Jessie Wang, Contributing
Historian and award-winning memoirist Tara Westover discussed themes of family and education in her memoir Educated at the Emory Student Center on Sept. 26.
Educated has won over a dozen awards and was named Book of the Year by the American Booksellers Association. The bestselling memoir chronicles Westovers upbringing as a Mormon survivalist in the mountains of Idaho and her attempts to reconcile her desire for self-determination with the strict ideologies of her parents.
Westover, 33, was joined in conversation by Carol E. Henderson newly appointed vice provost for diversity and inclusion, chief diversity officer, and adviser to the president as part of the Emory Integrity Projects Common Read One Book, One Emory program.
Westover was raised by Mormon survivalist parents who distrusted public education and health, and did not set foot in a classroom until she was 17. Despite studying independently for the ACT and subsequently gaining entrance to Brigham Young University (Utah), Westover quickly became aware of how insubstantial her homeschooling had been.
The only history I learned was my fathers, she said. I didnt even know what the Holocaust was.
Westover acknowledged that although her unique upbringing made her stand out among her peers, her differences have never bothered her.
I spent my whole life not fitting in, Westover said. Im OK now with not fitting in. Ive accepted that conformity is an illusion. You dont have to be like everybody else.
Another byproduct of Westovers idiosyncratic childhood was the perspective she gained on what it means to be educated something she wanted to convey through the ambiguity of her books title.
[Educated] can mean informed, fearless, intelligent, arrogant, brainwashed, she said. Part of the way that I would define education was getting access to other points of view.
Westover emphasized the importance of appreciating and accepting other perspectives, noting that two people can have the same experience and come to different conclusions.
I think that respecting people that you disagree with is a prerequisite to self-respect, she said.
Nevertheless, Westover voiced her concerns that education was beginning to associate more with certainty than inquiry, which she believes has bled into how we perceive others.
Weve kind of gotten into a social space where we think if we know one thing about a person, we know everything, she said.
Westover stated that she was inspired to write about her life as a way to cope with her gradual estrangement from her parents, a process she described as difficult and long.
When I went through that process, I just felt like I was the only person it had ever happened to, and I thought it might be helpful for other people to read about it, she said.
Westovers described her writing process in Educated was like journaling, which she said helped her cope with the changes in her life. She argued that journaling was more therapeutic than the act of writing for readers and encouraged the audience to consider it.
Theres something in writing that I think is therapeutic, Westover said. But then I also think that when you write for people, its not really as therapeutic because there are different rules.
Westover also revealed that there are aspects of her life that she deliberately omitted from her memoir for fear that they would be poorly received, and pointed to the vast cultural differences between rural and urban America.
There are some things I could have written about my father that would have been too shocking, and they would not have been received in context, she said.
One potentially controversial passage that Westover did keep in the memoir featured the repeated use of the N-word. Westover included the story in the memoir to highlight her conscious evolution, tying into the larger theme of what it means to be Educated.
I wanted to write a story about language and the power of it, Westover said. For so long I just heard [the N-word] as any other word, and then I was awakened to how powerful it was. I didnt want to blunt the power of it by representing it in any way less than it was.
Westover acknowledged that it was a difficult choice, one that still gives her food for thought.
I rethink it all the time, she confessed. Maybe I made the wrong decision.
Concluding the discussion, Westover revealed that she would not offer any advice to her younger self.
There are things you have to learn that nobody can tell you, Westover said.
Read more from the original source:
- Toxic Positivity is a Thing and It Needs to Stop - Thrive Global - November 25th, 2019
- Sacramento boasts a hot lineup of community and culture events this week - Yahoo News - October 24th, 2019
- Conscious Evolution TV - The Convergence of Science ... - May 3rd, 2019
- Conscious evolution - Wikipedia - March 30th, 2019
- Sacred Centers - Tools for Conscious Evolution - March 21st, 2019
- Conscious Evolution (Kansas City, MO) | Meetup - October 29th, 2018
- The 8 Stages of Conscious Evolution - Waking Times - May 5th, 2018
- Conscious Life News | News and Articles About Conscious ... - February 15th, 2018
- Sheila Gautreaux Highlights Importance of Forgiveness | Benzinga - Benzinga - August 21st, 2017
- Sheila Gautreaux Highlights Importance of Forgiveness - Benzinga - August 18th, 2017
- Nights Of Fire: A Conscious Evolution Festival Preview - NYSMusic - August 14th, 2017
- What's Happening: August 4, 2017 - Verde Independent - August 4th, 2017
- KABAKA PYRAMID + One-A-Chord & DJ Spleece - SantaCruz.com - August 3rd, 2017
- First Gaia Symposium scheduled for July 7-9 in Weed - Taft Midway Driller - July 5th, 2017
- Talk About INDEPENDENCE. We just divorced, yet get along better than ever! - The Good Men Project (blog) - July 4th, 2017
- First Gaia Symposium scheduled for July 7-9 in Weed - Mount Shasta Herald - July 3rd, 2017
- Surprise: People Who Claim They Don't Eat or Drink Are Probably Liars - ATTN: - June 23rd, 2017
- Native Americans are getting cheated again by a white president ... - Los Angeles Times - June 21st, 2017
- JACKAL Releases 'Endorphins' EP - Noiseporn - June 14th, 2017
- New book published by Balboa Press presents the Miross system, a measure for conscious evolution, self ... - Benzinga - June 11th, 2017
- Dr. Leslie Wells Announces Upcoming Launch of the EVE Consciousness World Tour - PR Web (press release) - June 7th, 2017
- Jackal - Summer In Your Arms - EDM Sauce - June 6th, 2017
- Pierre Teilhard De Chardin Information - April 3rd, 2017
- Skill to discriminate - The Hindu - March 10th, 2017
- Modi supports yoga at Lord Shiva bust unveiling - Easterneye (press release) (subscription) - March 3rd, 2017
- 112-foot tall Shiva statue 'Adiyogi' - Times of India (blog) - February 28th, 2017
- Important to preserve the essence of yoga: PM Narendra Modi - Economic Times - February 27th, 2017
- YOGA-PM 2 LAST : PTI feed, News - India Today - India Today - February 27th, 2017
- PM Modi unveils 112-foot tall bust of Lord Shiva in Coimbatore on occasion of Maha Shivratri' - Zee News - February 25th, 2017
- PM Modi unveils 112-foot tall bust of Lord Shiva in Coimbatore - Zee News - February 24th, 2017
- PM Modi to unveil 112-foot Shiva statue at Maha Shivaratri event of Jaggi Vasudev's Isha Foundation as protests grow - International Business Times,... - February 24th, 2017
- Narendra Modi to unveil 112-ft tall Shiva idol on February 24 - India ... - India.com - February 20th, 2017
- Coimbatore: PM Modi to unveil 112-feet tall face of Adiyogi on Feb ... - India.com - February 20th, 2017
- Modi to unveil 112-ft tall Shiva idol in Coimbatore on February 24 - Hindustan Times - February 18th, 2017
- Grey Magick and Soapbox Preachers - Patheos (blog) - February 15th, 2017
- Stay Inspired: Conscious Evolution with Barbara Marx ... - December 11th, 2016
- Conscious Evolution Defined - Foundation for Conscious ... - June 8th, 2016
- Back to the Future: LCWR nuns and Conscious Evolution ... - June 8th, 2016
- Cures Without Side Effects - Video - April 13th, 2015
- How to Activate Our Genetic Blueprint - Video - April 13th, 2015
- Activate Your Higher Mind Powerful DNA Healing Energy | All 9 Solfeggio Frequencies - Video - April 11th, 2015
- How Technology is Connected to Consciousness - Video - April 11th, 2015
- How Can You Be Happy - Video - April 9th, 2015
- What is Cultural Fusion - Video - April 5th, 2015
- Conscious Evolution! - Video - April 5th, 2015
- Eyes of Emerald - Video - April 5th, 2015
- Teddy M. - Conscious Evolution (Kansas City, MO) - Meetup - April 2nd, 2015
- Conscious Eating for Health - Video - April 1st, 2015
- Are We at a Turning Point for Humanity - Video - March 30th, 2015
- Barbara Marx Hubbard - The Next Phase of Conscious Evolution - Video - March 26th, 2015
- Reverend Jim Lee on Conscious Evolution - Video - March 26th, 2015
- 06 Conscious Evolution - Video - March 26th, 2015
- Living an Inspired Life - March 26th, 2015
- How to Reach Higher Levels of Consciousness - Video - March 20th, 2015
- How to Find the Seeds of Consciousness - Video - March 18th, 2015
- Conscious Evolution ~ Yoga with Haley - Video - March 18th, 2015
- Solfeggio Frequency 174hz ||| The Foundation of Conscious Evolution ||| 1 HOUR ||| - Video - March 14th, 2015
- Is that All there is-The Journey Within - Video - March 14th, 2015
- How to Open Your Mind to Unlimited Possibilities - Video - March 13th, 2015
- How to Eliminate Stress and Overwhelm - Video - March 12th, 2015
- Our True Nature as The Divine Spark - Barbara Marx Hubbard - Video - March 12th, 2015
- How Not To Be Frightened of Love - Video - March 10th, 2015
- Ride the Wave - Creative Conscious Evolution - Video - March 9th, 2015
- 8 Steps to Stop Dying Every Day and Start Waking Up - Video - March 8th, 2015
- How and Why to Integrate Nutrition into Conscious Living - Video - March 8th, 2015
- Connecting with People On the Other Side - Video - March 6th, 2015
- Crossroads 6 Conscious Evolution - Video - March 6th, 2015
- Dr. Marilyn Gewacke (CSETI) & Diane Saunders interviewed on Conscious Evolution Radio, 20.2.2015 - Video - March 6th, 2015
- The Violence in Chicago - Video - March 5th, 2015
- How to Embrace Our Truth as Spiritual Beings - Video - March 5th, 2015
- Donna The Buffalo "Conscious Evolution" Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival, 2-21-2015 - Video - March 5th, 2015
- Art as a Conduit for Conscious Evolution with Darinka Blagaj fine artist - Video - March 4th, 2015
- How to Unzip the Fat Suit Using Your Mind - Video - March 2nd, 2015
- Courtney W. - Conscious Evolution (Kansas City, MO) - Meetup - February 27th, 2015
- How You Communicate Impacts Your Relationships - Video - February 22nd, 2015
- What are the 5 Supposedly Healthy Habits - Video - February 19th, 2015
- How the Laws of Attraction and Fate Destiny Works - Video - February 19th, 2015
- Neuroscience, Freud and Buddha - Video - February 19th, 2015
- Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential - Video - February 19th, 2015
- Maylin Music LONGING - Video - February 17th, 2015