Common Reading

About the Authors

  • Peter Gwin
  • Jon Krakauer  
  • Emily Nussbaum 
  • Quay Hanna
  • Malcolm X
  • Edwidge Danticat 
  • Shahram Khosravi
  • Matthew Power
  • Ana L. Báez 
  • Mark Twain 
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • Tony Rothman   

    Peter Gwin is a writer and editor for National Geographic. His pieces have focused on both current and historical events in Africa. He received the Overseas Press Club's 2012 Whitman Bassow Award for best Environmental Reporting for his work addressing the severity and debilitating effects of rhino poaching. Additionally, Gwin is a Fulbright Scholar and has navigated the history of aging Chinese kung fu masters. 

    Jon Krakauer grew up in Corvallis, Oregon, where he began mountain climbing at eight years old. In 1996 he reached the top of Mt. Everest and wrote of his experience in his book Into Thin Air. Krakauer has been published in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, Smithsonian, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, and Architectural Digest. His other books include bestseller Into the Wild, Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains, Under the Banner of Heaven and Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman.

    Emily Nussbaum writes for The New Yorker as the magazine's television critic. Her previous articles include examinations and discussions regarding The Good Wife, Girls, Mad Men and Scandal. Additionally, she has worked at New York Magazine where she developed the Approval Matrix, a hierarchical ranking of cultural events, people, and issues.

    Quay Hanna graduated in 1993 from Bloomsburg University with a B.A. in English, and left his small town of Strasburg, PA to see America. He hopped on a Greyhound bus and began traversing the country. Quay has been speaking to students, teachers, and businesses about the dangers of racism and bullying for over 17 years. A former self-proclaimed racist, Quay's story of traveling the country in a Greyhound bus to confront his own prejudiced beliefs has educated and inspired thousands over the last two decades. 

    Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, was a prominent African-American human rights activist. He became famous in the 1950s and '60s as a minister and speaker for the Nation of Islam. After disavowing the Nation of Islam and making a pilgrimage to Mecca, Malcolm X converted to Sunni Islam, taking on the name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz as well as advocating for more peaceful solutions to racial conflict before his assassination in 1965.

    Edwidge Danticat was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, before moving to the United States at a young age. She is the author of numerous books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner; and The Dew Breaker, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and winner of the first Story Prize.

    Shahram Khosravi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University and the author of Young and Defiant in Tehran (2008) and The Illegal Traveler: an Auto-Ethnography of Borders (2010). He has been an active writer in the Swedish press and has also written fictions such as "Round Trip to Ithaca" in Exiled Ink! Magazine and "The Persian Escort" in Collective Exile.

    Matthew Power, a contributing editor at Harper's Magazine, wrote travel articles on breathtaking adventures and foreign places. His work investigated many overlooked pockets of the world and stories of the people who lived there. On March 10, 2014, Power died while reporting along the Nile River in Uganda. He was 39. "Excuse Us While We Kiss the Sky" was collected in Best American Travel Writing 2014.

    Ana L. Báez is a biologist and the president of Turismo & Conservacion Consultores. She has over 15 years of experience as an international consultant on responsible tourism and sustainable development and has coauthored "International Guidelines for Ecolodges," which will be published by the Ecotourism Society, Vermont, USA.

    Samuel L. Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain, was born in Florida, Missouri in 1835. Twain is often recognized by critics as "the father of American literature," due to his extraordinary sense of place and mastery of the vernacular. His insightful satires combine humor with social criticism. Twain is best known for canonical works such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton born in 1815 in Johnstown, New York, was a strong advocate for men and women to be viewed as equals. An early leader of the women's right's movement, she wrote the Declaration of Sentiments as a call for gender equality. Elizabeth Cady Stanton often traveled to give lectures and speeches aiming to spread awareness on the subject.

    Tony Rothman is a physicist whose ten books and manifold articles explore relativity and cosmology in addition to broad fundamental questions. His novels incorporate scientific debate and theory into the lives of his fictional characters, and his novel, A Physicist on Madison Avenue, received a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize. 


      • Course Catalog

        Bookmark and Share