About the Common Reader Program
The Common Reader provides you with a common academic and cultural experience that goes beyond the classroom. You will read and discuss the book in class and also engage with its themes and topics both through dedicated programming and events and informal discussion with your peers.
What is the Common Reader?
The Common Reader for 2012-13 is Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? by Dr. Michael Sandel. The book is based on Dr. Sandel’s course of the same name at Harvard in which he introduces students to ethical issues present in the 21st century through a mixture of classical philosophy and popular culture. This combination allows easy access to challenging concepts without diluting their complexity.
Do I have to read the book?
Students enrolled in a first-year seminar are expected to read the Common Reader. Students enrolled in a learning community that does not include a seminar should consult the the syllabus from each of their classes in that community to determine if the common reader will be part of their curriculum.
How will I use the information in the book?
In addition to discussions, assignments, and/or tests and quizzes involving the information in the Common Reader, there will be campus activities throughout the year based on themes and ideas in the book.
The following are strategies to use as you read the Common Reader:
Read with a pen, pencil, or highlighter and annotate passages or parts of the book that you think are important.
Make note of any words or phrases that you do not understand, and take time to look these up or ask your instructor for clarification.
Take time to read and re-read the information. This year’s Common Reader is based on concepts from philosophy, and you will need to understand the themes and ideas in the book, as well as the specific details presented.
Common Reader Program Objectives
As a result of the Common Reader program, you will:
Gain reinforcement of the first-year seminar learning outcomes.
Engage in reading.
Join your peers in a common academic experience.
Be able to demonstrate a knowledge of academic, political, social, and world issues.
Explore the development of your individual identity.
Develop multicultural awareness.