Common Read Program

Texas A&M International University’s Common Read Program, spearheaded by University College, is a University-wide initiative aimed at engaging all members of the University and the surrounding community in a common academically oriented intellectual activity.

Since 2008, the program, dubbed “Reading the Globe,” has enabled all First Year students to engage a selected internationally focused book through their University Seminar during the Fall semester. This provides the opportunity for discourse about issues relevant to students and raises social awareness on a local and global scale.

Faculty and staff also participate in the Common Read, fostering and strengthening the growth of an intellectual community in and around TAMIU that supports students' academic development.
RTG Book students

2020-2021 Book Selection

        20-21 Book That's That

That's That

Colin Broderick

Colin Broderick grew up in Northern Ireland during the period of heightened tension and violence known as the Troubles. Broderick's Catholic family lived in County Tyrone --the heart of rebel country. In That’s That, he brings us into this world and delivers a deeply personal account of what it was like to come of age in the midst of a war that dragged on for over two decades. We watch as he and his brothers play ball with the neighbor children over a fence for years, but are never allowed to play together because it is forbidden. We see him struggle to understand why young men from his community often just disappear. And we feel his frustration when he is held at gunpoint at various military checkpoints in the North. At the center of his world—and this story—is Colin’s mother. Desperate to protect her children from harm, she has little patience for Colin’s growing need to experience and understand all that is happening around them. Spoken with stern finality, "That's that" became the refrain of Colin's childhood.

The first book to paint a detailed depiction of Northern Ireland's Troubles, That’s That is told in the wry, memorable voice of a man who's finally come to terms with his past.

About the Author

Author/Filmmaker Colin Broderick is originally from Northern Ireland. He grew up during a period of political unrest known as The Troubles. His work is largely biographical in nature. In books and movies he explores Irish and Irish American identity. In his memoir "That's That" Broderick attempts to unravel the first twenty years of his life growing up in a community torn apart by sectarian war. His memoir "Orangutan" deals with the twenty years he spent working construction, struggling with alcoholism, trying to formulate a life as a writer, in New York City. In his mid twenties he attended Lehman College where he studied poetry with US Poet Laureate Billy Collins who became a life long mentor and supporter of his work.

Author Colin Broderick
Photograph by Wojtek Urbanek

His work has appeared in The Irish Times, The New York Times, Poets and Writers, Writers Digest and numerous other literary journals. Broderick's first feature movie, Emerald City, which he wrote/directed and acted, won numerous awards, including the prestigious Audience Award at the Manhattan Film Festival 2017. In 2019 he published his third book: "The Writing Irish of New York", an anthology of the top tier Irish and Irish American writers in America.

His latest feature movie "A Bend in the River" which he wrote and directed, was slated to premiere at The Belfast Film Festival in April of 2020. The premiere has been postponed until further notice. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his first fictional novel; "Church End."


Author's Visits

Friday, October 2, 2020
Freshman Session
Location: TBA
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Free and open to the TAMIU community

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Contact Information

University College
Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library 416
Texas A&M International University
Laredo, Texas 78041
(956) 326-2134

Follow RTG on Instagram - @TAMIUreadingtheglobe

Dr. Barbara Hong
University College, Dean

Dr. Hayley Kazen
Reading the Globe Coordinator