USD Just Read! 2013-2014

Project Overview

USD Just Read! Encourages literacy and deep dialogue on social themes presented through outstanding literature. The program promotes active learning and reading not only within the USD community but within the San Diego community at large. During the 2013-2014 academic year, the book selection will be The Ghost Map, written by Steven Johnson. Various CEE programs will be offered this fall, including two on-campus book discussions, a faculty led panel discussion, and related films.

Please contact us if you are interested in possible programming, course and syllabus integration, or any other collaborative projects for next year.

The Ghost Map (2013) Flyers

The Ghost Map (2013) Informational Flyer

2013 USD Just Read! Tentative Schedule Flyer

2013 USD Just Read! Themes Flyer

The Ghost Map, by Steven Johnson



“This is a story with four protagonists: a deadly bacterium, a vast city, and two gifted but very different men.” So begins Steven Johnson’s multi-layered account of the 1854 London cholera epidemic. London was just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world, but it lacked the public health infrastructure to support its exploding population. As a result, the city became the perfect breeding ground for a deadly disease. Rising up against the dogma of the scientific community, two men, Dr. John Snow and Reverend Henry Whitehead, attempted to put a stop to the epidemic, and in doing so revolutionized the way we think of the spread of disease, the nature of scientific inquiry, and the rise of the modern city.

From Penguin

Upcoming Spring 2014

A Presentation by John Cooper, Director of Innovation Centre at Tec de Monterrey, Campus Guadalajara in Spring 2013

Recap of Fall 2013 Events

Book Discussions
Event Date Time Location
Alcala Park Readers Book Discussion (Facilitated by students from Dr. Sue Lowery's Bio 190 introduction to Evolution class) Thursday, 10/31/2013 12:30 to 1:45 PM in UC 128
Interdisciplinary Panel Discussion (Moderated by Dr. Sue Lowery, Biology) Friday, 11/8/2013 3:00 to 5:00 PM in Salomon Hall
Seminars and Presentations
Ethnic Studies Labovitz - Perez Lecture Series: Environmental Justice and the State of Exception (Dr. Devon Peña, University of Washington) Thursday, 10/24/2013 6:30 to 9:00 PM in Salomon Hall
Sewers and Social Justice: An Interdisciplinary Conversation on The Ghost Map Monday, 11/4/2013 11:15 to 12:15 PM in Salomon Hall
Biology Department Seminar: Vibrio Cholerae (Dr. Finat Yildiz, UC Santa Cruz) Friday, 11/8/2013 12:20 to 1:20 PM IPJ Theatre
Making John Snow’s Map Today using Geographic
Information Systems Technology (Dr. Zhi-Yong Yin, Marine Science and Environmental Studies) - For USD Faculty Only
Thursday, 10/29/2013 12:15 to 2:15 PM in SCST 173
Cadillac Desert: The American West and it's Disappearing Water (Hosted through Outdoor Adventures) Tuesday, 11/12/2013 5:00 to 7:00 PM UC 129

To register for these events online click here or call Johnny Bobe II at the Center for Educational Excellence at (619) 260-7402 or email cee@sandiego.edubook

Book Synopsis

A National Bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, and an Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year

It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure-garbage removal, clean water, sewers-necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time.

In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories of the spread of disease, the rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry, offering both a riveting history and a powerful explanation of how it has shaped the world we live in.

from: Penguin

Book Reviews

The New York Times - A Drink of Death by David Quammen - Contemporary Literature Review

Powell's Books - Book Review

About the Author

Steven Johnson is the best-selling author of Everything Bad Is Good For YouMind Wide OpenEmergence, and Interface Culture. He is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University’s Department of Journalism, and the founder of several influential websites, including FEED, Plastic, and, currently, He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their three sons.

Click here to read a blog entry from Steven Johnson on The Ghost Map

Click here to watch a TED Talk entitled Steven Johnson tours the Ghost Map

Further Resources & Readings

The Ghost Map - Official Website

John Snow - UCLA Department of Epidemiology

Cholera, Chloroform, and the Science of Medicine: A Life of John Snow - American Journal of Epidemiology

CEE Contact Information

You may contact the CEE for general information regarding the project and specific information regarding project events sponsored by USD.