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Professor Kathleen Donegan awarded Honorable Mention for 2016 Early American Book Prize

Earlier this month, The University of Notre Dame announced Professor Kathleen Donegan was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2016 Early American Literature Book Prize for her book, Seasons of Misery: Catastrophe and Colonial Settlement in Early America.  According to a press release by Notre Dame, it was “noted by the committee (that,) ‘Donegan’s work is by turns troubling, provocative, and persuasive. Her...

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English welcomes Ianna Owen, 2016 President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient

In 1984, in an effort to encourage exceptional women and minority Ph.D recipients to continue their academic careers at the University of California, The UC System created the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. The current program offers postdoctoral research fellowships, professional development and faculty mentoring to outstanding scholars in all fields whose research, teaching, and service will contribute to diversity and equal...

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Holloway Poetry Series Welcomes Gary Snyder

Each academic year, The English Department’s Holloway Series in Poetry welcomes several renowned and rising contemporary poets to campus to share and celebrate their work. This week, the series welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder.  A member of the Beat Generation and a prolific environmental poet, Gary Snyder is one of the most lauded poets of his generation.  A member of the...

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Holloway Poetry Series Welcomes Tonya Foster

Each academic year, The English Department’s Holloway Series in Poetry welcomes several renowned and rising contemporary poets to campus to share and celebrate their work. This week, the series welcomes Bay Area poet Tonya Foster. Tonya Foster teaches at the California College for the Arts in San Francisco.  Her book, A Swarm of Bees in High Court, was published last year....

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Alum Loofbourow profiles Emmy winner Maslany in NYT; joins David Thompson in TV and culture conversation

When Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany scored a surprise Emmy Award this week for Outstanding Actress in a Dramatic Series, there was one Berkeley alum who could take a bit of writerly credit for her victory: grad alum Lili Loofbourow, whose New York Times Magazine profile of Maslany sketched the genius of the show and of Maslany’s performance in it. On...

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Fiat Lux: Brian Yu’s 2016 Commencement Address

Graduating senior Brian Yu (’16) was chosen to speak at the English Department’s 2016 Commencement Ceremony on May 21st, 2016.  What follows is the text of his address.  Dear Parents, Family Members, Esteemed Faculty, Staff, and the UC Berkeley English Class of 2016! Welcome to the 2016 English Commencement. I was sitting in an English class recently when a classmate turned...

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Granite: A Commencement Address by Chocquida Roekell Robins (’16)

  Chocquida Roekell Robins (’16) was chosen to speak at the English Department’s 2016 Commencement Ceremony on May 21st, 2016.  What follows is the text of her address, titled “Granite.” As a child I wanted to learn how to compare my life to granite––the falling grains of construction. The deconstruction of things that coalesce into something beautiful. I watched pebbles on...

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Maris Emily Dyer Delivers 2016 Department Citation Address

Each year, the Department Citation is awarded to one outstanding graduating senior who is recognized by faculty nomination as having produced exceptionally high caliber work as an English Major. The following speech was given by this year’s winner, Maris Emily Dyer, at the department’s May graduation ceremony on May 23rd, 2016.  Hi, Class of 2016. Wow. I can’t believe I’m here talking to you today—I don’t...

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Miyako Singer wins Hugh and Velma Richmond Prize for best Shakespeare essay

  Every May, The English Department awards the Hugh and Velma Richmond Prize for the best essay of the year on Shakespeare by a non-senior English major. Below is the winner for the 2015-2016 academic year, an essay written by Miyako Singer for Professor David Marno’s Fall 2015 Shakespeare 117S course. The Dark Side of the Moon: Dew and the Breakdown of Illusion...

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Thick Love: the 2015 Gayley Lecture Abstract

Tomorrow, English Department students, faculty, and alumni will crowd into the Maude Fife Room on the third floor of Wheeler Hall for the annual Charles Mills Gayley lecture, the department’s highest honor. The 2016 lecture, “Historicism: a Eulogy,” will be given by Professor Steven Justice and will begin at 7:00pm.  On the eve of this occasion, we thought we would look to...

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Professor Lyn Hejinian publishes book of poetry

Professor Lyn Hejinian released her book of poetry, The Unfollowing, in early April 2016; the work is intended as a set of elegies, both personal and political.  The work flirts with structure and logic; all 77 of the book’s poems are fourteen lines each, evoking the sonnet – a comparison that Hejinian states, “wouldn’t be inaccurate-or it would be entirely so.” ...

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Spring 2016 Literary Events

Each semester, the English Department hosts dozens of literary events, from fiction reading to critical lectures, and from scholars and writers all over the world. Spring 2016 is no exception to this, and will be hosting a particularly high number of literary readings.  Below you’ll find a few highlights from our events calendar this semester; for a complete listing of...

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Spring 2016 brings over 100 courses to UC Berkeley students

The English Department is proud to offer over 100 courses to both graduate and undergraduate students this semester. A quarter of the classes offered this semester are those are designed specifically to meet the University wide Reading and Composition requirement – these course are typically taught by grad students and are taken by Freshman or Sophomore students both inside and...

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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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