2019-2020 Events

Cameron Awkward-Rich

February 11, 2020



Cameron Awkward-Rich is the author of Sympathetic Little and Dispatch. His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Academy of American Poets Poem-a-day, has won acclaim in spoken word circles, and explores the poetics of family and self from a black, trans vantage. Cameron has received fellowships from Cave Canem and Duke. He is an assistant professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Truth, or Your Truth? A Scientist and a Humanist on Facts, Data and Evidence

March 3, 2020

Sherman Function Hall

Does evidence make something true? Is evidence even a necessary component of truth? The way we talk about what is real and what is true depends on perspective and context. The way we are trained to think and write can change what we think is true. This conversation pairs humanities and science faculty in a debate about the relationship between facts, truth and reality, and how evidence differs widely in different disciplines.



Mary Baine Campbell, Bridging the Two Cultures

March 5, 2020


MCH 303, Reading Room

“Dreaming and Sleep”
Leslie Griffith (Neuroscience) in conversation with Mary Baine Campbell (English)
Larry Rosenwald

March 12, 2020


More info to come.

March 20, 2020


MCH 303, Reading Room


The 2020 theme is One Mighty Sepulchre: Scales of Death in Literature, Environment, and Culture, which hopes to explore human relationships to death. This conference integrates traditional panels which discuss theoretical topics with creative meditations on the theme, including more resistant readings to the topic. 

The guest speaker will be Melinda Hunt, whose work on Hart Island deals with issues at the heart of the conference- how to tell the story of the dead with different genres, mediums and techniques, the role of monuments in exploring death, the politics of burial and death practices, the role death plays in our culture, and how memory shapes society. Environmental change and structural violence are also germane to the conference theme.

Vera Tobin

March 26, 2020

More info to come.

John Plotz, Bridging the Two Cultures

March 26, 2020


MCH 303, Reading Room

“Visualizing the Invisible”
John Wardle (Astrophysics) in conversation with John Plotz (English)
Malaka Gharib

March 26, 2020



Malaka Gharib is an editor and digital strategist at National Public Radio. Her first book, I Was Their American Dream, is a graphic memoir that focuses on her experience as a Filipino-Egyptian-American. In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews praised the book as "A heartwarming tribute to immigrant families and their descendants trying to live the American dream." 

Graduate Student Presentations

April 2, 2020


DuBois/Rabb 119

More info to come

Brandeis Novel Symposium

April 24, 2020


Past Events

Graduate Student Presentations

November 21, 2019

MCH 303, Reading Room

Paige Eggebrecht
"Days at the Factories: Literary Form and Division of Labor"
Patrick Sylvain
"Haiti and Being: Zombie Obsession and Othering Pre & Post U.S. Military"
Daniella Gati
"Vignette Aesthetics across Media"

Reception at The Stein to follow

Faith Smith, Close Looking (MCH)

November 20, 2019


Rose Art Museum

Faith Smith (English) and Raysa Mederos (Romance Studies)
Zilia Sánchez, Las Troyanas [The Trojans], 1987-1997

Rachel Ablow

November 14, 2019


MCH 303, Reading Room

Rachel Ablow, Victorianist and  Chair of the University of Buffalo English Department, Humanities Director for the UB College of Arts and Sciences, is the editor of the journal Victorian Literature and Culture. She will make a short presentation,  “How Peer-Reviewed Publication Works” and then take questions, demystifying the nuts-and-bolts of the process. The presentation is for the benefit of  Professor Anjaria’s graduate Realism seminar, the Article Publication Workshop and the Graduate Proseminar, but it is also open to all other interested graduate students. Her visit is funded by a Teaching Innovation Grant.

Poetry as a Space for Activists to Recharge and Replenish

October 28, 2019

Poetry as a Space for Activists to Recharge and Replenish: An Event in Preparation for the Visit of Dr. John Paul Lederach, Led by Liz Bradfield 
Time: 6:30pm
Location: Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex Atrium 

"The process of paying attention to poetry, listening to a voice that seems to come from nowhere in the midst of turbulent inner seas, is very much like sorting through the storms of protracted conflicts." - Dr. John Paul Lederach

The internationally recognized peacebuilder Dr. John Paul Lederach is coming to campus at the end of October. Lederach talks quite a bit about how, for him, poetry - haiku in particular - has been a place to recharge and reflect for his more political work. In this hour-long discussion, we'll read excerpts from John's book, take time to write together, and share our experiences of how the focus of writing poems can refill the wells that oftentimes get drained through activist work of all kinds.

We will read excerpts of The Moral Imagination, in which Lederach talks about what poetry has meant to him, discuss how his words apply to our own work, write, and think about "writing as respite" - as a place where activists can recharge and reflect and consider things through a different lens.

Liz Bradfield, a professor of creative writing at Brandeis, will lead the discussion and writing exercises.

Refreshments provided. Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and cosponsored by the Minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST). 

For more information, contact Elizabeth Bradfield.

Toi Derricotte

October 22, 2019


Bethlehem Chapel

Poet and essayist Toi Derricotte is a co-founder of Cave Canem, a culture-builder, a consistent feminist voice in letters.  Her most recent collection of poems is I: New and Selected Poems, and her literary memoir, The Black Notebooks, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.  Her honors include the 2012 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry and the Distinguished Pioneering of the Arts Award from the United Black Artists.  

2nd-Year PhD Symposium

October 22, 2019


MCH 303, Reading Room

2nd-year PhD students will present their work.

Dorothy Kim, Faculty Lunch Lecture (Mandel Cnt Humanities)

October 17, 2019


MCH 303, Reading Room

“Exploring a Medieval Manuscript: Race, Blackness, and St. Margaret"
Dorothy Kim (English)
Laura Quinney, Close Looking Series (MCH)

October 2, 2019


Rapaporte Treasure Hall

Laura Quinney (English) and Govind Sreenivasan (History)
"Dante's 1564 Divine Comedy and Censorship"
Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections, 

Dissertation Fellowships: How to Craft an Application

September 26, 2019

This information session will introduce graduate students to the basics
of crafting a strong fellowship application, focusing on dissertation-year fellowships such as the ACLS.Event flyer
Minima Moralia Today: A Symposium

September 20, 2019


MCH 303, Reading Room
Invited speakers:  S.D. Chrostowska (York University), Andrea Dara Cooper (University of North Carolina), Jakob Norberg (Duke University)
The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of the renowned critical theorist Theodor Adorno. To mark his passing, this symposium will reflect on, engage with, and theorize about the lasting impact of his work. In particular, this symposium takes as its core text Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life, a philosophical touchstone for the latter half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty first. The symposium will investigate the ways that Adorno’s reflections address the damages of contemporary life and/or conceptions of that damaged life.
Additional questions the symposium will raise include the contemporaneity of (or lack thereof) Minima Moralia and Adorno’s distinctive negative dialectics; prospects for interdisciplinary approaches to the text and the problems it examines; the exemplary aspects of Adorno’s implicit dialogue with his friend Max Horkheimer; and the relevance of Minima Moralia for literary, philosophical, sociological, and religious studies. 

Grace Talusan

September 18, 2019


Bethlehem Chapel

Incoming Fannie Hurst Visiting Writer Grace Talusan will read from her work. Grace's first book, a memoir entitled The Body Papers, was published last April to enormous acclaim from the New York Times ("indelible"), Nylon ("a book of hope"), The Boston Globe ("moving and eloquent, candidly courageous") and many other publications. The Body Papers is a powerful and unforgettable chronicle of Grace's experiences as a Filipino immigrant and a survivor of sexual abuse and cancer.