A Small Place in Wisconsin (2018-2019)

During the 2018-2019 Great World Texts in Wisconsin program, teachers and students throughout the state read Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place.

A Small Place is a work of non-fiction that explores the island of Antigua where Kincaid grew up, and challenges the perspective of tourists. As we are introduced to the beautiful landscapes and colorful characters of the island, Kincaid uses her sharp and humorous voice to open our eyes to the legacy of Antigua’s British colonial history and how it lives on in the tourism industry today. Published in 1988, only seven years after Antigua became an independent nation, Kincaid’s book became a lightning rod for discussions about globalization, Caribbean nationalism, postcolonial history, and the parameters of creative non-fiction.

We encourage teachers and students in Wisconsin to read along with us and ask ourselves the questions that A Small Place invites. What has happened in small places such as Antigua? What is our personal and national impact on such places? Ultimately, what is our responsibility to these small places? And where are the small places in our own state, and how are they transforming?

Teaching Guide and Additional Resources

Teachers participating in the program received the “Teaching Silent Spring in Wisconsin” curricular guide and supporting materials. They also attended an educator colloquium in September 2018, featuring talks by campus experts, workshopping activities and discussions, and cultural and curricular presentations. Our participating educators and students joined UW-Madison faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, Center staff and members of the public for the Great World Texts in Wisconsin’s Annual Student Conference on Monday, April 8, 2019.

All teachers, present and future, are welcome to download the curricular guide and supporting materials below and use them in their classrooms.

Teaching Guide

Discussion Guide for Reading Groups

Reading groups at libraries, community organizations, and other spaces may use this three-page discussion guide we have distilled from our longer curricular guide. All are welcome to download the discussion guide below.

Discussion Guide

Keynote Speaker: Student Conference and Public Lecture

Jamaica Kincaid is the Antiguan-American author of twelve books, including the award-winning Annie JohnLucy, and Mr. Potter. She is Professor of African and African American Studies in Residence at Harvard University. For twenty years, she was a staff writer at the New Yorker and her columns have been collected in the volume Talk Stories.

Support for A Small Place in Wisconsin

A Small Place in Wisconsin is an initiative of the Center for the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, supported by the A. W. Mellon Foundation; the Evjue Foundation; UW-Madison Libraries; the Department of English; the Anonymous Fund of the College of Letters & Science; and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

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Participating Schools

In 2018-19, 32 schools from around the state will participate in A Small Place in Wisconsin.

  • Beaver Dam High School, BEAVER DAM
  • Central High School, LA CROSSE
  • Chippewa Falls Senior High School, CHIPPEWA FALLS
  • Cirrus High School, ROSENDALE
  • Dodgeland High School, JUNEAU
  • EAGLE School of Madison, MADISON
  • Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah High School, ELKHART LAKE
  • Etude High School, SHEBOYGAN
  • Golda Meir School, MILWAUKEE
  • Hartford Union High School, HARTFORD
  • Kettle Moraine School for Arts and Performance, WALES
  • Kewaunee High School, KEWAUNEE
  • Kingdom Prep Lutheran High School, WAUWATOSA
  • Lake Mills High School, LAKE MILLS
  • Madison Country Day School, WAUNAKEE
  • Madison East High School, MADISON
  • McFarland High School, MCFARLAND
  • Milwaukee High School of the Arts, MILWAUKEE
  • Milwaukee School of Languages, MILWAUKEE
  • Necedah High School, NECEDAH
  • Nicolet High School, GLENDALE
  • Oshkosh North High School, OSHKOSH
  • Oshkosh West, OSHKOSH
  • Osseo-Fairchild High School, OSSEO
  • Racine St. Catherine’s, RACINE
  • Reagan IB High School, MILWAUKEE
  • Rock University High School, JANESVILLE
  • Shorewood High School, SHOREWOOD
  • SOAR High School, EAGLE RIVER
  • Southern Door High School, BRUSSELS
  • Waunakee High School, WAUNAKEE
  • Xavier High School, APPLETON