Since the 2011-2012 school year, the Common Reading Experience brings students and faculty together around a single book, both in classroom discussions and public events.
Every first-year student receives a copy of the selected text at orientation sessions, and is challenged to finish it before the school year begins in August. Instructors from the Department of Writing and Rhetoric, First-year Experience, and others then utilize the text in their classes. The program aspires for an enriched sense of academic community through a communal reading of the text.
The critically acclaimed New York Times best-seller Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City has been selected for the University of Mississippi‘s Common Reading Experience for 2019.
Written by Matthew Desmond, a Princeton sociologist and recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, Evicted was awarded the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction for being “a deeply researched expose that showed how mass evictions after the 2008 economic crash were less a consequence than a cause of poverty.”
The book has been described as “a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America.” Since its publication, Evicted has been credited with transforming how the nation understands “extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem.”