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Academics . Curriculum . 2022 Summer Reading Program 

Summer Reading Program

The goal of CIA's Summer Reading Program is to unite the incoming class through a common experience prior to joining the CIA community on campus. The program aims to foster shared conversations based in community-building, social engagement, and collaboration.
The Summer Reading is incorporated into first-year projects in both studio and liberal arts classes. The entire CIA community is invited to join the incoming class in reading and responding to each year's Summer Reading.

2022 Summer Reading

The Secret to Superhuman Strength

by Alison Bechdel

We are delighted to announce The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel as CIA’s 2022 Summer Reading.

Alison Bechdel’s The Secret to Superhuman Strength is a new graphic memoir by the cultural and comics superstar. It explores identity, relationships, mental health, and more. It will help students think about creativity and artistic practice in their own lives.

Alison Bechdel is an American cartoonist. Originally best known for the long-running comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For, in 2006 she became a best-selling and critically acclaimed author with her graphic memoir Fun Home.

2022 Mail Art Project

Create your own unique postcard to mail to CIA!

The Secret to Superhuman Strength focuses on Bechdel’s habits and practices at different times of her life. It explores creative practice, exercise, habits that support mental health, and more. 

What are some practices that are important in your life? What are some creative habits that you would like to explore at CIA?

Use the provided postcards to represent habits and practices that matter to you. Be creative. You can use the space however you like—for a comic, a visual representation, a diagram, or anything else. 

 Return your postcards by mail to CIA. They will become part of an exhibition that features work by you and other incoming students. We encourage you to also share your postcard designs at #CIAreading22.


For more information:

Scott Goss
Assistant Professor | Assistant Chair
216.421.7000 | Contact

- OR -

Zachary Savich
Associate Professor | Chair of Liberal Arts
216.421.7000 | Contact

“In “Superhuman Strength” you can
feel that Bechdel knows that she doesn’t have that much control. But perfection is not the point, which is the point. Control is an illusion; the secret is to let go.” 

—New York Times

Reviews of The Secret to Superhuman Strength


The Guardian



Previous Summer Reads


On Looking: A Walker's Guide to the Art of Observation, by Alexandra Horowitz