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.

DATE TBD: Loving Writing/Ovid’s Amores

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

Past Events

Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War

Mark Danner
Berkeley Book Chats
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| 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.

1668: The Year of the Animal in France

Peter Sahlins
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Professor of History Peter Sahlins explores the “animal moment” in and around 1668, in which French authors, anatomists, painters, sculptors, and especially the young Louis XIV turned their attention to nonhuman beings.

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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

In his study of High Renaissance art, Professor of English James Turner demonstrates the surprisingly close connection between explicitly pornographic art and the canonical works of masters such as Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo.

Death Be Not Proud: The Art of Holy Attention

David Marno
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Death Be Not Proud: The Art of Holy Attention traces the role of attentiveness in philosophy, prayer, and devotional poetry, exploring a tradition of striving for a mental state devoid of distraction.

Improvised Continent: Pan-Americanism and Cultural Exchange

Richard Cándida Smith
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Illuminating the story of how cultural exchange programs brought many of the most important Latin American artists and writers to the United States, Richard Cándida Smith explores Pan-American cultural exchange in the twentieth century.

The Rhetoric of Hiddenness in Traditional Chinese Culture

Paula Varsano, editor
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

This volume brings together fourteen essays that explore the role of hiddenness—as both an object and a mode of representation—in the history of cultural production in China.

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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Julia Fawcett examines the stages, pages, and streets of eighteenth-century London as England's first modern celebrities performed their own strange and spectacular self-representations.

Fray: Art and Textile Politics

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

Examining the role of handmaking amid the rise of global manufacturing, Fray explores how textiles inhabit the broad space between high and low, untrained and highly skilled, conformist and disobedient, craft and art.