CAAS Campus-Community Book Club & Study Group

The Campus-Community Book Club provides a unique opportunity for the greater Spartanburg Community and USC upstate students, staff, and faculty to participate in a collaborative educational experience. The Book Club is built on a public scholarship model, and is rooted in the African American Studies tradition of community engagement.

Over the course of an academic year club members deep dive into four-to-six books that share a common theme relevant to the contemporary moment. Members will participate in a series of seminar-styled discussions, where the insights and lessons of each book will be critically discussed. This experience is perfect for community members seeking continuing educational opportunities, and for students interested in extra-curricular, community-based learning.

While encouraged, program participation does not require that members participate in every book discussion in the series.


2021-2021 Study Group Theme

“Exploring Intersectionality: Race, Gender, and the Experiences of Black American Women”

In partnership with Spartanburg’s Beyond This February Bookstore and USC Upstate’s Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, the 2021-2022 theme for the Campus-Community Book Club is “Exploring Intersectionality: Race, Gender, and the Experiences of Black American Women.” Between October 2021 and April 2022 the book club will hear the literary voices of black women within the United States expressed through memoirs and autobiographical narratives. The five texts included in the 21-22 series offer insights into the lives of three generations of black women, and the ways in which humor, tragedy, history and resistance have shaped their unique American experiences. Please join Tamika Thompson, founder of Beyond This February, Colleen O’Brien, USC Upstate Professor of African American Studies, Literature, and Women’s Studies, and Nick Gaffney, Director of USC Upstate’s Center for African American Studies in an enriching and educational community experience.

Reading List:

October 26, 2021

6:00 p.m - 7:00 p.m

Issa Rae, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

(Simon and Schuster, 2015)

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November 23, 2021

6:00 p.m - 7:00 p.m

Zora Neal Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road: A Memoir

(Amistad Press, 2006)

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February 15, 2022

6:00 p.m - 7:00 p.m

Michele Obama, Becoming

(Crown Publishing Group, 2018)

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March 15, 2022

6:00 p.m - 7:00 p.m

Tarana Burke, Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement

(Flatiron, 2021)

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April 19, 2022

6:00 p.m - 7:00 p.m

Natasha Trethewey, Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir

(Ecco Press, 2020)

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