Kathleen Woodward explores the workings of reminiscence and of life review—one fragmentary, the other totalizing—and their importance, what they have to offer to a life as it passes into old age. Woodward, Scharlach, and Fabe explore these themes in terms of what they mean to human life, human relationships and the process of aging.
Changelings contains proceedings from two panels occasioned by Maurice Sendak’s visit to UC Berkeley as visiting Avenali Chair in the Humanities in 1995-1996. In “They Know Everything: Children and Suffering,” Dr. Herbert Schreier of Oakland’s Children’s Hospital highlights clinical knowledge about the durability of trauma and the frequent inability of onlookers, especially parents, to see the effects of trauma on both children and adults. In the second part of this volume, “Mozart, Shakespeare and the Art of Maurice Sendak,” Professors Stephen Greenblatt and Wye Allanbrook engage with Sendak in a discussion of Mozart and Shakespeare that is also an exploration of how Sendak’s interpretation of the themes of childhood, adolescence, and transformation into adulthood enhances our experience of these canonical artists.
Opera and theater director, teacher, and activist, Peter Sellars muses on the possibilities of art and inspiration in a world without government funding.
Migrations: The Work of Sebastião Salgado was one of several events scheduled by the Townsend Center in celebration of Sebastião Salgado's residency as Avenali Lecturer for academic year 2001–2002. Planned to complement the Berkeley Art Museum exhibit, Salgado’s lecture—reproduced here in a slightly edited form—was followed the next day by a panel of commentators whose remarks are also included in this Occasional Paper.
Cannabis, Forgetting, and the Botany of Desire includes the proceedings of several events scheduled by the Townsend Center in celebration of Michael Pollan's residency as Avenali Lecturer for the 2002 Fall Semester. This Occasional Paper includes transcripts of the public lecture Pollan gave as well as the comments of a panel organized to explore the environmental impact of food production in general.
Poet Robert Pinsky and artist Michael Mazur discuss their collaboration in producing, as translator and illustrator, respectively, the most recent translation of Dante’s Inferno. The dialogue turns into a lively consideration of writing, hearing, and seeing texts.
In "The Language of Masao Maruyama," he focuses on the problem of political responsibility in the modern world, taking Maruyama’s major work as his point of departure. In a second (unrelated) lecture, "From the Beginning to the Present, and Facing the End: The Case of One Japanese Writer," Ôe offers an account of his own development as a writer of both fiction and non-fiction.
Deadly Disputes contains two symposium talks with commentary. In "Deadly Disputes: Biotechnology and Reconceptualizing the Body in Death in Japan and North America," medical anthropologist Margaret Lock discusses the cultural impact of the iron lung and other means of sustaining life beyond what was once considered the point of death. In "Legalizing Physician-Assisted Death: A Skeptic's View," legal scholar Alexander Morgan Capron examines the nexus of legal problems surrounding physician-assisted dying and the procedural difficulties that have emerged both with legalization of the practice (Netherlands) and with attempts to legalize it (Oregon, Washington, California).
As part of the Townsend Center’s 1997-1998 “Futures” program, Alan Liu conducts a full-scale inquiry into the prospects for literary knowledge in an information age driven by digital technology, management systems, and corporate economics.
Grounds for Remembering contains the transcribed proceedings of the symposium on mourning, memory, and the meaning of monuments in the modern period. The symposium was organized by the Townsend Center to celebrate the Avenali Lecture of architect and sculptor Maya Lin on the Berkeley campus, and to engage Lin, as well as faculty from Architecture, History, and English, in a consideration of how human communities seek through built form both to compensate for loss and to understand their history.