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 her exploration of media art and theory in Japan, Miryam Sas opens up media studies and affect theory to a deeper engagement with works and theorists outside Euro-America.
Honoring the Frankfurt School's practice of immanent critique, Martin Jay puts critical pressure on a number of its own ideas by probing their contradictory impulses.
Through her study of portraiture, Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby examines the indeterminacy of the term “Creole” — a label applied to white, black, and mixed-race persons born in French colonies during the nineteenth century.
Deep Care: The Radical Activists Who Provided Abortions, Defied the Law, and Fought to Keep Clinics Open
Angela Hume offers lessons from generations of underground activists and clinicians who worked to protect abortion access.
Intervening in debates on historical memory, testimony, and the representation of violence, Michael Iarocci shows how Goya's masterpiece extends far beyond conventional understandings of visual testimony.
Professor of Philosophy John MacFarlane’s book gives a clear account of what it is to be a relativist about truth and uses this view to provide a fresh perspective of parts of our thought and speech that have resisted traditional methods of analysis.
Professor of Theater, Dance, & Performance Studies Philip Kan Gotanda will read and discuss excerpts from three current projects Remember the I-Hotel (play), Both Eyes Open (opera), and Chelsea & Rodney’s Tango (video).
Professor Emerita of Film & Media and Rhetoric Linda Williams’ book examines the HBO television series The Wire (2002-2008). She argues that the series transforms close observation into an unparalleled melodrama by juxtaposing the good and evil of individuals and institutions. Introduction by Professor Alan Tansman.
Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures Luba Golburt's book examines the complex place of the eighteenth century in the subsequent Russian literary tradition, tracing how later Russian writers paradoxically view the epoch as both formative and obsolete. Introduction by Professor Harsha Ram.
Professor of Art History Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby’s book illustrates how a runaway slave, Sojourner Truth, gained fame in the nineteenth century as an abolitionist, feminist, and orator and earned a living partly by selling photographic images of herself at lectures and by mail.
Professor of Music James Davies’ book explores the very matter of musical experience; the hands and voices of virtuosic musicians and singers who plied their trade between London and Paris in the nineteenth century.
Katrina Dodson’s recent translation of Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories (New Directions, 2015) collects for the first time all 85 short stories by one of Brazil’s most important writers.
Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures Irina Paperno gives an account of Tolstoy's lifelong attempt to find adequate ways to represent the self, to probe its limits, and to arrive at an identity not based on the bodily self and its accumulated life experience.
Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks’ book recounts his early study of kingship in India, the rise of the caste system, the emergence of English imperial interest in controlling markets and India's political regimes, and the development of a crisis in sovereignty that led to an extraordinary nationalist struggle.
Professor of Rhetoric Winnie Wong’s book explores contemporary art in the world's largest production center for oil-on-canvas painting and shows how its painters force us to reexamine preconceptions about creativity and the role of Chinese workers in redefining global art.