'The Circle' author Dave Eggers to visit Penn State, discuss ethical dilemmas

Alison Kuznitz
October 10, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In furthering the mission of the Penn State Reads Program to stimulate critical thinking and intellectual engagement, “The Circle” author Dave Eggers will visit campus Oct. 10.

“The Circle,” which depicts a dystopian society confronted with an array of ethical issues, is the 2016-17 Penn State Reads common book selection.

“The book provokes us to think about questions of privacy, transparency, and the impact of social media and technology — including large data sets — on our lives as citizens in a democracy,” said Jacqueline Edmondson, associate vice president and associate dean for Undergraduate Education.

Eggers will tackle these dilemmas from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10, in Alumni Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center. “A Conversation with Dave Eggers” will feature a dialogue between the author and Dan Moulthrop, the CEO of The City Club of Cleveland — a prominent free speech forum that has garnered national recognition.

The book will also be used as a springboard to discuss relevant real-world examples, including the role of the social media in the Tahrir Square Revolution and Apple’s legal battle in withholding data from the FBI following the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

Following the conversation, Eggers will host a question and answer session, as well as sign copies of “The Circle.”

Students are encouraged to pick up their free tickets in advance at any of the following Center for the Performing Arts box office locations: Eisenhower Auditorium, Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, HUB-Robeson Center Information Desk, and Bryce Jordan Center. Pending availability, tickets will be offered to the general public.

The event will be livestreamed to all Penn State students.

During his visit, Eggers will meet with several English and communication classes. He will also host a breakfast discussion with students from the Schreyer Honors College and the Presidential Leadership Academy.

Donna Meyer, director of Student Programs in Schreyer Honors College, said she is excited students will be afforded this unique opportunity.

“The students can get to know the author on a more personal level, gaining insight from his professional achievements,” Meyer said. “More importantly, these types of conversations result in students being inspired and motivated to think not only about the genre of the book and its cast of characters but to embrace the message of the author to gain a deeper understanding of the story and the potential implications.”

The Penn State Reads: Parent Edition, as part of the 2016 Penn State Parents and Families Weekend, will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16, in Foster Auditorium in Paterno Library. Sue Paterno will guide a lively conversation about crucial themes found in “The Circle.”

Additional information about Penn State Reads can be found at pennstatereads.psu.edu. A full list of Penn State Reads events can be viewed here.

Penn State Reads is run jointly by Penn State Student Affairs and Penn State Undergraduate Education

Last Updated April 19, 2017