Alum Selby Wynn Schwartz Wins Rome Prize

Selby Wynn Schwartz (Ph.D., 2005)... was just awarded the prestigious Rome Prize.

First-Year Angel Reyes Wins FLAS to Study in Tblisi, Georgia


Angel's passion towards her major, Comparative Literature, lies in how she embraces the intersection of literature, history, and philosophy. Her Filipino background and culture cultivated her interests in Slavic classics, postcolonial theory, theology, and the revolutionary past. 

Lucille Lorenz ('26) Wins Scholarship to Yeats Int'l Summer School


Comp Lit Sophomore, Lucille Lorenz ('26) has been awareded a full scholarship to the Yeats Society International Summer School Programme in Ireland. During her fully funded week, Lucille will attend lectures and cultural events as well as a week-long seminar of her choosing. Lectures are offered by leading Yeats scholars including Dr. Eric Falci of UC Berkeley.

Ph.D. Student Featured on KQED's All Things Considered

Dani Offline is a singer and producer as well as a Comparative Literature graduate student! You can listen to the interview and hear her incredible song "I Believe You" here

Alum Maya Kronfeld (now at Duke) on Her Latest Book Project


Professor Kronfeld (Ph.D., 2020)... also discusses her Berkeley background and, of course, Jazz! Read the article

Alum Allison Schachter Wins MLA Prize

The Modern Language Association of America awarded its eleventh Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Prize in Yiddish Studies for an outstanding translation of a Yiddish literary work to UC Berkeley alumna, Allison Schachter (and co-author, Jordan Finkin).

Ph.D. Candidate Laila Riazi Wins Inaugural LARB + Yefe Nof Residency Competition

Earlier this year the Los Angeles... Review of Books (LARB) and Yefe Nof were thrilled to launch a new residency program dedicated to supporting emerging literary translators of exceptional promise. The inaugural crop of applications was a revelation, bringing us a dazzling variety of brilliant work, all of it deserving of support.

Alumni News: Ph.D. Selby Wynn Schwartz Longlisted for Booker Prize

Selby Wynn Schwartz's debut novel...  After Sappho has been longlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize! The judges write: "A poetic patchwork of fragments of literary history that together take shape as an intergenerational tale of the Lesbian family. An ancestry eruditely, playfully recovered." 

New Podcast Series Hosted by Recent Comp Lit PhD!

“Tomorrow is the Problem” is a... fascinating new podcast from the Knight Foundation Art + Research Center at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. In each episode, Dr. Donna Honarpisheh (Ph.D., 2022) explores the hidden meanings behind everyday phenomena in an effort to better understand the most urgent cultural issues of our time.

Farewell Jam

We have a farewell jam in Ishi ... Courtyard with Professor Tom McEnaney, Comp Lit/French adviser Tony Soyka, and Professor Rick Kern.

Beth Piatote's "Tricksters, Unite!" Featured in Short Play Festival



Professor Beth Piatote is a featured playwright in the 12th Annual Short Play Festival by Native Voices at the Autry. The festival includes two readings of Piatote's play, Tricksters, Unite! (March 20 at The Autry Museum and March 27 at La Jolla Playhouse).

New edition of CLUJ

Here is the latest ... edition of the Comparative Literature Undergraduate Journal

Piatote Inspiration for New Student

Professor Beth Piatote is cited ... as an inspiration for Sariel Sandoval, a math and engineering Native American student from Montana.  You can read the full story from Berkeley News here.  

Alumni News: Selby Wynn Schwartz Awarded the 2021 Reflex Press Novella Award

Selby Wynn Schwartz (Ph.D., 2005)...  was recently awarded the 2021 Reflex Press Novella Award for her first novella, A Life in Chameleons (forthcoming 2022), and her debut novel 

Remote Commencement 2021

This year, Comparative Literature ...

New 'History of Women in the Comparative Literature Department' page now live!

We are pleased to share our new ... web page, celebrating our part of one hundred and fifty years of women at the University of California. We hope you enjoy these remembrances from our faculty, staff, and alumni!

2020-21 Outstanding GSI Awards Announced!

We are delighted to announce ...     this year's Outstanding GSIs in Comparative Literature: Matthew Gonzales, Max Kaisler, and Laila Riazi!  Congratulations to Matt, Max, and Laila on your excellent teaching, and thank you for all you contribute to our community.

Big Give March 11th!

The last Big Give took place ...

El Grupo


(in conjunction with UC Berkeley's Department of Comparative Literature, and the UCB Department of Spanish & Portuguese)



Bella Chavez wins Pickering Award

Bella Chavez is a recent graduate ... from the University of California, Berkeley where she double majored in Comparative Literature and Latin American Languages & Cultures. She is a recipient of the competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. During her undergraduate career, she studied abroad in Brazil, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

The Borderlands of Culture


Comp Lit Undergrad Kayla Cohen and her new book

Third year Comparative Literature ... student at Cal Kayla Cohen is studying English, Hebrew, Arabic literatures.

On Commemoration of Juneteenth

Juneteenth marks the end of slavery... and we are asked to look back upon that horrific institution that debased, exploited, and dispensed with black life. Some will say that slavery came to an end and take this chance to congratulate the United States for its emergence from slavery. But what of slavery still remains?

Graduate Applications

The department is now accepting ... graduate applications for 2021-2022.  We welcome applicants with a diverse range of backgrounds and interests.  Here is more information. 

Welcome message from Niklaus

Dear students, staff, ... lecturers, and faculty colleagues,

It has been a strange summer. I hope that everyone has made the most of their extended time at home, and that it was at least a little productive and also somewhat restful in spite of all the challenges.

New Faculty Beth Piatote

We’re thrilled to welcome ... Professor Beth Piatote as the newest faculty member in the department! Professor Piatote is Nez Perce and an expert in Native American literature whose interests range from language revitalization to indigenous studies, literature and law, sound studies and creative writing.

Recent Publications by our Graduate Students

Here is a sample of the current ...     work our graduate students are publishing. Congratulations to the authors!


A note on Juneteenth from Acting ... Chair Judith Butler: Juneteenth marks the end of slavery and we are asked to look back upon that horrific institution that debased, exploited, and dispensed with black life. Some will say that slavery came to an end and take this chance to congratulate the United States for its emergence from slavery. But what of slavery still remains?

Congratulations Graduates!

Although we are not able to ... celebrate in person, we hope you will join us in congratulating a phenomenal group of new graduates!

Department of Comparative Literature 2020 Commencement Program

Comp Lit SURF Fellows, 2019-2020

Comp Lit Undergrads Iris Morrell ... Skylar Clark, and Giancarlo Tucci-Berube have all won the SURF Fellowship (Summer Undergrad Research Fellowship); more information about Iris's project is listed here, with details to follow about Skylar's and Giancarlo's projects.  Congratulations Iris, Skylar, and Giancarlo!

Reading and Composition Essay Prize Winners Announced!

Congratulations to our R&C...    Essay Prize Winners!


Koffee Klatch

Klatch noun: a social ... gathering, especially for coffee and conversation.  This year's Comp Lit - French Koffee Klatch had a great turnout of  over 40 students, staff and faculty.  Everyone in the Comp Lit/French community enjoyed bagels, coffee, arts & crafts and stimulating conversation!

2019-2020 Undergraduate Peer Representatives

From left to right, Bella Chavez, ... Alex Jimenez, Molly Kearnan, Luna Khalil, and Mackhai Nguyen.  Visit the Peer Rep page for more information.

Erin Bennett wins 2019 Teaching Effectiveness Award

The Teaching Effectiveness Award ... was given to just sixteen Graduate Student Instructors across the campus. The recipients were honored at a ceremony in May, sponsored by the Graduate Council's Advisory Committee for GSI Affairs and the GSI Teaching and Resource Center. Congratulations, Erin! 

(Photo courtesy of Peg Skorpinski.)

Alumni Weekend

Hosted by the Townsend Center ... in Stephens Hall, the Alumni Weekend (May 4-5, 2019) was a tremendous success, with everyone having a great time; some gushing commentary below ... 

Comparative Literature Commencement 2019

Rain does not dampen the spirits ...

Graduating Senior Receives Fulbright Scholarship

Carmela Martinez has won ... a Fulbright Scholarship and she will serve as an English teaching assistant in Hamburg, Germany.  Congratulations Carmela!

Chloe Chan wins AC award

Summer 18 Comparative Literature ...

Comparative Literature Grad Student wins awards

CL Grad Student Mary Mussman ...

Comparative Literature students win Goor Prize

Undergrads Andrew Kuznetsov ... (shown) and Gilad Barach, along with grad student Yael Eshelovitz, have all won the Anne & Benjamin Goor Prize for Jewish Studies.  Congratulations!  Go here for more information.  

Dylan Cox wins Eisner Prize

Comparative Literature student ... Dylan Cox has won the Eisner Prize for Poetry. 

Judge's remarks - "Merry Wishes from the End"

Congratulations Comp Lit Outstanding GSIs!

Comp Lit's outstanding GSIs are ...

Cal Day a Great Success

Prospective students turned out ... and their familes descended on the Berkeley campus for Cal Day.  The largest group to attend a Comp Lit presentation in recent memory came to Dora Zhang's "All the Feels:  Race, Literature and Emotion" presentation.  Comp Lit undergrads Tadeo Ilarde and Annabel Jankovic are shown as they staff the Comp Lit table.

Robert Alter and his new translation of the Hebrew Bible

Robert Alter, Berkeley Professor ... of Hebrew and Comparative Literature, chooses his words carefully—in conversation and in writing.

Largier presents at Sawyer Seminar on Religion

Berkeley Professor Niklaus Largier...

Comp Lit receives Excellence in Advising Awards

Comp Lit was well represented ...

Welcoming Saul Schwartz

Saul Schwartz (PhD Princeton, 2015) is the 2018-2019 postdoctoral fellow for the department’s Sawyer Seminar in Linguistic Anthropology and Literary and Cultural Studies.

Emeritus Professor James Monroe honored by former students

James Monroe ... Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature, was honored on Friday September 21st by his former students Michelle Hamilton PhD 2001 (now Director of Medieval Studies and Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Minnesota) and David Wacks, PhD 2

Weisinger Lecture and Thomas Ostermeier

We had a great turnout for this year’s Weisinger lecture, hosted by the Townsend Center.  This year’s presenter was Thomas Ostermeier, the head of the famed Schaubühne theater in Berlin, and in collaboration with the German Department and Cal Performances, the presentation was followed by his production of 

Sasha Waltz at Zellerbach

Students, friends, and faculty attend the dance performance by Sasha Waltz at Zellerbach Auditorium on Saturday October 20th, 2018.  One student said the performance was “incredible.”


Please join us in congratulating Judith Butler, Karina Palau, and other award recipients at Excellence in Advising awards reception and ceremony on Wednesday, December 12th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in the Banatao Auditorium in Sutardja Dai Hall.

MLA awards: Goldstein for First Book Prize, Honorable mention for Spackman

UC Berkeley English Professor (and 2011 PhD/Comp Lit alum) Amanda Goldstein has won the MLA Prize for a First Book for Sweet Science:  Romantic Materialism and the New Logics of Life (University of Chicago Press, 2017).