Townsend Center for the Humanities

Stephens Hall Night Photo

Since its establishment in 1987, the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley has encouraged an interdisciplinary approach to scholarship, fostered innovative research, and promoted intellectual conversation across academic fields.

The Center offers an array of fellowship and grant opportunities for Berkeley’s academic community, develops new academic initiatives, and offers numerous public events, including the Avenali and Una’s endowed lectures in the humanities.

Colonial Latin America Painting

The Latin American Art and Literature working group studies the intersections of visual, artistic, textual, and literary works, with a focus on interdisciplinary and non-canonical areas of Latin American studies.

Townsend Center Working Groups, which bring together faculty and graduate students with shared research interests, are a cornerstone of Berkeley’s rich interdisciplinary culture. There are currently more than 80 active groups, exploring topics ranging from tourism studies to ancient philosophy.


The Townsend Center hosts a lunchtime series celebrating the books of UC Berkeley faculty. 

You can listen to all the 2018-19 podcast episodes, which include conversations with authors Catherine Gallagher, Joyce Carol Oates, and Daniel Boyarin.


Read the Daily Californian’s profile of the Townsend Center for the Humanities.