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 north Indian pilgrimage region of Braj, the landscape is considered sacred. Sugata Ray shows how this place-centered theology and its art emerged in the wake of the climatic catastrophe of the Little Ice Age (ca. 1550–1850).
Grace Lavery examines the contradictory role — as both rival empire and cradle of exquisite beauty — played by Japan in the Victorian imagination.
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.
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.
Questioning the assumption that the slave past provides an explanatory prism for understanding the black political present, Stephen Best offers a new way of understanding the constitution of black subjectivity.
Alva Noë explores the many unexpected ways in which baseball is truly a philosophical kind of game — a window on language, culture, and the nature of human action, intertwined with deep and fundamental human truths.
Imagine trying to tell someone something about yourself and your desires for which there are no words. Michael Lucey examines characters from 20th-century French literary texts whose sexual forms prove difficult to conceptualize or represent.
Timothy Hampton’s close examination of Bob Dylan's songs locates the artist’s transgressive style within a long history of modern (and modernist) art.
For many, the right place to look for law is in constitutions, statutes, and judicial opinions. This book looks for law in the “wrong places” — in the realms of language, text, image, culture, and other sites in which no formal law appears.
Mary Ann Smart explores how nineteenth-century Italian opera sparked political change by turning the newly engaged spectator in the opera house into an actor on the political stage.
Born a slave, the ancient Roman Stoic philosopher Epictetus taught that mental freedom is supreme, since it can liberate one anywhere, even in a prison. Anthony Long presents a new edition of Epictetus’s famed handbook on Stoicism.
Joyce Carol Oates’s latest novel is the dystopian story of a young woman living in a bleak future dictatorship, who is punished for her transgressions by being sent back in time.
Diego Pirillo offers a new history of early modern diplomacy, centered on Italian religious refugees who left Italy in order to forge ties with English and northern European Protestants in the hope of inspiring an Italian Reformation.