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C-SPAN2’s ‘BookTV’ to Air Interviews with ODU’s Pearson and Yaco This Weekend

Yaco-CSPANSonia Yaco being interviewed by CSPAN

Old Dominion's Michael Pearson and Sonia Yaco will appear on C-SPAN2's "BookTV" television program this weekend, featuring interviews with Virginia Beach authors.

The nationally broadcast show will air locally on C-SPAN2 (Cox Channel 094) at noon Saturday, April 20, and at 9 a.m. Sunday, April 21. The show runs approximately one hour.

Throughout the spring, C-SPAN 2 and C-SPAN 3 are featuring historical sights, as well as authors and nonfiction books written from a particular city, in an effort to highlight each area's history and literary culture.

Pearson, professor of creative writing, will discuss his 2008 book "Innocents Abroad Too: Journeys Around the World on Semester at Sea."

Most people don't get the opportunity to circumnavigate the globe, but Pearson has had the good fortune to do it twice. As a two-term professor in the Semester at Sea Program, he journeyed by ship in 2002 and 2006 to such countries as Japan, China, Vietnam, India, Myanmar, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa, and Cuba. In "Innocents Abroad Too" he shares his experiences and candid impressions, transporting the reader from bustling streets outside Shanghai's City God Temple to the Masai Mara plain.

Along the way Pearson provides a literary journey, enriching his encounters with descriptions of the great books and great writers who have also brought the world closer to their readers. These touchstones are combined with journalistic sketches of the people and places he visits and Pearson's thoughtful meditations on the significance of travel and the importance of encountering the new. In the rich tradition of travel literature, "Innocents Abroad Too" offers a blend of experience and imagination, worlds familiar and strange.

Yaco, ODU's Special Collections librarian and university archivist, was interviewed for the "BookTV" program about the creation of the exhibit "School Desegregation: Learn, Preserve and Empower." The traveling exhibit features materials is from the ODU Libraries' Special Collections and University Archives, which contain more than 35,000 pages of primary source material that document the history of school desegregation in Norfolk from 1954-1993, starting with the Massive Resistance crisis and continuing into the busing lawsuits of the late 1980s.

The exhibit was the result of collaboration between the ODU Libraries and the DOVE (Desegregation of Virginia Education) Project, which Yaco founded and and co-chairs. Last year, the ODU Libraries and the DOVE Project formed a partnership with AARP Virginia, Virginia Conference NAACP and the Urban League of Virginia to collect stories and historic documents detailing Virginia's historic journey toward the desegregation of its schools.

Other local authors featured on the program this weekend will be:

  • Kenny Harris, "Princess Anne County: Its Contribution and Sacrifices to the War Between the States";
  • Amy Waters Yarsinske, "An American in the Basement";
  • Stephen Mansfield, "Princess Anne County and Virginia Beach: A Pictorial History"; and
  • Paul Rasor, "From Jamestown to Jefferson: The Evolution of Religious Freedom in Virginia."

For more information about the program go to http://www.booktv.org/Program/14457/BookTV+in+Virginia+Beach+Virginia.aspx.