Preface First-Year Reading and Writing Program at USC Upstate


First-year Reading and Writing Program

Preface is a first-year reading program that introduces students to the joy of reading critically and using academic disciplines and methods to approach the complex issues in our communities, nation, and world. Preface combines guided reading of a common book with special events and discussions, in which students engage questions raised by the book with university, community and national experts. We read, think, and talk together in order to see how concentrated, research-based attention to any subject can bring new solutions to light.

First-year students read the Preface text in English 101 and most University 101 courses and attend related events throughout the fall semester.

While Preface is geared primarily toward first-year students, it offers a calendar of events that are relevant to a wide range of university courses as well as the community. Events are planned in close cooperation with USC Upstate departments and organizations and are free and open to the public.

This fall, first-year writing students will read Border Child, a novel by Michel Stone. This award-winning author also lives in Spartanburg and published her first novel with the local Hub City Press. Border Child, which offers a sequel to Stone's Iguana Tree, explores the quest for the American dream and the nightmare of losing a child. It alternates points of view among different characters in order to tell the complicated story of past pain, present survival, and an enduring hope for the future. The events of the 2019 Preface series will explore visible and invisible borders around the world and in ourselves.

Preface Goals

The intent of this series of programs is to help USC Upstate first-year students make connections to each other and to the university and community, to practice skills and explore ideas that contribute to success in college, and to discuss how a deeper understanding of a shared reading can inform the way we make personal decisions and influence public policy today.

Border Child by Michel Stone, featuring an image of a child's toy bunny lying on the ground

Thursday September 12, 2019

Speaker Name: Speaking Down Barriers

See Speaker Bio

Session Title: “What's the Difference between You and Me?”
Session Time: 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Location: Sansbury Campus Life Center Ballroom

 Tuesday September 17, 2019

Speaker Name: Dr. Araceli Hernandez-Laroche 

Session Title: “Building El Nuevo Sur: Latina/X Voices, Community & Chingona Leadership

Session Time: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Sansbury Campus Life Center Ballroom

Thursday September 19, 2019

Speaker Name: Office of Service Learning and Community Engagement

Session Title: “Boots on the Ground: Students and Service Learning”

Session Time: 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Location: Sansbury Campus Life Center Ballroom

Tuesday September 24, 2019

Speaker Name: Rep. Neal Collins

See Speaker Bio

Session Title: “DACA Students and South Carolina Law”
Session Time: 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Tukey Theater

Thursday-Sunday October 3-6, 2019

Speaker Name: Upstate Theatre 

Session Title: “Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iiuzuka”
Session Time: Thursday- Saturday 8:00 p.m., Friday 10:00 a.m., and Sunday 3:00 p.m.
Location: Humanities and Performing Arts Center, Main Stage Theatre

Tuesday October 8, 2019

Session Title: “Don't Tell Anyone

Session Time: 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Location: Tukey Theater

Thursday October 10, 2019

Speaker Name: Dr. Karma Chavez
Session Title: "HIV-AIDS and the Rhetoric of Immigration

Session Time: 1:40 - 2:55 p.m.
Location:Sansbury Campus Life Center Ballroom

Keynote Speaker: Tuesday October 15, 2019

Speaker Name: Michel Stone 

See Speaker Bio

Session Title: “Borderlands: Opposition and Opportunity”
Session Time: 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Location: Sansbury Campus Life Center Ballroom

Tuesday October 22, 2019

Speaker Name: Alianza Hispana of Spartanburg Panel 

Session Title: “Children and Immigration”
Session Time: 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Tukey Theater

Tuesday November 5, 2019

Speaker Name: Dr. Jason Hansen

See Speaker Bio

Session Title: “Berlin Wall 1989: Historical Ruptures and Continuities
Session Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Location: Sansbury Campus Life Center Ballroom

Wednesday November 6, 2019

Speaker Name: Dr. Matthew Placek

Session Title: “The Lives of Others
Session Time: 1:30 - 4 p.m.
Location: HPAC 120

Thursday November 7, 2019

Speaker Name: Dr. Alex Lorenz 

Session Title: “Life Behind Bars in Communist East Germany: Public Interview of a State Security Prisoner
Session Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Location: Sansbury Campus Life Center Ballroom

Wednesday November 13, 2019

Speaker Name: Lindsay Grainger and Friends of Refugees

Session Title: “The Refugee Resettlement Experience in America”
Session Time: 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Location: University Center Greenville Campus