Reading Between the Lines – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Reading Between the Lines

Associate Professor Richard Salter to lead library initiative

In an unparalleled collaboration, the New York Council for the Humanities has joined forces with Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men and the Geneva Public Library to offer “Reading Between the Lines: Rethinking Religion – Recent Women’s Novels and American Identity,” a monthly reading and discussion series that runs from Feb. 3 through May 4.

“Reading Between the Lines” offers an unusual twist on the standard book group format with focused thematic discussions led by humanities scholars, says Council Executive Director Sara Ogger.

At the Geneva Public Library, the discussion leader will be Richard Salter, Hobart and William Smith Colleges Associate Professor of Religious Studies, who serves on the Fisher Center Program Steering Committee. He will lead four discussion sessions, each focused on a book related to the series theme: “Paradise Park” by Allegra Goodman; “Ceremony” by Leslie Maromon Silko; “Paradise” by Toni Morrison and “Final Payments” by Mary Gordon.

“We’re very much looking forward to working with Richard Salter and The Fisher Center on this book discussion series, says Melissa Correia, project coordinator. “What a great opportunity for readers in the community to come together and have a discussion with a skilled facilitator about these novels.

Participants in the series read works of literature and then discuss them within an historical context. The program is free and open to the public, although pre-registration is required. For more information about series dates and acquiring books, please call the Geneva Public Library at (315) 789-5303 or e-mail the project coordinator:

“Reading Between the Lines” is designed to promote lively, informed conversation about humanities themes and strengthen the relationship between humanities institutions, like the Geneva Public Library and The Fisher Center, and the public. Reading Between the Lines series are currently being held in communities across New York State. The project is supported by the We The People initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men, established in 1998, works to connect campus and community around themes of gender equity and social justice. Fisher Center Director Betty M. Bayer, says, “As The Fisher Center enters our 10th year, we are excited to be working together with the Geneva Public Library in this new initiative sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities.” Additional information about The Fisher Center can be found at or by e-mailing

For more information about Reading Between the Lines: Rethinking Religion – Recent Women’s Novels and American Identity, visit

Visit the Geneva Public Library, 244 Main Street in Geneva, or The Fisher Center, 212 Demarest Hall, to register for the series and pick up a copy of the first book, Goodman’s “Paradise Park.”

The Geneva Public Library is a member of the Pioneer Library System and is chartered to serve the residents of the Geneva City School District. For more information about the library, visit at

The New York Council for the Humanities is a private, non-profit organization that helps all New Yorkers to lead vibrant intellectual lives by strengthening traditions of cultural literacy, critical inquiry and civic participation. To find out more about the Council visit