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Fall Convocation 2017

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with guest speaker Sarah Vowell


The convocation speaker Case Western Reserve University's 2017 Fall Convocation is Sarah Vowell, author of the bestselling narrative nonfiction Lafayette in the Somewhat United States (published by Riverhead, October 2015).

Fall convocation opens each academic year at Case Western Reserve University with a formal celebration of scholarship and innovation.  A bookend to commencement, convocation is an annual event features an academic procession and a keynote speaker, and is open to university faculty, staff, students, and friends. 

This event is free and open to the public.  Free tickets are available through this website or by contacting the Severance Hall Ticket Office at 216-231-1111.

Presented by Case Western Reserve University.

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About the Speaker: Sarah Vowell

Figures and events in American history, described in unconventional, sharply observed and often humorous detail — imperfections and all — spring alive from the pages and mind of Sarah Vowell and her bestselling narrative nonfiction. Vowell’s writing reveals how American history can turn up unexpectedly in modern culture, often in poignant ways.

Vowell and Lafayette were selected as the common reading assignment because “we love the book and the author. Both it and she are super smart and super funny,” said Timothy Beal, Florence Harkness Professor of Religion and chair of the Department of Religious Studies and also of the common reading selection committee. “Vowell brings a very rare combination of insightful interpretation and sharp humor to her research. She takes a long view of history, telling a story that layers on contemporary perspectives — perspectives that are especially relevant to our current political environment.”

Each year since 2002, the university’s common reading book serves as a basis for programs and discussions for first-year students from orientation through fall semester. Incoming students receive the book to read during the summer.

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