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 public performance at which the high school students share writing 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 Vasu Varadhan, and the partner NYC public schools are Brooklyn Preparatory High School and University Neighborhood High School.
The 2020 text is the ancient Indian epic The Mahabharata.
In Fall 2020, Great World Texts partnered with teachers Jasmine Stakley at Brooklyn Preparatory High School and Katie Silbereis, Dannysha Diaz, and David Whitman at University Neighborhood High School. Mentors Pilar Cerón, Dariely de la Cruz, Charlie Dodge, Van Tingley, Moosa Waraich, and Kristi Wong worked with students to create writing, visual art, and multimedia projects in response to The Mahabharata. These projects are on display on the Great World Texts 13 website.
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.