Occasional Papers Archive

Photo of Robert Alter.
By Robert Alter, David Biale, Anthony Long, Isaac Miller, and Steven J. Zipperstein
March 1996

This unusual Festschrift for Amos Funkenstein, introduced by Professor Robert Alter, was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Townsend Center, the Department of History, and the Koret Chair in Jewish Studies. Professor Funkenstein held the Koret Chair at the time of his death in November 1995. This volume contains four essays selected from a memorial conference held to honor the memory of Funkenstein.

Drawing by Maurice Sendak of a flying giant smiling sinisterly over a crowded boat of scared people.
By Maurice Sendak, Herbert Schreier, Wye Allanbrook, and Stephen Greenblatt
February 1996

Changelings contains proceedings from two panels occasioned by Maurice Sendak’s visit to UC Berkeley as visiting Avenali Chair in the Humanities in 1995-1996. In “They Know Everything: Children and Suffering,” Dr. Herbert Schreier of Oakland’s Children’s Hospital highlights clinical knowledge about the durability of trauma and the frequent inability of onlookers, especially parents, to see the effects of trauma on both children and adults. In the second part of this volume, “Mozart, Shakespeare and the Art of Maurice Sendak,” Professors Stephen Greenblatt and Wye Allanbrook engage with Sendak in a discussion of Mozart and Shakespeare that is also an exploration of how Sendak’s interpretation of the themes of childhood, adolescence, and transformation into adulthood enhances our experience of these canonical artists.

Photo of Timothy J. Clark.
By Timothy J. Clark, Caroline Tanner, Laurens Park White
November 1995

This challenging volume brings together the disciplines of medicine and art criticism around the perplexing work of Willem de Kooning, whose substance use, late dementia, and artistic production have been widely debated in recent years.

Photo of a spark in darkness.
By Alexander Capron, Margaret Lock, Lawrence Cohen, Stephen Jamison, Charles Leslie, and Guy Micco
April 1995

Deadly Disputes contains two symposium talks with commentary. In "Deadly Disputes: Biotechnology and Reconceptualizing the Body in Death in Japan and North America," medical anthropologist Margaret Lock discusses the cultural impact of the iron lung and other means of sustaining life beyond what was once considered the point of death. In "Legalizing Physician-Assisted Death: A Skeptic's View," legal scholar Alexander Morgan Capron examines the nexus of legal problems surrounding physician-assisted dying and the procedural difficulties that have emerged both with legalization of the practice (Netherlands) and with attempts to legalize it (Oregon, Washington, California).

Photo of visitors at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
By Maya Lin, Andrew Barshay, Stephen Greenblatt, Thomas Laqueur, and Stanley Saitowitz
March 1995

Grounds for Remembering contains the transcribed proceedings of the symposium on mourning, memory, and the meaning of monuments in the modern period. The symposium was organized by the Townsend Center to celebrate the Avenali Lecture of architect and sculptor Maya Lin on the Berkeley campus, and to engage Lin, as well as faculty from Architecture, History, and English, in a consideration of how human communities seek through built form both to compensate for loss and to understand their history.

Image of a beautifully illustrated scene by Robert Pinsky.
By Robert Pinsky and Michael Mazur
December 1994

Poet Robert Pinsky and artist Michael Mazur discuss their collaboration in producing, as translator and illustrator, respectively, the most recent translation of Dante’s Inferno. The dialogue turns into a lively consideration of writing, hearing, and seeing texts.

Image of Kwame Appiah's inverted-color black and white photograph of an ambiguous subject.
By Kwame Anthony Appiah
September 1994

In his far-reaching examination of multiculturalism, Kwame Anthony Appiah stresses the possibilities of maintaining a pluralistic culture of many identities and sub-cultures while retaining the civil and political practices that sustain national life in the classic sense. He begins with a discussion of what the word “culture” might mean, suggesting that “culture” and “identity” inevitably conflict in the emergence of the “individual.”