Great World Texts is a collaboration between Gallatin Writing Program faculty, Gallatin undergraduates, and New York City public high school teachers and students. Each year, students study a canonical work or contemporary classic.
In a tutorial, Gallatin undergraduates discuss the text, learn about social and pedagogical issues, and become mentors in the high schools. During the semester, mentors facilitate the study of the text using multimedia classroom resources created by the faculty adviser. The semester culminates in a celebration at which the high school students engage in interactive activities and share projects inspired by the book.
In 2013, GWT became a global program when it expanded to NYU Buenos Aires. The tutorial, conducted in English and affiliated with Lenguitas High School in Buenos Aires, is open to all undergraduates studying at NYU Buenos Aires. At NYU Buenos Aires, Anna Kazumi Stahl is the site and program director.
At NYU Washington Square, the faculty adviser is Professor Karen Hornick, and the partner NYC public schools are High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies, Facing History, and The Boerum Hill School for International Studies.
The 2023 text is Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis.
In Fall 2020 and 2021, students, teachers, mentors, the faculty adviser, and the Gallatin Writing Program graduate assistant worked together to showcase the students' final projects online. Their creative responses to The Mahabharata and Aimé Césaire's A Tempest, respectively, can be found on the Great World Texts 13 and Great World Texts 14 websites.
In March 2017, Edwidge Danticat read from her novel The Dew Breaker and answered questions from undergraduate mentors and NYC high school students who participated in Great World Texts 9.
In April 2014, Maxine Hong Kingston read from The Woman Warrior and engaged in a lively Q&A with undergraduate mentors and NYC high school students who participated in Great World Texts 6.