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2017-18 | Station Eleven 

"Culture is an antidote to chaos."  -Emily St. John Mandel

station eleven cover

This year's selected book will be used as a starting place for a community wide conversation on the themes of remembering and coping with historical trauma through cultural and artistic forms, boosting community knowledge of emergency preparedness and infectious disease prevention, and promoting kindness and respect for different perspectives despite humans’ sometime violent and intolerant nature.  

This year UAS is partnering with the Juneau Public Libraries on their NEA Big Read Grant.  An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.  To learn about additional community-wide events and Big Read partners, visit   


Complimentary copies will be provided to all Juneau Campus New-Student Orientation attendees and are available free to UAS students while supplies last at the Egan Library, Student Housing and other venues where first-year students gather. 

Watch the Book Trailer


One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

"In this unforgettable, haunting, and almost hallucinatory portrait of life at the edge, those who remain struggle to retain their basic humanity and make connections with the vanished world through art, memory, and remnants of popular culture ... a brilliantly constructed, highly literary, postapocalyptic page-turner. "  

- Lauren Gilbert, Library Journal (starred review)


Read an excerpt from chapter 1

Find a copy in the Alaska Library Catalog

Download an ebook or audiobook copy from the Alaska Digital Library


Living in a small isolated town in the far north, it’s not hard to imagine disaster launching our community into complete chaos. But Juneau is a community that knows how to work together in a crisis, like in April 2008 when an avalanche cut off the main hydroelectric power leaving only diesel backup which raised utility rates by 447%. With no federal or state aid, the community came together to provide grants to small businesses and find practical ways to reduce energy consumption by an unprecedented 30%. This is why Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel rings true as a narrative to inspire discussions about past, present, and potential hardships through an artistic lens. The themes of survival-physical, emotional, and cultural-have great local relevance and through programming we hope to examine the history of epidemics in Alaska; boost knowledge about emergency preparedness and infectious disease prevention, and promote kindness and respect for different perspectives.


In less than two years, Mandel participated in more than 125 book tour events in seven countries. "I was thinking of the way the tour had begun to mirror the book; we traveled endlessly, my fictional characters and I, afraid of violence and sustained by our art, exhausted and exhilarated in equal measure, and the costs were not insignificant but we'd chosen this life," she wrote in an essay for Humanities Magazine (linked below) about touring during a year when news reports were filled with relentless gun violence. "But every day of the tour ... I met people who cared about life, about civilization, about books, and by the end of the tour this seemed to me to be a reasonable antidote to despair."  

In her essay The Year of Numbered Rooms, Mandel discusses the rigors of life on the road in support of her acclaimed novel which she described as "sometimes magnificent and sometimes numbing."  In 2015-16 she stayed in hundreds of hotel rooms, but she recalls one stop, one hotel room, room 948 in Aukland, NZ with special clarity.  


"You know, I think I'd want to save a globe. Something that came up for me as I was writing this book was how incredibly local your world would become. But you know, here I am in Philadelphia this afternoon. If I lived in Philadelphia, I would have no idea what was going on. Even in rural Pennsylvania, let alone Asia, you know your world becomes so small so quickly. And I think it would be very easy to lose perspective and think that this was the entire world. So I would want a globe, just to remember that there was a world out there."  --NPR Interview, 2015


One Campus, One Book is the common reading program at UAS-Juneau.  It's a celebration of literature and the relationships and communities that develop between readers and writers.  Discussing a common book can also provide a safe venue for beginning difficult dialogues.  The program grew out of the Student Success Forum with the goal of helping foster community and compassion on campus.  The program's first year (2010) featured David Issay's Listening is an Act of Love and a corresponding campus oral history project ( The UAS Listening Project) collected the stories of students, faculty and staff.   In 2012 the program was formalized as a program of the Egan Library, a selection committee established and in 2013 these program goals and criteria were adopted.  


The UAS One Campus, One Book program will:

  • Begin an exploration of interdisciplinary approaches
  • Create opportunities for learning in and out of the classroom.
  • Foster student, staff and community participation and identification as contributing members of an intellectual community.
  • Promote reading and "foster a page-turning togetherness".*

       *based on DC We Read 2009

Criteria for book selection:

  • The extent to which the book matches program goals (touches on interdisciplinary perspectives and has the potential for integration into curriculum, is not too challenging in terms of reading level or topic).
  • Has the potential for a variety of related program (themes).
  • The book won’t have likely been assigned reading during high school.
  • Accessibility: The book is between 250-350 pages in length, engaging, college-level reading and not a text-book
  • Accessibility: is available currently in paperback
  • Accessibility: bulk ordering of the book won’t require a reprint of the title.
  • The author may be available to visit campus (within our modest budget).

Core Planning and Selection Committee:

Please email committee chair, Jonas Lamb ( ) if you are interested in participating on the committee or for information about the next selection.  

Jonas Lamb, Assistant Professor of Library Science/Public Services Librarian, Chair  

UAS First-Year Experience Committee working group members TBD. 

Select events will be broadcast on UATV or other service. To learn about additional community-wide events and Big Read partners, visit

5:00 PM
APK Alaska State Museum
7:00 PM
UAS Recreation Center (SAC)
7:00 PM
Juneau Douglas High School (Auditorium)

2017-18 Station Eleven 

If you are considering using Station Eleven in your class, would like to contribute curriculur resources or are interested in serving on the Planning and Selection Committee please send an email to We may also have desk/review copies available.  

This page is updated regularly and features a bibliography of complimentary books and discussion themes by discipline to compliment this year's selection and provide alternate sources for discussion in academic classes.    

Discussion Questions/Reading Group Guides


Themes by Discipline (this section is currently under construction)

Social Science:  history of epidemics/plague (particularly in AK), anthropology, archaeology, museum studies, ethics 

Humanities:  theater, history of theater, Shakespeare, music, travelling performers, art of the apocolypse 


Natural Sciences: epidemiology, virology, environmental response to disaster, life after humans 

Other:  disaster preparedness

Select Related Resources (in no particular order) 

Consider assigning these alternate texts (books, articles) and web resources for approaching this year's themes: remembering and coping with historical trauma through cultural and artistic forms, boosting community knowledge of emergency preparedness and infectious disease prevention, and promoting kindness and respect for different perspectives despite humans’ sometime violent and intolerant nature.  

"Indigenous Alaska and the Great Influenza Epidemic" from the Alaska Native Studies blog by Thomas Michael Swensen

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

"Warning: The Next Global Secruity threat Isn't What You Think"  by Brian Wash, TIME Magazine cover story May 15, 2017. 

"Reviving the Virus" short NOVA documentary about the 1918 influenza pandemic.  

The Raven's Gift by Don Rearden.  Rearen will discuss his work on 9/29 at the Big Read Kickoff & Alaskan Author's Panel.  See the events tab for details.

Life After People, History Channel Documentary Series. 

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Stand by Stephen King

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

King Lear by William Shakespeare

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

U Thrive: How to Succeed in College (and Life) by Dan Lerner and Alan Schlechter 

Centers for Disease Control's graphic novel, Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic 

For Younger Readers:
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
William Shakespeare's Star Wars series by Ian Doescher

Titles under review for AY18-19:  Designing Your Life: how to build a well-lived joyful life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans, Cycle of Hope: a journey from paralysis to possibility Tricia Downing, If Our Bodies Could Talk: a guide to operating and maintaining a human body by James Hamblin, Muslims and the Making of America by Amir Hussain, Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, Lynched: the power of memory in a culture of terror by Angela D. Sims, Why We Work by Barry Schwartz, Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes by Rob Knight, with Brendan Buhler, How we will live on Mars by Stephen Petranek, Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet, Dreaming in Indian : contemporary Native American voices (graphic collection) edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale, My Degeneration: a journey through parkinson's (graphic novel, AK author) by Peter Dunlap-Shohl, The Refugees (short stories) by Viet Thanh Nguyen, Spare Parts: for undcoumentated teenagers, one ugly robot, and the battle for the american dream by Joshua Davis, Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas, How to Make White People Laugh: a memoir meets social justice comedy manifesto by Negin Farsad, Double Take: a memoir by Kevin Michael Connolly.

Do you know of a great book that could help build community and begin difficult conversations on campus through the OCOB program?  Feel free to nominate a title that is not included in our short list.  Each selection cycle the committee reviews more than 20 titles, many are from campus commuinity nominations.  We look forward to adding your nominations to the ongoing consideration pool.  Please keep in mind the program goals, selection criteria and we'd love to hear your ideas for related programming.  

For examples, check out some common reading titles from these publishers:
Random House 
Harper Collins 
National Association of Scholars 

NPR Book Concierge

Book Nomination Form

Internship Opportunities:

Interested in Interning with the OCOB program? Talk to your advisor and contact to discuss options.

The OCOB Student internship will provide students with experience in the management, marketing and promotion of arts and culture events by assisting in the production of the campus-wide common reading program, One Campus, One Book and related campus and community events. This internship will also incorporate independent networking around the City and Borough of Juneau with the purpose of determining how arts and culture organizations develop, budget, staff, coordinate logistics, and evaluate their programs and events.  Duties vary between Fall and Spring Internship opportunities and each interested student is encouraged to work with their faculty advisor and OCOB faculty sponsors to adapt the internship to meet their program needs.  The OCOB internship can be adapted to meet a variety of programatic needs including Humanities, Communication, English and more.  Student interns can also choose to enroll at either 291/391/491 levels and typically for 3 credits (requires 150 clock hours).  These internship opportunities are open until filled.  Deadline to apply for fall is May 1 of the prior year and the deadline for the spring internship is December 1.  Funding may be available to cover internship credit/tuition costs.     

Objectives:  One objective of the internship will be to provide the student an opportunity to actively participate in the management, marketing and promotion of an arts and culture event.

Interns will:

  • Attend regular OCOB committee planning and other related meetings/trainings (budget/CMS). 
  • Review and critically evaluate potential book titles for selection
  • Assist in book orders and author visit planning
  • Create promotional materials, surveys and content for print, web (CMS training provided) and social media
  • Assist in event scheduling and event logistics.
  • Develop written and oral communication skills by discussing and promoting OCOB programs and events with students and in the community
  • Develop confidence and communication skills serving as coordinator of correspondence and communication with invited author, publisher and other guest speakers/performers.

Questions about the internship?  Contact Jonas Lamb ( or call 907-796-6440

Information about previous OCOB selections and links to audio/video when available.  

2016: Mixed: Multiracial College Students Tell Their Life Stories

Invited speaker, Christina Gomez, co-editor of Mixed visited with 3 classes on the Juneau Campus (Humanities, Spanish, Sociology) and had a lunch time conversation about educational journeys, graduate school, advocacy and passions with the UAS students in the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP). 

Gomez participated and lectured as part of the 1st UAS Power and Privilege Symposium on November 9th, 2016.  Her talk titled "The Act of Dreaming: Undocumented Students in the United States" is archived at UATV [ watch, select Session5_Gomez from the playlist). 

Gomez also gave the One Campus, One Book lecture, "Negotiating Identity in America" as part of the Evening at Egan series on November 11th, 2016.  [ watch, select 111116 from the playlist]

2015: Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir by Ernestine Hayes

“One of the most important books to come out of Alaska. There have been other great memoirs by Alaska Natives, but few if any have been made with such disarming humor, such bravery and such warmth.”  --The Anchorage Press

Hayes' visited 15 classes on the Juneau and Sitka campuses, attended a reception in her honor held by the UAS Honors Program and participated in 3 community events culminating in her Evening at Egan Lecture, "An Animate World", Nov. 6th, 2015 [watch, select 11_6_2015 from playlist].

Hayes moderated the panel, "The Making of Never Alone" an interdisciplinary discussion focusing on the video game, Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna), winner of the 2015 British Academy Games Award: Best Debut.  The panel featured cultural ambassadors Ishmael Hope and Amy Fredeen and a team from E-Line Media appeared via video (Matt Swanson — Producer, Ian Gil — Lead Designer, David Koenig — Technical Director, Casey McDonnell — Art Director).  The discussion raised the question, how can new media platforms be used effectively to tell traditional stories in order celebrate indigenous language, contribute to decolonization efforts and share a vibrant, in-tact culture with younger generations? 

Hayes' donated the pre-publication Blonde Indian manuscript and author's correspondence to the Egan Library.  It can be viewed online in ScholarWorks@UA. Access to original manuscript materials are restricted to in-library use at the University of Alaska Southeast Egan Library and requires pre-approval from a reference librarian. Researchers are encouraged to use the online version of this collection.

Blonde Indian was selected by Alaska Writer Laureate, Frank Soos and the Alaska Center for the Book as the inaugural selection for Alaska Reads 2016, a statewide celebration of Alaskan literature.  Hayes' travelled extensively throughout the state during the month of February and free copies of Blonde Indian were distributed to public libraries courtesy of the Alaska State Library.     

In March 2016, Hayes was featured on "The Artist" @ 360 North.  The event was recorded and rebroadcast later on 360 North public television and on YouTube.  Additional info about "The Artist @360". [watch]  

Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness an exhibition on loan from the National Library of Medicine was hosted @ Egan Library September-December 2015  

The  Juneau Public Library collected interviews on campus as part of their StoryCorps grant “Every Voice Matters: Recording and Sharing Alaska Native Educational Experiences”.  UAS students and faculty facilitated interviews at the Egan Library.  Recordings will be available on CD at the Juneau Public Libraries in Summer 2016.  Select interviews from the project can be streamed from KHNS (Haines, AK Public Radio).  

2014:  Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck

Steinbeck and Ricketts scholar Katie Rodger visited the Juneau campus for a series of class visits, reception and an Evening at Egan Lecture, 'Discovering Science: Finding the Story', Oct. 10th, 2014 [watch]  

Artist and socio-ecological activist Colleen Flanigan visited the Sitka and Juneau campuses for a series of class visits and presentations on Merging Art and Environmental Sciences.  

2013: At the Mouth of the River of Bees by Kij Johnson

Kij Johnson visited the Juneau campus for a series of class visits, the one-night only production of a staged reading and an Evening at Egan Lecture.

UAS Drama Club S.C.R.I.P.T performed "Finding True North", Nov. 6th 2013
Kij Johnson presented and Evening at Egan lecture, Egan Library, Nov. 8th, 2013 [ watch]

Narrative Endeavors: Visual and Literary Art Exhibition.  One night only student art show with open mic and Google Hangout with Kij Johnson.  Downtown Gallery, April 4th, 2014.   

John Marzluff, author of Gifts of the Crow: How perception, emotion, and thought allow smart birds to behave like humans presented a different perspective on this year's OCOB theme of human-animal communication and communicating with the other at a Sound and Motion Lecture on April 18th, 2014.  

2012: Being Caribou by Karsten Heuer  

Karsten Heuer and Leanne Alison visited the Juneau campus for a series of lectures, film screening and classroom visits. Gwich’in elder Randall Tetlichi was elder-in-residence on the Juneau Campus and gave another perspective on related themes.

Gwich’in elder Randall Tetlichi presented an Evening at Egan lecture, Egan Library: Nov. 9th  2012 [watch ]
Leanne screened the related film, Egan Lecture Hall followed by a Q&A, Nov. 15th 2012 [watch]
Karsten presented an Evening at Egan lecture, Egan Library, Nov. 16th 2012 [watch]
Sarah Ray, OCOB 2012 Committee Chair

2011: The Truth About Stories by Thomas King

2010: Listening is an Act of Love by David Isay


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