Whistling Vivaldi Selected as Common Reading Book for Class of 2017

The Common Reading Book for Tufts’ Class of 2017 is Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do, by Claude M. Steele.

After a lengthy process, including feedback from hundreds of Tufts community members, the committee members selected Whistling Vivaldi as best suited to the goals of the program (listed below). Additionally, Dr. Steele will be delivering Tufts’ 2013 Commencement Address. Please read more about his work here.

Members of the Class of 2017, new transfer students and selected student leaders will receive their free copies of Whistling Vivaldi by mail in mid-June. Faculty and staff may pick-up complimentary copies in Dowling Hall in June. Related programming will take place during Orientation and throughout the Fall semester. We hope that this pick will facilitate the self-reflection so critical to contributing to an intellectual community and to being open to the many new experiences of starting college.

While all incoming undergraduates will be mailed this book, the committee further encourages students to pick up a copy of How Does it Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America. We feel that this book will help you to think critically about the reaction across the United Stated to the recent Boston Marathon Bombings and subsequent shelter in place order affecting much of the metro area, including the Tufts campus.

Essay Contest

All entering undergraduates are invited to submit an essay about the Common Reading book Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do. Winning essays will be posted online and the selected writers will receive gift certificates to local area restaurants. Learn more.

Art and Media Contest

Reading a book can inspire many ideas that may be expressed not only through words, but also through images (still and moving) and sound. All entering students are invited to share original art or media inspired by Whistling Vivaldi. Learn more.

Common Reading Program goals:

  • Introduce students to the expectations of Tufts’ intellectual community
  • Provide a common source of community-building for all first year students
  • Educate students about core Tufts values, including active citizenship
  • Begin an exploration of  interdisciplinary approaches to addressing social and political issues
  • Encourage students to apply critical thinking skills to engage in civil dialogue and debate

For more information

Please contact Associate Dean for Orientation and Student Transition Laura Doane at Laura.Doane@tufts.edu or 617-627-5869.