The Office of Undergraduate Education

UT Dallas Summer Reading Program

The University of Texas at Dallas is committed to providing its students with a vibrant, intellectually challenging, and integrated learning experience.

UT Dallas incoming undergraduate students participate in a summer reading program that begins with University Convocation. Throughout the year seminars, invited lectures, student life activities, and the fall freshman seminar course will incorporate and develop themes from the summer reading more fully.

Incoming undergraduates should purchase and read the summer reading selection prior to University Convocation.

The Summer Reading Committee invites the university community to provide suggestions for the book to be assigned to incoming students and to be the focal point of the first year program for the Fall 2013 semester. The priority deadline for submission is 5:00 p.m., October 15, 2012.

Click here for the Summer Reading Program Nomination Form

UT Dallas 2012 Summer Reading Program

The book for the incoming class of Fall 2012 is The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement. On a reality TV show, a girl planning her Sweet Sixteen wants a major road blocked off so a marching band can precede her grand entrance on a red carpet. Five times as many Americans undergo plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures as ten years ago, and ordinary people hire fake paparazzi to follow them around to make them look famous. High school students physically attack classmates and post YouTube videos of the beatings to get attention. And for the past several years, Americans have been buying McMansions and expensive cars on credit they can't afford.

Although these seem like a random collection of current trends, all are rooted in a single underlying shift in American culture: the relentless rise of narcissism, a very positive and inflated view of self. Narcissists believe they are better than others, lack emotionally warm and caring relationships, constantly seek attention, and treasure material wealth and physical appearance. In The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, psychologists and professors Jean Twenge and W. Keith Campbell draw from empirical research and cultural analysis to expose the destructive spread of narcissism. Perhaps most important, they also discuss treatment – what each of us can do to stop the epidemic of narcissism so corrosive to society.

Concepts from the book will be integrated into the curriculum and first year experience. University Convocation (Sunday August 26th, 2012 at 4pm) will commence this integrated learning experience.

Click here for more information about The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement

The book can be purchased from most major book retailers and will be available for purchase at freshman orientation.

2012 Summer Reading Program Discussion Questions

  1. What is narcissism?
  2. How do we know there is a narcissism epidemic?
  3. What are some signs of the narcissism epidemic in the culture?
  4. How did we get here?
  5. How is The Narcissism Epidemic different from other books and websites about narcissism?
  6. Has the narcissism epidemic affected everyone?
  7. Is narcissism really that bad?
  8. Isn't narcissism necessary in an increasingly competitive world?
  9. What can we do about the epidemic of narcissism?