Category: People

“Dare to Know,” Meaghan Allen’s 2017 Commencement Speech

Meaghan Allen (’17) was one of three students chosen to speak at the English Department’s 2017 Commencement Ceremony on May 20th, 2017.  What follows is the text of her address. Aude sapere — Dare to know. From Immanuel Kant’s “Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?” (1784) and later Michel Foucault’s “What is Enlightenment?” (1984) two hundred years later, summoning an individual...

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“Fail Again. Fail Better.” Auzeen Abdi’s 2017 Commencement Speech

Auzeen Abdi (’17) was chosen to speak at the English Department’s 2017 Commencement Ceremony on May 20th, 2017.  What follows is the text of her address. Good afternoon fellow English students! Can you believe it? We finally did it! Whether you’ve been here four years, two years, longer or less, we’ve been dreaming of this day where there are no texts...

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EUA’s Humans of English: Alison Lafferty

This week we are featuring two installments of EUA’s Humans of English series, both featuring graduating seniors; this reflection is from Alison Lafferty My name is Ali, I started at Berkeley as a Mathematics-intended freshman in 2013, and now I’m a graduating senior in English and Italian Studies! After a few days taking math and English 45C (with Professor Goble)...

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EUA’s Humans of English: Megan Breazeale

This week, we are featuring two installments of EUA’s Humans of English series, both featuring graduating seniors; this reflection is from Megan Breazeale. My name is Megan Breazeale and I’m a graduating senior that transferred to Cal back in 2015 after going between multiple community colleges. The English Department at Berkeley is everything I ever wanted it to be. Engaging, inspiring,...

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EUA’s Humans of English: Tia Chen-Wong

Here’s the next installment in EUA’s Humans of English series; this reflection is by freshman Tia Chen-Wong. Tell us a little about yourself. I originally hail from a small suburb in Orange County, California called Rancho Santa Margarita, and now I am a freshman double majoring in English and Pre-Haas here at Berkeley. Literature and language have always been a passion...

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EUA’s Humans of English: Liam Spires

When it comes to undergraduate students in the English Department, The English Undergraduate Association is a community touchstone for one of the largest departments in the College of Letters and Science at UC Berkeley. Since 1993, the English Undergraduate Association has hosted activities, provided opportunities to network, and helped English majors connect with one another. In this spirit, we have created a new...

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From Walden to Winnie

Kathryn Aalto (Cal English, ‘92) is the best-selling author of The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: A Walk through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood (Timber Press), described by the Washington Post as a “lovely book” that “provides two great pleasures: a visit to the actual wild spots that inform the fictional Pooh world and a chance to slip into...

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EUA’s Humans of English: Michael Jeong

When it comes to undergraduate students in the English Department, The English Undergraduate Association is a community touchstone for one of the largest departments in the College of Letters and Science at UC Berkeley. Since 1993, the English Undergraduate Association has hosted activities, provided opportunities to network, and helped English majors connect with one another. In this spirit, we have created a new...

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Robert Hass and Amanda Su interview author Shawna Yang Ryan

Earlier last year, alumni and author Shawna Yang Ryan (’98) published her second novel, Green Island, an exploration of immigration and 1940’s authoritarian rule in China through the narrative of one girl force to flee with her family to California after the The February 28 Incident in Taiwan. Recently, Professor Robert Hass and graduate student Amanda Su sat down with Ryan to discuss her writing process, her time at...

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EUA’s Humans of English: Taylor Follett

When it comes to undergraduate students in the English Department, The English Undergraduate Association is a community touchstone for one of the largest departments in the College of Letters and Science at UC Berkeley. Since 1993, the English Undergraduate Association has hosted activities, provided opportunities to network, and helped English majors connect with one another. In this spirit, we have created a new...

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John Shoptaw wins 2016 Northern California Book Award; discusses winning book, Times Beach

This academic year has proven itself to be an exciting one for Professor John Shoptaw; after publishing his book of poetry Times Beach in late 2015, he received both the Notre Dame Book Review Prize, as well as the 2016 Northern California Book Award for Poetry for his work.   Earlier last month, English Alum (’13) and current English PhD student at...

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‘America Dancing’: an interview with Megan Pugh (PhD, ’12)

Last November, a delightful present arrived in my departmental mailbox: America Dancing: from the Cakewalk to the Moonwalk (Yale University Press), by graduate alum Megan Pugh (PhD, ’12). America Dancing rewrites the history of dance in this country by drilling deep into revealing moments of artistic innovation, and it does so with a tap-dancer’s panache and a poet’s gift for...

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The Lure of the Archive: The Novella That Took William Gaddis 50 Years to Write

Keanu Cohen is a current student in the English Department at Cal. Last summer, he was given the opportunity to pursue independent research through an English Department Undergraduate Archival Travel Grant. The English Department encourages its undergraduates to pursue serious archival research, offering seed grants of $150 to any student with a research proposal that requires travel. What follows is Keanu’s reflection on his summer of...

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Alumni Stories: Megan Bradshaw (’09)

When it comes to our alumni, the richness and diversity of the stories they study during their time on campus is mirrored in their lives after they leave Cal. The Alumni Stories series seeks to share these stories.  This piece is from Megan Bradshaw (’09).  A brief snapshot: I graduated with a BA in English Literature from Berkeley in 2009, with minors in Spanish and French. I...

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Alumni Stories: Sasha Podkolzina (’09)

When it comes to our alumni, the richness and diversity of the stories they study during their time on campus is mirrored in their lives after they leave Cal. The Alumni Stories series seeks to share these stories.  This piece is from Sasha Podkolzina (’09) as part of our 2015 Newsletter.  Here, Sasha gives a personal account of how her studies helped her cope when her future...

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