Dr. Caleb Corkery

In the fall, all incoming students will arrive having read the same book thanks to the One Book, One Campus program at Millersville University. The goal of this program is to provide a shared intellectual experience for all new students and present an opportunity for members of the Millersville University community to interact with students in an informal discussion that engages critical thinking.

In this year’s selection, How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America, author Moustafa Bayoumi captures the lives of seven Arab-Americans living in Brooklyn, facing various challenges given their ethnic identities.

“We decided on the broad theme of understanding Middle Eastern culture and experience to help students grappling with ongoing military engagements in the Middle East and with the return of veterans to our communities and campuses,” said Caleb Corkery, assistant chair and associate professor of English. “We are likely to misunderstand the perspective and experience of the people associated with the target of the conflict.  Broadening understanding through different perspectives is an important component of the liberal arts program at Millersville University.”

This article has 2 comments

  1. Kudos to you for choosing to try to understand Middle Eastern cultures. I lived in Israel for 20 years in the Arab Bedouin sector and have recently moved back the Lancaster County. These issues hit home for me as I my teenage sons grapple with identity issues as Arab Americans. I just read about the book and the lecture in the Lancaster paper today and ordered the book. Really looking forward to reading it.

  2. Ana Börger-Greco

    I just finished reading the book and highly recommend it!
    Among many other things that it can teach us, it reminds us that people who can be or are grouped in a “block,” are really quite different … we are reminded that just as we know that people from the US have many things that make them “one people,” Americans from Maine are also in many ways different from those from Texas, or, Kansas, or New Jersey, or Pennsylvania.
    In How Does it Feel to Be a Problem? we learn that all “Arabs” or Arab-Americans are not the same and they or their ancestors don’t come from just one country with one set of traditions, nor do they all have the same religion,… just like all Latinos aren’t from Mexico or Puerto Rico.
    Thanks for choosing this book. It will lead to lots of thought-provoking discussions. I’m glad I’m adopting it for my Freshman Seminar.

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