The Common Reading Program book for the Class of 2020 and transfer students entering in Fall 2016 is Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America, by Roberto G. Gonzales.

About the Book

Over two million of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants have lived in the United States since childhood. Due to a broken immigration system, they grow up to uncertain futures. In Lives in Limbo, Roberto G. Gonzales introduces us to two groups: the college-goers, like Ricardo, who had good grades and a strong network of community support that propelled him to college and DREAM Act organizing, but still landed in a factory job a few short years after graduation; and the early-exiters, like Gabriel, who failed to make meaningful connections in high school and started navigating dead-end jobs, immigration checkpoints, and a world narrowly circumscribed by legal limitations. This vivid ethnography explores why highly educated undocumented youth share similar work and life outcomes with their less-educated peers, despite the fact that higher education is touted as the path to integration and success in America. Mining the results of an extraordinary 12-year study that followed 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles, Lives in Limbo exposes the failures of a system that integrates children into K-12 schools but ultimately denies them the rewards of their labor.

The Common Reading Program is sponsored by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life and the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Students.

Common Reading Program Events

Tisch College is pleased to present events and programming connected to the Common Book experience in order to enhance reflection and discussion of the themes explored by Roberto Gonzales in Lives in Limbo.

Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth

September 29 | 7:00 p.m.
Metcalf Lounge, Tufts Medford Campus

The film Papers is the story of undocumented youth and the challenges they face as they turn 18 without legal status. Join us for a film screening and discussion. Snacks will be provided!

Common Book Lecture: Roberto Gonzales

October 6 | 6:30 p.m.
Cohen Auditorium, Tufts Medford Campus

Join us for a conversation with Roberto G. Gonzales, author of the 2016 undergraduate common book Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America. Gonzales is an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education whose research focuses on the factors that promote and impede the educational progress of immigrant and Latino students.

Roundtable: Immigration Policy and Practice

October 24 | Noon
Chase Center, Tufts Medford Campus

Roberto Gonzales will be joined by community members specializing in immigration law and advocacy to discuss issues in policy and practice with students. Lunch will be provided!

About the Common Reading Program

The Common Reading Program gives all incoming first-year and transfer students a shared intellectual experience to kick off their Tufts experience. Each year, a committee of students, faculty and staff selects a book for all incoming Jumbos to read. The goal is to foster conversation and engender a sense of community to help ease the transition to college life. The Common Reading Program is sponsored by Tisch College of Civic Life and the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Students.

Students will receive a copy of the selected Common Reading Book to your home address in the end of June. Please read the book before you arrive at Tufts and be ready to talk about it with your fellow students, orientation leaders, and advisors.

For More Information

Contact Robert Mack, Associate Dean for Student Success and Advising