Organized by the graduate students of UC Berkeley’s Department of Rhetoric The debate about the human has long haunted the humanities. Since antiquity, humanism has sought to define human nature’s essence while concomitantly situating the human being at the center of the universe as the “measure of all things.” This conference considers the fate of the human in the age of transhumanist intersubjectivity—signaled by the ongoing development of supplementary … read more
The Department of Rhetoric is pleased to announce the appointment of Nasser Zakariya as Assistant Professor in the History and Rhetoric of Science. Prof. Zakariya has a PhD in the History of Science from Harvard University and two masters degrees in Mathematics. His interests include the relationship between science and narrative. His current book project traces the history of cosmological universal histories. Prof. Zakariya will join the department July 1, 2015.
Longtime professor Shannon Jackson has been named UC Berkeley’s first associate vice chancellor of arts and design, a role that will be pivotal in revitalizing the campus’s commitment to the arts. Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele, in an April 16 email message announcing the new faculty leadership position, said a “creative ethos” accessible to all students is essential to a thriving campus culture. In her new … read more
Prof. David Bates helped organize, with Harry Halpin (MIT) and Peter Norvig (Google), a day-long seminar on "Philosophy of the Web," hosted at Google on their campus. Invited participants included philosophers, psychologists, computer scientists, lawyers, and engineers. A talk by the philosopher Andy Clark (Edinburgh) on the "predictive brain" and its technological extension ended the gathering. The Rhetoric department helped support the event.
The 2015 Bampton Lectures in America will be given by Talmudic scholar Daniel Boyarin, speaking on: A Genealogy for Judaism. In this series of lectures, Daniel Boyarin proposes that scholarship ought to resist using the term “Judaism” with reference to the pre-modern period. As has been argued by several scholars already, there is no “native” term with this meaning in antiquity or the Middle Ages. There is, moreover, no evidence that Jews divided off one … read more
Winnie Wong's recently published book, Van Gogh on Demand: China and the Readymade (U Chicago Press, 2014), has been awarded the 2015 Joseph Levenson Prize (post-1900 China) by the Association of Asian Studies. Van Gogh on Demand was also named one of the Top 10 Art Books of 2014 by Hyperallergic. Join Winnie Wong at a Townsend Center book chat to discuss the work on April 22, 2015, 12-1pm at 220 Stephens Hall.
March 4 Trinh T. Minh-ha to give keynote at Celebration of Women Filmmakers: International Perspectives, Gendered Lenses
Trinh T. Minh-ha will be giving the keynote address, "The Politics of Form and Forces," at an international film series event, "A Celebration of Women Filmmakers: International Perspectives, Gendered Lenses," hosted by the Department of Languages and Literatures at Mills College in Oakland. The lecture will be followed by the screening of her digital film, NIGHT PASSAGE (108 mins) with Q&A afterwards. Wednesday, March 4 at 6 pm Department of Languages … read more
Ramona Naddaff named Director of The Art of Writing program at the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities
The Art of Writing program will prepare students to think clearly and to express themselves—particularly through their writing—lucidly, directly, and elegantly, in a variety of writing modes representing various disciplinary approaches. At the same time, the program is designed to broaden the professional development of doctoral candidates by providing them the opportunity to be mentored in the art and skill of teaching writing, which also involves learning how to be excellent … read more
From the UC Berkeley News Center: BERKELEY — UC Berkeley’s Judith Butler was awarded the insignia of the French Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters this week for her contributions in philosophy, ethics and political and literary theories. Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and Berkeley’s Program of Critical Theory, where she served as founding director, received the formal honor from Consul General Pauline Carmona at … read more
Literature and philosophy have long shared an interest in questions of truth, value, and form. And yet, from ancient times to the present, they have often sharply diverged, both in their approach to these questions and in their relationship to one another. Moreover, the vast differences among individual writers, historical periods, and languages pose challenges for anyone wishing to understand the relationship between them. This Introduction provides a synthetic and original guide to this … read more