Undergrad Peer Reps 20-21

Got a question about the Comp Lit major and/or classes?  Ask one of our Peer Representatives!   When emailing, make sure to use the "@" symbol instead of "AT" - we have made that change to minimize email harvesting/spamming.

1.  Mark Anderson (markus26938 AT berkeley.edu) Hello everybody! My name is Mark Anderson. I’m a 24-year-old Senior at UC Berkeley studying Comparative Literature with a minor in Chicano Studies. I transferred to UC Berkeley from San Diego Miramar College last year in the Fall of 2019. Since then I have become a member of the Berkeley Student Cooperative, a student run housing cooperative with properties surrounding the campus. I serve as the House Manager for the Co-Op in which I live, so I’m constantly planning logistics of house operations, managing our financial accounts, and working with professional employees within the BSC. In terms of academics, I’m working towards a senior thesis next Spring, in which I hope to explore migrant narratives. Part of what interests me about Comparative Literature and Chicano Studies is the intersection between two identities that each discipline investigates. Like the language we study in comparative literature, our identity is malleable and is formed by our experiences and how we interact with the world. Beyond academics, I have participated in a few independent world class drum corps and percussion ensembles and have practiced percussion for about 10 years. After my undergraduate career, I have hopes of attending law school.

2.  Marc Castel (castel AT berkeley.edu)  Hello - I'm a senior in the Department of Comparative Literature and Creative Writing minor who transferred into Berkeley as a sophomore. I've attended a few different schools, dabbled in many majors, and taken classes in basically every department you could think of. My official languages are Spanish, Latin, and English, but I study French and Italian literature as well, and am currently taking German classes. I also used to be involved in the University's acting program. If you are interested in Romance languages, PIE, creative writing, or basically anything else you feel that I could help with, feel free to reach out to me at castel AT berkeley.edu!

3.  Gianfranco Centeno (gianfrancogc AT berkeley.edu)  Hello everyone! My name is Gianfranco Gastelo, a senior double majoring in Comparative Literature and
Spanish with a minor in English. My fascination with the multidisciplinary dimensions of literature motivated my research interests in philosophy, architecture, psychology, sociology, statistics, philology, and history. In addition to my courses, I have been a member of the Language Exchange Program (LEP) at UC Berkeley since Spring 2019, where I continue to practice basic conversations in French and Tagalog. Independently, I have the hobby of reading novels from Latin American authors in English translations. While reading novels, I mentally frame the characters within Joseph Campbell’s theorization of archetypes registered in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. These reflections inspire me questioning how might the characters’ physical environments reveal additional facets of their personalities? Or, what possible correlations might exist between the characters’ names and their identities? To experiment with these ideas and revisit them, I document them in a commonplace book which helps me decipher the plot’s meaningful messages invisible at first sight. In my free time, I love playing Christian and Latin-American songs with my classical guitar or painting portraits with acrylics.

4.  Ben Chen (yenjenc2 AT berkeley.edu)  Hello, I am Benjamin. I am currently a senior majoring in Comp Lit and minoring in Education. I was born in Taiwan (ROC), but I grew up in Shanghai, China. I studied, for college, initially at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign until I transferred to Berkeley in my junior year. I used to major in MCB, molecular and cellular biology. According to a respected professor in our department, my background sounds a lot like poetry. Indeed, as an international transfer student, I can offer help in many, not necessarily poetic, ways. From applying for CPT (I worked part-time in a school off-campus last year), dealing with taxes, career planning to adapting to the new life as a transfer student, I can always offer help. Academic or not, feel free to shoot me emails for any inquiries you have, and I will do my best to help. Thank you and nice to meet you all!

5.  Silvia Nolasco (silvianolasco AT berkeley.edu)  Hello everyone! My name is Silvia Nolasco. I am a fourth year double majoring in Comparative Literature and History. My family and I are from El Salvador which inspires me to study Central/Latin America in literature and history. I love exploring both disciplines and watching them complement each other. I have a soft spot for Comparative Literature because it showcases a lot of emotion and power through literary works. My favorite Comparative Literature class was with Professor McGlazer, The Essay as Form, and one of my favorite books from that course was "Lose Your Mother" by Saidiya Hartman. I have wanted to major in Comparative Literature since high school and would love to help other students explore this major. It really does cater to your interests and the language aspect allows you to focus on less eurocentric material if you choose to do so. Thanks for reading and welcome to the site! 

5.  Diana Pelayo (dalpelayo AT berkeley.edu) Hi everyone! My name is Diana. I am currently a senior majoring in comparative literature and minoring in education. Within my major, I study literature in both English and Spanish. I particularly enjoy chicanx compositions and exploring intersectionality within the literary world and beyond. As of now, some of my favorite novels are “...Y No Se Lo Tragó La Tierra” by Tomas Rivera and “The Bluest Eye” written by Toni Morrison. I welcome any questions you may have about the major or Berkeley in general. Feel free to reach out!