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Summer Readings


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The premise of The Bill of Obligations by Richard Haas is that in order to be an effective global citizen you must first be an engaged and knowledgeable American citizen. The Bill of Obligations is a bold call for change. Haass argues that the very idea of citizenship must be revised and expanded.


Our discussion of this book and Seminar with Dr. Bialal Sekou (left) from the University of Hartford on being engaged citizens were the foundation for our work on culture and identity leading to our examination of American culture, counterculture, and activism culminating in our to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the site of the Woodstock music festival.



Our mission in Global Studies is to become more engaged and knowledgeable global citizens. How do we do this in a world full of distractions? Enter How to Do Nothing- Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell.


We kicked off this year analyzing the lessons in this book to be more mindful, centered people ready to engage with others in meaningful ways.



Our work in Global Studies is deeply rooted in promoting human rights. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson provided important historical context to understand the role of race, class, and caste in society.


Our work with the book and visiting speakers throughout the year allowed us to apply an anti-racist and inclusive lens to the work we do now and in the future.



Exploring the theme of globalization, students selected a book to read. Suggested books were: The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers, How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization by Franklin Foer, The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir by Samantha Power, Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram by Isha Sesay, or the book of their choice.



Global Studies students read The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down to explore the intersection between culture, global public health, and immigration.

This story of Lia Lee, a Hmong immigrant child with epilepsy, and her family, doctors, and social workers were the center of our work studying cultural competency.


We also explored the history of the Hmong people, their role fighting with the US in the Vietnam War, and their immigration to the US as refugees. Check out some of our resources.



To explore sustainability and development, we read A Path Appears.  Using the examples and recommendations, we funded Kiva projects around the world to help people continue their efforts towards economic, environmental, and social sustainability.


Watkinson students before 2018 and since have continued to fund Kiva projects.



Combining our Global Studies themes of technology and communication, the book Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked provided us with the basis to analyze technology in our own lives and in society.

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