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Summer Session Spotlights

For a full list of summer course selections, click here English R1B: Thinking through Memory in Poetry and Fiction with Dana Swensen Summer Session A: May 23 – July 1 How and why do we remember? What does ‘memory’ mean to both an individual and a culture? How do fictional narrators construct their memorial landscapes? In this class we will...

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Hannah Zeavin’s The Distance Cure: A History of Teletherapy

In The Distance Cure: A History of Teletherapy (MIT Press, 2021), English Department Lecturer Hannah Zeavin offers a history of psychotherapy across distance and time, from Freud’s treatments by mail to crisis hotlines, radio call-ins, chatbots, and Zoom sessions. While therapy has long understood itself as taking place in a room, with two (or more) people engaged in person-to-person conversation, psychotherapy has...

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D.A. Miller’s Second Time Around: From Art House to DVD

In Second Time Around: From Art House to DVD (Columbia University Press, 2021), Professor D.A. Miller watches digitally restored films by directors from Mizoguchi to Pasolini and from Hitchcock to Honda, looking to find not only what he saw in them as a young man, but also what he was then kept from seeing by quick camerawork, normal projection speed, missing...

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Thomas Farber’s Acting My Age

In Acting My Age, Thomas Farber reflects, with wit and insight, on his own mortality as well as on the impending extinction of vital presences in the natural world, from coral reefs to snow leopards. The author of over two dozen wide-ranging books of fiction, nonfiction, and epigrams, Farber teaches creative writing in the English department. The following excerpt from...

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Eric Falci on the Value of Poetry

In The Value of Poetry (Cambridge, 2020), Professor Eric Falci explores the literary, cultural, and political significance of poetry in the twenty-first century. Arguing that some of the most significant and enduring human notions have been voiced and held in poems, he examines the ways in which poetry captures instances of thought, feeling, and speech, and embeds them in language that is...

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Dear English Department – A reintroduction to the Simpson Literary Project

Dear UC Berkeley English Department,           It’s nice to meet you, again. We are the Simpson Literary Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting authors, and enhancing the lives of readers, writers, educators, and students in communities across California and the nation. Our story begins in Wheeler Hall, where our founder Joseph Di Prisco completed his...

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Student Series: An essay by English major Davis Mendez

Davis Mendez Jesse Nathan English 166   Wallace Stevens’ “The Motive of Metaphor”   Wallace Stevens’ “The Motive of Metaphor” is a collection of signs, which at least for this essay is a better description of the poem. Its reading is a confluence of its reader, the text, and the poet. In this confluence, the imagination navigates the ground and...

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FAQ Series – What are the requirements for the English major?

FAQ Series What are the requirements for the English major?   In this video, Katie explains ALL the requirements needed to get your undergraduate degree in English at Cal! Follow along with us on social media for updates, and feel free to reach out if you have a question you’d like to see filmed for the series!   YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSYlJV9oh2YxoTgYSrGjrUg...

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FAQ Series – What is an elective?

FAQ Series What is an elective?   Welcome to our FAQ series, where our wonderful undergraduate advisor will be answering commonly asked questions about the English major at UC Berkeley. Follow along with us on social media for updates, and feel free to reach out if you have a question you’d like to see filmed for the series!   YouTube:...

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In memory of Professor John Bishop

Headnote by Professor Eric Falci, followed by a tribute written by Mitch Breitwieser and Eric Falci upon John’s retirement in 2011. Former students and colleagues have organized a virtual celebration to be held on June 16th, 2020. Details and Zoom link included below, and on our Events page.  Celebration of the Life of John Bishop June 16th (Bloomsday) 10 AM...

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Nadia Ellis Wins the 2020 Distinguished Teaching Award

Professor Nadia Ellis is one of four UC Berkeley faculty members to win the 2020 Distinguished Teaching Award. The Distinguished Teaching Award is the campus’s most prestigious honor for teaching and is intended to recognize individual faculty for sustained performance of excellence in teaching. Above and beyond an individual exemplary class, this kind of sustained excellence in teaching incites intellectual...

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“Quarantine” Book List – Curated by the UC Berkeley English Department

Earlier last week, I reached out to English department faculty members and grad students to gather book recommendations to explore during this time of uncertainty. The selections range from fantastical escapes to tragicomedies, to apocalyptic plots that feel all too relevant to what we are experiencing today.  We hope that this list will inspire you to find comfort in the...

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