"To use a metaphor, they were force-fed the book." The book Jonathan Judaken, the director of the University of Memphis' Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities, is referring to is Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation, which was chosen for this past fall's "common read" for the university's Academic Orientation Program taken by the majority of freshmen. Campus groups also read the book, and events, such as film screenings and lectures, have been organized around the title to foster discussion.
On Wednesday, February 4th, Schlosser will read from Fast Food Nation and sign copies of the book at an open-to-the-public event hosted by the Marcus W. Orr Center and the River City Writers Series.
Published in 2001, Fast Food Nation provides a devastating eye-opener of the high cost of the convenient and cheap chain-produced meal: obesity, employee exploitation, and slaughterhouse horrors, among others. Often compared to Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, the work is a touchstone for a growing community concerned about responsible consumption.
"[But] it's not only about fast food," Judaken says. "It's also about popular culture and property, urban planning and development, globalization, agriculture, and food production. It runs across many different areas."
Eric Schlosser Lecture and Booksigning, Wednesday, February 4th. A reception begins at 6:30 p.m.; The reading starts at 7 p.m. Memphis Pink Palace Museum's IMAX Theater, 3050 Central (320-6320).