Online Book Discussion Group(s)

About Online Book Discussion Groups


Online book groups are another opportunity for NCTA alumni as well as those who are new to NCTA to strengthen their interest in and commitment to teaching about East Asia in their classrooms. A book is selected by the discussion group leader and is discussed over the course of a few months. In addition to readings, the group may be expected to complete assignments such as discussion posts, reactions to the readings, and pose questions for further analysis. Registration is required for the discussion group and it is open to all NCTA alumni in our 11 state region. There are also book groups that are taught nationwide and are availabe to interested educators in all states. Previous online discussion group books have been Mao Zedong by Jonathan Spence and China's Second Continent by Howard W. French.

Please check back here frequently and on the main page for online book groups.



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Spring 2022 NCTA Alumni Online Book Discussion Group: Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town by Barbara Demick


Spring 2022 NCTA Alumni Online Book Discussion Group:

Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town by Barbara Demick

This Spring Dr. Diana M Wood will lead a free asynchronous book discussion group on Barbara Demick’s new book Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town (Random House, 2020). This fascinating study places us firmly in Sichuan, China in a small town, Ngaba, located on the Himalayan plateau and populated primarily by Tibetan people. Studying this book gives us an inside look at the challenges facing Tibetans within the People’s Republic of China who wish to pursue their beliefs and cultural practices.


Several years ago Dr. Wood lead a seminar-long group on Demick’s book Nothing to Envy which was a great success in aiding in an understanding about North Korea, so she is looking forward to reading and discussing Demick’s latest book on Tibetan people in the People’s Republic of China.


This free book discussion group on Eat the Buddha is for NCTA Alumni in the Pittsburgh Coordinating Site region (PA, OH, MI, WV, MD, AL, MN, DE, LA, IL, KY). It will be conducted asynchronously beginning in late January and will continue through the Spring using the Proboards Discussion Board site (a more detailed schedule will be sent once registration has closed). Registrants will receive a complimentary copy of the book.


For Pennsylvania teachers, completion of this book discussion will be worth fourteen Act 48 hours. For teachers in other states we can provide you with a certificate of completion and/or a personal letter from the instructor.


Registration Deadline is January 17, 2022

To apply, please click on the link here:


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Global Issues Through Literature Book Discussion Series: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami

Global Issues Through Literature Book Discussion Series: 

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami

Thursday, January 20, 2022.

5:00 to 8:00 PM (Eastern Time)

This academic year, Pitt's Global Studies Center (GSC) is hosting a book discussion series for K-12 educators: "Imagining Other Worlds: Globalizing Science Fiction and Fantasy." Pitt NCTA is partnering with the GSC for the January 20 session on the novel Hard-boiled Wonderland by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. Join NCTA seminar leader Dr. Ethan Segal as he leads a discussion on Murakami's novel.


Participants can sign up for individual books in the series or the entire discussion series. Registrants will be sent a complimentary copy of the book(s) and Pennsylvania teachers will receive Act 48 hours.


Click here for more information about the entire series, or click on the button below to go right to the registration page.

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