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Share an experience.
Announcing the book of 2022-2023: Braiding Sweetgrass
The Common Reading book of the upcoming school year has been selected. For the second year in a row, the campus community will be reading Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by author Robin Wall Kimmerer.
All are welcome to join in, whether they participated in the previous year or not. The campus community will be digging deeper into the text and new opportunities will be available to engage with the themes and hear from the voices of our local indigenous community.
In "Braiding Sweetgrass" Kimmerer brings together her experience as a botanist and as a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in a bestselling memoir that urges humans to reconnect with the rest of the living world.
Despite considering other options for the Common Reading program, it was clear that students wanted to spend more time engaging with this selection.
What is UO Common Reading?
Common Reading creates community across campus. Each year, the Common Reading program presents an engaging selection, often a book, that will be the focus of a campus-wide discussion. Enjoy the opportunity to meet authors, have lively discussions with peers, and experience the piece inside and outside of the classroom.
The program started in 2009 as an initiative of the Clark Honors College. In 2014, it expanded to include all first-year students. Common Reading is now coordinated by the Division of Undergraduate Education and Student Success and has had support from the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Division of Student Life, the Division of Equity and Inclusion, and the Center for the Study of Women in Society among others.
Although the selection changes each year, Common Reading is always about building community, enriching curriculum, and engaging research through the shared experience of an important work.
The program is open to the entire campus community, and there's many ways to participate, whether you're faculty, staff, or a student. First-year students receive a copy of the Common Reading selection during IntroDUCKtion, and participants can get a free copy from the university library.
► Find past and upcoming Common Reading events
► Sponsor Common Reading or have it sponsor your event
► Work with the book in your classroom or group
► Hold a pop-up book distribution event
► Host your own event in partnership with the program
Suggest a theme & title
The Common Reading program solicits suggestions from the campus and area community as we begin our search to find the next year’s reading selection, which can be a book, podcast, documentary, film, or another work. From there, a committee of campus partners, faculty, students, and program administrators work to narrow the choices to create a shortlist of finalists. Some years, the choice for the selection from that group has been a unanimous decision. In other years, we seek the input from our campus community and the public to help decide what piece will be at the center of the next year’s conversation.
Each nomination is considered for how well it meets each of the following criteria:
- Appeal to both faculty and first-year students (i.e., have a strong narrative or narrative voice that pulls readers in and builds empathy)
- Focus on a subject of timely, topical relevance
- Provide a strong intellectual hook, offering multiple disciplinary and interdisciplinary jumping-off points for discussion and teaching, inquiry and research
- Are accessible (in print, of readable length, etc.)
- Fits the annually selected theme
What do you recommend as an important work on this theme that the entire University of Oregon should engage in reading?
Meet our partners
Instructors, departments, and other groups from across University of Oregon elect to use the Common Reading selection in their curriculum each year. We also partner with the Eugene Public Library, Springfield Public Library, Bethel School District and Eugene/Springfield NAACP.
Selection Committee Members
|Laurel Bastian||Faculty Consultant, Teaching Engagement Program|
|Program Advisor, Multicultural Center|
|Cora Bennet||Director, Student Orientation|
|Kelby Beyer||ENVS undergraduate|
Common Reading Student Coordinator
|Rebecca DesPrez||Executive Assistant, UO Libraries|
|Sydney Duncan||Student Coordinator, First-Year Experience|
|Sarah Ebert||Senior Instructor, School of Music and Dance|
|Jill Elizabeth||Program Manager, Environment Initiative|
|Jackie Etchison||Assistant Director, First-Year Interest Groups|
|Rita Gillihsn||First Year Programs Administrative Assistant|
|Dana Glasscock||First-Year Programs Outreach Coordinator|
|Rebekah Hanley||Clinical Professor, Law|
Digital Learning Program Specialist, Oregon Department of Education
|Michael Jarvis||Instructor, English|
|Zoey Kambour||Museum Fellow, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art|
|Danielle Knapp||McCosh Curator, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art|
|Abigail Leeder||Director of Experiential Education & Prevention Initiatives, Dean of Students|
Former Native American Program Coordinator, Central Oregon Community College
PhD candidate, ENVS
GE, Education Studies
Student Coordinator, First-Year Experience
|Jeffrey Staiger||Humanities and Romance Languages Librarian|
|Sarah Stoeckl||Assistant Director, Office of Sustainability|
|Julie Voelker-Morris||Director, UO Common Reading|