Media Studies

New to UC Berkeley? Check out the Prospective Students Page!

Welcome to UC Berkeley! If you’re new and just starting out at Cal this Fall 2023, we highly recommend checking out the Prospective Students page! Whether you’re an incoming transfer student or a new freshman, there’s a lot of important information there for you to get started.

Mar 9 | Visual Documentation and the State by Professor Feng-Mei Heberer

Visual Documentation and the State by Professor Feng-Mei Heberer Thursday, March 9th, 12 – 1:30pm via Zoom This talk revisits visual documentation and the documentary form in its intimate connection with state surveillance and the U.S. immigration and border police state specifically. Building on the work of self-ascribed “undocumented documentary filmmaker” Miko Revereza, I discuss the ways that visual documents such as the photograph have been wielded on behalf of U.S. immigration law and policy to control border crossings, and continue to serve as identificatory evidence in the age of […]

Apr 13 | Digitizing Arabic: A Story of Script Technologies with Professor J.R. Osborn

Digitizing Arabic: A Story of Script Technologies with Professor J.R. Osborn Co-sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Center for New Media Thursday, April 13, 12 – 1:30pm, Via Zoom The Latin alphabet and Arabic script followed very different trajectories from the handwritten page to the digital screen. Drawing upon my book, Letters of Light: Arabic Script in Calligraphy, Print, and Digital Design (2017, Harvard University Press), this talk examines Arabic script in relation to three moments of technological transformation: the formalization of calligraphic tradition (al-khatt al-mansub) in […]

Apr 20 | From Baby Jane to Bush Mama? The Rebellious Programming of Albert Johnson by Professor Josslyn Luckett

From Baby Jane to Bush Mama? The Rebellious Programming of Albert Johnson by Professor Josslyn Luckett Thursday, April 20, 4pm PT/7 pm ET, Via Zoom While the legendary UC Berkeley professor and long-time SF International Film Festival programmer is remembered for breaking out into songs from Hollywood musicals, a deeper look at his archives and writing reveal he was a significant (if overlooked) champion of the Black independent filmmakers known as the L.A. Rebellion. This talk will take up the wide-reaching scope of Johnson’s criticism and suggest that well before […]

Media Studies Lecture Series Spring 2023 – Thank you for joining us!

The Media Studies program had an exciting  Spring 2023 Lecture Series entitled “Media, Mediation, and Mediatization.” To all community members that attended, a huge thank you! We hope you enjoyed learning from our esteemed guests. For more information about the series and who our visiting lecturers were, please visit the Media Studies Events page.  

NEWS FOR STUDENTS: New Fellowship – Farmlink FIELD Project

From American Studies graduate Claire Rider: I’m reaching out because I want to share what I’ve been working on: an immersive fellowship in the food industry. I work full-time at The Farmlink Project now, and have been focused on increasing our social impact in the food space. For the past couple months, I’ve been working to leverage our relationships with food banks, farmers, and logistic organizations to create opportunities for students to get hands-on interaction with food system stakeholders. I’ve developed a fellowship program with a 10 week introductory curriculum and a 10 […]

UGIS Spring 2023 Commencement Ceremony: Thank you for attending!

Congratulations to the Class of 2023! Wednesday, May 17, 2023 9AM -11AM Zellerbach Hall For more information about the ceremony, please visit the UGIS Commencement website. The ceremony was live-streamed and a recording of this stream can be found at

New book by David Henkin: The Week – A History of the Unnatural Rhythms That Made Us Who We Are

An investigation into the evolution of the seven-day week and how our attachment to its rhythms influences how we live. “[Henkin] scours American literature, diaries, periodicals, menus and other ephemera from as far back as the seventeenth century to unearth fascinating evidence of the stickiness of the seven-day cycle.”—Melissa Holbrook Pierson, Wall Street Journal We take the seven-day week for granted, rarely asking what anchors it or what it does to us. Yet weeks are not dictated by the natural order. They are, in fact, an artificial construction of the modern […]

New book by Beth Piatote: The Beadworkers – Stories

In her debut short story collection, Beth Piatote (American Studies, English, and Comparative Literature) explores Native American life in the modern world. The stories find unifying themes in the strength of kinship, the pulse of longing, and the language of return: a woman teaches her niece to make a pair of beaded earrings while ruminating on a fractured relationship; in 1890, two young men at college — one French and the other Lakota — each contemplates a death in the family; a Nez Perce-Cayuse family is torn apart as they […]

New book by Andrew Shanken: The Everyday Life of Memorials

Analyzing their relationship to the pulses of daily life, professor of Architecture and Director of American Studies, Andrew M. Shanken investigates the fixture of memorials within modern cities in his latest book “The Everyday Life of Memorials.” Memorials are typically understood as sacred sites, for mourning or commemoration. They also figure as political places where groups of citizens battle over the meaning of events. Most of the time, however, memorials take their rest as ordinary objects, part of the street furniture of urban life. They only “turn on” for special days, such […]