English Blog | EVENTS

Our Ranking

The Berkeley English Ph.D. program has been ranked the top graduate English program in the country, according to the most recent guide to "America's Best Colleges" published by the U.S. News and World Report.  Faculty in the English Department have received more university Distinguished Teaching Awards—27—than any other department.

Recent Faculty Books

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Ian Duncan

Robert Louis Stevenson, edited by Ian Duncan

Oxford World's Classics (2014)
Narrative & the Novel
19th-Century British

Set in the aftermath of the 1745 rebellion, Kidnapped transforms the Romantic historical novel into the modern thriller. Its heartstopping scenes of cross-country pursuit, distilled to a pure intensity in Stevenson’s prose, have become a staple of adventure stories from John Buchan to Alfred Hitchcock and Ian Fleming. Kidnapped remains as exhilarating today as when it was first published ....

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Modernist Women Poets: An Anthology
Robert L. Hass

Robert Hass and Paul Ebenkamp, eds.

Counterpoint (2014)
20th- and 21st-Century British
20th- and 21st-Century American

The 20th century was a time of great change, particularly in the arts, but seldom explored were the female poets of that time. Robert Hass and Paul Ebenkamp have put together a comprehensive anthology of poetry featuring the poems of Gertrude Stein, Lola Ridge, Amy Lowell, Elsa Von Freytag-Loringhoven, Adelaide Crapsey, Angelina Weld Grimke, Anne Spencer, Mina Loy, Hazel Hall, Hilda Doolitt le,....

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Reckoning with Imagination: Wittgenstein and the Aesthetics of Literary Experience
Charles F. Altieri

Cornell, 2015

Reckoning with Imagination tries to recast basic Idealist claims about imagination and purposiveness in terms provided by Witt genstein’s showing the limits of what empiricist concerns for “truth values” in relation to the range of ways we deploy the resources of language. One can use how Witt genstein contrasts display to description in order to resto....

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The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Att ack on U.S. Democracy
Peter D. Scott

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (2014)

This provocative book makes a compelling case for a hidden “deep state” that influences and often opposes official U.S. policies. Prominent political analyst Peter Dale Scott begins by tracing America’s increasing militarization, restrictions on constitional rights, and income disparity since the Vietnam War. He argues that a significant role in this historic reversal was the ....

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The Poetic Species: A Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and Robert Hass
Robert L. Hass

Robert Hass and Edward O. Wilson,

Bellevue Literary Press (2014)

In this shimmering conversation (the outgrowth of an event cosponsored by the American Museum of Natural History and Poets House), Edward O. Wilson, renowned scientist and proponent of “consilience”—or the unity of knowledge—fi nds an ardent interlocutor in Robert Hass, whose credo as United States poet laureate was “imagination makes communities.” As they ex....

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Seven Modes of Uncertainty
C. Namwali Serpell

Harvard University Press
Critical Theory
Narrative & the Novel
20th- and 21st-Century American
20th- and 21st-Century British


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Adam Usk's Secret
Steven Justice

University of Pennsylvania Press (2015)
Middle English

Adam Usk, a Welsh lawyer in England and Rome during the first years of the fifteenth century, lived a peculiar life. He was, by turns, a professor, a royal advisor, a traitor, a schismatic, and a spy. He cultivated and then sabotaged figures of great infl uence, switching allegiances between kings, upstarts, and popes at an astonishing pace. Usk also wrote a peculiar book: a chronicle of his ow....

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Becoming Richard Pryor
Scott Saul

HarperCollins, 2014
20th- and 21st-Century American
African American

A fresh, fully researched biography of the performer who revolutionized American comedy, tracing Pryor's rise from his first years in a Midwestern brothel to his rise in the "New Hollywood" of the 1970s. TIME Magazine has called the book "sharply observed...riveting." Novelist Michael Chabon has named it "a fascinating, exhilarating read" that "makes Pryor....


Kathleen Donegan Wins Distinguished Teaching Award

Robert Hass Receives $100,000 Wallace Stevens Award

Notes on Recent Accomplishments of our Graduate Students


Read the department's most recent newsletter to find our publications and accomplishments for the past year.

Visit the English Department blog! You'll find updates on faculty, alumni, and friends; selections from our poets and fiction writers; and other exciting news. If you would like to contribute or suggest topics, contact the editor.