Reading about it online, you would think that the controversy over this year’s assigned reading for students new to Brooklyn College would have led to fevered student and faculty protests by now, making the campus the latest to be roiled by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
But so far at least, the furor over the book — “How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America,” by Moustafa Bayoumi, an associate English professor at Brooklyn College – is unfolding a bit like the debate over the planned Islamic community center in downtown Manhattan: much of the intensity seems far afield, while the response in the neighborhood itself is more muted.
The seeds were planted last winter, when professors in the English Department, with Donna Wilson, the dean of undergraduate studies, chose this year’s “common reader”: a book given to all freshmen and transfer students in an effort to provide a common experience at the outset of the school year. The books are generally set in New York City, have a biographical element and are written by authors available to speak on campus.
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Be sure to check out the comments which are filled with trolls, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, flouncing, threats to cut Brooklyn College from wills/annual donations, and more!
This is yet another case of People Who Don't Even Go Here discussing NYC political issues. I'm actually more curious about the book after reading the debate. Also ONTD_P, what books were you assigned to read as college freshmen? I had to read Maya Angelou's All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes and I hated it.