Words Without Borders Campus
Drawing from Words Without Borders' rich archive of contemporary stories, essays, and poems in translation, Words Without Borders Campus connects students and educators to eye-opening contemporary literature from across the globe. We present this literature alongside multimedia contextual materials, ideas for lessons, and pathways for further exploration. Our goal is to create a virtual learning space without borders, fostering meaningful cross-cultural understandings and inspiring a lifelong interest in international literature.
Founded in 2003, Words Without Borders promotes cultural understanding through the translation, publication, and promotion of the finest contemporary international literature. Our publications and programs open doors for readers of English around the world to the multiplicity of viewpoints, richness of experience, and literary perspective on world events offered by writers in other languages. We seek to connect international writers to the general public, to students and educators, and to print and other media and to serve as a primary online location for a global literary conversation. Every month we publish eight to twelve new works by international writers, available for the first time in English translation.
About This Site
At Words Without Borders Campus, you'll find fiction, poetry, and essays from around the world, along with resources for understanding it, ideas for teaching it, and suggestions for further exploration. Most of the literature presented comes from the online magazine Words Without Borders.
WWB Campus has received an honorable mention for the National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize, an annual award for projects that create and sustain a lifelong love of reading.
“This honor from the National Book Foundation is a tremendous affirmation of the goals of WWB Campus. It is a wonderful way of broadcasting the resources the program offers educators, students, and readers to get to know the world—and themselves—through literature.” —Alane Salierno Mason, founder and president of Words Without Borders
"[T]his is wonderful! Just what many of us have been looking for. These resources can be adapted for any middle, high school, even graduate school courses when educators want texts to use as works of literature or as starting points for discussions/explorations of issues related to culture, growing up, inclusion, etc." Anna J. Small Roseboro, NBCT, Early Career Leadership Mentor, Conference on English Education, Conference on English Leadership, Grand Rapids, MI
"I recently used the literature and videos on Mexico from WWB Campus—specifically the poem "Sleepless Homeland" and bio info on the author Carmen Boullosa. Often students have preconceived impressions (due to what is presented in US media) of other regions of the world, like Mexico. . . Their journal writing that day reflected a clearer picture of the drug war situation in Mexico as well as a more compassionate understanding of the immigration issues in the news.
"Thank you for the great literature selections with the relevant and relatable videos with additional paired resources. WWB Campus is a resource I will return to again and again!" Christine Woods, Past president, Virginia Association of Teachers of English, Virginia Western Community College, Roanoke, VA.
"Words Without Borders was a great way to show students the wealth and diversity of contemporary world literature." Miciah Hussey, Adjunct Instructor, Baruch College, New York, NY
"The students were very interested in learning about other cultures, and this interest helped them get into the poems. It's always a risk with middle school, trying to get them interested in poetry. But WWB was a nice jumping-off point for them . . . . I will continue to use the site, yes! I love it!" Joshua Medsker, 8th Grade English teacher, M.E.T.S. Charter School, Jersey City, NJ
"I am thrilled to incorporate Words Without Borders Campus into my English classes. The WWBC website is filled with vital and brilliant works of literature. These multicultural and multi-genre works are accessible and curated with great care for thematic and cultural content . . . a treasure trove of foreign literature that enlightens, entertains, and broadens our students' as well as our own perspectives." Caron Knauer, Adjunct English lecturer, LaGuardia Community College, New York, NY
"It provided me, as a teacher, and students with new tools to use in class and also with literature from different parts of the world. I really enjoyed using the materials WWBC made available. Students really enjoyed reading a poem that was 'different' from what they're used to." José Luis Poblete, English and Literature Lecturer, Universidad de Santiago (USACH) and Universidad de Ciencias de la Informática (UCINF), Chile
"I love the way the selections provide extensions in the teaching ideas, and references to Shakespeare. I also found the files on bios, context, and playlist especially helpful in incorporating listening, speaking, reading, and writing aspects of language acquisition for my ELL students." Kelly Shim-Choi, teacher, English as a Second Language, The Wardlaw-Hartridge School, Edison, NJ
"An amazing find... It's such a great, great mission and rich site(s) you have...." Michael Kula, Associate Professor of Writing Studies & Coordinator of the Writing Studies Program, University of Washington, Tacoma.
"Reading literature from around the world is a way to understand the history of a country. It provides insight into current events. And it's a great source of pleasure." Antoinette Herrera, Poet, Miami, Florida
"Thanks for your site. It is wonderful and this teaching focus will be a valuable addition!" Karyn Hollis, Professor of English, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
"I used [the collection of Mexican literature] to teach a Spanish class for deportees and returnees back in Mexico this summer… While some of the students were already avid readers and writers, I would say most of the students had had very little contact with literature in the past, especially with contemporary literature--and had never read anything that they felt they could relate to…. Thank you so much for this wonderful material. It really saved the day!!" María Cristina Fernández Hall, Professor of English, Tec de Monterrey, Mexico
"[A]ll your tie-in teaching aids, such as the audio recording of a native speaker pronouncing difficult lexicon, the correlations with other literary texts and authors (for instance, the poet and bard Aleksandr Galich), the commentary and essay prompts, the suggestions for structuring lessons and opening up discussions—all of this is so well done, so perceptive and imaginative, so well-informed. . . .The commentaries created for the 'Teaching Ideas' tab belong in a first-rate textbook of contemporary Russian literature in translation, and in a way, that’s exactly where they are—only this textbook is web-based." Timothy D. Sergay, translator and associate professor of Russian, Slavic and Eurasian studies, University at Albany, State University of New York
Thank you for producing such vivid and useful materials for educators! As an elementary and middle school teacher -- and literary translator -- I'm grateful for the breadth and thoughtfulness of your Campus materials. Eric Fishman, Upper elementary teacher, Boston, MA
I highly recommend Words Without Borders ...Excellent resource for incorporating world literature into your classroom. Sue Kenney, high school English teacher,
Immaculate Heart Academy, Washington, NJ
Words Without Borders Team
Karen Phillips, Executive Director, WWB
Susan Harris, Editorial Director, WWB
Nadia Kalman, Editor and Curriculum Designer, WWB Campus, [email protected]
Eric Becker, Editor, Words Without Borders
Jennifer Lauren, New York City Outreach Coordinator, [email protected]
Noor Naga, Editorial Fellow, WWB
Luisa Leme, Video Production
Education Committee, WWB Board of Directors
Douglas Unger, Chair
Jenny Staff Johnson
Stefanie Sobelle (non-board)
Catharine Stimpson (non-board)
Jane Tylus (non-board)
Allison Markin Powell
Click here for a complete list of the WWB Board of Directors.
Education Focus Group Members
Alison Arant, Wagner College
Dr. Elizabeth Bishop, Teachers College, Columbia University
Marco Fernando Navarro, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Sophie Oberfield, Stuyvesant High School
Words Without Borders gratefully acknowledges our WWB Campus supporters:
Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust
Cornelia and Michael Bessie Foundation
The Nippon Foundation
The Sumner Scholarship Endownment Foundation
The Literary Translation Institute of Korea
Click here for a complete list of WWB donors.
Piloting Schools, Classrooms and Educators
We would like to thank the following schools, classes, and educators for their helpful feedback on the WWB Campus site.
Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines; Introduction to Poetry and Drama; Alona U. Guevarra
Green Valley High School, Henderson, NV; AP English; Jason Garner
Community College, Queens, NY; English 102; Caron Knauer
M.E.T.S. Charter School, Jersey City, NJ; English 8; Joshua Medsker
Universidad de Ciencias de la Informática, Santiago, Chile;
Introduction to Literary Genres; José Luis Poblete
Universidad de Santiago (USACH), Santiago, Chile;
Introduction to Literary Genres; José Luis Poblete
of Nevada, Las Vegas, Words without Borders: Mexico, China, Egypt; Douglas Unger**
Villanova University, Villanova, PA; International
Literature; Karyn Hollis***
College, Staten Island, NY; English 111; Alison Arant
Baruch College, New York, NY; Great Works of World Literature II; Christopher Trogan
Northern Oklahoma College; Stillwater, OK; Introduction to Literature; Tamera Davis
Lamoille Union High School, Hyde Park, VT; AP World History & Modern World Studies; Whitney Kaulbach
Baruch College, New York, NY; Great Works of World Literature II; Miciah Hussey
Baruch College, New York, NY; Arts in NY Freshman Seminar; Cheryl Smith
Deltona High School, Delton, Florida; Dylan Emerick-Brown
*Thanks to Dr. Aronson’s 2014, 2016, and 2018 International K-12 Books classes from the Rutgers University MLIS program for their suggestions on the content, organization, and design of this site.
** Dr. Unger chairs Words Without Borders' Education Committee
*** Thanks also to Dr. Hollis for the generous sharing of her International Literature syllabus, which provided additional ideas for contextual materials for the units on this site.
Collaborating Publications: Guernica, Freeman’s
Words Without Borders relies on donors like you to offer the finest contemporary literature in translation at no cost to readers, educators, and students. Please join us in our efforts to bring eye-opening international writing to the classroom with a tax-deductible donation!
To give online, visit the secure donation page on the organization's website.
You can also mail a contribution to:
Words Without Borders
147 Prince Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
For more information about how to support Words without Borders Campus, contact us at [email protected].