News

“Ladies Most Deject” a film by third-year English student, Conner Wharton

October 16, 2019
A look at opioid addiction and the lives of those it affects

Conner Wharton’s film depicts people sheltered in a storage room after running from a mother dealing with addiction. Filmed in June 2018 and set in Central Appalachia – a region dealing with one of the worst drug crises in the nation’s history – “Ladies Most Deject” was co-written by the third-year English student and will premiere at the LA Femme International Film Festival on Oct. 18. Wharton also portrays 17-year-old Charlie in the film, who cares for her three younger siblings when her mother, who has a meth addiction, leaves them to fend for themselves. (Daily Bruin) Read More  

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Runaway Genres: The Global Afterlives of Slavery a new book by Professor Yogita Goyal

October 1, 2019

We now live in an era where slavery is seemingly everywhere: a fit subject for solemn memorials, irreverent comedy, imaginative reconstruction, an allegory of contemporary racial politics, or an enterprise of painstaking fact-finding for historians. To fathom forms of freedom and bondage today–from unlawful detention to sex trafficking to the refugee crisis to genocide–professor Goyal reads a vast range of contemporary literature, showing how the literary forms used to tell these stories derive from the antebellum genre of the slave narrative. Read More

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Emeritus Professor Charles Berst Passes Away

September 28, 2019

The English department mourns the loss of  Emeritus Professor Chuck Berst, who passed away on Saturday. Charles A. Berst taught modern drama and English Literature at UCLA for thirty years. His publications include Bernard Shaw and the Art of Drama (1973); an edited collection of essays, Shaw and Religion (1980); Pygmalion: Shaw’s Spin on Myth and Cinderella (1995); and numerous articles on Shaws’s life and plays.  In addition to being an avid and dedicated researcher and scholar, Berst was also a beloved teacher and devoted bruin. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, a University Service Award, and served as chair of the College of Letters and Science faculty, and chair of the faculty senate. Chuck will be missed and always remembered.

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Racial Immanence, Professor Marissa López’s new book, explores the how, why, and what of contemporary Chicanx culture

September 16, 2019

Racial Immanence attempts to unravel a Gordian knot at the center of the study of race and discourse: it seeks to loosen the constraints that the politics of racial representation put on interpretive methods and on our understanding of race itself. Marissa K. López argues that reading Chicanx literary and cultural texts primarily for the ways they represent Chicanxness only reinscribes the very racial logic that such texts ostensibly set out to undo.

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New book by English Professor Michael Rothberg offers a new theory of political responsibility through the figure of the Implicated Subject

July 29, 2019

When it comes to historical violence and contemporary inequality, none of us are completely innocent. We may not be direct agents of harm, but we may still contribute to, inhabit, or benefit from regimes of domination that we neither set up nor control. Arguing that the familiar categories of victim, perpetrator, and bystander do not adequately account for our connection to injustices past and present, Michael Rothberg offers a new theory of political responsibility through the figure of the implicated subject. The Implicated Subject builds on the comparative, transnational framework of Rothberg’s influential work on memory to engage in reflection and analysis of cultural texts, archives, and activist movements from such contested zones as transitional South Africa, contemporary Israel/Palestine, post-Holocaust Europe, and a transatlantic realm marked by the afterlives of slavery. As these diverse sites of inquiry indicate, the processes and histories illuminated by implicated subjectivity are legion in our interconnected world. An array of globally prominent artists, writers, and thinkers—from William Kentridge, Hito Steyerl, and Jamaica Kincaid, to Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi, Judith Butler, and the Combahee River Collective—speak to this interconnection and show how confronting our own implication in difficult histories can lead to new forms of internationalism and long- distance solidarity. Read more from Professor Rothberg on his forthcoming book on the Stanford Press Blog.

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Ali Behdad, John Charles Hillis Professor of Literature in English, receives Mellon Foundation Grant

July 17, 2019
Reframing how Middle Eastern Studies are taught

UCLA International Institute
July 17, 2019 Mellon Foundation Gives Grant to Support UCLA Pilot Project
Reframing How Middle Eastern Studies Are Taught
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a two-year grant of $350,000 to UCLA to support a pilot project seeking to reframe how Middle Eastern studies are conceptualized and taught. The grant will fund workshops, faculty-graduate student research groups and a major conference to inform the development of new curricula and teaching models on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region that can be shared with other universities, community colleges, high schools and the general public.

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Professor Emeritus Frederick Burwick’s A History of Romantic Literature

July 9, 2019

From the Publisher (WILEY Blackwell): Historical narrative offers introduction to romanticism by placing key figures in overall social context Going beyond the general literary survey, A History of Romantic Literature examines the literatures of sensibility and intensity as well as the aesthetic dimensions of horror and terror, sublimity and ecstasy, by providing a richly integrated account of shared themes, interests, innovations, rivalries and disputes among the writers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

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Robert Watson publishes two new books

June 27, 2019

Congratulations to Robert Watson on the publication of two new books. His most recent monograph, Cultural Evolution and Its Discontents: Cognitive Overload, Parasitic Cultures, and the Humanistic Cure came out with Routledge.  Taking stock of the concern that nonhuman agents–computers, robots, interstellar aliens, even Satan himself–may seize control of our world and destroy what’s uniquely valuable about the human race, Cultural Evolution and its Discontents shows that our cultural systems – especially those whose last names are “ism” – are already doing that, and doing it so adeptly that we seldom even notice.

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Elizabeth DeLoughrey publishes new book “Allegories of the Anthropocene”

June 19, 2019

Congratulations to Elizabeth DeLoughrey on the publication of her new monograph, Allegories of the Anthropocene (Duke University Press, 2019). The book traces how indigenous and postcolonial peoples in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands grapple with the enormity of colonialism and anthropogenic climate change through art, poetry, and literature. In these works, authors and artists use allegory as a means to understand the multiscalar complexities of the Anthropocene and to critique the violence of capitalism, militarism, and the postcolonial state.

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