Taylor Johnston is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature and an M.A. candidate in English at UC Berkeley, where she studies historical and contemporary realism of the American and European canons, Italian film and thought, Critical Theory and Pedagogy, and Creative Writing. Her work appears in Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction (2017) and The Raymond Carver Review (2016). Her dissertation project, Postmodern Realism and That Class Which Is Not One, critically examines how American fiction of the White lower middle class describes and reimagines that subject-position during the 1970s and 80s.
In the Department of Comparative Literature, she has taught courses on American and European literature and film, including “Reading and Writing Other People: Class and Race in Naturalist Fiction” (Fall 2016), “Literature in the Age of Ritalin” (Spring 2015), on boredom and distraction in literature and social theory, and two interdisciplinary, Mellon-funded courses on the intersections of literature and live performance, a collaboration with Cal Performances.
Originally from San Diego, she received a B.A. in English and American Literature (2007) and an M.A. in Italian Studies (2010) from Middlebury College. Before beginning her graduate studies at Berkeley, she taught English at the Luca Pacioli Technical Institute in Lombardy (2007-8) and Italian at “La Scuola” International School, San Francisco (2008-12), as part of their early childhood education program.