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Illustrations by Patrick Welsh

Our List of Women Who Rock

By Pat Joseph

Marié Digby, who studied philosophy at Cal in the mid-2000s, scored a viral hit on YouTube with her cover of Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” which she plays solo on acoustic guitar while sitting on the floor of her living room. It currently has more than 22 million views. It wasn’t pure chance; by the time she released […]

The Edge Episode 18: Into the Ishi Wilderness

Today, we’re featuring the audio version of California magazine’s recent cover story, “Into the Ishi Wilderness.”

Photo by Margie Cullen

She Thought She Would Change Her Community as a Lawyer. Instead, She Did it with Mac and Cheese.

By Margie Cullen

Erin Wade got a law degree from Berkeley in 2008, but quickly realized that she hated being a lawyer. Instead, she turned to her childhood love: mac and cheese.

Carleton E. Watkins, UC Berkeley Bancroft Library

This Land is Their Land

By Hayden Royster

To Phenocia Bauerle, the words “land-grant college” carry a particular weight. A member of the Apsáalooke tribe, she grew up in Montana, a state where, as she puts it, “it’s understood what a land-grant institution means: It means Native land was taken.”

Photo by Dexter Hake

Into the Ishi Wilderness

By Laura Smith

To get to the Ishi Wilderness you’ll want a full tank of gas and four-wheel-drive. Even then, you should be willing to ditch the car and walk. The approximately 41,000-acre wilderness area is located in the Lassen National Forest in a remote part of the southern Cascade foothills northeast of Chico, within sight of Mount Lassen.

(Illustration by Christina Dallorso)

First Person

By Alexa Zahlada '23, as told to Anabel Sosa

Back in 2009, I moved from Ukraine to the U.S. to live with my mom, who was studying to become a doctor. Years later, I remember her sitting me down in the car and saying, “I cannot afford to raise you here and I don’t know what to do.”

Abbey Road: The Leopold’s crew move their butts across the street, Berserkeley style. (Courtesy of Peter Michaels)

High Fidelity

By Coby McDonald, M.J. ’17

Each afternoon when the lunch bell rang at Maybeck High School, 16-year-old Gabriel Lautaro, aspiring DJ, would walk the two blocks to Telegraph Avenue and hit the record stores. The year was 1990, back when DJing meant two turntables and a crate of vinyl.

Courtesy of the artist

What Began as Family Trauma Becomes Celebrated Art

By Emily Wilson

A few years ago, artist Cynthia Brannvall spent the summer experimenting with creating a floor to ceiling cyclone of clothes, trying to push her textile work to sculpture. She didn’t really like the results—she had meant to convey female power with the cyclone, but instead it looked ghostly and fragile — and she worried she’d wasted the summer. 


By Anabel Sosa

Blind thinkers, scientists, and artists showing us the way.

Losing Joan Didion

By Pat Joseph

Writer Joan Didion, who graduated from Berkeley in 1956, died on December 23, 2021, at age 87. She will be remembered as one of the most distinctive voices not only of her generation but in all of American letters. 

What to Read, Watch, and Listen to This Spring

Here are a few of our favorite books, shows, and films by people from Berkeley.

Gospel is the Foundation of American Music

By Dhoha Bareche

A Q&A with documentarian Matt Durning.