As America’s most prestigious honor society, Phi Beta Kappa has celebrated excellence in the liberal arts & sciences and championed free thought since 1776.
What First-Years Read in 2023
Many colleges choose a common reading list to build community around the free exchange of ideas and explore timely challenges from interdisciplinary perspectives. Below is a selection of first year common reading choices from the Society’s 290+ chapters. From a provocative comedy on the roles of women published in 1668 to an exploration of the total eclipse of the sun in 2024, these works showcase the topics meant to inspire the Class of 2027 at the beginning of their arts and sciences journeys.
Around 1600, geographer and cleric Richard Hakluyt sought to honor England by compiling its voyages and trade beyond the boundaries of Europe. Mary Fuller traces the history of the book’s compilation and unlocks its meaning for modern readers on the history of empire and nation.