Orville Schell in conversation with Elaine Pagels and Mark Danner

Orville Schell, a uniquely experienced observer of China gives us My Old Home: A Novel of Exilea sweeping historical novel that takes us on a journey from the rise of Mao Zedong in 1949 to the Tiananmen Square uprising in 1989, as a father and his son are swept away by a relentless series of devastating events.

Orville Schell is the director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society. From 1996 to 2007 he was the dean of the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He has written ten nonfiction books on China and contributed to many publications, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, Foreign Affairs, and The New York Review of Books. He is also an Emmy Award-winning producer for PBS, NBC Nightly News, and 60 Minutes. He divides his time between New York City and Berkeley, California.

Elaine Pagels, a historian of religion, is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor at Princeton University and an Aspen Institute Trustee. Perhaps best known as the author of “The Gnostic Gospels,” “The Origin of Satan,” and “Adam, Eve and the Serpent,” she has published widely on Gnosticism and early Christianity, and continues to pursue research interests on topics that include sexuality and politics, visions, and the origins of Christian anti-semitism. Her most recent books include “Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas” (was on The New York Times best-seller list) and “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation” (2012).

Mark Danner has written about foreign affairs and American politics for more than two decades, covering Latin America, Haiti, the Balkans and the Middle East among other stories. He was for many years a staff writer at The New Yorker and contributes frequently to The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine and other publications. He teaches at the University of California and at Bard college and speaks and debates widely about America’s role in the world.

March 20, 2021

PostModernism: Class 4


February 06, 2020

First Year Forum, Week 1


April 23, 2019

Mark Danner in Conversation with Robert Hass

Mark Danner in conversation with Robert Hass at UC Berkeley.


April 12, 2018

Cal Performances Kronos Quartet Symposium on the Centennial Anniversary of World War I

Cal Performances Kronos Quartet Symposium on the Centennial Anniversary of World War I, at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall.


March 04, 2018

Townsend Center Berkeley Book Chat: Mark Danner with Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates in conversation with Mark Danner about his book, Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War, at Berkeley's Townsend Center.


February 28, 2018

UC Berkeley Celebrates Michael Krasny's 25 Years as Host of KQED's Forum

Mark Danner introduces Michael Krasny at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism.


February 08, 2018

Jonathan Schell Memorial

Mark Danner's speech at the 2017 Jonathan Schell Memorial Lecture on the Fate of the Earth


October 12, 2017

Tribute to Robert B. Silvers (1929- 2017)

Mark Danner pays tribute to Robert B. Silvers at the New York Public Library on April 26, 2017. 

April 26, 2017

How America's "War on Terror" was (Unwittingly) Designed to Last Forever

Vox writer Sean Illing interviews Mark Danner on how America's "war on terror" was unwittingly designed to last forever. The interview was published on February 24, 2017. 

February 25, 2017

Trump Abroad, Trump at Home: Declaring the New War

Mark Danner sat down with Bard President Leon Botstein to discuss President Donald Trump's first days in office and his approach to foreign and domestic policy. The event was held at Bard's Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 2, 2017.

February 04, 2017

CSPAN - Talking Spiral With Brian Lamb

Brian Lamb sat down with Mark Danner to talk about his latest book, Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War, which looks at the 15-year U.S. war on terrorism. The interviewed aired on C-SPAN on Oct. 27, 2016.

December 28, 2016

A World Turned Upside Down? A Dialogue, Mark Danner with Leon Botstein.

On Friday, November 11, 2016, Bard College hosted a public, post-election
dialogue with Bard President Leon Botstein and Mark Danner, James Clarke
Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities and contributor
to the New York Review of Books. The discussion was sponsored by Bard's Human Rights
and Center for Civic Engagement.

December 17, 2016

In Memoriam: Jonathan Schell

Mark Danner reflects on the journalistic legacy of  Jonathan Schell and what it means to be a reporter during a speech given at the Asian Society in New York. 

December 05, 2016

The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University

At the Carr Center's Strategic Consequences of Torture conference in early October, Danner was one of the speakers at a session aiming to understand how the US practices impacted the global norm prohibiting torture. How did the US use of torture impact other governments and their policies? How did it impact patterns of human rights abuses overseas? How did it impact the international norm prohibiting torture and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment? How can we fix the damage done to the fabric of international human rights by the US use of torture?


October 08, 2016

Torture, Security and Law: Lessons for the Future

A symposium revisiting the torture controversies of the 2000s with Robert H. Cole, Professor Of Law Emeritus, UC Berkeley Mark Danner, Author of Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War and Torture and Truth Dror Ladin, Staff Attorney, National Security Project, American Civil Liberties Union and Jeremy Waldron, University Professor, NYU School of Law. Moderated by: Bill Roller, President, Berkeley Group Education Foundation.


September 30, 2016

Telluride Film Festival 2016: Tribute to Pablo Larrain with Mark Danner and Gael Garcia Bernal

As a resident curator of the Telluride Film Festival, Mark Danner travels to Colorado each Labor Day to speak with some of the world's most creative and accomplished filmmakers. At TFF2016, Danner presented a tribute to Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain and led an on-stage interview with him. 

September 04, 2016

Your Call: Trapped in the Forever War

For the Friday media roundable on the August 5, 2016 edition of KALW's Your Call, Rose Aguilar has a conversation with veteran journalist Mark Danner about his new book Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War.

August 05, 2016

The World Affairs Council - Mark Danner interviewed by Nancy Jarvis

Join the World Affairs Council and Mark Danner, author of “Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War,” for a conversation about how the United States found itself on a “permanent war footing” and what that means for our role in the world. As part of World Affairs "Engage" series, this event features a post-discussion Q&A, when the audience will have the chance to participate directly with the speaker. Moderated by Nancy A. Jarvis, Attorney at Farrand Cooper, P.C.

July 29, 2016

KQED Forum with Michael Krasny: How the U.S. Became Embroiled in the "Forever War"

Since 9/11, the United States has been led by presidents with a firm mandate to quash terrorism. But according to UC Berkeley professor Mark Danner, America’s wars in the Middle East have spiraled out of control: worldwide deaths attributed to terrorism have spiked by more than 4000 percent since 9/11, several countries have plunged into civil war and the U.S. is in a seemingly endless campaign of drone strikes. In Danner’s new book, “Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War” he presents a damning analysis of the past two administrations and sheds light on how the next president could possibly change things for the better.

June 21, 2016

Rethinking Washington’s Counterterrorism Strategy

Mark Danner discusses Washington's Counterterrorism Strategy on a virtual roundtable with Peter Leyden, Rachel Kleinfeld, Stephen Walt and Suzanna Nossel. Part of the ReInvent media series. 

December 08, 2015

Spiraling Down: Human Rights, Endless War

Spiraling Down: Human Rights, Endless War

The Frances Tarlton "Sissy" Farenthold Inaugural Lecture in Peace, Social Justice and Human Rights
Eldman Courtroom, Texas Law School
University of Texas, Austin 

October 22, 2015

ChinaFile Presents: Can the China Model Succeed?

A conversation hosted by the Asia Society of New York, with Mark Danner, Orville Schell, Taisu Zhang, Andrew J. Nathan, Timothy Garton Ash, and Daniel A. Bell. 


October 15, 2015

ISI Burke Society Debate

Mark Danner debates former Bush Administration speech writer, Marc Thiessen, against the notion, "America should exercise its power and straighten out the Middle East."

March 31, 2015

Berkeley Law Symposium: Torture, Security and Law

Berkeley Law Symposium on Torture, Security and Law
Robert Cole, Mark Danner, Rebecca Gordon, Jameel Jaffer, Bill Roller (Moderator) 
This symposium seeks to promote a heightened awareness of the responsibilities of lawyers, the organized bar, law schools and law students in the context of torture. 

February 12, 2015

Mark Danner: Bush Lied About the Torture of Prisoners

Mark Danner with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!

Tags: Democracy Now | CIA | ICRC

January 03, 2015

How the US Created the Islamic State

In this collaboration with VICE News and the New York Review of Books Mark Danner discusses the US role in the development of ISIS. 


November 14, 2014

MacArthur Lecture at Bard College

Mark Danner delivers his MacArthur lecture, "Terror, Torture, Drones: Taking Stock of the Forever War" at Bard College

October 27, 2014

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