Auburn’s Common Book program for 2013-14 to feature ‘Nobodies’ by John Bowe

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University’s 2013-14 Common Book program “Auburn Connects!” will feature the book, “Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy,” by award-winning journalist John Bowe.

Creating a shared reading experience for students, faculty, staff and the wider Auburn community, Auburn Connects! promotes intellectual engagement with current issues and ideas through classes, public lectures and special programs.

In “Nobodies,” Bowe, who will give the keynote Auburn Connects! Common Book Lecture Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in Foy Hall Auditorium, examines three illegal workplaces where employees are literally or virtually enslaved. Bowe notes that although many find it shocking that such conditions can exist in contemporary America, his extensive research identifies a multitude of reasons it can happen. Among them are outsourcing, subcontracting, immigration fraud and the desire for inexpensive consumer products. In Bowe’s words, these create opportunities for “man to be a wolf to men.”

Bowe suggests that most Americans just don’t know the facts. If the new global economy does indeed have a dark side, he notes, awareness is the first step toward change.

Over the course of the 2013-14 academic year, lectures, film screenings, exhibitions, public discussions and other programs will explore the social, economic and political factors that allow forced labor to exist. Ranging from workers’ rights to economic justice to career choices, programming will take a deep look at “Nobodies” in the context of civil and human rights.

Funding is available for programming related to “Nobodies.” For an application form, as well as for more information resources and a calendar of events, visit the Auburn Connects! website at Instructional materials and training opportunities are also listed on the site. For details, call Jay Lamar at (334) 844-8453 or Valerie Bagley at (334) 844-5822.

AU Connects! Common Book Program is an initiative of the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

(Submitted by Jay Lamar.)

Contact: Jay Lamar, Office of Undergraduate Studies, (334) 844-8453 (, or
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing (334) 844-9999 (