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.

Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics

Jacob Gaboury
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Online

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.

Past Events

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| 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.

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| 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
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| 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
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| 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
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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.