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Trent University Launches Trent Reads 2008


New Introductory Seminar Week Initiative Designed to Bring Entire Trent Community Together

Tuesday, August 19, 2008, Peterborough

Trent University is pleased to announce an exciting new initiative for new Trent students – Trent Reads 2008, which aims to alleviate students’ anxiety as they prepare to enter their first year of university study.

When new first-year students arrived at Trent this summer to take part in New Student Orientation, they received a wealth of information about their upcoming University experience. They also received their first Trent assignment – read the award-winning novel Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden and come prepared to discuss it in seminars offered during Introductory Seminar Week (ISW) in September.

This new initiative, called Trent Reads, is designed to bring the Trent community together by creating a common ground for discussion. In its inaugural year, the program aims to give new students an academic experience that they can all be a part of before they actually begin classes. The seminars will be led by Trent faculty in a variety of departments and programs and will consist of small groups of 20 or fewer students, in keeping with a standard seminar class at Trent.

“I think this is a really interesting way to get students involved and excited about school and to get an understanding of what’s to be expected from them once they begin their classes,” says Allie Kosela, co-chair of ISW for Champlain College. “I also think it’s refreshing for students to see a science professor talking about material that you would often only see in a class like English Literature or Cultural Studies. It’s also a good opportunity for faculty from the arts to get a science student’s perspective on literature. This program the epitome of what a liberal arts and science education at Trent is all about.”

Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden, the selection for 2008, was chosen for its relevance to people in all areas of study as it spans across many perspectives. Inspired in part by real-life WWI Ojibwa hero Francis Pegahmagabow, the novel follows Xavier and Elijah, two Cree snipers in the killing fields of Ypres and the Somme. Layered with stories of kinship, indigenous culture, history of the land, identity and tales of war and the journey home, Three Day Road has won much acclaim as the winner of the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the CBA Libris Fiction Book of the Year, and the Amazon.ca/books in Canada First Novel Award. It was also selected for the Today Show book club and CBC Canada Reads. The lesson for students in Trent Reads 2008 is that no matter what your discipline might be (or the discipline of a faculty member leading a discussion) everyone can appreciate good literature and critically evaluate what they read.

As a follow-up to Trent Reads, Mr. Boyden will visit Trent on September 19, 2008 to read from his latest novel. Mr. Boyden’s visit will be a great opportunity for students to check out more material from an author they’ve already discussed in an academic setting. It will also allow the rest of the institution to become part of an experience the University has just introduced. This will be Mr. Boyden’s second visit to Trent. The award-winning author first came to Trent in February 2006 as Trent’s Margaret Laurence Writer in Residence Fellow and the Northern Chair Lecturer.

The Trent Reads seminars will be taking place on Tuesday, September 2 and Wednesday, September 3 between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. in rotation with two other events. The first is a meeting with the senior tutor who will introduce academic expectations and stress the importance of utilizing resources available at Trent such as the Academic Skills Centre, Peer Mentoring and the Career Centre. The second event is a new play entitled The In-Sessions, which was developed by a local writer and based on real Trent students’ experiences.

For more information about Trent Reads and ISW, visit www.trentu.ca/isw.


For more information, please contact:
Professor Gordon Johnston, Department of English Literature, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x7745