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

-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Wong explores the intersection of writing and visual art in the autobiographical work of Art Spiegelman, Faith Ringgold, Leslie Marmon Silko, and other American writers-artists who experiment with hybrid forms of self-narration.

The Tar Baby: A Global History

Bryan Wagner
Berkeley Book Chats
-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Wagner offers a fresh analysis of this deceptively simple story of a fox, a rabbit, and a doll made of tar and turpentine, tracing its history and connections to slavery, colonialism, and global trade.

-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Inventing counterfactual histories — such as a Europe that never threw off Hitler, or a second term for JFK — is a common pastime of modern day historians. Gallagher probes how counterfactual history works and to what ends.

-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Exploring the idea of "intimations" - social interactions that approach outright communication but do not quite reach it - G. R. F. (John) Ferrari offers a new framework for understanding different ways in which we communicate with each other.

-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

In his study of the coevolution of radio and the novel in Argentina, Cuba, and the United States, McEnaney explores how novelists in the radio age transformed realism as they struggled to channel and shape popular power.

Sweet Science: Romantic Materialism and the New Logics of Life

Amanda Jo Goldstein
Berkeley Book Chats
-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Today we do not expect poems to carry scientifically valid information — but this was not always the case. Sweet Science explores how Romantic poetry served as an important tool for scientific inquiry.

Jan Brueghel and the Senses of Scale

Elizabeth Honig
Berkeley Book Chats
-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

In the first book-length study of Jan Brueghel, Pieter’s son, Professor of History of Art Elizabeth Honig reveals how the artist’s tiny detail-filled paintings questioned conceptions of distance, dimension, and style.

Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War

Mark Danner
Berkeley Book Chats
-
| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

George W. Bush's War on Terror has led to seventeen years of armed conflict, making it the longest war in US history. Professor Mark Danner examines this state of perpetual struggle and its widespread acceptance in the name of American security.