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Tag: keynote event

Capitol Lakes’ Captivating Hillbilly Elegy Exhibit

The Go Big Read team was extremely grateful to have residents of Capitol Lakes contribute a Hillbilly Elegy exhibit. We couldn’t have done it any better ourselves!

The exhibit was shown outside the doors to Shannon Hall last Monday.

Although the exhibit mainly focused on the present Go Big Read book, Hillbilly Elegy, past Go Big Read picks were displayed in the exhibit as well. They can be seen at the bottom of the display, including old promotional posters for several of the books. It’s exciting to see the transformation from year to year!

A close up of the exhibit. This part shown mainly focuses on Hillbilly Elegy themes and details.

Certain aspects of the exhibit, like the image shown above, give clues into themes and details present in Hillbilly Elegy. Mountain Dew, law texts, a war veteran hat, and a map of Middletown, Ohio, are all shown to represent parts of J.D. Vance’s life. Want to know more about these items? The Capitol Lakes exhibit states that you’ll have to read the book in order to find out!

Capitol Lakes offers information on other various Hillbilly Elegy discussions nearby.

The display also offers helpful information on other various Hillbilly Elegy discussions around the Madison area and where an individual can obtain their own copy of Hillbilly Elegy if interested.

The exhibit provided lots of helpful and interesting information about the Go Big Read program and Hillbilly Elegy. A big thank you once again to the residents of Capitol Lakes! We greatly appreciate it.

Gillian Keebler
Student Assistant, Go Big Read Office

Hillbilly Elegy Panelist Keynote Event Recap

On Monday night, Professors Kathy Cramer, Katherine Magnuson, and Aleksandra Zgierska took to the stage to discuss political, social, and health issues present in Hillbilly Elegy. 

Professor Kathy Cramer, speaking first, noted that this book has raised questions for its possible connection to the 2016 presidential election. However, Cramer hinted towards approaching that perspective with caution.

“It’s become a little bit of a myth that the white working class was responsible for the election of Trump,” Cramer said. “We need to be careful about jumping from this book to assumptions about Donald Trump supporters.”

Professor Kathy Cramer. Image Courtesy of the UW-Madison Faculty website.

Professor Katherine Magnuson followed Cramer’s remarks with a discussion on poverty, especially between generations in rural areas. A map was displayed on her presentation that illustrated how difficult it was for families in different areas to overcome inter-generational poverty.

She mentioned that of those born into the bottom 20 percent of wealth within the United States, only a mere 4 percent make it to the top percentage of wealthy Americans within their lifetime- a concerning statistic.

A preview of the interactive map. Image Courtesy of the New York Times website.

Last to speak about a very highly anticipated topic was Professor Aleksandra Zgierska. She tackled the stigma around drug addiction and the impact that opioids have on Americans today.

She worries that with the increasing numbers of overdoses increasing so rapidly, the problem is going to have to hit an all time low before it starts to get better. However, she still remains hopeful in breaking the stigma around addiction and getting individuals the help that they need.

“There’s a lot we need to do to break the stigma of addiction, to break the misconceptions that exist out there, so that we can help people reach out for help and get the help they need,” Zgierska said.

The event closed with a Q&A session between panelists and audience members. Although brief, questions included those of successful immigration into the US, tips for combating opioid addiction, and if placing “blame” for issues within the political system is a beneficial tactic.

A huge thank you to the panelists who participated in the event and everyone who joined to discuss Hillbilly Elegy. The Go Big Read team enjoyed seeing so many people expressing their interest in Hillbilly Elegy and wanting to discuss these topics with the Madison community.

The recorded video will be posted to the Go Big Read website shortly.

Until next year!

Gillian Keebler
Student Assistant, Go Big Read Office

Panel of UW-Madison Experts to Speak Next Week

Clear your schedules… on October 9th at 7:00 p.m., UW-Madison’s Go Big Read Program will host a Panelist discussion of themes and contemporary issues discussed within Hillbilly Elegy.

The event will take place in Memorial Union Theater at Shannon Hall. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Both UW-Madison students and Madison community members are welcome! The event will be open to the public, and no ticket is required to attend the event.

The panel will first discuss common themes within the book that are also current issues in society, such as poverty, childhood development, drug addiction, and trauma. A Q&A session will follow the panel discussion.

Copies of Hillbilly Elegy were distributed at Freshman Convocation. CC Image Courtesy of Jeff Miller.

The panel of UW-Madison experts consist of political science Professor Kathy Cramer, who will tackle politics and cultural anger revolving around common themes within Hillbilly Elegy. Family Medicine Assistant Professor Aleksandra Zgierska, whose research focuses on opioid addiction and treatment will cover those topics. Professor Dr. Katherine Magnuson  will discuss stress and poverty within childhood development.  Professor Russ Castronovo will then mediate a question and answer session with the audience and panel members.

Can’t make it? Don’t worry. The entire event will also be livestreamed through the Go Big Read website. There will also be live commentary from the Go Big Read Twitter account.

Go Big Read logo.

You can find more information about the event on the UW-Madison news page. 

Gillian Keebler
Student Assistant, Go Big Read Office