Exhibit: Letters | الحروف How Artists Reimagined Language in the Age of Decolonization

Letters | الحروف How Artists Reimagined Language in the Age of Decolonization

Letters exhibit

Left to right: art by Mohammed Khadda, Ibrahim El-Salahi, and Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu (details)

Letters | الحروف How Artists Reimagined Language in the Age of Decolonization is on exhibit in Doe Library’s Bernice Layne Brown Gallery from March 13 until Aug. 31, 2023. How have modern artists in North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia made use of their inheritance of a visual cache of Arabic signs and letter-forms, and with what meanings? This exhibition, curated by students in the seminar History of Art 192Cu, “Exhibiting Calligraphic Modernism,” in collaboration with the Library, explores work by dozens of artists in multiple media, from poster design to painting, mosaic, poetry, and animation. A shared backdrop to the artwork on display are the decolonization processes and liberation struggles taking place across Asia, Africa, and Latin America in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, which sparked desires to create cultural futures in resistance to dominant imperial values and official language policies.

Exhibit Curators: Drew Atkins, Riana Azevedo, Lynn Cunningham, Sharan Dulai, Eva Elfishawy, Mohamed Hamed, Teddi Haynes, Murtaza Hiraj, Viv Kammerer, Shanti Knutzen, Marissa Lee, Anneka Lenssen, Val Machado, Jasmine Nadal-Chung, Reyansh Sathishkumar, A. Wara, Alice Xie, Jinyu Xu, Suri Zheng, and Hayley Zupancic

Exhibit dates: March 13 to Aug. 31, 2023
Location: Bernice Layne Brown Gallery, Doe Library

Opening reception

Wednesday, March 15, 2023, 5-6:30 p.m.
Morrison Library

The reception will feature brief remarks by members of the curatorial team. Tours of the exhibition will be led by student-curators beginning at 5:45 p.m. Food and drinks will be served.

A pre-reception event will take place from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in 308A Doe Library, and will include a presentation and Arabic calligraphy workshop by the Bay Area-based calligrapher Zubair Simab. Participants will have an opportunity to try writing Arabic letters with a prepared pen and ink. There are 40 slots available for the workshop. Please register here: http://ucblib.link/calligraphyRSVP

Both of these events are open to the public.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Pre-reception calligraphy workshop
2:30-4:30 p.m.
308A Doe Library

Exhibit reception and tours
5-6:30 p.m.
Morrison Library (101 Doe Library)

If you require an accommodation to fully participate in this event, please contact Amber Lawrence at libraryevents@berkeley.edu or 510-459-9108 at least 7-10 days in advance of the program.

Sponsors/contributors: Center for Middle East Studies, Department of History of Art, and UC Berkeley Library

South/Southeast Asia Library 50th Anniversary Exhibit Launch

The Bernice Layne Brown Gallery on the first floor of Doe Library is now housing the exhibit “Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence: South & Southeast Asia Scholarship and Stewardship at Berkeley, 1970-2020.”

This exhibit celebrates the academic achievements of Berkeley South and Southeast Asia scholars across disciplines. It recognizes Berkeley’s robust South and Southeast Asian language instruction program, distinguished teaching award recipients, and previous Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research winners and honorable mentions.

The South/Southeast Asia Library plays a pivotal role in building interdisciplinary collections in all major formats and languages and has, for five decades, served as the scholarly lifeline for vibrant South and Southeast Asian Studies communities, both local and global.

This exhibit uses a variety of faculty publications and special collections to highlight Berkeley scholarship’s evolution, scope, and profound impact. Source collections and libraries whose noteworthy treasures are most featured in the exhibit include The Bancroft Library, Doe Library, Music Library, and the South/Southeast Asia Library.

The exhibit will be on display until the end of October 2021.

Exhibit: Love across the Global South


Love across the Global South: Popular Cinema Cultures of India and Senegal explores interconnections between South Asian and African popular cultures through film posters, footage, and memorabilia. Focusing on the circulation of Bombay cinema, South Asia’s largest film industry, in Senegal, West Africa, the exhibition foregrounds the role of transnational film cultures and fan clubs in shaping affinities across the Global South. Highlighting archival material held by UC Berkeley—including a collection of twentieth-century popular film magazines and films housed at the Media Resources Center—the exhibition harnesses library holdings to nuance campus debates on race, globalization, and visual representation while experimenting with new curatorial practices that emphasize Afro-Asian connections in an expanded Indian Ocean imaginary. The exhibition is curated by Sugata Ray (Assistant Professor, History of Art), Ivy Mills (Lecturer, History of Art), Liladhar Pendse (Librarian, Central Asian and Eastern European Studies), and Adnan Malik (Curator for South Asian Collections, South/Southeast Asia Library). The Mellon Curatorial Preparedness Initiative funded Curatorial Assistantships for History of Art Department graduate students Shivani Sud and Randip Bakshi.


brown gallery exhibit            ivy exhibit


The exhibit runs from October 6, 2017–March 1, 2018 in the Bernice L. Brown Gallery, Doe Library.


Exhibit: Beyond Tintin and Superman: The Diversity of Global Comics

Image for email for comics exhibitJoin us on Friday, October 14, from 5-7pm in the Morrison Library to celebrate the opening of “Beyond Tintin and Superman: The Diversity of Global Comics.”

Curated by Liladhar Pendse, the exhibit features comics and graphic novels from a dizzying array of cultures, including Egypt, Poland, South Africa, Israel, the Czech Republic, Colombia, and Japan. The materials can be viewed in Doe Library’s Bernice Layne Brown Gallery through March 2017.

The event will feature talks by Ron Turner, founder of the Last Gasp, a book and underground comics publisher and distributor based in San Francisco, and UC Berkeley Art History Lecturer Ivy Mills, Ph.D., who specializes in the visual and literary cultures of Africa and the African diaspora.

To learn more about the exhibit and watch a video on the materials, read our story here.

Exhibit: The Gift to Sing: Highlights of the Leon F. Litwack & Bancroft Library African American Collections

I’m sharing this announcement of Bancroft’s new exhibit:

The Bancroft Library just opened its fall/winter exhibition, The Gift to Sing: Highlights of the Leon F. Litwack & Bancroft Library African American Collections. Leon Litwack is a historian and legendary professor who taught here from 1964 to 2007. He won the Pulitzer Prize for History and the National Book Award for his 1979 book Been In the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery. He has been collecting books relating to African American history and culture since the 1940s and his collection is now perhaps the best in private hands. Ultimately, it will be coming to The Bancroft Library but highlights, along with related material from Bancroft’s collection, will be on display until February.

Highlights from Professor Litwack’s collection include Bobby Seale’s copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, a copy of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave inscribed by William Lloyd Garrison and Ida B. Wells’ incredibly rare and important pamphlet on lynching, The Red Record.

Bancroft highlights include the first printing of Phillis Wheatley’s collection of poems from 1773 and early works printed in California.

The Bancroft Library Gallery is open from Monday to Friday, 10-4.


David Faulds
Curator of Rare Books and Literary Manuscripts

Exhibit: No Legacy || Literatura Electrónica

The University Library in conjunction with the Berkeley Center for New Media and the Department of Spanish & Portuguese are pleased to present:

No Legacy || Literatura Electrónica

Exhibit – Multimedia | March 11– September 2, 2016 | Doe Library, Bernice Layne Brown Gallery

OPENING SYMPOSIUM – A Round Table Discussion
Friday, March 11 from 10am to 12:30pm, BIDS (Doe 190)

OPENING RECEPTION with poet Amaranth Borsuk and writer Doménico Chiappe 

Friday, March 11, 2016, 5:30pm, Morrison Library

This exhibition, NL||LE, presents a collection of digital works of literature—in Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan as well as English—side by side with experimental print materials from the past century. Meant to be read on computers and other digital devices, the electronic stories and poems reveal new ideas about literary and media developments and encourage visitors to interact with the machines. Exhibit cases and tables were designed by students in a Berkeley Center for New Media seminar. Through the use of vintage computing equipment, NL||LE also highlights challenges involved in the preservation of electronic literature.

With additional support from the Hellman Foundation, Townsend Center for the Humanities, College of Letters and Science, Digital Humanities at Berkeley, Institute of European Studies, Portuguese Studies Program, Fundação Lusoamericana, Center for Latin American Studies, Berkeley Institute for Data Science, and the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Kansas.


All events are free and open to the public.

Exhibit: Thinking Comparatively: Celebrating Benedict Anderson’s Scholarship

Thinking Comparatively: Celebrating Benedict Anderson’s Scholarship
  An Exhibition
February 19 through April 29, 2016
120 Doe Library
Benedict Anderson (1936-2015) was born to Anglo-Irish parents in Kunming, Yunnan, China. He was raised in China, California, and Ireland. He received his bachelor’s degree in classics from Cambridge University in 1957 and his doctorate in government from Cornell University in 1967. He was the Aaron L. Binenkorb Professor of International Studies Emeritus and taught at Cornell from 1967 until his retirement in 2002.
Throughout his life, Anderson was an accomplished scholar who produced a few dozen major scholarly works on language and politics. Among these, his most influential publication, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, has been translated into two dozen languages. He was the editor of the seminal journal Indonesiapublished by the Cornell Modern Indonesia Project. His linguistic skills were extraordinary. Anderson was fluent in Dutch, French, German, Indonesian, Javanese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Thai.
Professor Anderson was recognized as a giant in Southeast Asian studies. He inspired and trained several generations of students and shared his intellectual originality and innovation with the world.
A small collection of his most insightful and enduring works has been assembled for this exhibit in honor of his widely admired scholarship.
A library guide to Anderson’s works is available at:


Exhibit: New exhibit features 2014 Library Prize winning project from History student Matthew Enger

The Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research display case on the second floor of the Doe Library now features an exhibit on 2014 prize winner Matthew William Enger’s Order from Chaos: Ethnogenesis, Direct Democracy and Statecraft in California,1948-1958.

Abstract: In the large corpus of academic literature addressing Californian politics in the 1950s, very little scholarship considers the relationship between the state’s robust system of direct democracy, exemplified by the initiative process, and the transformative demographic and economic changes that were then remaking the state. In the course of preparing this thesis, the author found that: (1) the fundamental political, economic and social incentives that sustained a culture of direct democracy in the 1950s have barely changed over the course of sixty years; (2) decades-long political battles centering on old age pensions and public housing peaked in the early part of the 1950s specifically through the initiative process, setting a firm precedent for related disputes in succeeding decades; and (3) white, established, middle-class Californians were psychologically motivated to pursue specific types of policy through the initiative process because of rapid demographic changes that were leaving the state and its cities poorer and less white than they had ever been before. One major consequence of having direct democracy at the onset of a demographic transformation is that elite economic interests and their political allies could usually exploit the initiative process to protect white privilege and maintain existing power structures to the detriment of marginalized communities. As demographic transformation continues to remake the face of the state, the kinds of public policies enacted at the ballot will more and more reflect the priorities of the younger, and more linguistically and culturally diverse California of today.

The full paper is available on eScholarship: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/39x5g29j

 The exhibit was curated by Jeffery Loo and designed by Aisha Hamilton.

Event: Buddhist Studies Exhibit at Brown Gallery, Doe Library

Doe Library’s Brown Gallery will host a Buddhist Studies Exhibit beginning March 9 through August 31, 2015.

This exhibit celebrates the intellectual contributions, as well as the global impact and legacy, of UC Berkeley’s unique program in Buddhist studies. It features publications of alumni and faculty, as well as Berkeley’s manuscript collections that made this research possible. While the scholarship presented here reflects the broad interdisciplinary orientation of the Berkeley program, it is grounded in the philological expertise—the ability to work with often arcane Buddhist canonical materials that survive in languages such as Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese—that is the hallmark of the Berkeley program.

This exhibit recognizes the scholars who founded the Group in Buddhist Studies, their precursors, and those who continue to lead the program today. It features samples of East Asian Buddhist canons, Mongolian and Tibetan texts, Dunhuang manuscript canons, sacred texts of Nepalese Buddhism, Southeast Asian palm-leaf manuscripts, The Tipiṭaka, an edition of the Pali given by King Chulalongkorn of Siam, as well as European publications of Buddhist studies. The exhibit highlights the evolution, breadth, and remarkable success of Buddhist studies scholarship at Berkeley through materials housed at The Bancroft Library, C. V. Starr East Asian Library, Doe Library, South/Southeast Asia Library, and Northern Regional Library Facility.

Curated by Janet Carter, Alexander von Rospatt, Virginia Shih, Trent Walker, and Bruce Williams.