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2019–20 First Year Book Announced

By Maryland Today Staff

“Demagoguery and Democracy” by Patricia Roberts-Miller has been selected as the 2019–20 First Year Book, Associate Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Studies William A. Cohen announced on Monday.

The First Year Book Program provides a shared intellectual experience for all new students and the opportunity to discuss the book from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

The book, chosen by a committee of faculty, staff and students, will be integrated into select first-year courses so students can engage with it in and out of the classroom. Events featuring the book will be held throughout the year, including one featuring the author.

Cohen called “Demagoguery and Democracy” a lively book that “provides an even-handed rhetorical analysis of how the words and actions of powerful people can divide us. The author offers suggestions for what citizens can do to confront such behavior.”

Roberts-Miller, a professor of rhetoric and writing at the University of Texas at Austin, writes that any form of political discourse that “polarizes a complicated political situation into us (good) and them (some of whom are deliberately evil and the rest of whom are dupes)” is dangerous to democracy.

Cohen encouraged faculty to consider facilitating a small group discussion with new students as a way of introducing the book and encouraging them to engage with others on important topics. Training will be scheduled later in the summer. Those who are interested in participating can contact Lisa Kiely.

Faculty who are interested in reviewing the book to use in class may pick up a copy in 2110 Marie Mount Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Students will pick up their copies in the fall from the Stamp Student Union.

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