The Deep Read


The Deep Read is a program by The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz that invites curious minds to think deeply about literature, art, and the most pressing issues of our day. We read books from a wide range of genres, exploring their implications on our politics, inner lives, and communities.


Transcendent Kingdom, by YaaGyasi

The 2022 Deep Read program focused on Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom and explored the conditions of cultural assimilation for immigrants to the United States, religious faith vs. scientific inquiry, and the experience of first-generation students in higher education.

Read the 2022 recap.





There There, by Tommy Orange

The Humanities Institute’s 2021 Deep Read Program explored Tommy Orange’s novel There There. Centering on an urban Native American experience in Oakland, CA, the novel was hailed by last year’s Deep Read author, Margaret Atwood, as “an astonishing literary debut.”

Read the 2021 recap.




The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood

The Deep Read book for 2020 was Margaret Atwood’s latest Booker Prize-winning novel, The Testaments, a sequel to her 1985 classic The Handmaid’s Tale. The program, which ran parallel with a class and events on campus, shared insights from Literature, Feminist Studies, Engineering and Anthropology. Margaret Atwood joined the UC Santa Cruz community for a live, virtual event on Tuesday September 22, 2020.

Follow along here