Michael J. Sandel’s Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? is the 2011 Summer Reading selection at St. John’s University. All first-year students received a copy of the book from the university in July and read it over the summer.
This year, Justice will be a central text in SJU’s Discover New York curriculum. A course unique to St. John’s University, Discover New York welcomes students to both the university and the New York City communities with “an introduction to [the city] through the lens of a particular subject discipline. It focuses on the themes of immigration, race/ethnicity, religion, wealth and poverty, and the environment.” Discover New York combines many of the same classroom experiences as a traditional student success or college orientation course (writing, critical thinking, accessing information with different types of media, etc.) with dynamic firsthand experiences throughout New York City.
The university developed a comprehensive guide to teaching the book, incorporating information about primary resources, key terms and phrases, and some approaches to teaching the book from rhetorical, philosophical, cultural, national and international perspectives.
Justice will be the topic of several book discussions held throughout the fall and spring semesters. Additionally, the annual research competition sponsored by the St. John’s University Libraries and The Friends of the Library carried a related theme: Social Justice in the Real World. The competition is open to all undergraduates at SJU.
Previous summer reading books at St. John’s include Triangle, Katharine Weber’s novel based on the devastating fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City in 1911.
Justice • Farrar, Straus & Giroux Paperbacks • 320 pages