During a Time of Social Isolation, University of Richmond Chooses Book about Bringing People Together for Common Reading Selection

May 19, 2020

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Students, faculty, and staff at the University of Richmond are adding Palaces for the People to their summer reading list. 

The book, written by American sociologist Eric Klinenberg, has been announced as the university’s One Book, One Richmond common reading selection for the 2020-21 academic year.

In Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization and the Decline of Civic Life, Klinenberg interweaves his own research with examples from around the globe to argue that the future of democratic societies rests not only on shared values, but also on “social infrastructure,” shared spaces like libraries, churches, and parks.

Palaces for the People will enable us to have the conversations that we will need to have as a community healing from a pandemic, especially if we cannot gather physically,” said Adrienne Piazza, associate director of student engagement in the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement. “We will need to think even more critically about the spaces where people gather and how to build social infrastructure with our neighbors.”

Each year faculty, staff, students, and members of the Richmond community come together to read and reflect on a book focusing in social issues through the One Book, One Richmond initiative, which is led by the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement. Past selections have examined race, nationalism, mass incarceration, food insecurity, and poverty.

One Book, One Richmond programming will be offered throughout the academic year with Klinenberg slated to speak on campus in February 2021. Programming details will be announced at a later date.

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