A Letter to the UConn Community Regarding UConn Reads

UConn Reads unveils Spring 2021 signature events

Title of book along with the author and UConn Reads logo

To the UConn Community:

This year, as our UConn Reads theme, the University selected an issue that is one of the most pressing of our time: Environmental Justice and Human Rights. Our community has explored this theme through Amitav Ghosh’s book, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. This non-fiction work broadly considers the “imaginative failure” of contemporary society to come to grips with the scope of the challenges presented by climate change in all of its manifestations.

UConn is a known leader in issues regarding the environment, sustainability, and human rights, all of which have been further amplified through UConn Reads programming. This has included a number of events, exhibits, and special collections, as well as the creation of an impactful pop-up course, “Climate Crisis: Take Action,” with an enrollment of more than 1,000 students. We commend our University community for its eager participation in this year’s theme, and especially congratulate the UConn Reads steering committee, under the leadership of Professor Mike Willig, on its dedication and hard work.

As we approach Earth Day 2021, we are marking the culmination of UConn Reads programming with signature events featuring Dr. Ghosh. We invite each member of our community – students, staff members, faculty members, alumni and all friends of the University – to participate in these conversations, which will touch on a number of areas that intersect with climate change and climate justice, including arts, humanities, social sciences, biophysical science, engineering, law, health, business, and more.

UConn Reads Signature Events

Details for the events are shared below, with registration and panelist information available on the UConn Reads website.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021:

Two events hosted in partnership with the Democracy and Dialogues Initiative of Dodd Human Rights Impact:

  • 12 to 2 p.m.: Encounters: The Great Derangement – Engagement by Amitav Ghosh with students, staff members, and faculty members
  • 5 to 7 p.m.: Encounters: The Great Derangement – Engagement by Amitav Ghosh with the public

Thursday, April 22, 2021:

Three events exploring broad themes that are highly relevant to the content of Amitav Ghosh’s book:

  • 12 to 1:30 p.m.: UConn Reads Forum: The Great Derangement – Climate Change and The Unthinkable, featuring Amitav Ghosh and a multi-disciplinary panel of faculty and students (co-sponsored by the Teale Nature and the Environment Lecture Series)
  • 2 to 3 p.m.: Thematic Discussion: Climate Change and Public Health, featuring Amitav Ghosh and a multi-disciplinary panel of faculty members
  • 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.: Thematic Discussion: Restoring the Earth, featuring Amitav Ghosh and a multi-disciplinary panel of faculty members

We hope that you find this programing to be informative and motivating as we continue to examine, and work to overcome, what is arguably the greatest challenge to face society in the 21st century. These are the challenges in which a great public institution such as UConn must play a vital leadership role.



Thomas Katsouleas


Carl Lejuez
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs