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).