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 study of the inhabited landscape paintings of 19th-century artist Fitz H. Lane, Margaretta Lovell asks how New Englanders conceived of their land, economy, history, and place in the global community.
In her examination of Finland — where public health officials named occupational burnout a "new hazard" of the new economy — Daena Funahashi asks what moves people to work to the point of pathological stress.
Kevis Goodman approaches late 18-century medicine, aesthetics, and poetics as overlapping forms of knowledge that probe the relationship between the geographical movements of persons displaced from home and the physiological “motions” within their bodies and minds.
Through the lens of Aleksandr Rodchenko’s photography, Aglaya Glebova charts a new understanding of the troubled relationship between technology, modernism, and state power in Stalin’s Soviet Union.
Mario Telò asks what it means to read Greek tragedy in a pandemic, exploring how the genre can address urgent contemporary crises.
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.
Edward Tyerman explores the role of China in the 1920s as the key site for Soviet debates over how the political project of socialist internationalism should be expressed through literature, film, and theater.
Approaching the seven-day week as an artificial construction of modern society, David Henkin explores its role as a dominant organizational principle that shapes our understanding and experience of time.
Poulomi Saha offers an innovative account of women’s political labor in East Bengal over more than a century, one that suggests new ways of thinking about textiles and the gendered labors of their making.
Jacob Gaboury argues for the fundamental role of computer graphics as the force that transformed the computer from a calculating machine into an interactive medium.
Working at the intersection of literary theory, philosophy of history, and phenomenology, Karen Feldman explores the representation of connections between events in literary, historical, and philosophical narratives.
In the first major study of the language of historical French newspapers and periodicals, Mairi McLaughlin sheds light on our understanding both of the history of French and of language variation and change. The conversation will be conducted in English.
Critics have largely neglected description as a feature of novelistic innovation during the 20th century. Dora Zhang argues that descriptive practices were in fact a crucial site of attention and experimentation for a number of modernist writers.
Exploring the literary, cultural, and political value of poetry in the twenty-first century, Eric Falci shows how poems matter, and what they offer to readers in the contemporary world.
Allan deSouza’s rewriting of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness substitutes Conrad’s words with ones that loosely rhyme, creating a linguistically and psychologically complex portrait of dystopian contemporary life.
In a study based on the systematic sampling of nearly 2,000 French and English novels written between 1601 and 1830, Nicholas Paige offers a new conception of the novel as a technology of patterned systems in constant flux.