YARN Wins Innovations in Reading Prize from National Book Foundation

Congratulations to the Young Adult Review Network (YARN), which has recently been awarded an Innovations in Reading Prize from the National Book Foundation. YARN was founded in 2010 as an independent online journal to publish fiction, poetry, and essays by teen-aged writers alongside the work of established and emerging adult contributors. Read full post…

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Remembering Flo Gibson

Audiobook pioneer and Berkeley alumna Flo Gibson died in January at the age of 86. Gibson founded Audio Book Contractors in 1983 and personally recorded over one-thousand titles, including works by Jane Austen, George Eliot, Henry James, and Leo Tolstoy. Born in San Francisco in 1924, Gibson studied dramatic literature at Berkeley, going on to New York’s Neighborhood Playhouse and a successful acting career, before beginning to record books for the Library of Congress in the 1970s. Her full obituary is available on-line at The New York Times.

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Memorial for Charles Muscatine

A memorial service for Charles Muscatine, late Professor Emeritus of English, will be held at 11 a.m., Sunday, February 13, 2011, in the Pauley Ballroom of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union. A distinguished scholar of medieval literature, Muscatine was also well known as an advocate for educational reform and for his refusal to sign a state loyalty oath...

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UC Berkeley Graduate Student and Faculty Make National Headlines

Two members of the UC Berkeley English Department have recently made big splashes in the national news scene.

Professor Ishmael Reed published an oped in the Dec 11, 2010 New York Times on “What Progressives Don’t Understand About Obama.”  Professor Reed has a recent book, Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media, out on the same subject from Baraka Books.

Aaron Bady, an advanced graduate student who studies African literature in the department, made waves in the national conversation surrounding the recent WikiLeaks case. The virtuoso close reading of  Julian Assange’s personal philosophy that Aaron posted on his blog, http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/, became a viral phenomenon, drawing more than ten thousand readers and links from some of the most prominent news media outlets in the country.  His influence prompted The Atlantic to call him “The Unknown Blogger Who Changed the WikiLeaks Conversation.” The University has also published an account here.

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Chernin Program “Reads the Campus”

Over this past semester, the Chernin Mentoring Program has organized a wide array of activities designed to enrich and support the English major experience at Berkeley.  One particularly interesting activity was a new twist on the “campus tour,” an exercise in which the graduate student mentors showed the undergraduates how they can put the readings skills they learn in their English classes to work by reading the physical environment of the Berkeley campus. Read full post…

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Update: Berkeley Alum’s Play Performed at Kennedy Center

In March 2010, we wrote about the return to Berkeley of the wildly successful play The Domestic Crusaders, by Wajahat Ali. Ali’s play was recently performed at the premiere theater venue of  the nation’s capital, the Kennedy Center — and to quite a response.  This video from the production shows both the first act  and Wajahat’s narration of the play’s Berkeley origin.  Additionally, the script of the play will be published by McSweeny’s next month; copies can be ordered here.

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