Past Avenali Lectures

Sianne Ngai

Inhabiting Error: From "Last Christmas" to "Senior’s Last Hour"
Avenali Lecture
Wednesday, Mar 1, 2023 5:00 pm
| Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall

Cultural theorist and literary critic Sianne Ngai is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of English at the University of Chicago.

Joy Harjo, Writer

When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through
Avenali Lecture
Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 4:00 pm
| Online

Joy Harjo is the 23rd US Poet Laureate, and the first Native American to hold the position. She is joined in conversation by poet Craig Santos Perez to discuss her literary antecedents and pathbreaking editorial work.

Jill Lepore, Historian

The End of Knowledge: From Facts to Data
Avenali Lecture
Wednesday, Feb 19, 2020 5:00 pm
| Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper '41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at the New Yorker.

Todd Gitlin

The Other 1968s: Counterrevolution, Communism and Desublimation
Avenali Lecture
Monday, Nov 5, 2018 6:30 pm
| BAMPFA, 2155 Center Street

In his exploration of a watershed political year, Todd Gitlin unearths a "thrust toward retrogression" that stands in stark contrast to the popular image of 1968 as a politically progressive moment.

Joseph Leo Koerner, Art Historian

Art in a State of Siege: Bosch in Retrospect
Avenali Lecture
Thursday, Mar 15, 2018 5:00 pm
| Morrison Reading Room, 101 Doe Library

Joseph Koerner examines Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Delights — approaching the painting as a representation of a world without history and without law.

Christopher Bollas, Psychoanalyst and Writer

Mental Pain
Avenali Lecture
Tuesday, Nov 1, 2016 5:00 pm
| Morrison Reading Room, 101 Doe Library

Christopher Bollas is the most influential psychoanalyst writing in English today. In his Avenali Lecture, he argues that mental pain should not be ignored, minimized, or suppressed through medication, but understood and embraced as a constitutive element of human psychic development.

David Shulman, Indologist

The Inner Life of Dust: A Bottom-Up View of South Asia
Avenali Lecture
| Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall

David Shulman, one of the world’s foremost Indologists, is this year’s Avenali lecturer-in-residence. Shulman has written capaciously on Indian thought and religion, language, poetics, theater, and aesthetics.

Eelco Runia, Historian & Psychologist

The Theory of the Accomplished Fact
Avenali Lecture
| Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall

Avenali Chair in the Humanities Eelco H. Runia is a historian, theorist, psychologist, and novelist. He is the author of the 2014 book Moved by the Past: Discontinuity and Historical Mutation. Runia is currently in the Department of History at the University of Groningen and chair of the Centre for Metahistory.

Religion and the Art of the Novel

Panel Discussion with Marilynne Robinson
Avenali Lecture
| Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

Author Marilynne Robinson is joined in discussion by UC Berkeley faculty panelists Dorothy Hale (English), Jonathan Sheehan (History), and Robert Hass (English) on the topic of Religion and the Art of the Novel.

Marilynne Robinson, Novelist

Shakespeare: The Question of Audience
Avenali Lecture
| Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson is a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her Avenali lecture considers the question of audience in the work of Shakespeare.