World History Reading Groups

World History Reading Groups

Teachers in ORIAS World History Reading Groups read one book each month within a global studies theme. Participants meet monthly to eat and spend two hours in collegial conversation. It is a relaxing, intellectually rich atmosphere for both new and experienced teachers.

San Francisco book discussions are facilitated by Shane Carter, Outreach Coordinator for ORIAS and by Alan Karras, author and Associate Director of the Global Studies Program at University of California, Berkeley. East Bay discussions are facilitated by Shane Carter.

In-service teachers are eligible for book reimbursements or, in the case of regular attendees, may receive the books ahead of time from ORIAS. Meetings are open to all k-12 and community college faculty. Space is limited.

photo credit: Books of Knowledge Picton Library Liverpool via flickr (license)


San Francisco Group


For the 2022-2023 academic year this group has chosen to focus on the emergence and expansion of religious movements.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

God's Chinese Son, by Jonathan Spence

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The Call: Inside the Global Saudi Religious Project by Krithika Varagur

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Podcast playlist and article related to British East India Company.

Listen to 4 episodes of Empire. It's available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
  • Option 1 - Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4 (focus on British East India Co)
  • Option 2 - Episodes 8, 9, 10, 11 (focus on South Asian politics, via the diamond)

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

A Fortress in Brooklyn by Nathaniel Deutsch and Michael Casper

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca by Eric Tagliacozzo

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

To the Ends of the Earth: Pentecostalism and the Transformation of World Christianity by Allan Heaton Anderson

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Fertility and Faith: The Demographic Revolution and the Transformation of World Religionsby Phillip Jenkins

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

reading TBD


East Bay Group


For the 2022-2023 academic year this group has chosen to focus on global topics, such as climate change, environment, and migration.

Friday, October 14, 2022

How to Hide an Empire by Daniel Immerwahr

Friday, November 18, 2022

The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World – and Globalization Began  by Valerie Hansen

Friday, December 9, 2022

Climate change playlist

Listen to these:
Then one of these two:
And one of these two:
Optional - sea level rise/groundwater rise/infrastructure: 

Optional - urban planning/extreme weather: 
Friday, January 20, 2023

Climate Change in Human History: Prehistory to the Present by Benjamin Lieberman, Elizabeth Gordon

Friday, February 10, 2023

Tunguska: A Siberian Mystery and Its Environmental Legacy by Andy Bruno

Friday, March 10, 2023

Volt Rush: The Winners and Losers in the Race to Go Green by Henry Sanderson

Friday, April 14, 2023

Reading TBD

Friday, May 12, 2023

Reading TBD

SF Meeting Location

Hybrid meeting:

In person - Phillip and Sala Burton Academic High School (400 Mansell Street, San Francisco, CA 94134)

Zoom - When you sign up, you'll receive a calendar invitation with all location information and the Zoom link.

East Bay Meeting Location

Hybrid meeting:

In person - 1995 University Ave, Suite 510 (Institute for East Asian Studies)

Zoom - When you sign up, you'll receive a calendar invitation with all location information and the Zoom link.


All meetings: 5 PM to 7 PM


SF Dates

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Wednesday, May 17, 2023


East Bay Dates

Friday, October 14, 2022

Friday, November 18, 2022

Friday, December 9, 2022

Friday, January 13, 2023

Friday, February 10, 2023

Friday, March 10, 2023

Friday, April 14, 2023

Friday, May 12, 2023