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.
Exploring the literary, cultural, and political value of poetry in the twenty-first century, Eric Falci shows how poems matter, and what they offer to readers in the contemporary world.
Critics have largely neglected description as a feature of novelistic innovation during the twentieth century. Dora Zhang argues that descriptive practices were in fact a crucial site of attention and experimentation for a number of modernist writers.
In the first major study of the language of historical French newspapers and periodicals, Mairi McLaughlin sheds light on our understanding of the history of French and of language variation and change. Conversation conducted in English.
Working at the intersection of literary theory, philosophy of history, and phenomenology, Karen Feldman explores the representation of connections between events in literary, historical, and philosophical narratives.
Jacob Gaboury argues for the fundamental role of computer graphics as the force that transformed the computer from a calculating machine into an interactive medium.
Allan deSouza’s rewriting of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness substitutes Conrad’s words with ones that loosely rhyme, creating a linguistically and psychologically complex portrait of dystopian contemporary life.
In a study based on the systematic sampling of nearly 2,000 French and English novels written between 1601 and 1830, Nicholas Paige offers a new conception of the novel as a technology of patterned systems in constant flux.
Anneka Lenssen explores how artists developed new kinds of painting as a means to agitate against the imposed identities and intersubjective relations that accompanied the making of modern Syria.
Placing Remembrance of Things Past within a complex philosophical and aesthetic context, Suzanne Guerlac approaches Proust’s novel as a text whose true subject is the adventure of living in time.
In their introduction to the English translation of Jean Daive’s memoir, Robert Kaufman and Philip Gerard provide critical, historical, and cultural context for Daive's account of his friendship with the German-language poet Paul Celan.
A generation of contemporary Anglo-American novelists has championed the ethical value of literature. Dorothy Hale explores the modernist roots of this “new” emphasis on the novel’s ethical significance.
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.
Documentary photographer Ken Light and author José Ángel Navejas discuss their book, which features photographs of US border patrol agents on their nighttime shifts on the Mexican border in the 1980s.
Victoria Kahn argues that the literature of the English Reformation (written during the fraught years of the late 16th and 17th centuries) marks a turning point in Western thinking about literature and literariness.
Christopher Tomlins offers a new interpretation of Nat Turner and the slave rebellion that stunned the American South.