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On My Bookshelf: Lecturer Alexis Redding

Book covers

This past winter, as the days in Cambridge were alternating between freezing sub-zero and balmy mid-50s (with little snow in sight), Lecturer Alexis Redding, the faculty co-chair of the higher education concentration, shared with Ed.why she's reading a book about the Harvard-Yale football rivalry that's about much more than sports. She also talked about the importance of natural light and why one of her upcoming reads isn’t a book at all.

What are you currently reading? The Game: Harvard, Yale, and America in 1968 by George Howe Colt.

What in particular drew you to this book? A few months ago, I had the opportunity to speak with an alum of Harvard College who participated in the campus takeover of University Hall in 1969. During our conversation, he talked at length about what it was like to be a first-generation student athlete at that time. I was intrigued by his stories and found The Game during a subsequent HOLLIS online search. The book is a fascinating account of the tensions on campus in the late 1960s and the lives of students navigating both institutions.

Looking back, what kind of reader were you as a kid? I was a “secretly reading by flashlight long past my bedtime” kind of reader as a kid.

Did you have a favorite book when you were growing up? Free to Be… You and Me [by Marlo Thomas and the Ms. Foundation], along with the record, of course!

What's the last interesting or useful thing you read in a book? I was struck by the thoughtfulness with which Emily Weinstein and Carrie James centered youth voices in the research for their book, Behind Their Screens: What Teens Are Facing (and Adults Are Missing). Their description of the Youth Advisory Council that they convened to help make meaning of their findings — along with the impact those insights had on their work — was powerful.

Is there one particular book you assigned to your students at the Ed School this year that you think all educators should read, and why is that? I assign The Lives of Campus Custodians: Insights into Corporatization and Civic Disengagement in the Academy by Peter Magolda to the students in my Ethnographic Methods for Higher Education Research course. I think everyone working in the field should read it. It is both an incredible example of ethnographic fieldwork and a profound examination of power and privilege in colleges and in universities.

Favorite place to read. Anywhere quiet with lots of natural light.

What books, in addition to the one you're currently reading, are on your nightstand? The Last Chairlift by John Irving, The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short- Term World by Dorie Clark, and a stack of travel guides that I'm using to plan my next upcoming adventure.

Ed. Magazine

The magazine of the Harvard Graduate School of Education

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