James J. Berg

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James J. Berg
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Born (1964-07-01) July 1, 1964 (age 59)
Superior, Wisconsin
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota
  • Writer
  • Scholar
  • Editor

James J. Berg (born July 1, 1964, Superior, Wisconsin) is an American writer, scholar, and editor. He is known primarily for his academic publications on Christopher Isherwood. Also for his work as a developmental editor working with writers on academic and nonacademic projects.

His noted academic work includes The Isherwood Century (U Wisconsin Press), edited with Chris Freeman. Other works with Freeman include Conversations with Christopher Isherwood (University Press of Mississippi), The American Isherwood, and Isherwood in Transit. His most recent book is Isherwood on Writing (U Minnesota Press, 2008, 2022).

Early life and education

Berg attended the University of Minnesota, studying English and Theater, where earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1986. He studied in London in 1985, where he first encountered Isherwood’s works. He continued his studies and earned a Master of Arts in English from the University of Minnesota in 1992. In 1997, Berg earned his Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota, where he wrote a dissertation on E. M. Forster under Peter Edgerly Firchow and Toni McNaron.


Berg’s professional career began in Minneapolis as a Post-Doctoral Visiting Lecturer at the University of Minnesota. He then worked for the Collaboration for the Advancement of College Teaching & Learning, St. Paul, MN. At the University of Maine, Berg was a founding Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence.

He went on to become the Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Lake Superior College, Duluth, MN 2004-2007 where he led the general education division. From there, Berg moved to Palm Desert, CA as the Dean of Arts & Sciences at the College of the Desert, Palm Desert. After nine years, he moved across the country, accepting the role of Associate Dean of Faculty at the Borough of Manhattan Community College[1] in New York City. While there, he led faculty development for teaching and research in a college with over 1500 full- and part-time educators from 2016-2021. Berg is now executive Director of LGBTQ Leaders in Higher Education.[2]

Simultaneously, Berg began his scholarly writing on Christopher Isherwood. He was first published in 2000 and wrote numerous books over the following decades. For Isherwood’s centenary, Berg was interviewed by The New York Times.[3] He appears in the documentary Chris and Don: a Love Story [4]directed by Guido Santi and Tina Mascara. Berg lectures internationally on Isherwood.

Berg has also taught literature, writing and higher education courses at Teachers College, Columbia University (New York, NY), California State University, San Bernardino (Palm Desert Campus, CA), University of Maine (Orono, ME), and University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN).

Selected publications

Selected Presentations and Workshops

  • “Writing for Publication,” Guttman Community College, City University of New York. 2023
  • “Getting Started: Workshop for New Faculty Developers,” invited presenter. POD Network Conference,[7] “Leading in Times of Change.” 2018, 2019, 2021.
  • “Remote and Obscure: Isherwood in Los Angeles,” invited keynote, Significations Conference, California State University, Los Angeles. 2016.[8]
  • "The American Isherwood," Invited address at Huntington Library, 2008.[9]


• Lambda Literary Award for Gay Studies, for The Isherwood Century. 2000.[10]

• Christopher Isherwood Foundation Fellowship, Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, 2002-2003.

• Scholars Work-in-Progress Grant, Minnesota Humanities Commission, 2002-2003.

• Lambda Literary Award for LGBLQ Anthology – Finalist, for Love, West Hollywood 2008.[11]


  1. "BMCC". Retrieved 2023-08-28.
  2. "Board of Directors". LGBTQ Leaders in Higher Education. Retrieved 2023-08-28.
  3. Weinraub, Bernard (2004-07-07). "A Tribute to Isherwood in the Land He Loved". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-08-28.
  4. Chris & Don: A Love Story (2007) - IMDb, retrieved 2023-08-28
  5. "7 Things You Never Knew About Christopher Isherwood". HuffPost. 2015-05-06. Retrieved 2023-08-28.
  6. Berg, Jim (2023-06-03). "Geraldo outed me on national television". Salon. Retrieved 2023-08-28.
  7. "2018 POD Network Conference". POD Network: Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education. Retrieved 2023-08-28.
  8. "Significations 2016 | Cal State LA". www.calstatela.edu. Retrieved 2023-08-28.
  9. "CONTENTdm". hdl.huntington.org. Retrieved 2023-08-28.
  10. Cerna, Antonio Gonzalez (2001-07-10). "13th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Retrieved 2023-08-28.
  11. Cerna, Antonio Gonzalez (2010-02-18). "21st Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Retrieved 2023-08-28.

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