Skip to main content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer content

Summer Reading Program

Power of Place annual theme logoIllinois Wesleyan University’s Summer Reading Program is designed as an opportunity for incoming students to participate in a shared intellectual conversation about a common text with their Gateway Colloquium classmates and the University community (faculty, staff, alumni and student leaders) during Turning Titan: New Student Orientation

While many universities sponsor Summer Reading Programs, ours is slightly different. Rather than asking our newest Titans to read one book over the summer, we are instead inviting you to consider a wide range of texts, all of which connect to our Annual Intellectual Theme, The Power of Place. We are defining the term "text" very broadly to include websites, images, podcasts, music, short stories, and yes, academic articles. By broadening the kinds of texts you consider, we are also giving you a glimpse into the liberal arts and showing you how various liberal arts disciplines provide you with different lenses or perspectives through which to consider The Power of Place. 

You will find these various texts on our Learning Management System, Moodle. You will be able to self-enroll in the Summer Reading Moodle page, and from there, have access to the collection of texts, all of which were suggested by current IWU faculty and staff. 

Each text is tied to the Power of Place, but each illuminates some aspect of that broad theme in a new way. So please consider how each text speaks to the theme and even how the various texts speak to one another. You may wish to keep notes on the texts you explore, and we encourage you to dig deeper into any of the texts as your curiosity leads you. To prepare for the Summer Reading Discussion on Friday, August 25, it might help to create a map of the texts and the connections between them. 

We anticipate that you will spend about four to five hours over the course of the summer to engage with these texts. We view this program as an introduction to the academic life of the university, and we are eager to hear your observations and ideas when we meet on Friday, August 25 for the Summer Reading Program discussion. 

Pennie Gray - Associate Professor of Educational Studies and Writing Program Director

Department - Education