Collection Number: 40273

Collection Title: Summer Reading Program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1999-2003

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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Size 13.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 21600 items)
Abstract In 1999 the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill established its Summer Reading Program for incoming freshmen and transfer students. Each year students are asked to read an assigned book over the summer and, on the day before the fall semester begins, participate in a two-hour discussion of the book with select faculty and staff members. Records include administrative records, media coverage, photographs, and public responses to the reading material. Records currently relate mainly to the 2002 and 2003 programs, which featured Approaching the Qu'ran by Michael Sells and Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. There is considerably more material pertaining to Sells's book than to Ehrenreich's. Records consist largely of materials documenting the media coverage of and public response to the selection of the books. Included are postcards, letters, and emails sent to the Chancellor's Office as well as newspapers, newspaper clippings, copies of online articles, videocassette recordings of news broadcasts, and news broadcast transcripts. Also included are program brochures, information packets for discussion leaders, photographs, and fact sheets and media statements issued by the Chancellor's Office.
Creator University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Summer Reading Program.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Summer Reading Program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records #40273, University Archives, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Periodic transfer from the offices that create these records.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Historical Information

The Summer Reading Program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was developed from recommendations made by the 1997 Chancellor's Task Force on Intellectual Climate to improve the first-year student orientation experience. Implemented in 1999, the program was designed to introduce students to the intellectual life of the university; all new undergraduate students (first year and transfer) are expected to participate. The program aims at enhancing students' critical thinking around a current topic, developing a sense of community among students, faculty, and staff, and providing a common experience for incoming students. Some of the books selected for the program have sparked controversy and resulted in extensive public and media attention. Michael Sells's Approaching the Qu'ran: the Early Revelations (summer 2002) and Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America (summer 2003) have drawn the most attention. The selection of Sells's book resulted in a lawsuit against the university, brought by the Family Policy Network. The following year, a group of UNC-Chapel Hill students calling themselves the Committee for a Better Carolina challenged the selection of Ehrenreich's book. The John William Pope Foundation supported the students by paying for a full-page ad in the Raleigh News and Observer calling the book a "classic Marxist rant" and a work of "intellectual pornography with no redeeming characteristics."

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Summer Reading Program records currently in the University Archives relate mainly to the 2002 and 2003 programs, which featured Approaching the Qu'ran by Michael Sells and Nikel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. There is considerably more material pertaining to Sells's book than to Ehrenreich's. Records consist largely of materials documenting the media coverage of and public response to the selection of the books. Included are postcards, letters, and emails sent to the Chancellor's Office as well as newspapers, newspaper clippings, copies of online articles, videocassette recordings of news broadcasts, and news broadcast transcripts. Also included are program brochures, information packets for discussion leaders, photographs, and fact sheets and media statements issued by the Chancellor's Office.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Summer 1999, There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America by Alex Kotlowitz.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Summer 2000, Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War by Tony Horwitz.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Summer 2001, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells

21400 items.

This series includes editorial letters, columns, and articles published in North Carolina, nationally, and internationally; broadcast transcripts and video recordings; emails, letters, and faxes from the public (both positive and negative responses); postcards sent by members of the Family Policy Network; enclosures sent with the postcards.

Box 1

Administrative Records: General, 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 1

(discussion packet)

Book Selection Committee Records [VACANT] #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 1

Media Coverage: Print Media: Letters to the Editor: National, Positive and Negative, 13 August-9 October 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 1

Media Coverage: Print Media: Letters to the Editor: North Carolina, Positive and Negative, 26 May-13 October 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 1

Media Coverage: Print Media: News Coverage, Articles: International, 23 July-22 October 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 1

Media Coverage: Print Media: News Coverage, Articles: National, 28 May-15 October 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 1

Media Coverage: Print Media: News Coverage, Articles: North Carolina, 24 May-25 November 2002; September 7, 2004 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 1

Media Coverage: Print Media: News Coverage, Editorial/Opinion: National, 27 July-18 October 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 1

Media Coverage: Print Media: News Coverage, Editorial/Opinion: North Carolina, 30 May-16 September 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 1

Media Coverage: Print Media: UNC Press Releases, 15-30 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 1

Box 2

Media Coverage: Print Media: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 28 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 2

Media Coverage: Print Media: Chicago Tribune, Number 233, 21 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 2

Media Coverage: Print Media: Christian Science Monitor, 30 July 2002; 15 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 2

Media Coverage: Print Media: Daily Tar Heel (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Volume 110, Issue 55, 20 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 2

Media Coverage: Print Media: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 2

Media Coverage: Print Media: Los Angeles Times, 17 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 2

Media Coverage: Print Media: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 21 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 2

Media Coverage: Print Media: New York Times, Volume 151, 19 August 2002; Volume 152, 20 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 2

Media Coverage: Print Media: Sun (Baltimore, Maryland), 9 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 2

Media Coverage: Print Media: University Gazette (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), 8 May, 22 May, 12 June, 17 July, 14 August, 11 September, 25 September, 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 2

Media Coverage: Print Media: Wall Street Journal, Volume 240, number 36, 20 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 2

Media Coverage: Print Media: Washington Post, Number 246, 8 August 2002; Number 258, 20 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 2

Box 3

Media Coverage: Broadcast Media: Transcripts, 21 May-25 September 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 3

Videotape VT-40273/1

Media Coverage: Broadcast Media: ABC News Nightline, 21 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" VT-40273/1

Videotape VT-40273/2

Media Coverage: Broadcast Media: CBS Early Show, 19 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" VT-40273/2

Videotape VT-40273/3

Media Coverage: Broadcast Media: CNBC Capitol Report, 27 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" VT-40273/3

Videotape VT-40273/4

Media Coverage: Broadcast Media: CNN Crossfire, 21 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" VT-40273/4

Videotape VT-40273/5

Media Coverage: Broadcast Media: CNN News Night with Aaron Brown, 21 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" VT-40273/5

Videotape VT-40273/6

Media Coverage: Broadcast Media: CNN, 25 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" VT-40273/6

Videotape VT-40273/7

Media Coverage: Broadcast Media: C-Span Academic Freedom: The Koran Controversy, 27 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" VT-40273/7

Videotape VT-40273/8

Media Coverage: Broadcast Media: C-Span Approaching the Qu'ran, 5 September 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" VT-40273/8

Videotape VT-40273/9

Media Coverage: Broadcast Media: Daily Show with Jon Stewart, 8 October 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" VT-40273/9

Videotape VT-40273/10

Media Coverage: Broadcast Media: Fox News O'Reilly Factor, 16 October 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" VT-40273/10

Videotape VT-40273/11

Media Coverage: Broadcast Media: News Weekly Religion and Ethics, 23 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" VT-40273/11

Videotape VT-40273/12

Media Coverage: Broadcast Media: NBC-17 At Issue, 18 August 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" VT-40273/12

Box 3

Public Response: Emails: Emails between Faculty and Chancellor Moeser, 11-22 July 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 3

Public Response: Emails: Negative Emails from Public and Students, 24 May-20 November 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 3

Public Response: Emails: Positive Emails from Public and Students, 24 May-9 September 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 3

(includes audiocassette tape titled "The Many Gardens of Good and Evil," which was enclosed with letter of 11 September 2002; tape filed separately under T-40273/1)

Public Response: Letters and Faxes: Negative Letters and Faxes from Public, 23 May-14 November 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 3

Public Response: Letters and Faxes: Positive Letters and Faxes from Public, with University's Replies, 12 July-4 October 2002 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 3

Public Response: Postcards: Items Enclosed with Postcards, undated; 1997; 2001-2003 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 3

Most of the postcards in this subseries were printed by the Family Policy Network and distributed to its mailing list. Individuals on the list then mailed the postcards to the chancellor's office at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. These cards have a standard message that begins, "I was appalled to learn that the University of North Carolina was requiring incoming freshman to study Islam." However, many individuals added their own comments; some also placed stickers indicating their stands on various issues on the postcards. Others placed their postcards in envelopes and enclosed short letters, religious pamphlets, etc. Also includes a book titled Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings by L. B. Cowman, 1997)

Box 4

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode incomplete or missing-10607 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 4

Box 5

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 10701-16936 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 5

Box 6

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 17003-22736 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 6

Box 7

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 22737-28675 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 7

Box 8

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 28677-32308 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 8

Box 9

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 32310-35406 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 9

Box 10

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 35442-38666 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 10

Box 11

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 38668-40071 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 11

Box 12

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 40108-45215 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 12

Box 13

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 45217-48198 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 13

Box 14

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 48210-53120 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 14

Box 15

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 53121-57108 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 15

Box 16

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 57201-62526 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 16

Box 17

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 62535-67208 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 17

Box 18

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 67209-72065 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 18

Box 19

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 72067-75979 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 19

Box 20

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 76002-79936 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 20

Box 21

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 80001-90272 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 21

Box 22

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 90274-95073 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 22

Box 23

Public Response: Postcards: Postcards, Zipcode 95117-99835 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" Box 23

Digital Item DI-40273/3

Photograph: Chancellor Moeser addressing questions from national media at National Press Club in Washington, 2001 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" DI-40273/3

Migrated from DCD-40273/2.

Digital Item DI-40273/4

Photograph: Chancellor Moeser addressing questions from national media at National Press Club in Washington, 2001 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" DI-40273/4

Migrated from DCD-40273/2.

Digital Item DI-40273/5

Photograph: Chancellor Moeser addressing questions from national media at National Press Club in Washington, 2001 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" DI-40273/5

Migrated from DCD-40273/2.

Digital Item DI-40273/6

Photograph: Journalism Professor Chuck Stone addressing students gathered during a free speech rally, 2001 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" DI-40273/6

Migrated from DCD-40273/2.

Digital Item DI-40273/7

Photograph: Student Body President Jen Daum and Chancellor James Moeser addressing local and national media following discussion sessions of summer reading program, 19 August 2001 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" DI-40273/7

Migrated from DCD-40273/2.

Digital Item DI-40273/8

Photograph: Student Body President Jen Daum and Chancellor James Moeser addressing local and national media following discussion sessions of summer reading program, 19 August 2001 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" DI-40273/8

Migrated from DCD-40273/2.

Digital Item DI-40273/9

Photograph: Journalism Professor Chuck Stone and students listening and debating Gary Birdsong during a free speech rally, 2001 #40273, Series: "4. Summer 2002, Approaching the Qu'ran: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells" DI-40273/9

Migrated from DCD-40273/2.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Summer 2003, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

175 items.

Box 23

Administrative Records: General, 2003 #40273, Series: "5. Summer 2003, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich" Box 23

(discussion packet)

Book Selection Committee Records [VACANT] #40273, Series: "5. Summer 2003, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich" Box 23

Media Coverage [VACANT] #40273, Series: "5. Summer 2003, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich" Box 23

Public Response: Emails: Emails to the Chancellor: Alumni Against, July 2003 #40273, Series: "5. Summer 2003, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich" Box 23

Public Response: Emails: Emails to the Chancellor: Alumni For, July 2003 #40273, Series: "5. Summer 2003, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich" Box 23

Public Response: Emails: Emails to the Chancellor: Non-Alumni Against, July 2003 #40273, Series: "5. Summer 2003, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich" Box 23

Public Response: Emails: Emails to the Chancellor: Non-Alumni For, July 2003 #40273, Series: "5. Summer 2003, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich" Box 23

Public Response: Emails: Responses from Chancellor Moeser, July 2003 #40273, Series: "5. Summer 2003, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich" Box 23

Photographs [VACANT] #40273, Series: "5. Summer 2003, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich" Box 23

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Processing Information

Processed by: University Archives Staff, July 2004

Encoded by: Katie Knight, July 2004

Finding aid updated for born digital processing by Anne Harding, February 2015

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