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‘Boom or Bust’ book club gets creative with Frankenstein

Evan Mitchell, Columnist and Features Writer

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If you’ve ever been in the Mesa building, or any other building here on The University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) campus, you’ve most likely noticed flyers or posters with a picture of Frankenstein on it.  If you read the flyer/poster you’ll realize that it is for a book club on the book “Frankenstein” written by Mary Shelley.  It also reads, “Boom or Bust” on the top of the poster incorporated into a silhouette of energy producing machines.  I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Rebecca Babcock, who is the co-director of Boom or Bust, to ask her questions about what it was, and what the purpose of it was. She is the William and Ordelle Watts Professor at UTPB.

I asked Dr. Babcock, “What is Boom or Bust?”, and she replied:

“Boom or Bust is a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Initiatives at Hispanic-Serving Institutions. I am co-director with Jason Lagapa. Our goal is to bring humanities content into the study and understanding of energy and oil. Another goal is to reach out to the community to gather their stories of living in a boom or bust economy here in the Permian Basin, especially as it relates to energy production like oil, wind, solar, etc.

Boom or Bust is more than just the book club that you see the flyers advertising.  It is a two-calendar-year government-funded project, led by her and several others.  They also host writing workshops, which you’ll see coming up soon, where they gather stories from people in living in our “Boom or Bust economy.” Babcock states, when it comes to their writing workshops, “We’re looking for people who don’t think they’re writers.  We want their stories.”

The upcoming book club will be focused on “Frankenstein” written by Mary Shelley, and when I first heard the explanation of Boom or Bust I was confused as to how Frankenstein related to it.  So, I asked Dr. Babcock.  To which she said:

“We chose Frankenstein because in the brainstorming sessions listed above we brainstormed a lot of books and then narrowed down to the books that we listed on our grant application. When we got the grant we asked, ‘We can change the books around, right? We don’t have to read these exact books, right?” and they said no, we had to stick with those same books because one of the reasons they chose the grant was because they liked the books. The books mostly have to do with oil, energy, and boom or bust.”

If you want to attend this book club coming up on the at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 in the Mesa Building, Room 4113, and two other dates and times, you should read the book beforehand, but it is not necessary Babcock said. If you know anyone who works or is involved with the oilfield, invite them to this book study, and any other upcoming events by Boom or Bust since those are the people that they are primarily focused on reaching, but even if you aren’t a part of the oilfield, you are free to attend what is sure to be a “Booming” book club. Sheena Steif and Kandice Hargreaves are a part of the book club.

The Book Club will also be presented 10 a.m. Oct. 14 at The Train Car, Big Spring, Texas, 79720. For Midlanders, it will be presented at 1 p.m. in Centennial Library Room 117, 2503 Loop 250, Frontage Room in the Best Buy shopping center.

 

Also, feel free to follow Boom or Bust on social media:

Facebook:  Boom or Bust

Twitter:  bust_boom  

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‘Boom or Bust’ book club gets creative with Frankenstein