Past Events


Tao Leigh Goffe, Contemporaneity Lecture Series

April 8, 2021


Tao Leigh Goffe, English Department, Cornell University

"The Abolition of Time"

Goffe's current research moves in two directions: "a book on the ecological poetics and entanglements of the Caribbean plantation and a manifesto on digital technology, black feminist praxis and DJ culture called Pon De Replay."

Sponsored by the Contemporaneity Group, Mandel Center for the Humanities

Graduate Student Presentations

March 31, 2021

4:30 pm

Hanh Bui: "Sycorax and the Anatomies of Old Age"

Paige Eggebrecht: "Select, Separate, and Methodise": Jane Marcet and Educational Design in Conversations on Political Economy

Emiliano Gutierrez Popoca: "Apprentice spirits and noble slaves: the limits of service and slavery in Shakespeare’s The Tempest"

English and Creative Writing Career Panel

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021


Join the English and Creative Writing UDRs for a career panel featuring alumni in various fields. 

Margaret Ronda, Contemporaneity lecture series

Thursday, March 18th


Margaret Ronda, English Department, University of California, Davis.

"Ballad Poetics: Anonymity, Surplus Life, Social Form"

Ronda's work to date "attends to the ways American poets and poems dramatize an ever-clearer sense of planetary environmental crisis by reimagining poetic genres such as pastoral and elegy."

Sponsored by the Contemporaneity Group, Mandel Center for the Humanities

Faith Smith Lecture

Thursday, March 18, 2021
Noon–1 p.m.

Faculty Lunch Symposium
Mandel Center for the Humanities

Silk Roads and Highways: Imagining "China" in the Caribbean Today
Faith Smith (English & African and African American Studies)

This event is open only to members of the faculty and invited guests.

Graduate Student Conference

"One Mighty Sepulchre: Scales of Death in Literature, Environment, and Culture."

Thursday, March 11th- Friday, March 12th

March 11, 2021 at 7:00 PM

Film Screening and Keynote: Melinda Hunt

Melinda Hunt will screen her short film Death Comes for New York City and deliver a plenary address followed by a Q&A. This event is open to the public.

March 12, 2021

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Panel Presentations and Q&A

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Lynn Emanuel

Wednesday, March 10th


“unfailing invention and virtuoso wordcraft... heady, bold, vivid, sexy, intensely envisioned, metaphorically brilliant" (Lenore Marshall Award citation for The Nerve Of It: Poems New and Selected). Lynn Emanuel is the author of five books of poetry. Her work has been featured in Best American Poetry numerous times and has been included in The Oxford Book of American Poetry and published in The New York Times. Lynn's reading will be hosted by Chen Chen.

Critical Conversations: Black and Jewish Identities: Visions of Freedom

Time: Tuesday, March 9th, 5:30-6:30 pm

Relations between African Americans and Jews in the United States are at a complicated and critical juncture, which brings some members of these groups closer together, while causing significant tensions in other quarters. The stories of many Jews of Color throughout the world also signal that Jewish identity and identity with communities of color are not mutually exclusive. This conversation will compare shared themes of diaspora and assimilation, as well as ideological perspectives on social and political empowerment, before asking: What are the best strategies for advancing freedom and equality in the United States?


  • Amber Spry, Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Politics, Departments of African and African American Studies and Politics

  • Alexander Kaye, Karl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Assistant Professor of Israel Studies, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies


  • David Sherman, Associate Professor of English, Department of English
The Virtual Death Café

March 4, 2021

Thursday, March 4th, 6-7pm

The Brandeis English Department Graduate Conference invites you to a Virtual Death Café. The Death Café is just a space where people can gather, as humans who will eventually die, to discuss the topic of death. This event is sponsored by the One Mighty Sepulchre conference happening in mid March and serves as a way to get the conversation started in an informal, safe space.

Anyone affiliated with the Brandeis community can attend. Please join us as we gather, eat cake, drink tea, and discuss death (virtually)!

Nasia Anam, Contemporaneity lecture series

March 4, 2021

Thursday, March 4


Nasia Anam, English Department, University of Nevada, Reno

"Muslim Heterotopias"

Anam's current research "centers on the figure of the urban Muslim migrant from the postwar to the post-9/11 eras in global Anglophone and Francophone fiction."

Sponsored by the Contemporaneity Group, Mandel Center for the Humanities

Jonathan Flatley, Contemporaneity lecture series

February 18, 2021

Thursday, February 18th


Jonathan Flatley, English Department, Wayne State University

"Black Leninism"

In the larger project from which this talk is drawn, Flatley examines "black group formation, those moments when black people come together as a group for whom collective action seems urgent, obvious, and vital, and when victory over the forces of white supremacy seems possible."

Sponsored by the Contemporaneity Group, Mandel Center for the Humanities

Angie Cruz

February 17, 2021

Wednesday, February 17th


Angie Cruz is a novelist and editor. The New York Times Book Review called her novel, Dominicana,"Lovely and Compelling" and NBC NEWS labeled it "one of the most evocative and empowering immigrant stories of our time." Cruz is founder and Editor-in-chief of Aster(ix).

John Plotz and John Wardle

Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Noon–1 p.m.

Bridging the Two Cultures
Mandel Center for the Humanities

Visualizing the Invisible
John Plotz (English) and John Wardle (Astrophysics) 

This event is open only to members of the faculty and invited guests.

Your Healing is Killing Me

Wednesday, November 18th

5:00 p.m.–6:20 p.m., via Zoom 

Part performance, part lecture, part writing workshop—this event is unprocessed and gluten and guilt free.  

Please register in advance for this session

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the meeting.

Listen to the attached audio segment before the event.

 Co-sponsored by the Department of Romance Studies, The Latin American and Latino Studies Program, and the Minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST). 


Open Session of ENG 170b: Contemporary Theatre with Virginia Grise

 Wednesday, November 18, 2020

8:00 p.m.–9:15 p.m., via Zoom

Please register in advance for this session.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the meeting.

 Sponsored by the Department of English and co-sponsored by the Minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST).

Out there without Fear
Tuesday, November 10th
Out there without fear: A dancehall Documentary
After the Dance: Performing Sovereignty In The Caribbean  invites you to an open class. Explore the global impact of Jamaica's Dancehall dancers and their struggle for local recognition.  The documentary screening of Out There Without Fear will be followed by a panel discussion with the documentary filmmaker, Joelle Powe, the leading scholar on Jamaican popular culture from Jamaica, Dr. Carolyn Cooper, and internationally renowned Dancehall choreographer, Latonya Style.  The intersection of dance with art, classism, violence, the empowerment of women, the church, tourism, and blackness will be discussed.  Panelists will be calling in for this virtual event from Jamaica. 
A Talk with Moisés Kaufman

November 8, 2020

Sunday, November 8th

2pm, Livestream

Featuring Scott Barrow
Hosted by Assistant Professor Isaiah M. Wooden

The Theater Arts Department is thrilled to present this talk in conjunction with our virtual
production of The Laramie Project. We will be bringing together Moisés Kaufman, Tectonic
Theater member and Theater Arts MFA alum Scott Barrow, and Theater Arts Department’s
own Assistant Professor Isaiah M. Wooden to discuss this groundbreaking documentary
theater play about the murder of Matthew Shepard. Please join us for this digital panel

This event is generously co-sponsored by the Department of English, the Department of Romance Studies, and Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) Program.

Brandeis Novel Symposium

Friday, November 6th

This year’s symposium examines the genre’s relation to issues of settler colonialism, land, and indigeneity. The focal text is Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House (1925). As in previous years, papers will explore these larger questions from diverse theoretical, historical, and formal angles, taking Cather’s novel either as focus or simply as a point of departure. Both the papers and the discussion will zero in on the particular attributes of Cather’s Modernist experiment, and on the nativist legacy of settler colonialism out of which the work arises––and into which, perhaps, it falls.

As always, we encourage but do not require you to read  Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House in advance of the conference, and if you are not a graduate or undergraduate student, we encourage you to buy it at an independent local bookstore. If you are a graduate or undergraduate student, we are pleased to offer you a free copy of the novel.

Email for details after registering.

Workshop with Poet Tess Taylor: “Privilege, voyage, document: Navigating the ethics of witness”

Thursday, November 5th


This is a follow-up to the Zamora/Hill reading of Nov. 4 (Wednesday)

Tess Taylor is the author of four books of poems, most recently Last West: Roadsongs for Dorothea Lange, a book published in conjunction with the Museum of Modern Art that explores Lange’s paths across California during the Great Depression and the current state of lands and peoples along that route. Taylor is on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered. 

Javier Zamora and Sean Hill: Poets Engaging Travel and Race

Wednesday, November 4th


Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador and migrated to the US when he was nine. He was a 2018-2019 Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard and has been granted fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University, the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and Stanford University. Unaccompanied is his first poetry collection. He lives in Harlem where he’s working on a memoir. 

Sean Hill is the author of two poetry collections, Dangerous Goods and Blood Ties & Brown Liquor. His poems and essays have appeared in Callaloo, Harvard Review, New England Review, Orion, The Oxford American, Poetry,, and numerous other journals, and in several anthologies including Black Nature and Villanelles. He directs the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference at Bemidji State University and lives in Montana. More information can be found at his website:

English & Creative Writing Meet the Majors

The English and Creative Writing UDRs would like to invite you to a Meet the Majors event on Thursday, October 29th at 5pm. 

Interested in studying English or Creative Writing at Brandeis? Have Questions about the majors?
Come hear brief presentations from the English and Creative Writing UDRs on their academic experiences, course selection advice, literary interests, and more!

After the presentations, you are welcome to spend a few minutes chatting with the UDRs and Undergraduate Advising heads and getting your specific questions answered. We hope to see you there!

2nd Yr PhD Symposium

Thursday, October 29th


Paloma Valenzuela

The Short Film: A Conversation featuring Paloma Valenzuela and Marc Weinberg

Thursday, October 22nd


During the spring 2021 semester, writer, director, and producer Paloma Valenzuela will be joining the Creative Writing faculty and offering a screenwriting workshop called The Short Film. Enter the discussion as Ms. Valenzuela and Professor Marc Weinberg talk about her award-winning web series, The Pineapple Diaries, the challenges of writing short films, and the joys and heartbreaks of writing for the screen. 

Paloma Valenzuela is a Dominican-American writer, director and actress originally from the city of Boston. In 2010, she started La Gringa Loca Productions a multi-media production operation which has since produced stage plays and audiovisual projects both in Boston and the Dominican Republic: "RANT!" (play, 2008), "Show Up" (play, 2012), and "Queseyocuanto" (play, 2012), "Onomatopeyas Dominicanas" (web series, 2013­-2014), an official commercial for Miss Rizos Salón in Santo Domingo (2015 and 2016), a comedic Boston-based web series “The Pineapple Diaries” (2015-2016) and the official music video for the song "2020" by Dominican artist AcentOh. In 2018 "The Pineapple Diaries" was Official Selection at the New Orleans Film Festival.  In Spring 2021, she will teach “Screenwriting Workshop: Writing and Producing a Short Film” at Brandeis.

This event is co-sponsored by CAST (Creativity the Arts and Social Transformation).

Braided Memories: A Journey of Words and Photographs

Tuesday, October 20th

8-9pm, Zoom

Poet and scholar Marjorie Agosín and photographer Samuel Shats explore the truth that lies in fragmented memories, the legacy of refugees defined by truncated pasts, and the power of art as a vehicle for healing across generations. Join us for a multimedia presentation and panel discussion about the emotional, literary, and visual iterations of loss and reclaimed identity in post-Holocaust Latin American feminist literature.

Marjorie Agosín, Ph.D. Professor of Spanish, Wellesley College
Samuel Shats, Photographer
Elizabeth Bradfield, M.F.A. Associate Professor of the Practice of English and Co-Director of the Creative Writing Program
María Durán, Ph.D. Florence Levy Kay Fellow in U.S. Latinx Cultural Studies

Dalia Wassner, Ph.D. Director, HBI Project on Latin American Jewish & Gender Studies 

Brandeis Family Focus; Brandeis Alumni Association; Brandeis Creative Writing Program; Latin America Initiative, Brandeis International Business School; Wellesley Spanish Department; Museo Interactivo Judío de Chile; J-Lats Princeton

Larry Rosenwald: On Antiwar Literature

Friday, October 16th


An innovative and challenging account of antiwar literature. Innovative in doing justice to all the meanings of the term, and to a broader range of works than is usually considered when antiwar literature is being discussed; challenging in considering such questions as why so many notable antiwar actions have been so badly represented by literary writers, why and how works not themselves antiwar have inspired antiwar feeling, and whether antiwar literature is necessarily bad literature.

Bryan Washington

Thursday, October 8th


Bryan Washington is the author of Lot, an award-winning collection of interconnected short stories, several of which appeared first in the New Yorker (in fact, he has a new story in this most recent issue of the New Yorker). National Public Radio called Lot "a stunning work of art" and Barack Obama chose it as one of his favorite books of 2019. His first novel, Memorial, will be published in late October.  Mr. Washington lives in Houston, Texas and is the George Guion Williams Writer in Residence and Scholar in Residence for Racial Justice at Rice University.

Critical Conversations: Identity as an Engine for Poetry

Time: Wednesday, October 7th, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Location: This event will be accessible via Zoom with captioning.

What relation does poetry have to identity, and how does poetry help us to understand our role in the world? How do poets grapple with their own immigrant, Asian American, queer, gender or other identities? In what ways is poetry relevant to issues and concerns addressed by scientists and social scientists? Putting identity front and center in the creative practice means debunking the notion that the poet works within a vacuum, outside of specific time and place. Come explore how the poet discovers fresh connections between histories, lands and social worlds.


  • Elizabeth Bradfield, Associate Professor of the Practice of English and Co-director of the Creative Writing Program, Department of English.
  • Chen Chen, Jacob Ziskind Visiting Poet-in-Residence, Department of English.


  • Yuri Doolan, Chair, Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies; Assistant Professor, Department of History and Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Micro-reading and Lunch Workshop with Grace Talusan

Tuesday, September 29th


Join the Creative Writing Department and Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence, Grace Talusan, on September 29th at Noon for a Micro Reading and lunch workshop! 

Professor Talusan’s short story, “The Book of Life and Death,” was recently selected as Boston’s 2020 “One City One Story” selection. She will give a brief reading followed by a generative writing workshop and an optional time to share what we write.

The whole event will run about one hour on Zoom. Eating your lunch is welcome!

Grace’s Story & Info about “One City One Story”

Brandeis Justice Initiative

September 17, 2020

The Brandeis Justice Initiative (BJI) aims to facilitate engagement, learning, and reflection about liberal education for people impacted by, or vulnerable to, incarceration. The BJI is hard at work identifying ways that Brandeis folks can tutor, mentor and teach in ways that make a meaningful and sustainable contribution to people within or in the shadow of the criminal justice system.

There are a variety of ways that all members of the Brandeis community can be involved, and we invite you all to attend an introductory event Thursday September 17th at 2 pm to learn more. The best way to let us know you are interested is to fill out a brief form on our website—it does not commit you to anything, but it ensures you will hear from us about opportunities that may appeal to you.  

Thanks to a generous Mellon grant from the Connected PhD Program, graduate students may even be able to earn stipends or complete supported internships that will further professional development while making a positive impact on the life trajectories of people eager for an opportunity to move forward in their lives.  
We look forward to seeing or speaking to you soon!
Rosalind Kabrhel (Legal Studies); John Plotz (English); Dave Sherman (English); Daniella Gati (BJI coordinator)


Creative Writing Senior Honors Reading

April 30, 2020



Graduate Student Presentations

April 21, 2020

Virtual Event


Abigail Arnold
"Narrative Intimacy and the Confidante."

Diana Filar
"Naming (in) the Immigrant Novel: Identity and Conditions of Belonging in 21st century Multiethnic Fiction"

Malaka Gharib

March 26, 2020


Virtual Event

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." 

Ed Lee

March 19, 2020

Virtual Event

Ed has written for many television comedies, including The Drew Carey ShowClass of 3000 and Are You There, Chelsea? In addition to writing for television, Ed has written and performed sketch and improv at iO West, Nerdmelt Theater, Westside Comedy Theater, and Upright Citizens Brigade Theater L.A.

Ed recently wrote and produced the short film Becoming Eddie which is based on his childhood. He is currently developing the short into a television series with a major studio.

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

March 18, 2020

Virtual Event

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.



Sangeeta Ray

March 18, 2020

Virtual Event

Sangeeta Ray, Professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park, will deliver the annual Soli Sorabjee Lecture in South Asian Studies on March 18, 2020, at 12:00pm. The lecture is titled "Ecology of Intimacies: An Ethics, Aesthetics, and Politics of Reading Postcolonial Environmental Fiction."

Faith Smith Lecture

March 5, 2020


Skyline Commons

Inaugural M. Jacqui Alexander Lecture in African Diaspora Studies, featuring a talk by Prof. Faith Smith entitled, "After the Dance: Performing Sovereignty in the Early 20th-Century Caribbean." 

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)
Broadsides to Brandeis: An Evening of Artistic Response

February 24, 2020

Time: 6:30 - 8:00pm
Location: Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC), Atrium 

Announcing the opening of the CAST (Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation) and Creative Writing exhibition space, outside the Creativity Lab on the top floor of the Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex!

Co-hosted by the CAST and Creative Writing UDRs, "Broadsides to Brandeis" celebrates our new permanent installation of the public art of Broadsided, a press founded by Brandeis professor Elizabeth Bradfield, co-director of the Creative Writing Program. Broadsided pulls literary work out of journals and puts it on the streets. It brings words together with the energy of original visual art, publishing monthly collaborations on the website as pdfs that are then downloaded, printed, and posted around the world by "Vectors."

Join us for an evening of poetry reading by Brandeis students and Professor Bradfield. Come 15 minutes early to choose a poem to read, or bring a poem of your own. 

There will be pizza for participants to enjoy as we celebrate creativity and social justice efforts by writers and visual artists.

Cameron Awkward-Rich

February 11, 2020


Bethelehem Chapel

Cameron Awkward-Rich is the author of Sympathetic Little Monster 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.

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