2018-2019 Events

Digital Literacy Workshop & Symposia, Lisa Gitelman

September 25, 2018


Mandel Reading Room

Lisa Gitelman, a Professor of English and media at NYU whose work is about how different media environments change the reality of how people experience culture, how they learn, and what they make of the world around them.

A day of workshops and symposia focusing on designing curricula around digital literacy.
Sponsored by the General Education Innovation Grant.

Chen Chen Reading

September 25, 2018

5:30 p.mHarlan Chapel
Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), which won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, the GLCA New Writers Award, the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, and was longlisted for the National Book Award for Poetry.  His work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Poetry, Tin House, The Best American Poetry, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Recently, Poets & Writers featured him as one of “Ten Poets Who Will Change the World.” He lives with his partner, Jeff Gilbert and their pug dog, Mr. Rupert Giles. 

 “Chen balances the politics surrounding shame and desire with hearty doses of joy.” -Publishers Weekly. “The joy of Chen’s language-play and whimsy is not simply a resistance against the structures that seek to destroy queer POC, immigrant life, but also a resistance against us forgetting our own hearts during the exhaustion of resisting.“ -Michelle Lin. 
Mickey Rapkin

October 3, 2018



Mickey Rapkin is a monthly columnist at Elle magazine and a contributing editor to Bon Appetit. His first book, "Pitch Perfect," about the competitive world of collegiate a cappella groups, was published by Gotham Books in 2008 and immediately optioned by Universal. Rapkin's second book, "Theater Geek," was published in 2010. For seven years, Rapkin was a senior editor at GQ magazine. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly and Details. He is currently working on scripts for both film and television.


Emilie Diouf, MCH Faculty Lunch Series

October 4, 2018


MCH Reading Room

"Trauma and Translation in the Global Literary Advocacy Against Female Genital Cutting"

Faculty Lunch Lectures are for members of the faculty and invited guests.

English PhD Second-Year Symposium

October 23, 2018

9:30-11:30 am (tenative)

Mandel Reading Room

2nd-year English PhD students present their work.
Mira T Lee Reading

October 23, 2018

5:30 p.m

Harlan Chapel

Mira T. Lee's debut novel, Everything Here is Beautiful, was selected as a Top Winter/2018 Pick by more than 30 news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, O Magazine, Poets & Writers, and New York magazine.  In her previous lives, Mira has also been a graphic designer, pop-country drummer, salsa dancing fanatic, and biology graduate student. An alum of Stanford University, Mira currently lives in Cambridge, MA. 

"A tender but unflinching portrayal of the bond between two sisters--one that's frayed by mental illness and stretched across continents, yet still endures..."—Celeste Ng. “If you love anyone at all, this book is going to get you." – USA Today. 


David Sherman & Anita Hannig, MCH Close Looking Series

October 24, 2018


Rose Art Museum

"Corpse of a Man" by Hyman Bloom

Emiliano Gutierrez Popoca & William Flesch, MCH Close Looking Series

November 28, 2018


Rapaporte Treasure Hall

Francis Quarles' "Emblems, Divine and Moral: Together with Hieroglyphics of the Life of Man"

Jennifer Elise Foerster

February 6, 2019


tbd"We are adrift in mythic waters that hold the possibility of rebirth even as they float the remains of human destruction," says Joy Harjo of Jennifer Foerster's myth-building, prophetic poems.  Foerster is the author of Leaving Tulsa and Bright Raft in the Afterweather.  An alumna of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), she holds a PhD from the University of Denver, is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Lannan Fellowship, and was a Robert Frost Fellow in Poetry at the Breadloaf Writers Conference and a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. Jennifer teaches at the IAIA MFA Low-Residency Program, and co-directs For Girls Becoming, an arts mentorship program for Mvskoke youth in Oklahoma. A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, she lives in San Francisco. 
Melissa Albert

March 21, 2019



Melissa Albert’s debut novel, The Hazel Wood, was named a most anticipated book of 2018 by Entertainment Weekly and Esquire and was instantly a New York Times bestseller. The book “seamlessly combines contemporary realism with fantasy, blurring the edges in a way that highlights that place where stories and real life convene, where magic contains truth” (New York Times Book Review). Founding editor of the Barnes & Noble Teen Blog and the managing editor of, Melissa has written for McSweeney’s, Time Out Chicago, MTV, and more. Melissa is from Illinois and lives in Brooklyn, New York. The Hazel Wood has been published in twenty-five countries and is being made into a film by Touchstone Pictures.

Senior Honors Thesis Reading

May 2, 2019


April 12, 2019

12-6, with student sessions in the morning.

Mandel Center for the Humanities

The third annual Brandeis Novel Symposium will address the graphic novel, with particular attention to three texts: Sonny Liew’s The Art of Chan Hock Chaye, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, and Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics.  

Past Events

Reading, Senior Thesis Creative Writers

May 3, 2018

5:30 p.m

Harlan Chapel

Vanessa Smith Presents "Child's Play: Dickens' Object Relations"

April 30, 2018

3:30 p.m.

MCH Reading Room (303)

Smith’s paper takes issue with the sort of intricate historicism that privileges knowledge about external conditions (what candles was Dickens burning?) over thinking about childhood/unconscious formations. She seeks to replace a traditional Bildung reading of development in Dickens with an appreciation of the ways in which his fiction privileges regression, as articulated through what David Copperfield  calls ‘the first objects’  that surround, focus and express childish feeling. She aims to account for the monstrousness, registered by generations of readers, of what are framed as sentimental characters: children of feeling. Novels such as The Old Curiosity Shop  and Our Mutual Friend, she argues, anticipate the insights of key figures in twentieth-century British child analysis, and particularly the object relations therapy of Melanie Klein.

Michaela Henry

April 23, 2018


MCH Reading Room (303)

Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Sponsored by the University Writing Program.

Brandeis Novel Symposium

April 20, 2018


Mandel Humanities Center

Symposium Website

Poetry Reading: Stephanie Burt

April 17, 2018


Mandel Center for Humanities, G03

Stephanie Burt is professor of English at Harvard University and the author of several books of poetry and literary criticism, most recently “Advice from the LIghts” (2017). Her poems and essays appear regularly in the London Review of Books, the New York Times Book Review and the Yale Review. She also writes about pop music, science fiction and comic books, and used to write about women's basketball. 

Movie Night with Emilie Diouf

April 12, 2018


Schwartz 112

Ai Weiwei's "Human Flow"

Sponsored by the History of Ideas and the English Dept.

Close Looking Series: "The Walter F. and Alice Gorham Collection of Early Music Imprints"

April 11, 2018

3:30-5 p.m.
Archives and Special Collections, Goldfarb Library

presented by Sarah Mead (Music) and Ramie Targoff (English)

This interdisciplinary series features viewing of original art and manuscripts housed at Brandeis and discussions led by faculty members.

Information & Inspiration: Why Art and Science Need Each Other

March 28, 2018


Pearlman Hall

Without photographs, drawings, or well-written description, science can be difficult for a general audience to fully understand.  Artists and writers can't explore the world's particularities without understanding them. Information and inspiration feed one another. Join us for a panel discussion of how art, science, and activism can converge. Panelists include a whale biologist trained in scientific illustration, the editor of an anthology of Eco-Justice poems, a naturalist who lectures on expedition ships, and a citizen science advocate.

Featuring: Melissa Tuckey, Scott Landry, Elizabeth Bradfield, and Colleen Hitchcock 

A Reading by Akhil Sharma

March 27, 2018

5:30 p.m.
Harlan Chapel

Akhil Sharma is the award-winning author of two novels and a collection of short stories. His work has appeared in The New YorkerThe Atlantic, and Best American Short Stories. Sharma— born in Delhi and raised in New Jersey—has received international recognition for his work and won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the Folio Prize, and the International Dublin Literary Award. He has studied at Princeton, Stanford, and Harvard Law School and teaches Creative Writing at Rutgers University.

Rick Rambuss Lecture

March 26, 2018


MCH Reading Room (303)

Close Looking Series Featuring John Plotz

March 26, 2017


Rapaporte Treasure Hall in the Library 

Professor James R Morris (Biology) & John Plotz (English) will speak about Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species"

March 24, 2017

Plenary Speaker: Professor Homi K. Bhabha, Harvard University


Mazaa: Rethinking Fun and Pleasure in South Asia

March 23, 2017

9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Mandel Reading Room, 303

A one-day workshop organized by Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria (Anthropology) and Ulka Anjaria (English)

Neal Lerner lecture

March 12, 2018


The Power of Personal Connection: Listening to What Students Say about Meaningful Writing


A Reading by Oliver de la Paz

February 28, 2018

5:30 p.m.
Bethlehem Chapel

Oliver de la Paz is the author of four poetry collections: Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, Requiem for the Orchard, and Post Subject: A Fable. A founding member of Kundiman, de la Paz serves as the co-chair of the organization’s advisory board. He also serves on the Executive Board of Trustees for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs. De la Paz teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the Low-Residency MFA Program at Pacific Lutheren University. 

Sad Valentine's Day Open Mic

February 13, 2018



Get your pre-Valentine's blues out of the way with this open mic! Come share your worst love poetry and stories, write an anonymous love letter to a stranger, and enjoy Valentine's-themed snacks (ie. lots of chocolate)! Sponsored by the English and Creative Writing UDRs.

Sponsored by the English and Creative Writing UDRs

Poetry Reading: Rebecca Morgan Frank and Heather Treseler

February 13, 2018

Liberman-Miller Lecture Hall, WSRC