In the Academy, we often refer to anything that can be read as “text.” Given this expansive meaning, texts can include–but are certainly not limited to–books, films, television shows, sculpture, dance, architecture, landscapes, music, and photographs.

These are the traditional books assigned for summer reading (in alphabetical order by author)

(Visual Introduction)

 Ashe, Bert. Twisted: My Dreadlock Chronicles. Chicago: Bolden, 2015. This text provides us with an opportunity to engage the politics of identity through the lens of the black body.

(Audio Introduction) Guinier, Lani. The Tyranny of the Meritocracy: Democratizing Higher Education in America. Boston: Beacon Press, 2015. The book challenges the academic measures and standards for determining how well a person may contribute to a democracy.  Guinier also highlights important responses to the flawed assumptions in the “meritocracy.”

(Interview as Introduction) Tillet, Salamishah. Sites of Slavery: Citizenship and Racial Democracy in the Post-Civil Rights Imagination. Durham: Duke University Press, 2012. This book provides you with an opportunity to consider the relevance of history and memory on contemporary experience. The linked interview may be of interest to you given Tillet’s discussion of her journey towards embracing an intellectual life and political stance from about your age through her current position as an associate professor.