October 8, 2019

To: All Faculty
From: David Marshall, Executive Vice Chancellor
  And Kristin Antelman, University Librarian
Re: Announcing the UCSB Reads 2020 Book Selection


The UC Santa Barbara Library and the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor are pleased to announce the selection of the UCSB Reads 2020 book: Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, a work of creative nonfiction by Elizabeth Rush. Rising combines rigorous reporting and lyrical storytelling to depict the impact of sea level rise in the United States.

Since 2007, UCSB Reads has brought the campus and Santa Barbara communities together to read a common book that explores important issues of our time. An advisory committee made up of faculty, staff and students selected Rising for this year’s book, noting the power and relevance of the book’s stories about the people and communities most at risk from sea level rise. Rush demonstrates how race, class, national origin and income levels further exacerbate vulnerability to rising seas.

Describing Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore as “the book on climate change and sea levels that was missing,” The Chicago Tribune writes: “Rush travels from vanishing shorelines in New England to hurting fishing communities to retracting islands and, with empathy and elegance, conveys what it means to lose a world in slow motion. Picture the working-class empathy of Studs Terkel paired with the heartbreak of a poet.” Pacific Standard calls the book “a revelation.”

In 2018, Rising was selected as a winner of the National Outdoor Book Award, was named a top ten book by The Chicago Tribune, and a Best Book by Guardian, NPR’s Science Friday, Publisher’s Weekly, and Library Journal. Rising was also a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction.

Rush is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Metcalf Institute Climate Change Adaption Fellowship, the Science in Society Award, the Howard Foundation Fellowship, and a grant from the Society for Environmental Journalism. Rush teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University. On May 4, 2020, we will welcome Elizabeth Rush for a free lecture in UCSB’s Campbell Hall, to which the campus and community are invited. The public lecture is presented with assistance from UCSB Arts & Lectures.

UCSB Reads 2020 will officially kick off with a free book giveaway for students at the beginning of the winter quarter. Faculty are encouraged to incorporate Rising into their winter or spring courses. The Library will provide free copies of the book to all students enrolled in these courses.

From January – May, the Library will sponsor panel discussions, film screenings, exhibitions, and other events to explore the book’s themes. Additionally, this year, UCSB Library is soliciting campus contributions to an art exhibition that relates to themes in the UCSB Reads book. Classes, individual students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate.

If you wish to teach the book, submit artwork to the exhibition, participate in campus or community programming, or support UCSB Reads 2020, please contact:

Alex Regan, Events and Exhibitions Librarian

Phone: 805-893-3605

Email: UCSBReads@library.ucsb.edu

We are grateful for the generous support of our many sponsors. For more details about the UCSB Reads 2020 book and programs, go to www.library.ucsb.edu/ucsbreads2020.

Thank you for reading, teaching, and learning along with us. #UCSBReads2020