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What is the Big Read?

The Big Read aims to create a sense of belonging among students and staff alike through shared reading - one book that gathers together St George's community to share ideas about thought-provoking topics or experiences of getting lost in spellbinding narratives.

In particular, the Big Read aims to help incoming students feel welcome and settle into the university environment.  

All new students to St George's will receive the same book - the Big Read book chosen for each academic year, when they enrol. A limited number of copies will also be made available for returning students and staff on a first come, first served basis.

A programme of events around the themes of the book will help you to meet new people, get to know your teachers and peers beyond the classroom and make the most of your university experience.

About the Big Read 2024 

everything is everything

Moving, engaging, revealing, Everything is Everything is a fascinating insight into someone determined to succeed on his own terms and has been selected as annual Big Read title by St George’s, University of London.

In Everything is Everything: A Memoir of Love, Hate & Hope, Clive Myrie tells how, as a Bolton teenager with a paper round, he read all the newspapers he delivered from cover to cover and dreamed of becoming a journalist. In this deeply personal memoir, he tells how his family history has influenced his view of the world, introducing us to his Windrush generation parents, a great-grandfather who helped build the Panama Canal, and a great-uncle who fought in the First World War, later to become a prominent police detective in Jamaica.

Get your copy, join the events, share ideas on thought-provoking topics!

As a new student at St George’s, you will receive your free copy of Everything is everything when you enrol, it should be in your student accommodation or you can get it when you collect your student ID card. 

Staff and returning students can also receive a free copy to join in the reading and participate in events, so all can discover St George’s community anew. If you are a member of St George’s staff or a returning student, you can get your copy from the Library helpdesk in October(specific date to be confirmed)– there is a limited number, so be quick in getting yours!

Come together as a community through shared reading and associated events throughout the year to:

  • meet fellow students and staff
  • engage with the author and ask your questions
  • attend events about themes that matter to you.

All are invited to join the Big Read Microsoft Teams site to connect with fellow students and staff, learn about events, and share your experiences! 

Please email bigread@sgul.ac.uk if you want to participate in the planning for the coming Big Read events.

 

Join St George's shared Big Read Book Club!

We will run a series of seminars comprising the Big Read Book Club towards the end of the summer which involves staff and alumni speaking to students, other staff, and members of the wider community about a particular theme from the book Everything is Everything by Clive Myrie.

The club will run from August to September, with the specific dates and times can be found below. All the sessions will take place fully online. The events usually last an hour and in the past they have been great fun for both speakers and attendees alike, allowing new students to connect with staff, hear a sample of our excellent teaching, and feel welcomed to their university. 

We warmly welcome any SGUL staff to join us and give a speech relative to the book to the students in our book club. Please contact us at bigread@sgul.ac.uk .From your point of view, if you are planning an application for an Advance HE Fellowship involvement offers good evidence of cross-organizational involvement, and particularly the development of colleagues. 

2024-25 Big Read Book Club Schedule

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Week 1 | What I gained, firstly from going to university, and then working in higher education

Date: Wednesday 21st August 13.00-14.00

Location: Online

Details:

  • Everything is Everything is a memoir. Author Clive Myrie looks back on his life and reflects on decisions made and the outcomes that followed, in both the short and long term. Using the same thinking process, we ask speakers to reflect on how their university experience shaped them.
  • Speakers: Rt Rev’d Martin Gainsborough, Bishop of Kingston. Louisa Green, Executive Director, Student Services and Charles Hewitt, CEO of Pen and Sword Publishers.
Week 2 | The importance of Immigration on staffing the early NHS

Date: Wednesday 28th August 5-6pm

Location: Online

Details:

  • The Windrush Generation of immigrants from the Caribbean made an invaluable contribution to the staffing of the NHS, through the pivotal years immediately following its inception. We will be looking at the state of the early NHS and the role migrant workers played in building our multicultural Britain.
  • Speakers: Ricarda Micallef, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy, Kingston University and colleagues
Week 3 | How long should a community have to wait for justice?

Date: Wednesday 4th September 1-2pm

Location: Online

Details:

  • In 1948, HMT Empire Windrush docked in Kingston Jamaica whilst enroute to Britain from Australia. Upon leaving Kingston harbour, it carried over 500 men and women to Britain (including Clive Myrie’s father, Norris), ushering in a new era for the UK – multicultural Britain.
  • Speakers: Professor Wilson Muleya, Head of Department for Social Work and Social Care. Dr Pete Finn, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Politics and Sociology
Week 4 | Who gets to tell the world what’s happening? The role of the journalist

Date: Wednesday 11th September 5-6pm

Location: Online

Details:

  • This week we will discuss the role of the journalist, journalistic integrity, and how the role of the journalist is (or isn’t) changing as the ways in which we consume our media change. In particular, are those interpreting and broadcasting the news to everyone sufficiently diverse in background and opinions? Are we hearing enough viewpoints?
  • SpeakersBeth Brewster, Associate Professor and Head of Department, Journalism, Publishing and Media Studies. Two alumni speakers being secured by Julia Millette.
Week 5 | Policing, racism and reform

Date: Wednesday 18th September 1-2pm

Location: Online

Details:

  • This week we will discuss the issues of racism and prejudice within our policing and justice systems both here and in the US, looking at what the problems are, where they come from, and how we might go about reforming these systems for the benefit of all.
  • Speakers: TBC

Events

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Author Event with Clive Myrie

 Date: Friday 11 October 2023

Time: 16.00 - 17.45

Location: The Curve Lecture Theatre and Online (via MSTeams)

Speakers:

Clive Myrie (Author - Everything is Everything)

-More to be confirmed. 

Previous Big Reads 

 

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