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.

The Beadworkers: Stories

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

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

James Joyce and the Matter of Paris

Catherine Flynn
Berkeley Book Chats
-
| 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.

Human Forms: The Novel in the Age of Evolution

Ian Duncan
Berkeley Book Chats
-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

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
-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

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

Midnight la Frontera

Ken Light
Berkeley Book Chats
-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

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.

Past Events

Looking for Law in All the Wrong Places: Justice Beyond and Between

Marianne Constable, Leti Volpp, and Bryan Wagner, editors
Berkeley Book Chats
Wednesday, Apr 10, 2019 12:00 pm
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

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.

How to Be Free: An Ancient Guide to the Stoic Life

Translated and with an introduction by Anthony Long
Berkeley Book Chats
-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

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.

Hazards of Time Travel

Joyce Carol Oates
Berkeley Book Chats
-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

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.

-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

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.

The Chinese Pleasure Book

Michael Nylan
Berkeley Book Chats
-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Michael Nylan explores the concept of “pleasure”—including both short-term delight and longer-term satisfaction—as understood by major thinkers of ancient China.

How Art Can Be Thought: A Handbook for Change

Allan deSouza
Berkeley Book Chats
-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

What terms do we use to describe and evaluate art? How do we judge if art is good, and if it is for the social good? DeSouza investigates the terminology through which art is discussed, valued, and taught.

-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Spackman’s account, which won the 2017 American Association for Italian Studies Best Book Prize, examines narratives by Italians who, through historical accident, found themselves in Ottoman Egypt and Anatolia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Judaism: The Genealogy of a Modern Notion

Daniel Boyarin
Berkeley Book Chats
-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Boyarin argues that the very concept of a religion of “Judaism” is an invention of the Christian church that was adopted by Jews only with the coming of modernity and the spread of Christian languages.

The Orphan Band of Springdale

Anne Nesbet
Berkeley Book Chats
-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Nesbet’s historical novel for younger readers takes place during World War II in Springdale, Maine. It tells the story of eleven-year-old Gusta, who is sent to live in an orphanage run by her grandmother after her labor-organizer father is forced to flee the country.