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.
Catherine Flynn explores the ways in which James Joyce's imaginative consciousness was shaped by the paradigmatic city of European urban modernity.
Ian Duncan offers a major rethinking of the European novel and its relationship to early evolutionary science.
Ellen Oliensis offers a fresh approach to the Amores emphasizing the masochistic pleasures of the elegiac writing project.
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.
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.
Michael Nylan explores the concept of “pleasure”—including both short-term delight and longer-term satisfaction—as understood by major thinkers of ancient China.
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.
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.
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.
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.