Townsend Center for the Humanities

Zamansele Nsele Photo

Zamansele Nsele, a scholar of modern and contemporary African & African diasporic art, joins the Berkeley Arts & Humanities faculty as assistant professor in the History of Art department.

She is at work on a book on post-apartheid and imperialist nostalgia in African archival art practices. This spring she teaches a course on Black consciousness and the Black Arts movement, which considers art from both southern Africa and the US.



Francis Bacon Self-Portrait, MFA Boston

The Berkeley-Stanford British Studies working group brings together a community of faculty and graduate students from both universities to discuss recent books and student works in progress on British history and British studies generally.

The group discusses work on modern and early modern periods from national, imperial, and global perspectives.

Stephens Hall in June by E. Kotila

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.

Nadia Ellis and Adriana Green Video Still

Navigating the tensions that arise from living in one place but belonging to another is one of the themes of Sarah Broom’s memoir The Yellow House, winner of the 2019 National Book Award for Nonfiction. 

In a Townsend Center event, Professor Nadia Ellis (English) and doctoral student Adriana Green (African American Studies) discuss the book’s themes of displacement and longing often experienced by diasporic communities. The conversation is featured in a recent episode of the campus podcast Berkeley Talks.