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Convocation welcomes the beginning of the new academic year at Ramapo College. It is a formal academic ceremony that highlights Ramapo’s summer reading selection and provides an experiential learning opportunity for all students.

Opening Convocation occurred on August 29, 2023 in our Bradley Center Arena. This year’s program featured guest speaker Grace M. Cho, author of Tastes Like War: A Memoir, the 2023 First-Year Seminar summer reading selection. Copies of the book are available for purchase at the Campus Bookstore.

The video of Convocation inclusive of Grace Cho’s address was available until October 10, 2023.

Grace M. Cho grew up as the daughter of a white American merchant marine and the Korean bar hostess he met abroad. Her writing mixes scholarship and personal history to create intensely personal and political studies that explore the stories of the Korean women whose experiences in the war and its aftermath continue to haunt their families in the present.

Grace writes at the crossroads of creative nonfiction and interdisciplinary scholarship, exploring the ways in which residues of state violence and historical trauma permeate the intimate spaces of the here and now. As a sociologist, Grace approaches storytelling as an opportunity to broaden the lens through which readers see personal experience. She teaches full time as a professor of sociology, food studies, gender studies, critical criminology, and disability at the City University of New York.

Grace is the author of Tastes Like War, a finalist for the 2021 National Book Award for nonfiction and the winner of the 2022 Asian Pacific American Literature Award for adult nonfiction. Time and NPR named it as one of the best books of 2021. Her first book, Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame, Secrecy, and the Forgotten War, received a 2010 book award from the American Sociological Association. Her writing has appeared in journals such as The New Inquiry, PoemMemoirStory, Contexts, Catapult, Artform, Gastronomica, Feminist Studies, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and Qualitative Inquiry. She has been featured in People Magazine and on NPR’s Fresh Air, KCRW’s Good Food, Milk Street Radio, and BBC World Outlook. She is co-editor of The Children of the People: Writings by and about CUNY Students on Race and Social Justice (DIO Press, 2022).