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Welcome to Carthage!

First-Year Read

First-Year Read at Carthage: Engage. Connect. Inspire.


Each year, the Carthage community joins with the incoming class to read a book that we think is fascinating, surprising, and meaningful — a book that makes us look at the world a little bit differently once we’ve read it.

The Souls of Black Folk, by W.E.B. Du BoisThe 2018-2019 First-Year Read is The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois. Look for your copy to arrive in July. Carthage students will be reading the Oxford World’s Classics edition. The following pages will be assigned to incoming students to read over the summer:

  • Pages 3-4 — “The Forethought”
  • Pages 7-14 — Chapter One: “Of Our Spiritual Strivings”
  • Pages 54-76 — Chapter Five: “Of the Wings of Atalanta”; Chapter Six: “Of the Training of Black Men”

The First-Year Read is your introduction to the intellectual life of the College, and it’s also our first chance to get to know you as readers, writers, and thinkers.

How to Prepare

To prepare for the First-Year Read activities, watch for your copy of The Souls of Black Folk to arrive at your home in July. Then, just read the book, and mark it up! Underline sentences you find compelling, turn down the pages, write questions in the margins — make the book your own.

First Year Read and Western Heritage

Not only will The Souls of Black Folk be your 2018-19 First-Year Read, it will also be the first book you read in your Western Heritage seminar. It will serve as a starting/focal point for your Western Heritage experience at Carthage.

All incoming students will meet with their Western Heritage instructors (along with the other students who will be in their Western Heritage section) for an hour on the Tuesday before classes begin to discuss the assigned reading and to meet their professors and classmates.

First-Year Read Director

John Isham
Associate Professor of Communication and Digital Media, Great Ideas, and Modern Languages
Director of Western Heritage