The impact of books on society subject of lectures

One professor will demonstrate in a miniature lecture how books affect our society by using as an example Upton Sinclair’s book, “The Jungle,” and how it exposed serious health and safety issues associated with meat packing.

Sarah Robbins, Lorraine Sherley professor of literature, will give the lecture during an event called “Addran’s Exploring a World of Ideas” on April 9 sponsored by AddRan College.

Ann McDonald, director of development for AddRan College, said the event was created to celebrate the liberal arts and this is the first time AddRan had sponsored this event.

This year the tickets for the event had already sold out, McDonald said. More than 250 people will attend the event.

Andrew Schoolmaster, dean of AddRan College, added the event’s purpose is also to celebrate what the liberal arts have contributed to an individual’s education and society. He said he hoped the event would start taking place every other year.

“It is some of the very core disciplines and bodies of knowledge that have served as the foundation for education going back to Greek and Roman times,” Schoolmaster said.

McDonald said students would be involved because a student would sit at each table being sponsored during dinner to talk with donors.

Richard Wootten, a senior political science and economics major, said he had not heard of the event but thinks it would be better if students were heavily involved. Wootten said he thinks the celebration would bring in more donors if students were more involved because donors want to meet and talk with students.

McDonald said another reason AddRan College is having this event is to increase the visibility of AddRan College because the college does not have as obvious of ties to the community compared to some of the other colleges, such as the Neeley School of Business and the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

“We would 10 years if everybody in Fort Worth knows about the AddRan College of Liberal Arts,” McDonald said.

Each of six participating professors submitted proposals of an interesting short lecture they would like to give at the event, McDonald said. Then the programming committee for the fundraiser discussed the proposals and voted on the lectures to be presented. Robbins’ lecture was one of those selected for presentation.

Robbins said when she first found out her lecture was chosen to be given at the event, she was very excited to participate. According to the event invitation, the title of her lecture is “Books That Have Changed Our Society: Exploring the World of American Bestsellers.”

Robbins said she submitted a proposal so she could share her expertise with a nonacademic audience, support AddRan College and see what her colleagues would be lecturing about. She said she will prepare for the lecture differently than if she was preparing it for students.

With this audience, there is one chance to make an impression rather than with students with whom she works all semester, Robbins said. Also, it is different because she does not know the background knowledge the audience has about the subject.

“Whatever teaching I do, whether I’m working with community groups, schools kids, school teachers or students, I always want the learning to be interactive and engaging,” Robbins said.

Schoolmaster said the money raised at the event will be distributed to the different departments and programs within AddRan College.

The event coincides with the dedication of Scharbauer Hall that will occur earlier on the same day, Schoolmaster said. The honorary guests of the event are Clarence and Kerry Scharbauer, whom Scharbauer Hall is named after.

AddRan’s Exploring a World of Ideas

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Scharbauer Hall

Tickets are no longer available.

Six professors will present lectures. People who attend the event will be able to listen to two of the lectures.