KU, in collaboration with Haskell, picks essay collection ‘Braiding Sweetgrass’ as next common book

photo by: Contributed

Robin Wall Kimmerer is the author of "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants," published in 2013.

The University of Kansas has chosen Robin Wall Kimmerer’s “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants” as its next common book.

The common book program, relaunching after a pandemic-related hiatus, will include collaboration with Haskell Indian Nations University to explore Kimmerer’s critically acclaimed work, KU announced in a press release Wednesday.

“This partnership will enable our two communities to work together on creating a broad range of opportunities to engage with an extraordinary book, the questions it asks and the ways in which it challenges us to think, feel and act differently,” said Susan Klusmeier, vice provost for academic success.

Robin Wall Kimmerer’s 2013 book “Braiding Sweetgrass” has been chosen as KU’s common book for 2021-22.

Kimmerer’s 2013 book, which appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers list, is a collection of essays that weave together “botany, the teachings of Indigenous peoples and Kimmerer’s own experiences as a mother, teacher and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation,” the release said. “Her essays explore the intertwined relationship between humans and the countless plant species that co-inhabit the planet, considering ways in which we can learn from plants as we seek to build a more sustainable world.”

Kimmerer will visit KU and Haskell Nov. 10-11 to meet with students and to give a public talk hosted by the Hall Center for the Humanities.

The common book program’s goal is for everyone in the university community, particularly incoming freshmen, to read and discuss a particular book through a broad range of activities and classroom networks.

The university will release details about how to obtain copies of the book and how to participate in related events at KU and Haskell, which are free and open to the public.

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