Chanel Miller’s ‘Know My Name’ chosen as one of this year’s Three Books

Aug. 13, 2021, 9:20 a.m.

Chanel Miller’s memoir “Know My Name” will be included as one of this year’s Three Books, the University announced on Thursday in an email to incoming undergraduate students.

“Know My Name” was written by Miller after she was sexually assaulted in 2015 by former Stanford student Brock Turner, who was convicted of a felony.

Miller will also speak with students at the University’s New Student Orientation on Sept. 17, in keeping with the tradition of having authors of the books speak.

Last fall, a petition that called for the memoir to be distributed garnered 1,500 signatures. The University, however, did not choose to include it, sparking outrage within the Stanford community.

“It took a lot of time and energy, and Stanford should have done the right thing from the start, but it was worth it,” said comparative literature professor David Palumbo-Liu, who spearheaded both the petition and a Faculty Senate resolution supporting Miller alongside law professor Michele Dauber.

Stanford’s Three Books program is a yearly tradition, in which incoming frosh and transfer students are given selected texts to read over the summer, with the purpose of bringing students together for discussion.

“After consulting with numerous students and faculty on our campus, the Three Books selection committee deemed it important to share this powerful and profound work because this assault occurred on our campus by a former Stanford student,” wrote psychiatry, education and pediatrics professor Shashank Joshi in the email to students.

Joshi, alongside a committee consisting of six other students, faculty and staff, decided on the theme “Perspective, Empathy and Hope” for this year’s Three Books. Historically, one faculty member determined the texts, but this year, the entire committee had a say in which books to distribute — ensuring that the voices of students and other University community members are heard.

The other two selections are “Educated” by Tara Westover, and a package of three digital works: Anna Deavere Smith’s “Notes From the Field: Doing Time in Education,” an episode of NPR’s Hidden Brain Series podcast and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk “Danger Of A Single Story.”

Camryn Pak is a news managing editor. Contact her at cpak 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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