Provost Summer Read Program

The Rise by Sarah LewisThe Provost Summer Read Program is built around a common book that is read over the summer by all first year students. This year's book is The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery by Sarah Lewis. After first year students arrive on campus to begin their fall semester of classes, they will participate in a seminar discussion of the book that will be led by a member of the faculty.

About Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis is a rising intellectual star. Her book, The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery, has been hailed by a who's who of creative thinkers. Lewis Hyde calls it a “welcome departure from standard accounts of artistry and innovation.” The New York Times calls it "strikingly original": "Lewis’s voice is so lyrical and engaging that her book, The Rise, can be read in one sitting, which is so much the better since its argument is multilayered and needs to be taken whole.” Kirkus Reviews writes: "Creativity, like genius, is inexplicable, but Lewis’ synthesis of history, biography and psychological research offers a thoughtful response to the question of how new ideas happen."

Lewis appears on Oprah's “Power List,” served on President Obama's Arts Policy Committee, has been profiled in Vogue, and is currently the Du Bois Fellow at Harvard University. She has held positions at Yale's School of Art, the Tate Modern, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and her essays have been published inArtforum and The Smithsonian. Her second book, Black Sea, Black Atlantic: Frederick Douglass, The Circassian Beauties, and American Racial Formation in the Wake of the Civil War, will be published by Harvard University Press in 2015. She received her B.A. from Harvard, M. Phil from Oxford, and Ph.D. from Yale. She was a speaker at TED2014 in Vancouver, BC.

She is currently a professor at Harvard in the History of Art and Architecture and African and African American Studies Departments.

Biography courtesy of Lavin Agency.

Sarah Lewis' TED Talk: Embrace the Near Win