Office of Undergraduate Education WSU Common Reading

Common Reading Program


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Common Reading 2014/15: Garbology

The book and WSU

In Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash, Pulitzer Prize-–winning journalist and author Edward Humes takes readers on a surprising tour of America’s biggest export, our most prodigious product, and our greatest legacy: our trash. It’s also a great opportunity.

Inspired by the Common Reading’s use of Garbology, WSU students, faculty, and staff are waging campaigns and competitions to raise awareness of what we discard. And experts on topics raised by the book are sharing their knowledge with first-year and other students at the popular Common Reading Tuesdays lecture series.  Check the calendar for more information!

A bit about Garbology…

Garbology-smWhile the average American produces 102 tons of garbage across a lifetime and $50 billion in squandered riches are rolled to the curb each year. That waste may also represent the greatest untapped opportunity of the century.

In Garbology, Edward Humes investigates trash and reveals not just what we throw away, but who we are and where our society is headed. Waste is the one environmental and economic harm that ordinary working Americans have the power to change—and prosper in the process.

A bit about the Common Reading Program…

WSU is using Garbology as its 2014-15 Common Reading book in several first-year and other classes as a way for students from a variety of disciplines to interact academically with each other and faculty members.

Garbology is the eighth Common Reading book in as many years on the Pullman campus.

What’s New?

Lecture Survey

Click here to take a short survey and give feedback on the fall 2014 Common Reading Invited Lecture by Edward Humes on Oct. 7.

Nominate the 2015-16 Book Now!

Read a good book lately? One that would be good as a Common Reading book for first-year and other students? Submit your nomination before Nov. 7 online!

Author Humes Visited WSU 10/7/14

More than 1,000 students and guests attended Author Humes’s lecture. Daily Evergreen story by Steffen Stroup

Message from the Provost

Read Daniel J. Bernardo’s views on the applicability of Garbology to WSU students and departments.

Check the Common Reading calendar for upcoming faculty and guest expert presentations at Common Reading Tuesdays events.

Common Reading Assessment Reports

What is Common Reading?

Topics from a single, carefully selected book for freshmen are featured in first-year and other classes in disciplines across the university, and in special events and presentations. Having a shared source for such topics provides a common ground for students and their professors, and stimulates discussions and learning.  The same topics also lend themselves to presentations in a lecture series, and to discussions between students and faculty within and beyond classrooms.