University of Connecticut


uconn_reads_logo_newThe University of Connecticut’s UConn Reads program has been created to bring together the University community – from students, faculty, and staff to alumni and friends of UConn, as well as citizens of Connecticut – for a far-reaching and engaging dialogue centered on a book suggested by the community.

We invite you to join us in reading this year’s book of choice and, over the coming year, participating in the conversation through an exciting series of discussion groups and other events and activities hosted by the University. We look forward to what is sure to be a stimulating and fulfilling conversation.


UConn Reads 2015-16: Book Selection Category to be Announced in June

Alongside trips to the Dairy Bar and Marching Band practice sessions, UConn’s summer traditions now include the nominating process for the following year’s UConn Reads book. Our new book-selection category will be announced mid-June via the Daily Digest and this page. All members of the extended UConn family – faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members – are welcome to participate.  Stay tuned!

UConn Reads programming draws to a close with the Life Raft Debate: Building a Sustainable Food Supply

Nine experts gathered to argue the merits of their different food-related disciplines at the first UConn Reads Life Raft Debate. This was the premise: The Earth is ruined, and there’s one seat left on a spaceship leaving to colonize another planet. Faculty experts debated, and a panel of judges – together with the audience – decided the winner.

Which food expert deserved to have that last seat? Are chickens most crucial to the new colony’s success? Or yeast and molds? Or the water supply? Or maybe the key to success is the artist who brings creativity and an ability to think outside the box? Starship Captain John Volin (who, in daily life, serves as Head of the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment) guided us through the presentations and voting.

The winner turned out to be Alexia Smith, Assistant Professor of Anthropology. She made a persuasive argument for her discipline’s blend of technological, environmental, societal, and interpersonal skills – and won that last seat, as well as an ice cream party for her students!

Those interested can check out the debate video.

Talks, Field Trips, Meals, and More: An Exciting Semester of “Omnivore” Programming

The Steering Committee is pleased to present an exciting array of programming related to our book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The Benton Museum of Art inaugurates our programming on January 23rd with “Sweet Sensations,” an exhibition of contemporary art reflecting on the seductive powers of sugar.  The students of Eco House will sponsor “Just Food! Or Is It?” on January 27th, 6.30-8.00 in Sprague Hall. Participants will have a chance to try different foods and discuss the ways that the corn food system connects with their lives.

On February 4th, the Contemporary Art Galleries in the Art Building will launch “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Visualized and hold a related symposium at 4.00 pm. This exhibition will present a different take on the book, with contemporary art that engages the culture and politics of food production. A panel discussion on the 4th will feature contemporary artists and scholars, including Dr. Jennifer Harris of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. We’ll dig into the debates surrounding food when Dr. Jayson Lusk, author of The Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto About the Politics of Your Plate (2013), discusses his alternative vision for the future of food at the Student Union, 7 pm, February 25th. Please consult the University calendar and our UConn Reads events page for information about additional events taking place at Storrs and the regional campuses this semester.
Peter Anton, Jubilant Assortment, 2014. Mixed media. Courtesy of the artist and UNIX Gallery, NYC.

Peter Anton, Jubilant Assortment, 2014. Mixed media. Courtesy of the artist and UNIX Gallery, NYC.


A Novel Group of Huskies

The Alumni Association sponsors a book club that reads the UConn Reads selection each year as well as two other books, chosen by reader vote.  It’s a great way for alumni and the larger UConn community to participate in UConn Reads.  Interested readers can sign up and follow the blog.


UConn Libraries Publish Reader’s Guide to The Omnivore’s Dilemma

The library has published an online reader’s guide to The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  It includes reviews and responses to the book, links to Michael Pollan’s website and interviews, related readings, and other resources.


Our Book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma

Since its publication, Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006) has sparked a national conversation about American ways of eating and their impact on our health and environment. With our passion for the environment, health, and human rights, the UConn community is ready for a wide-ranging debate about the culture, politics, and science of eating. Read more about our book selection on UConn Today.

The Omnivore's Dilemma (book cover)

The UConn Co-op will carry The Omnivore’s Dilemma at a discount. The book is available in eBook format as well. To follow the UConn Reads conversation on Twitter, use the hashtag  #UConnReads.