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Course Curriculum

Magazine Faculty


Lydia Chavez (Professor and Robert A. Peck Chair in Journalism)

Lydia Chávez started as a reporter for The Albuquerque Tribune, later moving on to Time magazine, the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, where she served as El Salvador and South American bureau chief. In 2005, Chávez and her students collaborated to publish “Capitalism, God and A Good Cigar: Cuba Enters the Twenty-First Century” (Duke University Press). And in 1998, Chávez published, “The Color Bind: California’s Battle Against Affirmative Action,” which won the Leonard Silk Award (UC Press). She has also written op-ed pieces for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Examiner and magazine pieces for the New York Times and Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazines and George Magazine. She holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Mark Danner (Professor)

Mark Danner is a writer and reporter who for three decades has written on politics and foreign affairs, focusing on war and conflict. He has covered, among many other stories, wars and political conflict in Central America, Haiti, the Balkans, Iraq and the Middle East, and, most recently, the story of torture during the War on Terror. Danner is Professor of Journalism and English at the University of California, Berkeley and James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities at Bard College. Among his books are Torture and the Forever War (forthcoming, 2014), Stripping Bare the Body (2009), The Secret Way to War: The Downing Street Memo and the Iraq War's Buried History (2006), Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror (2004), The Road to Illegitimacy: One Reporter's Travels through the 2000 Florida Vote Recount (2004), and The Massacre at El Mozote: A Parable of the Cold War (1994). Danner was a longtime staff writer at The New Yorker and is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books. His work has appeared in Harper's, The New York Times, Aperture, and many other newspapers and magazines. He co-wrote and helped produce two hour-long documentaries for the ABC News program Peter Jennings Reporting , and his work has received, among other honors, a National Magazine Award, three Overseas Press Awards, and an Emmy. In 1999 Danner was named a MacArthur Fellow. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Century Association, the World Affairs Council and serves as a resident curator at the Telluride Film Festival. He speaks and lectures widely on foreign policy and America's role in the world.

Cynthia Gorney (Professor)

Cynthia Gorney joined the faculty in 1999, after a career at The Washington Post that included serving as an award-winning national features writer, South American bureau chief and the first writer for the Post’s Style section based on the West Coast. She is the author of “Articles of Faith: A History of the Abortion Wars,” and has written for many magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, and the American Journalism Review. She is currently a New Yorker staff writer. Gorney is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

Ken Light (Adjunct Professor/Photo Director)

Light, curator of the Photojournalism Center at the School, is the author of 8 monographs including Texas Death Row.

Michael Pollan (Professor)

Michael Pollan is the author, most recently, of "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto." His previous book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals", was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. It also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, the James Beard Award for best food writing, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is also the author of "The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World", "A Place of My Own", and "Second Nature". A contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, Pollan is the recipient of numerous journalistic awards, including the James Beard Award for best magazine series in 2003 and the Reuters-I.U.C.N. 2000 Global Award for Environmental Journalism. His articles have been anthologized in Best American Science Writing, Best American Essays and the Norton Book of Nature Writing. Pollan served for many years as executive editor of Harper's Magazine and is now the Knight Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at UC Berkeley.


Deirdre English

Deirdre English has written and edited work on a wide array of subjects related to investigative reporting, cultural politics, gender studies, and public policy. She has contributed articles, commentaries and reviews to Mother Jones magazine, the Nation, and The New York Times Book Review, among other publications, and to public radio and television. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Mother Jones magazine where she worked for eight years, ending in 1986. She has taught American Studies and magazine writing and production at the College of Old Westbury at the State University of New York and has been a lecturer at City College of New York and the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her most current work includes a revision of For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts’ Advice to Women (Anchor), co-authored with Barbara Ehrenreich and published with a new Afterword in 2004, and an essay on the work of photographer Susan Meiselas, published in Carnival Strippers, Whitney Museum of American Art, 2003. She has taught at the J-school since 1988, and directed the Felker Magazine course for several years, during which the her class has won numerous regional and national Mark of Excellence awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including the national Best Student Magazine and Best Feature Article of 2009.

Edwin Dobb

More stubborn than smart, Edwin Dobb was in his mid-30s, his teenage children weary of wearing Goodwill clothes, before he conceded that writing plays and working in the theater would never pay the rent. Luckily, opportunity knocked, improvisational malarkey prevailed, and he found himself editing (code word for ghostwriting) at a greatly admired award-winning magazine in New York called The Sciences. Against all expectation, Dobb eventually became editor-in-chief. He also became discontent and, on the verge of financial security for the first time in his life, left to write full-time. That was 1990. Since then, Dobb has sold sentences to all manner of publications, from Reader's Digest and Vogue to Discover, Audubon, and The New York Times Magazine. In time, to his great relief, the hackwork decreased and he secured assignments with more heft and consequence. From 1998 to 2007, Dobb was a contributing writer at Harper’s. For the past several years he's been working for National Geographic. Dobb is the co-writer and co-producer of a documentary film, called “Butte, America,” that aired on Independent Lens in the fall of 2009. A lecturer since 2000, and a longstanding investigative anthropologist, he teaches reported narrative writing, literary nonfiction, and environmental journalism.

Adam Hochschild

Adam Hochschild is the author of seven books. 'Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves' won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN USA Literary Award, the Gold Medal of the California Book Awards, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has twice been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His 'Finding the Trapdoor: Essays, Portraits, Travels,' collects some of the articles he has done in several decades of writing for various newspapers and magazines. Earlier in his career, he was a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, a commentator on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," and an editor and writer at Mother Jones magazine. His articles have also been published in the New Yorker, Harper's, the Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. In 2009 he received the Theodore Roosevelt-Woodrow Wilson Award from the American Historical Association and in 2014 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Jennifer Kahn

Jennifer Kahn is feature writer for The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Outside, and Wired magazine, among others. A graduate of Princeton University and UC Berkeley, she has degrees in astrophysics and journalism, and has been a recipient of the CASE-UCLA media fellowship in neuroscience. Her work has been chosen for the Best American Science Writing series four times. She is also featured in Best American Sports Writing 2010.

Previous Lecturers

Kathleen Richards

Kathleen Richards is the co-editor of the East Bay Express, where she has worked since 2006, while still a student at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. She oversees the paper's entire arts and culture section, and her own reporting has won awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club, among others. Her background is primarily in music journalism: She was the founder of a bimonthly magazine called Bay Area Buzz, which covered the local music scene. In her spare time, she plays drums in a rock band.

Cyrus Farivar

Cyrus Farivar [suh-ROOS FAR-ih-var] is a journalist, radio producer and author. He is also the senior business editor at Ars Technica, a tech news website owned by Condé Nast. His book, The Internet of Elsewhere—about the history and effects of the Internet on different countries around the world, including Senegal, Iran, Estonia and South Korea—was published by Rutgers University Press in April 2011. He has reported for Deutsche Welle English, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, The Economist, Wired, The New York Times and many others. He has a B.A. in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley and a M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He's also survived three VfDs on Wikipedia. However, on a 4th VfD attempt in February 2007, he was, in fact, deleted. For the moment, Cyrus is still waiting for someone to add him back.