Past Avenali Lectures

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.

Tears in the Fabric of the Past: New Theories of Narrative and History

With Avenali Chair Eelco Runia
Avenali Lecture
| Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler

Avenali Chair in the Humanities Eelco Runia in discussion with Hayden White (UC Santa Cruz, emeritus), Martin Jay (UC Berkeley), Carol Gluck (Columbia), Harry Harootunian (Columbia), and Ethan Kleinberg (Wesleyan).

A Typology of Convergences: Towards a Unified Field Theory of Cultural Transmission

With Avenali Lecturer Lawrence Weschler
Avenali Lecture
Monday, Feb 3, 2014 4:00 pm
| Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall

In his second Avenali lecture, Lawrence Weschler will consider a spectrum of convergent effects, including apophenia (the tendency of humans to see patterns where none exist), homage, quotation, cryptomnesia (verbatim appropriation without realizing you’re doing so), and even outright plagiarism.

Lawrence Weschler, Writer

Art and Science as Parallel and Divergent Ways of Knowing
Avenali Lecture
Monday, Jan 27, 2014 4:00 pm
| Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall

In the first of two Avenali lectures, Weschler will explore the connection between art and science, focusing on the thinking of artists Robert Irwin and David Hockney, and offering a fresh consideration of Rembrandt's Anatomy Lesson.

Ursula K. Le Guin, Writer

What Can Novels Do? A Conversation with Ursula K. Le Guin
Avenali Lecture
| Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

Avenali Chair in the Humanities Ursula K. Le Guin has published twenty-one novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, seven volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many awards. Her best-known fantasy works, the Earthsea books, have sold millions of copies and have been translated into sixteen languages.

"An Agro-Ethical Aesthetic:" A Conversation with Wendell Berry

Avenali Chair in the Humanities, 2012-2013
Avenali Lecture
| Zellerbach Hall

Avenali Chair in the Humanities Wendell Berry in discussion with UC Berkeley faculty panelists Michael Pollan (Graduate School of Journalism), Robert Hass (English), Miguel Altieri (Environmental Science, Policy and Management), and Anne-Lise Francois (English and Comparative Literature).

Fredric Jameson, Literary Theorist & Critic

"The Aesthetics of Singularity"
Avenali Lecture
| International House, Chevron Auditorium

Literary theorist and critic Fredric Jameson is William A. Lane Professor in the Program in Literature and Romance Studies at Duke University. He has published a wide range of works analyzing literary and cultural texts, while developing his own Marxist theoretical perspectives and offering important critiques of opposing theoretical schools and positions. Professor Jameson’s best-known publications include Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism; The Political Unconscious; and Marxism and Form, and his most recent works are The Hegel Variations and Representing 'Capital.'

Joyce Carol Oates, Author

“The Writer’s (Secret) Life: Rejection, Woundedness, and Inspiration”
Avenali Lecture
| Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

Author Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde (a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize), and the New York Times bestsellers The Falls and The Gravedigger's Daughter. Oates is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

Peter Greenaway, Filmmaker

"New Possibilities: Cinema is Dead, Long Live Cinema"
Avenali Lecture
| Zellerbach Playhouse

Peter Greenaway, who trained as a painter for four years, started making films in 1966. His first narrative feature film, The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982), earned him international acclaim as an original filmmaker, a reputation consolidated by The Cook, the Thief, his Wife & her Lover (1989), Prospero’s Books (1991), The Pillow Book (1996), The Tulse Luper Suitcases (2003-2004), and more recently, Nightwatching (2007).