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 his innovative study of Goya's body of work, Anthony Cascardi argues that the artist is engaged in a thoroughgoing critique of the modern social and historical worlds.
Analyzing the final three decades of Haydn’s career, Nicholas Mathew uses the composer as a prism through which to examine urgent questions across the humanities.
In his study of the ordinary — and oftentimes unseen — lives of memorials, Andrew Shanken explores the relationship of commemorative monuments to the pulses of daily life.
In this collection of essays spanning her career, Shannon Jackson explores a range of disciplinary, institutional, and political puzzles that engage the social and aesthetic practice of performance.
Nana Adusei-Poku examines the socio-historical and cultural context of the term “post-black” and its use in defining the work of artists who resisted being labeled as “black artists.”
Estelle Tarica examines how community leaders, writers, and political activists facing state repression in Latin America have used Holocaust terms to describe human rights atrocities in their own countries.
Henrike Lange examines one of the most celebrated monuments in the world, offering new readings of the work and asking fundamental questions about its place in Western art history.
Asad Ahmed offers an intervention in current discussions about the fate of philosophy in postclassical Islamic intellectual history.
In her history of the idea of "relevance" since the 19th century, Elisa Tamarkin explores the term as a means to grasp how something once disregarded, unvalued, or lost becomes interesting and important.
Sophie Volpp considers fictional objects of the late Ming and Qing that defy being read as illustrative of historical things, and are instead often signs of fictionality itself.
The identity of Homer is shrouded in mystery, including doubts that he was an actual person. James Porter explores Homer’s mystique, approaching the poet not as a man, but as a cultural invention.
Kate Heslop approaches Viking Age poetry through an innovative interpretive framework that considers the texts as pieces in a premodern multimedia landscape.
The Atlantic Realists: Empire and International Political Thought between Germany and the United States
Matthew Specter offers a revisionist interpretation of the "realist" worldview, which shaped US foreign policy, public discourse, and international relations theory after World War II and throughout the Cold War.
Niklaus Largier explores the ways in which devotional practices have informed experimental engagements in literature and art from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
Exploring cheerfulness as a theme and structuring element in the work of major artists, Timothy Hampton (Comparative Literature and French) casts new light on literary history, the intersections of culture and psychology, and the history of emotions.
What might behaviorism, that debunked school of psychology, tell us about literature? Joshua Gang argues for its enormous critical value for thinking about why language is so good at creating illusions of mental life.
What happens when we talk? Michael Lucey offers a linguistic anthropological analysis of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.