Inside Literature (formerly Reading World Literature) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and community-based learning program predicated on a simple model: two instructors and a group of twenty-five students read one book over the course of six weeks at a pre-trial correctional complex. Inside Literature was founded in 2014 with the support of the Program in Comparative Literature at UT Austin and the Travis County Correctional Complex. Our mission is to foster community ties, critical engagement, and personal growth through the collective study of literature. We believe in community-based learning, a teaching approach distinguished by an emphasis on reflection as well as collaboration and reciprocity among community members. Community-based learning programs enrich both teachers and students’ academic experience and encourage civic engagement while confronting community challenges and supporting community interests. We have taught over thirty courses since our inception on texts such as Frankenstein in Baghdad, The Master & Margarita, The Motorcycle Diaries, and many more.
Our connection with the Program in Comparative Literature allows us to recruit top-quality instructors with backgrounds in world literature, and participation solidifies these educators’ ties to their communities, providing them with an opportunity to not only hone their pedagogical skills but also with access to firsthand experience of the importance of education in a social justice setting. We are excited to continue working with Comparative Literature in the years to come.
Please visit our website for more information on how to get involved: insideliterature.org