Each year Smith College selects a book to be read by all entering students over the summer before they arrive. The reading selection for students entering in Fall 2014 is Whistling Vivaldi by Claude Steele.
Whistling Vivaldi is the revealing story of a young black man who realizes that he can defuse the fears of white people by whistling melodies from Vivaldi. With this and other examples, Steele discusses how pervasive stereotypes can influence behavior and performance, and how these stereotypes, left unexamined, perpetuate themselves.
Incoming students are expected to purchase and read the summer reading selection prior to arriving at Smith for Orientation. During Orientation you will discuss the book in small groups led by a faculty or staff member.
Past summer reading selections have included The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot; Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn; Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi; Atonement, by Ian McEwan; and My Year of Meats, by Ruth Ozeki. Learn more...