Berkeley Book Chats

The Townsend Center presents a lunchtime series celebrating the intellectual and artistic endeavors of the UC Berkeley faculty. Each Berkeley Book Chat features a faculty member engaged in conversation about a recently completed publication, performance, or recording. The series highlights the extraordinary breadth and depth of Berkeley’s academic community.

In the Matter of Nat Turner: A Speculative History

Christopher Tomlins
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Online

Christopher Tomlins offers a new interpretation of Nat Turner and the slave rebellion that stunned the American South.

The Trouble with Literature

Victoria Kahn
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Online

Victoria Kahn argues that the literature of the English Reformation (written during the fraught years of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries) marks a turning point in Western thinking about literature and literariness.

Midnight la Frontera

Ken Light
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Online

Documentary photographer Ken Light and author José Ángel Navejas discuss their book, which features photographs of U.S. border patrol agents on their nighttime shifts on the Mexican border in the 1980s.

Archive Feelings: A Theory of Greek Tragedy

Mario Telò
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Online

Bringing an innovative synthesis of postmodern theories to bear on his reading of ancient Greek tragedy, Mario Telò offers a new way of understanding tragic aesthetics.

Past Events

Human Forms: The Novel in the Age of Evolution

Ian Duncan
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Online

Ian Duncan offers a major rethinking of the European novel and its relationship to early evolutionary science.

Loving Writing / Ovid’s Amores

Ellen Oliensis
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Online

Ellen Oliensis offers a fresh approach to the Amores emphasizing the masochistic pleasures of the elegiac writing project.

James Joyce and the Matter of Paris

Catherine Flynn
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Catherine Flynn explores the ways in which James Joyce's imaginative consciousness was shaped by the paradigmatic city of European urban modernity.

The Beadworkers: Stories

Beth Piatote
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Beth Piatote’s debut short story collection is a reflection on modern Native American life.

Pindar, Song, and Space: Towards a Lyric Archaeology

Leslie Kurke and Richard Neer
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

In their study of the poet Pindar of Thebes, coauthors Leslie Kurke and Richard Neer develop a new methodological approach to classical Greece.

#identity: Hashtagging Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Nation

Abigail De Kosnik and Keith Feldman, editors
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

This collected volume offers a critical interdisciplinary view on how and why social media is at the heart of contemporary political discourse.

Hello Leonora, Soy Anne Walsh

Anne Walsh
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall
In her response to surrealist painter Leonora Carrington’s feminist novella, The Hearing Trumpet, Anne Walsh uses a variety of media to cast herself as an “apprentice crone” who studies and rehearses the trauma of old age.
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Grace Lavery examines the contradictory role — as both rival empire and cradle of exquisite beauty — played by Japan in the Victorian imagination.

Seeds of Resistance: The Fight to Save Our Food Supply

Mark Schapiro
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Three-quarters of the seed varieties on earth in 1900 are now extinct, and more than half of the remaining commercial seeds are owned by three large companies. Mark Schapiro examines the fate of our food supply under the pressures of corporate consolidation.