Pre-Texts: The Arts Teach [Everything]

PRE–TEXTS is pedagogical acupuncture. With a single prompt: “Use the text to make art,” we activate both cognitive and emotional dynamics. The pleasures of playing with a challenging text (literary, scientific, historical, political, etc.) drive literacy, innovation, and citizenship like gears of a holistic system for development. Culturally diverse colleagues multiply perspectives, contribute arts, and deepen interpretation. Diversity is therefore admired rather than resisted. With Pre-Texts, intellectual and socio-emotional learning go together.


Since 2007, Professor Doris Sommer has followed Latin American models to promote holistic education through the arts. Pre-Texts combines popular Latin American practices (like cardboard book making) with the pedagogy of Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal, along with Friedrich Schiller, Maria Montessori, and John Dewey. Having learned from Milagros Saldarriaga, of Lima's “Sarita Cartonera,” to recognize books as raw material, not sacred objects, Sommer and other Pre-Texts trainers have brought literary theory down to earth in under-resourced areas throughout Latin America, as well as in Boston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Zimbabwe, and China.

Reports & Evaluations

These documents correspond to the reports and evaluations produced by Cultural Agents and different institutions in countries where Pre-Texts has been implemented. We invite you to download and read these forms, which demonstrate the positive results and great impact that Pre-Texts has had around the world.

Impact Evaluation - Universidad de Coahuila



NEACOL – Pre-texts in Chocó (Colombia)

Quibdó, Colombia


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