Berkeley English-Chernin Program

If you have anything to do with the university’s English department, you may have already heard of something called the Chernin Program. It’s a mentoring program held every semester for anyone interested in English and literature, as a major or otherwise. Undergraduate groups meet every other week in the evening with a graduate student leader to talk about everything under the sun, from particulars about the English major to the nature of reading in general. Students talk about broad topics that you can’t get into during class and questions that have been bugging them, like what the heck does the dialectic mean? If you don’t get to talk about what you want during your regular meeting, your graduate leader holds office hours every other week to answer questions. You can ask about the major, classes you should take, applying to graduate school, or literature itself. There’s no extra homework or reading, just a relaxed meeting of the minds that can make you feel smart in your free time while taking a break from classwork. There’s also free food, which is always a bonus for poor, hungry college students.

Besides these regular meetings, the program also gives opportunities to explore Berkeley’s resources. You can sign up for seminars to learn how to research things in the libraries and online databases, or you can tour the Bancroft Library’s collection of cool old stuff. Want to see one of the first editions of ‘Paradise Lost’, or ‘David Copperfield’? They have them, and you can gawk at them all you want with fellow bookworms. You can view these items otherwise as read more »


3096793996_991b17cf41Surely at some point in your prolific undergraduate career, you’ve produced an analytical masterpiece simply bursting at its eight-to-ten-page seams with eloquently abstracted brilliance far too groundbreaking to quietly staple and shove into a pile of your fellow students’ Adderall-driven crap.

Which of course is the basis for The Folio, UC Berkeley’s one and only Academic English Journal: for those of you hoarding your essay on nihilistic imagery in Wallace if for no other reason than to occasionally gaze at those “very goods” scribbled in the margins with a glowing sense of pride.

Are we speakin’ your language? So are the good folks at The Folio, who will be having an Acquisition Party this Saturday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Davis House Co-op — 2833 Bancroft Steps. We hear tell there will be noms.

Image Source: emilybean under Creative Commons
The Folio [site]
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