The first-year summer reading is intended to stimulate discussion and promote critical thinking on topics of contemporary relevance, as we enhance our connections to one another and provide a common intellectual experience for new students.

The 2020 summer reading is organized around the idea of “The struggle for/the struggle against.” This year has had extraordinary personal and community challenges, for everyone in the world affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for us locally at Oxy. In the early weeks of Spring 2020, our community lost two African-American students, Ilah Richardson and Jaden Burris. Barely two weeks later, we were faced with the sudden shock and stress of emergency remote instruction due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. These events left many of us vulnerable, and exposed some of the fundamental inequities in our society–and indeed, at Oxy as well. We selected this year’s texts to empower students and prompt awareness of social (in)justice. The texts we have selected illustrate multiple ways one can view equity and adversity: the struggle for and the struggle against.

There will be opportunities to engage in discussion of these materials and topics throughout your first year, starting with orientation and continuing through the fall. We expect you to watch, read, and listen to the following materials before orientation begins.

2020 Summer Reading List 

Starred items (**) will require you to be logged in to your account in order to access them. The others you should be able to access directly by clicking on the title.



    Provide Feedback on the 2020 Summer Readings

    Contact the Core Program
    Johnson Hall

    Room 115

    Edmond Johnson
    Director of Advising, Core Program Coordinator, Affiliated Faculty in Music
    Office: Johnson Hall 108