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Join the National Conversation about George Orwell's 1984!

1984 Books
The UT Humanities Center will host a lunchtime discussion of George Orwell's novel 1984 as part of a national conversation supported by the National Humanities Alliance in partnership with "One Book, Many Conversations."

The discussion will be led by Amy J. Elias, Lindsay Young Professor of English, Friday, October 13, 12:00 noon at the UT Humanities Center, room E308 (third floor). The discussion is free and open to all UT students, faculty, and staff. Participants are encouraged to bring lunch and discuss the book during their lunch break.

Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (often published as 1984 ) is a classic dystopian novel published in 1949 by English author George Orwell. The novel is set in Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain), a province of the superstate Oceania in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and fake news. Many of its terms and concepts, such as "Big Brother, " "doublethink," "thoughtcrime," and "Newspeak"--and the adjective "Orwellian" to describe a totalitarian state--have entered into common use. The book raises questions about the nature of citizenship, about the sources of political power, and about what it takes to be a leader, to be courageous, and to love another human being. These themes are broad, common to the human condition, and cross all partisan boundaries.

Participants are invited to read the entire novel, though this is not required for attendance at the discussion.  During the discussion we will focus on the following sections (all page numbers refer to the Signet Classics edition of the book):

  • Part I, sections I-II  (Signet Classics edition pp: 1-29)
  • Part I, section VII  (Signet Classics edition pp: 69-81)
  • Part 3, sections II-III  (Signet Classics edition pp. 239-274)
  • Part 3, section V  (Signet Classics edition pp. 287-298)

Participants also are encouraged before the discussion to visit the UT pedestrian walkway, where UT faculty and students led by UT visiting artist and University of Houston-Victoria Professor of Publishing Kyle Schlesinger will present a public poster project "A People's Curriculum for the United States."

The National Humanities Alliance is a coalition of organizations dedicated to advancing humanities education, research, preservation, and public programs in the United States. One Book, Many Conversations was developed by a community of organizations and individuals, all on a volunteer basis, who believe that at the core of democracy lies conversation.

Bring a lunch and join the conversation about 1984 !
Friday, October 13, 12:00 Noon
UT Humanities Center, room E308

For information about the 1984 book discussion, contact

For information about the Kyle Schlesinger public poster project, contact

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