underestimate how equipped you are to take on the challenge of finding where each InFocus theme interconnects with this year's theme of War and Peace. You can wade into each of the themes, exploring where they may take you.
The book The Island of Missing Trees discusses two major concepts: division (geographic and otherwise) and conflict (personal and societal). Since we are exploring a large theme of War and Peace, our summer reading, The Island of Missing Trees, only begins our exploration into the investigation of War and Peace. Look to the text for examples of reconciliation on multiple levels.
The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak
Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021
ISBN: 1635578590, 9781635578591
Purchase at Moravian University Bookstore or Amazon.
Access the First-Year Writing 2022 Summer Assignments here (https://drive.google.com/file/d/15TemUAzg5pQh6EBAijQJDFl6dxWst5qK/view?usp=sharing)