SIT recommendations for your summer reading, viewing & listening list

June 15th, 2023   |   School for International Training

Whether you're getting ready to study abroad in the fall, reminiscing about last year's global experience, or relaxing at the beach as an armchair traveler this summer, we've got a list of reading, viewing, and listening suggestions from SIT faculty around the world.

Be sure to check back regularly, as we will be updating this list throughout the summer.

Recommended by Mariano San Martin, academic director, Argentina: Public Health in Urban Environments

Catedrales by Claudia Piñeiro

The body of a teenager is found burned and dismembered in a field. Thirty years later, the crime remains unsolved and his family has fallen apart. "A stark look at abortion, social hypocrisy, and taboos."

Recommended by Tony Cummings, academic director, Australia: Rainforest, Reef, and Cultural Ecology

Spinifex: The Curse of the Night Parrot by John Grant

Written by SIT staff member and former academic director John Grant, Spinifex tells the story of the discovery of the near-mythical night parrot, which lures smugglers to the heart of the Australian outback. It falls to lone wildlife officer Ric Butler to investigate, but when a malevolent boss repeatedly undermines his efforts Butler proves he isn't the kind of guy to let a thing drop because he's told to.

Recommended by Ni Wayan Ariati, academic director, Indonesia: Arts, Religion, and Social Change

The Buru Quartet by Pramoedya Ananta Toer

A historical fiction tetralogy by internationally acclaimed novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer, the quartet was written during Toer’s 14-years imprisonment as a political prisoner during Indonesia’s New Order Government in Buru Island of Moluccas, after being accused without a trial. There are also movies made from the four books in Bahasa Indonesia with English subtitles.

Recommended by Taieb Belghazi, academic director, Morocco: Human Rights, Social Justice, and Cultural Transformation

Poetic Justice, translated into English by Deborah Kapchan

A volume of Moroccan poems written in Tamazight, Moroccan Arabic, Standard Arabic, and French, this first anthology of Moroccan poetry available in English is a real tour de force which. Fred Moten, author of All That Beauty, tells us this volume"finds resources in the recesses that it overflows, displacing fixed notions  of the west and the Arab World, classicism and radical innovation, the secular and sacred, sound (or gesture or feel) and meaning."

Recommended by Durga Khatiwada, academic director, Nepal: Geoscience in the Himalaya

Literature: My Dreams edited by Mohan Bahadur Kayastha

A collection of 25 articles on Laxmi Prasad Devkota and his literature in English by many contributors.

The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

Published in 1978, The Snow Leopard is an account of Matthiessen's two-month search for the snow leopard with naturalist George Schaller in the Dolpo region on the Tibetan Plateau in the Himalaya

Recommended by Aly Dagang, academic director of Panama: Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems
and chair and affiliated faculty, MA in Sustainable Development Practice

Songs and poetry by Ruben Blades

The lyrics to his songs are considered poetry and his music has been given official National Treasure status. His song “Patria” is considered Panama’s true national anthem. His songs/poems “Amor y Control”  and “La Rosa de los Vientos” are a close second to “Patria.” All of them combine strong social commentary with cultural nuance. He is one of the icons of salsa and latin music in general.

Recommended by Stewart Chirova, academic director, South Africa: Multiculturalism and Human Rights

The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela by Sisonke Msimang

"An astute examination of one of South Africa’s most controversial political figures, of the rise and fall – and rise, again, – of a woman who not only battled the apartheid regime, but the patriarchal character of the struggle itself. In telling Winnie’s story, Msimang shows us that activism matters, and that the meaning of women’s lives can be reclaimed." -- Jonathan Ball Publishers

Recommended by Isabelle Onians, academic director, Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples

Old Demons, New Deities: Twenty-one Short Stories from Tibet, edited by Tenzin Dickie

The first English-language anthology of Tibetan fiction brings together the best writers from Tibet and the diaspora, writing in Tibetan, English and Chinese.

Recommended by Rached Khalifa, academic director, Tunisia and Italy: Politics and Religious Integration in the Mediterranean

The Secret of the Grain (La Graine et le Mulet) directed by Abdellatif Kechiche

This 2007 Franco-Tunisian drama tells the story of a North African family living in southern France. The narrative revolves around themes of food, migration, love, precariousness, and alienation.

Recommended by Duong Van Thanh, academic director, Vietnam: Culture, Social Change & Development and Vietnam: Traditional Medicine and Community Health

Saigon: An Epic Novel of Vietnam by Anthony Grey

An epic saga of love, blood, and destiny in 20th century Vietnam: “This superb novel could well be the War and Peace of our age” (San Francisco Chronicle).