Library receives grant money to stir the melting pot

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Lindsey McCormick

The Zach S. Henderson Library, is looked at as a place for homework, coffee and naptime, but with a newly awarded $3,500 grant, it has some new plans.

The National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Library Association awarded GSU’s library with a grant to host a cultural book program titled, “Let’s Talk About it: Muslim Journeys.”

GSU has one of 125 libraries across the country that was chosen to host this book series that is geared towards a discussion of five books. These books were chosen upon the program’s topic, “Pathways to Faith,” and they include history, culture and poetry within a number of cultures.

“This seemed like a really good topic since religion is so deeply rooted in the south, and we have students of all of those faiths on campus and in our community. There is so much about other cultures that most of us are not familiar with,” Ann Hamilton, associate dean of the library, said.

“Our experience of the world will be very much poorer if we are not aware of the marvelous contributions that have come from Islamic cultures. Much of Islamic art and architecture is among the most beautiful that the world has ever seen,” Rebecca Ziegler, library professor at GSU, said.

Last April, the Averitt Center for the Arts showed a film based on Islamic Art. Professor John Parcels led a discussion that took place after the film.

Administration at the library is going to try and have some of the public discussions at the Statesboro Regional Library as well as on campus so that people have an equal opportunity to attend the discussions, Hamilton said.

“I attended the film because too much of art education has focused on the Western, Christian and Caucasian iconography, presuming some sort of inherent superiority,” Scott Foxx, master of fine arts student at GSU, said.

Foxx said, “In our current economic climate where Muslim people are becoming the new political boogeymen, art is a way for people of all ethnic backgrounds to come together in a shared experience of beauty which defies geography and time.”