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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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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English Department gets “wordy” with 2015 Big Give campaign

On November 19th, 2015 UC Berkeley’s held it’s annual 24 hour fundraising drive, The Big Give.  Thanks to our donors, the Department was able to raise over 350% of last years donations during this fundraiser!  If you missed out on participating and want to give, please visit here. In honor of the occasion, English Department faculty and staff shared their favorite “Big Words”...

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Making up Wilde

For our 2015 Newsletter, Professor Jos Lavery taught English 165: Oscar Wilde and the Nineteenth Century. In this piece, Jos talks about teaching the Wildean epigram.  The background of my Twitter account is a screen-cap of a slogan posted by the moderator (and who is that, exactly?) of the Oscar Wilde Facebook page. It reads, “You can never be overdressed or overeducated –...

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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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Alumni Stories: David Corvo (’72)

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 David Corvo (’72) as part of our 2015 Newsletter. In this piece, David, NBC Senior Executive Producer of Primetime News, reflects on how studying narrative led him...

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Alumni Stories: Matt Young (’10)

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 Matt Young (’10) as part of our 2015 Newsletter. From Berkeley to the Forest Service to eBay to Zambia, Matt talks about how studying literature opened...

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Exploring literary history at The Bancroft Library

The week of October 7th, 2015, Berkeley Connect in English students had the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the Bancroft Library’s most prized literary works. Here’s Samantha Zevanove’s first hand account of her experience. Let’s face it: as English majors in 2015, it’s easy to take books for granted. Whenever we want to get our...

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Greetings from Chair Genaro Padilla

Although this is my first year serving as Chair of the Department, I have been teaching American literature in the Department for over 25 years. Over these years, the nature and extent of the accolades my colleagues earn continue at a remarkable pace. I’ll point to only the most recent: Professor Namwali Serpell recently won the the Caine Prize for African...

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Hello from New Faculty Member Professor Joshua Gang

The members of the English Department are delighted to welcome their newest colleague, Professor Joshua Gang. Here’s a short bio from Prof. Gang, in his own words. I’m an east coast kid originally: I grew up in Manhattan and Connecticut and did my undergrad at Brown. Originally I thought I would be a musician but literature and philosophy won me over. I...

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Interview with BA and Ph.D Alum Viet Thanh Nguyen

Earlier this year, B.A. and Ph.D alumnus Viet Thanh Nguyen* published his first novel, The Sympathizer, to great critical esteem. The novel, heralded by Maxine Hong Kingston as “(a) book that will go down in history as an important novel of the war in Vietnam,” has appeared on numerous best novels lists, including The New York Times and The Guardian.  Recently, Viet...

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Undergrad Kate Irwin reviews TDPS production of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard

From October 23rd to November 1st, Cal’s Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies staged a production of Anton Chekhov’s last play The Cherry Orchard, adapted by Libby Appel and directed by Lura Dolas.  English Major and Daily Cal columnist Kate Irwin had the opportunity to attend closing night; here is her review of the final showing. Losing everything, starting over, moving on: Discarding...

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