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Congratulations to the Class of 2016

From exploring the history of the written word, to replicating the arts of storytelling in ways that inspire empathy, to learning how words inspire action—being a student of the English language at UC Berkeley has taught me how analysis and the power of expression are tools for extraordinary impact.

—Tala Katarina Ram

During my first three semesters, my grandfather was ill; he passed away Fall 2015. Without the support from my fellow peers and professors, I'm not sure I would be at Cal. I am beyond grateful, because they allowed me to continue pursuing my dream of being a lawyer.

—Aria Guilani

Being an English Major at Cal was a great blessing and a fantastic privilege. To have the ability to be able to talk to Professors, get to know them, and sometimes even share coffee with them is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

—Brian Yu

From inspirational professors, to invaluable lessons in life and literature, to the solidarity of fellow students as we all tried to cram information into our stuffed but ever-hungry brains... Thanks for the memories; the last two years have truly been a pleasure and a privilege.

—Arrianna G. Daphne

I will truly miss my time here. I have learned so much from my professors; they truly care about student success and I have so many memorable moments to look back to, be it engaging and hilarious lectures or office hours. Thank you Cal and Go Bears!

—Marielle Louise Nabaza Torres

The English major has pushed me to think deeply, reach higher, and dream often. It has taught me to question the world around me with an eye of both doubt and awe.

—Addy Bhasin

During my seminar on contemporary literature, Professor Langan was trying to recall the first line of "Pride and Prejudice." Without missing a beat, more than half of the class recited that exact line. In that moment, I truly felt that the love for the written word was mutual in that room.

—Tohanh Nguyen Bui

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience as an English Major at UC Berkeley. My plans for the future consist of working for a law firm as an immigration lawyer in order to help those in need and reduce the stigma many endure.

—Rebeca Alvarado

I've been constantly in awe of my peers and mentors here, and so grateful to all of them. It's a special place, and I'll miss it.

—Sean Collins

a hearth from which the sparks wander
and to its stones
blow back at random upon the winds
to kindle the brand again that fades and flares.
    —Denise Levertov

I often joke that by studying English literature I am getting "the most useful of degrees," but the truth is I can think of nothing more valuable than the critical thinking skills I have gained as an English major.

—Allegra Thompson

Ezra Pound's "Portrait d'une Femme" inspired a series of paintings, Bruce Nugent's "Smoke, Lillies & Jade" changed the way I viewed ellipses forever, and Georg Grosz's "See, We Are All Neurasthenics!" led me all the way to Berlin to study abroad. Everything feels more poetic... thank you Berkeley.

—Brea Weinreb

It was over before it ever really started. Now it's starting to start, and my love and hunger for beautiful sentences is undying. The English Major stoked the fire, strengthened it, and increased its influence and endurance. But this is not just about sentences. It's about life.

—Tom Edmondson

As an English major, I've learned that building connections requires honest effort, battles don't have to be fought alone, and allies can be found in unexpected places. I will miss my time here, and I'm truly grateful to all who have supported me. Thank you, and I hope we can meet again someday.

—Emily Kuo

My professors and fellow students both challenged and encouraged me as I learned to think creatively and craft strong arguments. The department gave me the freedom and support necessary to grow as a scholar. I enjoyed the variety of classes I took and especially loved the thesis-writing process.

—Leah Romm

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Books Spotlight

Times Beach
John Shoptaw
“Times Beach is, like most interesting American books, an original. It&rsqu...
Reckoning with Imagination: Wittgenstein and the Aesthetics of Literary Experience
Charles F. Altieri
Reckoning with Imagination tries to recast basic Idealist claims ab...
Modernist Women Poets: An Anthology
Robert L. Hass
The 20th century was a time of great change, particularly in the arts, but seld...
Seven Modes of Uncertainty
C. Namwali Serpell
Ian Duncan
Set in the aftermath of the 1745 rebellion, Kidnapped transforms the R...
The Poetic Species: A Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and Robert Hass
Robert L. Hass
In this shimmering conversation (the outgrowth of an event cosponsored by the A...
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Becoming Richard Pryor
Scott Saul
A fresh, fully researched biography of the performer who revolutionized American ...
The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Att ack on U.S. Democracy
Peter D. Scott
This provocative book makes a compelling case for a hidden “deep state&rd...
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Adam Usk's Secret
Steven Justice
Adam Usk, a Welsh lawyer in England and Rome during the first years of the fift...
Times Beach Reckoning with Imagination: Wittgenstein and the Aesthetics of Literary Experience Modernist Women Poets: An Anthology
Seven Modes of Uncertainty Kidnapped The Poetic Species: A Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and Robert Hass
Becoming Richard Pryor The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Att ack on U.S. Democracy Adam Usk's Secret

Browse the Entire Faculty Bookshelf....

Why major in English? Discover the worlds it opens. Learn about the award-winning research done by English majors. Find out how to declare the major.