One Univ, One Book


It is not uncommon that students attend a conference or even finish their degree without having experienced what is the stated goal of most universities – to engage students, faculty, and administrators in a common intellectual conversation.


One way to overcome this difficulty is to encourage students and faculty to read one book that could be the starting point of a common conversation.


With this in mind, each year we present students with the opportunity to participate in such a conversation. This is the aim of “One Univ, One Book” Forum.


The activity will take place during the Univ Forum in Rome, on Tuesday, 11 April from 12:00-13:00.


Direct any questions to Craig Iffland (





This year, students and professors will read a book by Ben Rawlence, City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp.
The book explores the lives of nine residents of the Dadaab refugee camp, located on the east Kenya border with Somalia. The camp is home to over three hundred thousand refugees, many of whom have fled from internal conflicts in Somalia.
The book gives us a chance to see the “refugee crisis” through the eyes of an actual refugee while also providing a compelling account of the political forces that prevent these individuals from making a permanent home for themselves and their families.
Given the theme of Univ this year (A World in Movement: The Drama of Migration and Melting Identity in a Digital World), a good question to ask ourselves as we read the book is: “how fundamental is the human desire for a home and what are our civic obligations to help people find one?”