Human Library Project Makes Debut at COD During Humanities Festival

human library

By Angela Mennecke

Discover the connections between various areas of study within humanities at “World View,” the humanities festival at College of DuPage Wednesday, Feb. 6, to Sunday, Feb. 24, at the College’s Glen Ellyn campus, 425 Fawell Blvd.

The three-week festival features College faculty, instructors and staff drawing from anthropology, architecture, art, earth science, film, history, music, poetry, sociology and more, all focusing on the myriad lenses through which one can see the world.

The festival opens at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 6, in Student Resource Center, Room 3100 (in the Library), with the annual African-American Read-In. Subsequent sessions throughout the festival include “HUMANities for everyBODY,” “Is International Education Hurting the U.S. Economy?,” “The World Without: Seeing Grief Through Poets’ Eyes,” “Poverty in DuPage,” “Empathy Machine: Cinema and Seeing” and “Migrants at the Border.” In addition, the festival includes a tour of The Morton Arboretum to explore the stories of plant hunters. View a full list of events

New to the festival this year is a Human Library from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the Student Services Center Atrium. An international project designed to facilitate conversations that challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue, participants will have the opportunity to talk to volunteers from the COD community, acting as “human books” and representing a variety of cultural backgrounds and life experiences. The “human books” will engage in conversation with participants in a one-on-one setting for 20 minutes at a time.

Available “human book” titles include, “What is Forest Therapy?,” “Do Ghosts Exist? A Ghost Tour Guide Shares His Experience” and “White Evangelical Woman…and Democrat?” The complete list of human books will be available on Feb. 8 on the Humanities Festival Facebook page.

Bringing the international project to the COD community will create a positive space for dialogues on challenging topics, said Dr. Julia diLiberti, COD Humanities professor.

“We want to break down stereotypes and celebrate diversity within our community,” she said. “Conversations and storytelling help build empathy and when we try to understand the world through another person’s experiences, we see there are often more similarities than differences.”

The first Human Library was held in 2000 in Denmark. The original event was open eight hours a day for four consecutive days and featured more than 50 different titles. Since then, similar events have been organized in libraries, schools and other institutions around the world.

The Human Library at COD does not require registration, however, registering allows participants to better plan which books they would like to checkout. Register here.

For more information about the festival or the Human Library, contact DiLiberti at (630) 942-2578 or at dilibert@cod.edu

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

(630) 942-2800 (Main)

(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)

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