The Humanities: What's the Big Idea?

By Tania Lombrozo An article in The Guardian earlier this year declared: "A war is being waged within the cloistered world of academia." It pressed on, stating that "currently fixed in the crosshairs are the disciplines of the humanities." Yes, the humanities are arguably under attack around the globe, suffering from cuts to funding and from political cultures obsessed with demonstrable economic benefits. Yet many argue for the intrinsic and instrumental value of the …    read more

TAGS: daniel boyarin, boyarin, humanities, interview, npr


New Article on Early Modern Translation by Michael Wintroub

In the new issue of the American Historical Review (October 2015): Michael Wintroub, "Translations: Words, Things, Going Native, and Staying True"


Art+Village+City Exhibition

 An Exhibition exploring Two Cities, Four Villages, and the Uses of Art in the Pearl River Delta in Southern China. Curated by Margaret Crawford and Winnie Wong. Featuring the work of the Art+Village+City Research Studio, ShimuraBROS (as researchers at Studio Olafur Eliasson), Sascha Pohle, Jing Wen, and José Figueroa. Wurster Gallery Hours October 13-November 14 Tuesdays-Saturdays 12:00-6:00pm Satellite Venue: Shanghai West Bund Biennale/Urban Art Space Season West Bund …    read more


Rhetoric Graduate Conference: Humanism and its Prefixes

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

TAGS: conference, graduate, humanism, graduate students, grad, grad students


Call for Papers: Rhetoric Graduate Conference

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

TAGS: conference, graduate, call for papers, humanism, graduate students


Rhetoric announces new faculty appointment

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.


Prof. Shannon Jackson (Rhetoric and TDPS) appointed Associate Vice Chancellor of Arts and Design

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


Philosophy and the Web

 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.


March 23-Apr 1 Daniel Boyarin to give the Bampton Lectures in America at Columbia University

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


Van Gogh On Demand by Winnie Wong awarded the 2015 Joseph Levenson Book Prize

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.