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
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| 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
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| 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
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| 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
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| 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
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| 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

The Complete Stories, by Clarice Lispector

Katrina Dodson
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

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.

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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

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.

Autobiography of an Archive: A Scholar's Passage to India

Nicholas B. Dirks
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

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.

Van Gogh on Demand: China and the Readymade

Winnie Wong
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

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.

Risk and Rationality

Lara Buchak
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Professor of Philosophy Lara Buchak's book analyzes the principles governing rational decision-making in the face of risk.

Language of Dreams

Myra Melford
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Professor of Music Myra Melford’s interdisciplinary project, inspired by Eduardo Galeano's Memory of Fire trilogy, incorporates music, movement, video, and spoken text.

Our Word Is Our Bond: How Legal Speech Acts

Marianne Constable
Berkeley Book Chats
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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Professor of Rhetoric Marianne Constable’s book proposes understanding law as language, rather than as primarily rules, policy, or force.

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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Professor of Ethnic Studies Raúl Coronado’s book focuses on how eighteenth-century Texas Mexicans used writing to remake the social fabric in the midst of war and how a Latino literary and intellectual life was born in the New World.

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| Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Professor of Scandinavian Linda Rugg’s new book explores how non-documentary narrative art films create new forms of collaborative self-representation and selfhood.