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Newcomb-Tulane College Reading Project

The Newcomb-Tulane College Reading Project, the common intellectual experience for the entering first-year class, engages students and faculty from different backgrounds and academic interests through the reading and discussion of a selected book.

Incoming students are tasked with reading the book over the summer, before they arrive on campus. During New Student Orientation, new students discuss the book with a Tulane faculty member as their first intellectual conversation at Tulane. Students will then have numerous opportunities to continue their engagement with the book themes through the Kylene and Brad Beers Reading Project Keynote Lecture and various other campus initiatives and programming.

2021 Reading Project Selection

Photo of the book Transcendent KingdomTranscendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi is the 2021 NTC Reading Project selection for the incoming Class of 2025.

Yaa Gyasi's stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national best seller, Homegoing, is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanian family in Alabama.

Transcendent Kingdom is a beautifully written narrative centered around a family of Ghanaian immigrants living in the contemporary South. The novel follows the main character, Gifty, a PhD candidate studying neuroscience, on her quest to make sense of the hardships she sees in her daily life through her own academic pursuits. Transcendent Kingdom tells a story of resilience and self-authorship, all while speaking to larger themes of race, mental health and wellbeing, family, spirituality, academic scholarship, and loss, largely within the context of higher education. Gyasi’s approach enthralls readers and inspires us all to consider what drives our own pursuits in life.

Order from the Tulane Bookstore or others

Kylene and Brad Beers Reading Project Lecture

The Kylene and Brad Beers Reading Project Lecture, a keynote lecture around the book and its themes, is a principal experience of the Reading Project. Each year, the Beers family sponsors the book's author, or a complementary scholar, to speak with the first-year students during a lecture and lunch. This year, Yaa Gyasi, author of Transcendent Kingdom, will be the Beers Family Keynote.

Yaa Gyasi | Author, Transcendent Kingdom | Tuesday, November 2, 2021 | 5:30 pm | Dixon Auditorium

About the Author                    Previous Projects                    Programming