Required Summer Reading

Convocation is a key event during Welcome Week, marking your official entrance into Gallatin’s academic community. This year, it will take place on Wednesday, August 29. Built around the discussion of shared texts, Convocation is a moment for all entering first-year Gallatin students to come together and explore interdisciplinary approaches to issues that will be at the forefront of their studies for the next four years.

This year’s required summer reading is Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. You will soon be receiving a copy of the book in the mail. Please make sure you read the text carefully as you prepare for the Convocation discussion. As part of your preparations, you will also need to complete additional readings: Lauren Berlant’s “The Queen of America Goes to Washington: Harriet Jacobs, Frances Harper, Anita Hill,” and selections from the pioneering and influential 1981 anthology This Bridge Called My Back: Writings from Radical Women of Color. (The selected essays are Anita Valerio’s “It’s In My Blood, My Face—My Mother’s Voice, the Way I Sweat”; Merle Woo’s “Letter to Ma”; and the Combahee River Collective’s “A Black Feminist Statement.”) These essays have been selected by Gallatin faculty to help you think about Jacobs’s memoir from a variety of perspectives.