Members of the Class of 2026 should read Renewal: Susquehanna University Common Reading Anthology 2022-2023 and complete the Summer Assignment before arriving on campus (see instructions below). Here is a glimpse of some of what you will find in the anthology:
A transcript of the Sidedoor’s “A Right to the City” Smithsonian podcast, which criticizes the gentrification of the neighborhood of Anacostia in Washington, D.C., and praises the value and power of a unified community.
A poem by Ada Limón, who writes instructions on not giving up – a return to the strange idea of continuous living despite the mess of us, the hurt, the empty.
An excerpt from S.J. Sindu’s novel, Blue-Skinned Gods, about a young boy believed to be the tenth human incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.
An essay exploring the environmental impacts of fast-fashion, as popularized by brands like Zara and SHEIN, pre- and post-COVID, written by Rachel Monroe and published in The Atlantic.
An excerpt from William Burton and Barry Loveland’s memoir, Out in Central Pennsylvania: The History of an LGBTQ Community. The excerpt explores the ways in which the Stonewall riots shaped the LGBTQ movement in central Pennsylvania.
The Renewal anthology will be mailed home to new students over the summer. International students will receive a copy when they arrive on campus.
Instructions for First-Year Students
The Common Reading Summer Assignment is meant to help you connect with your Perspectives professor, your peers and the campus at large. You’ll turn it in to your Perspectives (or Global Business Perspectives, Honors Thought, or your Living Learning Community) Instructor at the beginning of the term. All students are also invited to submit their works to the Common Reading Program Summer Assignment Contest. Three works will be selected to be published in next year’s anthology and the contest winners will receive a prize package!
In a short personal narrative, explore the idea of renewal and how it has fit into your life. Reflect on one or more of the works within your anthology and consider how you’ve experienced renewal. You can use the following questions as a guide but feel free to explore other important ideas and experiences.
What kinds of renewal have you experienced?
How have you had to “renew” yourself? How were you changed as a result?
What have you learned about yourself, others, or your environment because of renewal processes?
What kinds of renewal seem most important? What kinds could you do without?
As you write, draw connections between your experiences and texts in the anthology and share how your experience with renewal, the good and the bad, is reflected, or not, in the collection.
As you complete this assignment, tap into your creative side! Your assignment can strive for accuracy or lean toward fiction and exaggeration. It can focus on text or could even become a photo essay. There’s one catch, you need to be able to turn your assignment in to your instructor, so be sure to save your document as a .docx, .doc, or .pdf.
For examples of how others have completed the summer assignment and instructions on how to enter the Summer Assignment Contest, visit the Reading and Teaching Guide, or follow us on Instagram @sucommonreading.