Where We Began

Common Reading at UO began 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 Studies, with support from the Office of the President, the Division of Student Life, and the Division of Equity and Inclusion.

Although the book changes each year, Common Reading is always about building community, enriching curriculum, and engaging research through the shared reading of an important book.

How the Book is Chosen

Each year, 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. From there, a committee of campus partners, faculty, and program administrators work to narrow the choices to create a shortlist of finalists. Some years, the choice for the book 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 book will be at the center of the next year’s conversation.

Have a suggestion? Submit your nomination by clicking the link below! Each nomination is considered for how well it meets each of the following criteria:

  • Appeal to 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 jumping-off points for discussion, teaching, and research
  • Are accessible (in print, of readable length, etc.)

Want a vote in the final choice? Be on the lookout for any calls to participate we create! Any requests for votes will be posted on our main page, as well as on our social media pages.

Who Gets the Book

Each incoming first-year student receives a copy of the common reading during their IntroDUCKtion session during the summer or before the start of Fall term. Unfortunately, we cannot provide a book to every student on campus. Please check The Duck Store or other retailers to obtain a copy, or check one out for free from the UO Library!

Faculty, campus partners, and other UO Staff can request a copy of the book in order to prepare curriculum/course content, programming, resources, or involvement with students who will be reading the book. We ask that you be mindful of our limited reserves of books–but if we can help, we will!

Community members and others who are interested in the book may purchase one through various retailers or borrow one from their local library.

Who Teaches the Book

Lots of people! Common reading has a community of campus partners including the FIG Program, Residence Life, the Clark Honors College, and academic departments across campus to name a few.

Are you a faculty memberĀ  who’s decided to teach with the book? Please let us know! We work to help student know about courses using the book, and can connect you with any events or opportunities that relate to the book as well! The notification form can be found by clicking the link below. You will also be able to upload one of your course assignments and/or your syllabus to contribute to the UO faculty-generated teaching resources around the book.