Literature animates all corners of our campus and is part of many interdisciplinary projects in research, education, and public engagement. Explore Berkeley’s campus programs where teaching, analysis, creation of literature are core activities.
Art of Writing at UC Berkeley celebrates writing as a teachable art that requires critical thinking and reading and that demands patience and careful revision. Intimate undergraduate seminars of 15 students, led by Berkeley faculty member and graduate student teams, are at the heart of the program. These seminars prepare students to communicate lucidly in a variety of styles in collaborative communities across the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and professional schools. Topics include food writing, popular cultural criticism, and the built environment.
Founded in 1994, the Berkeley Language Center (BLC) is a department in the Division of Arts and Humanities of the College of Letters and Science. The BLC’s mission is to support the learning and teaching of heritage and foreign languages on the Berkeley campus and, where appropriate, in the University of California system.
We teach writing as a craft, and work with students at all levels of expertise, from those wishing to satisfy the University's composition requirements, through intermediate writers looking to expand their horizons, to seasoned scribes who want to hone their skills in our upper-division courses.
The literature of Greco-Roman antiquity never gets old. In the Department of Classics, a world-renowned center of innovative research and inspiring teaching, students explore the masterpieces of classical literature, discovering how these texts continue to shape the ways we write, read, and think. Courses, in translation and in the original languages, incorporate mythology, epic, lyric, tragedy, the novel, the poetry of desire, sexualities, and much more.
A vibrant home for the study of literatures and cultures from a transnational and cross-cultural perspective. We offer innovative, interdisciplinary programs in literature, art, and global cultures, with courses in creative writing, literary translation, and a new artist residency.
The Creative Writing Minor Program at the University of California, Berkeley is offered by the Office of Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies in the Undergraduate Division of the College of Letters and Science. The approved courses students take to satisfy the minor course requirements are offered by over thirty departments on campus. Interested undergraduate students in any major may earn an interdepartmental minor in Creative Writing by completing three approved upper-division creative writing courses and two approved upper-division literature courses from any department that offers them, satisfying the minor requirements, and declaring the minor.
East Asian Languages and Cultures is the core department for East Asian Humanities on campus, and home to the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Tibetan language programs, offering over one quarter of the total languages courses on campus.
The UC Berkeley Department of English has a long history of scholarly engagement, intellectual provocation, and literary creativity. They have been consistently ranked the top English program in the country.
For its undergraduate majors and minors and its graduate students the Berkeley French Department provides thorough coverage in the traditional, historically based divisions of French literature and culture, as well as in francophone literatures. It blends this coverage with the study of a wide array of related fields and topics – from literary history and theory to philosophy, to social and cultural theory, to historical and contemporary linguistics, to the study of gender and sexuality, historiography, visual arts and film, music, popular culture, and politics.
The German Department at Berkeley has a dozen faculty members, several lecturers, and more than thirty graduate students in German literature and Germanic linguistics. They offer a full-fledged lower- and upper-division German language program, and teach courses in German literature on subjects ranging from the Middle Ages to the present. In addition, they study larger issues such as national identity, modernity, historicity, subjectivity, translation, gender, and multiculturalism from a comparative perspective that is informed by contemporary theory and cultural studies.
The Department of Italian Studies includes some of the most distinguished scholars and representatives of Italy, its language, literature, history, and culture. The Department is widely acknowledged to be one of the leaders and innovators in our field in North America and internationally. Students can choose to participate in a Major, Minor or PhD program with the department.
The Department of Rhetoric is a leading center for interdisciplinary research and teaching in the humanities and social sciences, committed to the study of rhetorical traditions from the classical to the contemporary eras.
The Graduate School of Journalism teaches the skills required to produce stories in the public interest, through photojournalism, documentary film, audio storytelling and multimedia. Alums have won virtually every major industry award and steer the country's top news organizations.
The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures studies and teaches the languages, literatures, and cultures of the Russian and other Slavic peoples and their immediate neighbors in East and Central Europe (Hungary and Romania) as well as the Caucasus and Central Asia (hence the terms “Eurasia” and “Eurasian”).
The Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies offers training in 14 languages, and undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the histories, religions, cultures and textual traditions of a third of the world’s population. Their faculty specializes in all periods from the classical to the modern, in the fields of literature, history, and religious studies, and conducts research in India, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers an abundance of opportunities to learn and achieve mastery of the languages and cultures we study, which include Catalan, Nahuatl, Portuguese, Romance Studies and Spanish.
Digital Humanities at Berkeley is a partnership between the Office of the Dean of Arts and Humanities and Research IT in the Office of the CIO. It is supported by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.
The Holloway Series has established a tradition of poetry on campus to celebrate the works of renowned and rising contemporary poets, and provides an opportunity for poets from the UC Berkeley campus community to read alongside a featured poet.
The Lunch Poems series is under the direction of Professor Robert Hass. Support for this series is provided by Dr. and Mrs. Tom Colby, the Library, The Morrison Library Fund, the dean's office of the College of Letters and Sciences, the English Department, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities. These events are also partially supported by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it has received from The James Irvine Foundation.
Poetry for the People (P4P) at UC Berkeley is an arts/activism program, founded by the late June Jordan in 1991. P4P continues to pursue Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of a beloved community for all. P4P has an academic focus on the reading, writing, and teaching of poetry, and the program also engages in bridging the gap between the university and the larger community, working with teens and young adults, schools, and community organizations, and activist projects in the greater Bay Area.
The Townsend Center for the Humanities fosters innovative work in the arts, humanities, and interpretive social sciences. The Center sponsors rich public programming, offers fellowship and grant support, and leads interdisciplinary academic initiatives.
The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is the visual arts center of UC Berkeley presenting more than 20 art exhibitions and 450 films annually. BAMPFA's mission is to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through art and film.
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life is one of the world's preeminent Jewish collections in a university setting, and provides highly innovative and accessible resources about the Jews in the Global Diaspora and the American West to both researchers and visitors.
The UC Berkeley Library connects students and scholars to the world of information and ideas. With a daily commitment to excellence and innovation, the libraries select and create, organize and protect, provide and teach access to resources that are relevant to our campus programs and pursuits. The Library consists of twenty-three libraries and special collections.
The Associated Students of the University of California is the official representative organization of students at UC Berkeley. Founded in 1887, it is one of the largest and most autonomous students' associations in the nation. ASUC is passionate about student voice and student self-governance on the UC Berkeley campus and throughout our communities.
Berkeley Poetry Review (BPR) is the University of California, Berkeley’s longest running poetry journal, having been published annually since 1974. It has earned the distinction of being one of the premier student-managed journals in the country.
The Cal Literature & Arts Magazine (CLAM) is a bi-annual journal of poetry, prose and artwork composed of submissions from the UC Berkeley undergraduate & graduate student bodies in addition to expository articles on local art and culture written by CLAM staff. The CLAM staff and editors meet weekly to review submissions, and plan events and fundraisers.
Established in 2001, CalSLAM hosts poetry workshops, open mics, and slam competitions open to the campus and greater Bay Area community. Our mission is to create a safe space for students and community members to explore and share themselves, their experiences and their world through words.
The UCB Comparative Literature Undergraduate Journal will showcase the best undergraduate work in comparative literature across the nation as well as highlight more contemplative writing by students regarding multicultural issues, culture shock, or transnational experiences such as studying abroad.
The DeCal Program (or just DeCal) is an aggregate of student-run courses at the University of California, Berkeley – here, students create and facilitate their own classes on a variety of subjects, many of which are not addressed in the traditional curriculum.
Ground Up is the student journal of the Department of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning at University of California at Berkeley and an examination of a critical theme arising from the tension between contemporary landscape architecture, ecology and pressing cultural issues.
Her Campus is the #1 new-media brand for the empowered college woman. Written entirely by the world's top college journalists – with 7,000+ contributors and counting – HerCampus.com features national Style, Beauty, Health, Love, Life, Career, Entertainment, News, DIY, LGBTQ+, High School, and After College content supplemented by local content from 300+ campus chapters nationwide and in eight countries.
Twice a year Qui Parle publishes provocative articles covering a range of outstanding theoretical and critical work in the humanities and social sciences. Founded in 1986 by an editorial board at the University of California at Berkeley, and published by the University of Nebraska Press, the journal aims not only to foster dialogue across the disciplines but also to introduce hitherto under-examined analytic modes and underrepresented critical voices.
Spoon University at Berkeley is an on-campus e-publication that will create weekly food articles online and host several food-related events throughout the semester. Our publication will give students a way to share, learn, & teach each other about food.
The Berkeley Undergraduate Journal of Classics is committed to the progress and proliferation of scholarship in the field of Classics and to providing a common medium through which undergraduates from all relevant disciplines can actively engage in one another’s work. In order to establish a channel for interdepartmental exchange and collaboration, we seek to publish exceptional papers and translations from a wide range of fields pertaining to Classics and the world of the ancient Mediterranean.
Words in Action is a multilingual student performance taking place every year at the end of April. It is open to all UC Berkeley students taking a foreign language, at any level. Students participating in the event will work in the language of their choice with a language instructor. You will learn to perform in front of a live audience and experience the thrill of doing it in a foreign language. You will greatly improve your speaking skills and have fun at the same time in a highly collaborative environment. The event will include ONE 10-15 minute performance per language.