Life of the Mind

Freshmen arriving on the UT campus confront their first intellectual challenge on the day before classes begin. Each year, the Life of the Mind freshman reading program selects a book to be read and discussed by all incoming freshmen.

The common reading selection for the Class of 2016 is Eric Liu’s The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker, a thematic memoir that challenges readers to consider identity as something both accidental (coming from family and other peoples’ expectations) and intentional (created and/or adopted by one’s own choosing). On August 21, the day before classes begin, students will attend a lecture by Eric Liu then gather for small group discussions of the book’s themes. The Life of the Mind experience will continue throughout the year through exhibits, lectures, movies, and class assignments that incorporate the book’s topic and themes.

To further explore those themes of race, language, and global politics, students can visit the Culture Corner on the first floor of Hodges Library. Each semester, the Culture Corner showcases books on a different diversity topic. The Culture Corner is a project of the UT Libraries’ Diversity Committee.

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