Berkeley English Faculty

C. Namwali Serpell

Namwali Serpell

Associate Professor

Wheeler Hall 464
Spring 2020 M 3-6pm

Professional Statement

My scholarly research in contemporary fiction and film concerns the relationship between aesthetic reception, affect, and ethics: what we see in art, how we feel about it, and what we (ought) to do.

My first book of literary criticism is entitled Seven Modes of Uncertainty (Harvard, 2014). My first novel, The Old Drift (Hogarth) was published in 2019. I am working on a book of essays, Stranger Faces, and a longform nonfiction essay on American Psycho. You can find my scholarly and nonfiction essays, and excerpts of my fiction, at

Representation: Janklow & Nesbit

The Old Drift
The Old Drift

From the publisher: An electrifying debut from the winner of the 2015 Caine Prize for African writing, The Old Drift is the Great Zambian Novel you didn’t know you were waiting for.   On the banks of the Zambezi River, a few miles from the ma....(read more)

Seven Modes of Uncertainty
Seven Modes of Uncertainty

....(read more)

Current Research



Recent English Courses Taught
spring, 2020


Writing Technology: Science Fiction

145/102 -- discussion section

No instructor assigned yet.

145/103 -- discussion section

No instructor assigned yet.

145/104 -- discussion section

No instructor assigned yet.

147/101 -- discussion section

No instructor assigned yet.


Fiction Writing Workshop

fall, 2019


The Teaching of Composition and Literature

fall, 2018


Short Fiction


Graduate Readings: American Genres

spring, 2018


Honors Course