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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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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Holloway Poetry Series Welcomes George Stanley

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 Vancouver poet George Stanley. His books include Vancouver: a Poem, Gentle Northern Summer, Opening Day, The Stick, and You. He is the recipient of the 2006 Shelley Memorial Award for Poetry. Below you will find his poem,...

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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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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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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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The 2016 Commencement Address by Professor Eric Falci

The following speech was given by Professor Eric Falci to the graduates of the English Department of the University of California, Berkeley, at their Commencement, on Saturday, May 21st, 2016.  Professor Falci has published two books, one on contemporary Irish poetry, Continuity and Change in Irish Poetry, 1966-2010 in 2012 (Cambridge University Press,) and The Cambridge Introduction to British Poetry, 1945-2010 in 2015; he is currently working on...

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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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‘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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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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