The Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley

News and Events

Katrina Dodson @ Townsend Center 10/07 12-1pm

unnamedKatrina Dodson’s recent translation of Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories (New Directions, 2015) collects for the first time all 85 short stories by one of Brazil’s most important writers.

A renowned literary figure in Brazil, Clarice Lispector has long been recognized as a prominent figure of Latin American literature and gender studies, best known in the latter through the writings of French feminist Hélène Cixous. The August 2015 publication of The Complete Stories has drawn an unprecedented level of attention and praise for Lispector’s work in the popular literary media.

After an introduction by Candace Slater (Spanish and Portuguese), Dodson will speak briefly about translating The Complete Stories and then open the floor for discussion.



2016 Commencement Date!

Monday, May 16 at 2pm in Zellerbach Auditorium, details to follow.

Congratulations Katrina!

Doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature Katrina Dodson’s recent translation from the Portuguese of The Complete Stories of Clarice Lispector has just been published and is getting great reviews, like this cover story in the New York Times Sunday Book Review from July 27, 2015.

A blurb from the review:

A late story collection, “The Via Crucis of the Body,” which appeared in 1974, three years before her death, was written almost automatically, in about the time it takes for a flu to run its course: She sweated out 13 stories in three days. The stories are messy, hot and immediate — as befits their subject, which is sex. Untidiness never troubled her much. She once wrote: “I have an affectionate fondness for the unfinished, the poorly made, whatever awkwardly attempts a little flight and falls clumsily to the ground.” A few of the 80-plus stories in this volume do in fact plummet earthward not long after takeoff, but an amazing number manage to stay aloft for a while, graceful and free until they get too close to the sun.


Congratulations, Caitlin!

Please join us in congratulating Caitlin Scholl who has recently been offered a Fulbright grant to Morocco in Comparative Literature. Recipients of grants awarded by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

2015 Commencement

This year’s Dwinelle Languages and Literatures Commencement will be held:

Thursday, May 21st
2:00 pm, Zellerbach Hall

The ceremony includes the departments of Celtic Studies, Comparative Literature, Dutch, French, German, Italian Studies, Scandinavian, Slavic Languages & Literatures, and Spanish & Portuguese. In order to participate in the ceremony, please register online by Friday, May 1st. Click here for more information.

2015 Weisinger Memorial Lecture

Kenneth Weisinger Memorial Lecture
Thursday, May 7th, 5pm
Geball Room (220 Stephens Hall):

Na’ama Rokem
Asst. professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago
Utopias of Translation: Paul Celan & Yehuda Amichai in Jerusalem

Weisinger Lecture

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Lifen Zhang, April 20th

The French department is pleased to welcome:

Lifen Zhang, Visiting Scholar
“Reading Althusser in China”
Monday, April 20th, 5pm
French Library, 4229 Dwinelle
Talk will be in English, refreshments provided.

Lifen Zhang

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Congratulations, Francine!

Please join us in congratulating Francine Masiello, who has been awarded Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award for 2015. This year’s 5 recipients will be honored at a public ceremony on Tuesday, April 21st at 5pm in the Zellerbach Playhouse, with a reception to follow. More information about the award can be found on the Center for Teaching and Learning’s website.

Congratulations, Tristram!

Tristram Wolff (PhD 2013) has been named co-recipient of the 2015 Charles Bernheimer Prize. The prize is awarded annually to the best dissertation in the field of comparative literature by the American Comparative Literature Association. Tristram’s dissertation, Romantic Etymologies and Language Ecologies, was directed by Professor Anne-Lise François.

Congratulations, Niklaus!

Niklaus Largier has been awarded the prestigious 2015 Anneliese Maier Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which recognizes outstanding humanities scholars. The award is a high distinction which will give him substantial means over the course of five years to pursue research collaborations with Germany, especially the University of Cologne.


Congratulations, Bob!

This year, Professor Robert Alter will be awarded with an honorary doctorate by the Hebrew University for distinguished achievement.

Congratulations, Sarah!

Sarah Mohamed, undergraduate class of 2014 and University Medal finalist, has been awarded the 2015 Marshall Scholarship. Before leaving for the University of Oxford, Sarah will continue her research on human rights with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.