When I was a freshman, I was assigned to English 1A with Professor William Nestrick. From that first class session when he had us read the opening of Shakespeare’s “Anthony and Cleopatra” out loud, I was captivated with his teaching and style. I later took a class in American literature of the 20th century and film, which Professor Nestrick taught. He showed us the connection between written narrative and film narrative, and using the 1937 Hollywood crime drama, “Dead End” with Humphrey Boggart, Silvia Sydney, Joel McCrea, and the “Dead End Kids.” Professor Nestrick became the founder of a Film Major at Berkeley that eventually became the Department of Film. Tragically, he died young in 1996. But his inspiration stuck with me. Later, in the class on American history taught by Professor Leon Litwack, he used photo slide images to evoke the connection between image and historical perspective. Finally, I took a classes from Richard Hutson in the English Department in which classical American literature of the 19th century and film narrative deepened my interest in film narrative, literature and history.
Professor Hutson sat on my Oral Exam Committee as a graduate student, and was on my Dissertation Committee. I remain grateful to all of these teachers who helped me fashion a window and vision of how narrative can extend beyond the written word, and empowered me to use literature and narrative to fashion both insights into American Political Theory as well as utilize the tools offered by images and film narrative to teach students in my classes.