Following the campus guidelines for Coronavirus all UC Davis classes, lectures, seminars, labs and discussion sections will move to virtual instruction and remain virtual through the end of fall quarter 2020, including final exams. Given this, the department’s administrative functions have moved to remote work conditions. To contact staff members of the department via e-mail or phone, please go to our administrative staff contact page. 

Home | News |

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author to Give Lunn Lecture

Please join us Wednesday, May 3, for this year’s Lunn Memorial Lecture featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Stacy Schiff.

Her talk, “In the Archives: Getting a Life,” begins at 4:10 p.m. in the Buehler Alumni Center’s AGR Hall.

Schiff is the author of "Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov): Portrait of a Marriage," which won a Pulitzer Prize for Biography, and "Saint-Exupéry: A Biography," a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Her book "A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France and the Birth of America," won the George Washington Book Prize.

Her fourth book, "Cleopatra: A Life," was a top national bestseller, one of The New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2010 and winner of the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for biography. "Cleopatra" has been translated into 30 languages.

Her latest book, "The Witches: Salem, 1692," also a No. 1 bestseller, was described by historian David McCullough as  “brilliant from start to finish.”

Schiff said her talk will focus on "coaxing a life out of a mass of paper (or non-paper, in Cleopatra’s case) and about the relationship of the archive to the book. Different kinds of documentation yield different brands of biography; the most complete archive does not necessarily yield the best life. To some extent the talk is about reading between the lines, for the eloquent omission and the emphatic erasures."  

Schiff received a 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Schiff has written for The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New York Review of Books, and the Los Angeles Times, among many other publications. She lives in New York City.

The annual Lunn Lecture honors cultural historian Eugene Lunn, who taught UC Davis from 1970 until his death in 1990. Read more about the lectureship and past speakers.