Nominate next book for Campus Reading by Oct. 15

Residential Colleges invites all Vanderbilt faculty, students and staff to nominate a book for next year’s Campus Reading for the Class of 2027 and incoming transfer students. Nominations should support the theme “Engaging the Controversial: Making Space for Discussion and Connection.”

“The Campus Reading is a chance for students to draw on a shared experience as they begin the complex work of living in a diverse community, meeting new people and establishing a new set of experiences,” said Melissa Gresalfi, dean of The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons. “Our most successful books have offered students a story to which they can relate in some way while also offering a new way of thinking about the world. Developing the skills and experience of engaging what is controversial—and learning to do so while making space to hear different perspectives—is exactly the kind of intellectual engagement that serves students in their academic experiences here at Vanderbilt and beyond.”

Incoming first-year and transfer students receive the Campus Reading over the summer and are asked to complete it prior to their arrival on campus. This assignment forms the basis of a community-wide dialogue that begins during orientation and continues throughout the year. For incoming first-year students, these discussions take place in their Vanderbilt Visions groups.

To nominate a book, complete the online nomination form by Saturday, Oct. 15. You can nominate up to three texts of any genre by current or deceased authors.

To be considered, a text must meet the following criteria:

  • The text must be controversial in some way. For example, a book might have been banned at some point historically or is currently, or it might take on a topic that invites different or competing perspectives.
  • The text must be intellectually rigorous, inviting students to think in new or different ways.
  • The text must be 300 pages or fewer and available in both paperback and e-book formats.
  • The text must not contain graphic violence of any kind.

Submissions will be reviewed by a working group of faculty who will present three to four semi-finalists to the reading recommendation committee. Any questions may be directed to