William Woods University Plans Events to Promote One Read and ‘The Tortilla Curtain’

William Woods University faculty and staff have planned a number of activities during September in conjunction with the Daniel Boone Regional Library’s One Read program. This year’s book, chosen by a public vote, is T.C. Boyle’s, “The Tortilla Curtain.” All events at WWU are free and open to the public.


One Read, now in its fifth year, is a community-wide reading program that encourages adults of all ages to read one book and participate in thought-provoking discussion and activities.


“The Tortilla Curtain” is a look at illegal immigration from both sides of the issue through use of two families, immigrants and wealthy Americans. The focus of the novel shifts from one family to another as the chapters change, and the differences that divide the two families are brought into clear focus.


Boyle wrote the book while his home state of California was entangled in debate about immigration. With immigration becoming more of a concern nationally, his novel has seen a new surge in popularity in recent years. Boyle said the book makes people aware of the struggles of immigrants, but can also be effective as entertainment.


Following is a list of activities planned at William Woods University:

Banana Oil Pan Band


Tuesday, Sept. 12 – 12:30 – 1:30 p.m., outside Dulany Auditorium


A Caribbean, Calypso Style, Pan Band from Columbia, Mo., Banana Oil Pan Band plays unique musical instruments, developed in Trinidad & Tobago in the late 1940s. Made from discarded 55-gallon steel drums, the pans create festive melodies and rhythms that are not soon forgotten. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Campus Activities Board and the WWU music program.

Centro Latino and the Issues Hispanics Face in Mid-Missouri


Tuesday, Sept. 12 – 7 p.m., William Woods University Library Auditorium


Eduardo Crespi, director and founder of Columbia’s Centro Latino, discusses the issues Hispanics face in mid-Missouri. The mission of Centro Latino is to empower Latinos and Latino families through provision of services and guidance in navigating the health, education and cultural resources of mid-Missouri. Centro Latino provides assistance to immigrants as they become acclimated to their new environment with its different laws, customs, and language. Sponsored by WWU’s social work program.

Brazilian Music and Literature


Thursday, Sept. 21 – 5:30 p.m., William Woods University Library Auditorium


Dr. Jack Draper, assistant professor of Portuguese at the University of Missouri, will present part of a paper he did on the Renovation and Conservation of Brazilian Music and Literature. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

“Facing Deportation” – Marie Gonzalez Tells Her Story


Thursday, Sept. 21 – 7 p.m., William Woods University Library Auditorium


Marie Gonzalez is a Westminster College student who waged a highly publicized campaign to fight her deportation to Costa Rica. Now she has received another extension of her stay in the United States and can remain in the country for one more year under the decision reached by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. What is it like to live “one year at a time,” separated from your family, but in a country you love and consider your own. Cynthia Kramer, director of WWU’s legal studies program, will lead the discussion.

Learn the Merengue and the Salsa


Friday, Sept. 22 – 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., William Woods University Aldridge Lounge


Tom Cwynar, an instructor with the Capital Ritz Dance Studio in Jefferson City, will teach two Latin dances, the Merengue and the Salsa. Each dance will be given for one hour, with a 30-minute break in between. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Jack Nicholson in “The Border” – Movie and Discussion


Tuesday, Sept. 26 – 7 p.m., William Woods University Library Auditorium


Discussion and showing of “The Border,” starring Jack Nicholson as a United States border patrol agent who is forced to deal firsthand with the ethical ambiguities surrounding illegal immigration. The film dramatizes the complex issue of illegal immigration from various perspectives, and is often praised for its realism. Dr. Greg Smith, assistant professor of English and a specialist in American literature and film studies, will lead the discussion.

Artistic Interpretations of “The Tortilla Curtain”


Opening reception Thursday, Sept. 28 – 4-6 p.m., Corridor Gallery, Gladys Woods Kemper Center for the Arts, William Woods University


Terry Martin, WWU professor of art, charged his basic design class with relating the book’s content to an exercise in art elements and design principles of collage. Come see the fascinating results. In addition to opening night, the art center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Programs offered by William Woods University are subject to change, and additional programs may be added. Please check the WWU website (www.williamwoods.edu) for the latest information.