Author William Kamkwamba to discuss K-State common book in Sept. 30 virtual lecture
Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020
MANHATTAN — William Kamkwamba — the author of Kansas State University's 2020 common book, "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" — will give a virtual lecture for students, faculty, staff and community members.
The event will occur at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30, through livestream. Visit the K-State First Book website for the livestream link and connection information. The event is free and open to the public.
Kamkwamba's best-selling memoir tells the true story of human inventiveness, following dreams and improving community.
"This is the right book for 2020 — the story of a young man facing a life-threatening social calamity and finding an ingenious way to use his gifts and strengths to make things better for his community," said Greg Eiselein, professor of English and director of K-State First. "The lineup of K-State First Book programming this year, with William Kamkwamba's talk as our signature event, is truly impressive. I hope all K-Staters get a chance to attend one or more of the exciting programs that have been planned."
During the lecture, Kamkwamba will extend the story behind "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" to share what has happened in the years since the book's publication and discuss low-cost, high-impact projects currently in development for communities around the world.
"We hope that students will read the book and be inspired to find the solutions to problems they see in their community," said Tara Coleman, coordinator of the K-State First Book committee and associate professor at K-State Libraries. "In the book, while older people looked around and felt hopeless, the protagonist William thought outside of the box and took items that other people were discarding or ignoring and turned it into energy. We want to see K-State students do the same."
Kamkwamba's talk is co-sponsored by K-State First Book, K-State Libraries and the English department's student honorary society, Sigma Tau Delta, among others.
"We're looking forward to centering voices of color whenever possible this fall, starting with William Kamkwamba's own story and his online public presentation on Sept. 30," said Karin Westman, chair of the K-State First Book PR/events committee and department head of English. "We are grateful to our programming partners for contributing a great slate of events, so we can explore connections between 'The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind' and our experiences at K-State, in Kansas and around the world."
Programming partners for the 2020 common book include the College of Agriculture, the Beach Museum of Art, the Global Food Systems Initiative, the Staley School of Leadership Studies and USD 383.
In addition to Kamkwamba's lecture, many other virtual programs during the fall semester will celebrate the 2020 common book. View a full list of virtual events and find livestream information at k-state.edu/ksfb.
Other events include:
• Beach Museum of Art's common work of art, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3. Livestream link will be available on the K-State First Book website.
• "Resilience and Perseverance: How Engagement Transforms Lives" panel discussion, noon Thursday, Oct. 1. Livestream link will be available on the K-State First Book website.
• "Perspectives of the Global Food System: From Kansas to Sub-Saharan Africa" panel discussion, noon Thursday, Oct. 22. Livestream link will be available on the K-State First Book website.
• "Diversity in Kansas Farming" panel discussion, Date and time to be announced. Livestream link will be available on the K-State First Book website.