Global Literature Online Book Group Archives

A partnership of international study centers on Harvard's campus, this online reading series for k-12 educators will explore literature from five global regions: Africa, Asia, Latin America, Russia / Eurasia, the Middle East, and the Muslim world.  Workshop participants will have the opportunity to discuss works of global literature with scholars and authors in live, online conversations.

Please click below for past webinars.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra Thursday, January 22, 2015

This session was held on January 22nd, 2015. It featured the author, Anthony Marra and Russian journalist and Nieman Fellow Irina Gordienko, and was sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program. 

See a recording of this session here.  

Accompanying non-fiction readings:
Read more about A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

Classroom Connections Wednesday, March 26, 2014

This session offered the opportunity for book group participants to think more deeply about connections between book group material and their classrooms.

The session included a presentation by educator and long–time GLOBE participant Jen Dean.  

View a recording of this presentation.

About the presenter:
At the time of this presentation, Jen S. Dean was a student teacher at Rogers Heritage High School. She was currently in the final Read more about Classroom Connections

Autumn Quail by Naguib Mahfouz Monday, January 27, 2014

This session, focusing on Autumn Quail, was hosted in January 2014 by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Note that this session was offered twice; the recording listed here was the first of two sessions.  It featured CMES Arabic Preceptor and scholar Sami Alkyam.

View a recording of the session here: http://cmes.adobeconnect.com/p9qmadl1o92/  

About the book: 
Legendary Egyptian writer and winner of the Nobel Prize in Read more about Autumn Quail by Naguib Mahfouz

Dream of Ding Village by Yan Lianke Wednesday, February 5, 2014

This session, focusing on Dream of Ding Village, was hosted on February 5th, 2014 by the Asia Center. It featured Karen Thornber, Professor of Comparative Literature and Professor, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University.

View a recording of the session here: http://cmes.adobeconnect.com/p5x31tqxlrs/

Accompanying Non-Fiction Reading:

PBS.org - China from the Inside - The Spread of AIDS in China: A slow acknowledgement of the " Read more about Dream of Ding Village by Yan Lianke

The Dream Life of Sukhanov by Olga Grushin Wednesday, November 13, 2013

This session, focusing on The Dream Life of Sukhanov, was hosted on November 13, 2013 by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. It featured the novel's author, Olga Grushin.

View a recording of the session here: http://cmes.adobeconnect.com/p19rulo7ln6/

The story of Anatoly Sukhanov, who many years before abandoned the precarious existence of an underground artist for the perks of a Soviet apparatchik. But, at the age of 56, his perfect life is suddenly disintegrating. Buried dreams return to haunt him. New political Read more about The Dream Life of Sukhanov by Olga Grushin

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Wednesday, June 5, 2013

This session on Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was hosted by the Committee on African Studies on June 5, 2013.  It featured Professor Akua Sarr of Boston College and Kristen Robinson, Ph.D. Candidate in Harvard's English Department.

Book description: From the outside, fifteen-year-old Kambili has the perfect life. She lives in a beautiful house, has a caring family, and attends an exclusive missionary school. She's completely shielded from the troubles of the world. Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less than perfect in her Read more about Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Accompanist by Nina Berberova Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This session on The Accompanist by Nina Berberova was hosted by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies on May 15, 2013.  It featured a discussion with Professor Julie Buckler of Harvard's Slavic Languages and Literatures.

Book description: Written right before the height of Stalin's purges by a Russian émigré living in Paris, this novella explores the tangled relationship between an opera singer, her husband, and her accompanist.  The accompanist of the title is Sonechka, an 18-year-old girl, talented but impoverished and self-deprecating by reason of her lowly Read more about The Accompanist by Nina Berberova

The Bamboo Grove: An Introduction to Sijo Tuesday, April 2, 2013

This session on The Bamboo Grove: An Introduction to Sijo was hosted by the Asia Center on April 2, 2013.  It featured Professor David McCann of Harvard's Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.

The sijo is the most popular and most Korean of all traditional Korean poetic forms, originating with the old songs of the Hyangka of the Sylla Empire (668-936) and the prose songs of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392). Sometimes likened to haiku for its brevity, a typical sijo poem follows a three-line pattern, with each line containing approximately fifteen syllables Read more about The Bamboo Grove: An Introduction to Sijo

Kamikaze Girls by Novala Takemoto Thursday, February 28, 2013

This session on Kamikaze Girls by Novala Takemoto was hosted by the Reischeuer Institute for Japanese Studies on February 28, 2013.  It featured Professor Tomiko Yoda of Harvard's Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.

Book description: Life in the boondocks of rural Japan is anything but glamorous, and to escape her humdrum existence, Momoko, a "Lolita," fanaticizes about French rococo, dreams of living in the palace of Versailles, and decks herself out in the finest (and frilliest) of 18th century haute couture from an expensive Tokyo specialty store Read more about Kamikaze Girls by Novala Takemoto

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This session on In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez was hosted by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies on December 5, 2012.  The program featured Julia Alvarez herself.

Book description: It is November 25, 1960, and three beautiful sisters have been found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The official state newspaper reports their deaths as accidental. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Nor does it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents Read more about In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb Monday, October 15, 2012

This session, focusing on Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb, was hosted on October 15, 2012 by the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program. It featured both author Camilla Gibb and Professor William Granara of Harvard's Department of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures.

View a recording of the session here: http://cmes.adobeconnect.com/p7o6afb749v/

When Lilly is eight years old, her hippie British parents leave her at a Sufi shrine in Morocco and inform her they will be back Read more about Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb