Occasional Papers

The Occasional Papers series makes available some of the many lectures and conversations of eminent scholars, writers and artists who participated in Townsend Center programs 1994-2003. The Occasional Papers are available open access via internet on the eScholarship web site of the University of California, as well as on this site.

Featured Occasional Paper

Past Occasional Papers

Image of the cover for Keizer, Rabow and Benner's paper on Euthanasia Policy.
By Bert Keizer, Michael Rabow, and Patricia Benner
April 2005

In March 2004, in collaboration with the Center for Medicine, Humanities, and Law, the Townsend Center sponsored a week-long residency with Dutch physician and writer Bert Keizer. Dr. Keizer is particularly known for his book, Dancing with Mr. D., a personal account of his work with the terminally ill in an Amsterdam critical care facility.

Photo of a cannabis leaf.
By Michael Pollan, Ignacio Chapela, Cathy Gallagher, and Patricia Unterman
November 2002

Cannabis, Forgetting, and the Botany of Desire includes the proceedings of several events scheduled by the Townsend Center in celebration of Michael Pollan's residency as Avenali Lecturer for the 2002 Fall Semester. This Occasional Paper includes transcripts of the public lecture Pollan gave as well as the comments of a panel organized to explore the environmental impact of food production in general.

Photo of a large line of people walking through plains beside a mountain range.
By Sebastião Salgado, T.J. Clark, Orville Schell, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Candace Slater, and Michael Watts
February 2002

Migrations: The Work of Sebastião Salgado was one of several events scheduled by the Townsend Center in celebration of Sebastião Salgado's residency as Avenali Lecturer for academic year 2001–2002. Planned to complement the Berkeley Art Museum exhibit, Salgado’s lecture—reproduced here in a slightly edited form—was followed the next day by a panel of commentators whose remarks are also included in this Occasional Paper.

Photo of Eva Hoffman.
By Eva Hoffman
September 2000

Eva Hoffman considers the current preoccupation with memory—as opposed to its referents (history, experience)—and particularly with memory of the Holocaust. She proposes that the intense absorption with memory has largely emerged from the “second generation,” i.e., from those for whom the Holocaust (or other disturbing pasts) has been a crucially formative event, yet one that they themselves did not experience.

Photo of a well-worn chair.
By Christina Gillis, ed.
June 2000

Seeing the Difference brings together the texts of a two-day institute on death and dying, aimed at facilitating an interdisciplinary conversation between artists, humanists, and medical practitioners. The project proceeds from a doubled sense of “difference”: a view of death as separation or “difference,” and an acknowledgement that the various disciplines also view death “differently,” developing languages that are too often particular to their own fields.