Online Comments Override News in Shaping Opinion

Online Comments Override News in Shaping Opinion

At the Center for Information Technology & Society on Monday, University of Duisburg-Essen professor Nicole Krämer addressed the psychology of online opinion formation and its dangers. Krämer discussed fake news, filter bubbles, micro-targeting, and other side effects of online communication.

National Recognition for UCSB Linguistics

National Recognition for UCSB Linguistics

Linguistics professor Marianne Mithun was recently elected as the 95th President of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), the latest in a string of high profile UC Santa Barbara Linguistics achievements on the national level. As president, she will lead the meetings of the society, serve as the chair of the Executive Committee and appoint honorary members and non-elective committees. Meanwhile, linguistics professor Anne Charity Hudley received the LSA’s Linguistics, Language and Public award.

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: A Tale of Two Musicians at Home and at School

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: A Tale of Two Musicians at Home and at School

The manner in which two different musicians compose and perform can be just as distinct as their personalities. “Individuality of expression is the beginning and end of all art,” wrote the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Cory Fildes and Will Stout, both undergraduate music composition majors at UC Santa Barbara’s Music Department, are a perfect example of this individuality. Both students write sheets of music every week. But although these two room together, their personal journeys differ completely and these variations become strikingly apparent in their music.

Political Postures: Citizenship and the Role of Protest

Political Postures: Citizenship and the Role of Protest

Decades before Colin Kaepernick played for the National Football League, world champion boxer Muhammad Ali publicly opposed the Vietnam War and was stripped of his heavyweight title and banned from boxing for years. Recently, Kaepernick has followed in his footsteps and knelt in silence during the national anthem to protest racial injustice, hoping to garner support and promote change as Ali did in 1971.

To Brown University professor Bonnie Honig, Kaepernick and Ali’s actions that demonstrated their refusal to comply to society’s expectations reflects a “long tradition of American citizenship.”

The Late Republic: Shifting Values in Modern America and Ancient Rome

The Late Republic: Shifting Values in Modern America and Ancient Rome

“The societal changes of the Late Roman Republic’s aristocratic class has implications for how historians compare the past to our current political landscape,” scholar Noah Segal said in a recent talk to faculty and students of the Classics department. A decline in military background among those who serve in office is one trend in ancient Rome that echoes today.

Segal, who specializes in populism in democratic societies, will represent UC Santa Barbara at an international Classics convention in early January.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: From Wool to Apps, Lisa Jevratt on Art and Technology

FOCUS ON FACULTY: From Wool to Apps, Lisa Jevratt on Art and Technology

“Understanding programming can really help shape science, help shape production, help shape art and culture,” says Lisa Jevratt, an art professor who teaches in UC Santa Barbara’s Media Arts and Technology Program and is part of the university’s Center for Information Technology.

Jevbratt’s work, which has included the Zoomorph app, research projects, and collaborations with MAT students, offer us a picture of the future of technology. In this interview with Writing student Vinny Leonelli, ,she answers questions about the future and her achievements in her field.

A Trump Reality Check From Capps Guest Speaker Harold Koh

A Trump Reality Check From Capps Guest Speaker Harold Koh

President Trump’s policies have stirred a lot of criticism from both the public and government officials. Many disagreed with his so-called “travel-ban” policy, his “zero tolerance” immigration policy and his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords. Visiting Yale legal scholar and former advisor to the Dept. of State Harold Koh offered some legal grounds for optimism, explaining why these policies won’t last for long.

Sharing Asian American Stories Through Song

Sharing Asian American Stories Through Song

Julian Saporiti and Erin Aoyama, two PhD students from Brown University, are on a mission to share and perform their musical multimedia project “No-No Boy.” The piece consists of a slideshow and performance of folk songs to tell about Asian-American experiences during WWII and to confront prevailing narratives of that era that are found in textbooks. Saporiti and Aoyama presented their project to a UC Santa Barbara audience.

Prints: Sarah Bane Curates The Joan and Stuart Levin Collection

Prints: Sarah Bane Curates The Joan and Stuart Levin Collection

Prints! The Joan and Stuart Levin Collection showcases contemporary works on paper and printmaking from the 1960s, from artists like Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns who were revolutionary in this form of artistic expression. Sarah Banes, a UCSB PhD student in the History of Art & Architecture, discusses her experience with curating this exhibition in an interview with Writing student Vanessa Tang .

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Becoming Nearly Carbon Neutral

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Becoming Nearly Carbon Neutral

When UC Santa Barbara put out a climate report in 2014, professor Ken Hiltner was in complete awe at the enormity of the carbon footprint that academic conferences left behind, amounting to about 55 million pounds of carbon dioxide.  With a joint appointment in Environmental Studies and English Literature, Hiltner was ideally suited take action. He spoke in a recent interview about his Nearly Carbon Neutral Guide to academic conferences and the intersection of humanities and the environment.

Focus on Faculty:  Erika Rappaport on Tea, Identity and "Global Imagination"

Focus on Faculty: Erika Rappaport on Tea, Identity and "Global Imagination"

Tea has long been one of the most popular commodities in the world. In her book, A Thirst for Empire: How Tea Shaped the Modern World, UC Santa Barbara professor Erika Rappaport takes a deeper look into the historical value of the global tea industry, and how it ultimately shaped our contemporary consumer society.

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Dorian Elgrichi, Filmmaker and Entrepreneur

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Dorian Elgrichi, Filmmaker and Entrepreneur

“I like doing things that aren't just the norm. I don’t want to have a nine-to-five job,” says Dorian Elgrichi, a senior Film and Media studies major, who is currently running two companies while he is still in school — a photo booth company and a car detailing company. He has recently started a partnership with the electric skateboard company Riptide, creating a video for the firm in order to promote the use of its skateboards on college campuses.

Originally from Beverly Hills, Elgrichi transferred to UC Santa Barbara from Santa Monica College in 2017. He has been working in film production since participating in a film program during high school in Beverly Hills.

In this interview, Elgrichi speaks on how he has combined his love of film and his desire to succeed in business.

ALUMNI ALL-STARS: Ula Taylor, The Nation of Islam, and Women's Stories

ALUMNI ALL-STARS: Ula Taylor, The Nation of Islam, and Women's Stories

At the height of the civil rights movement, women in the black Muslim organization Nation of Islam were faced with a paradox: they had to sacrifice their rights as women as part of the larger struggle against systemic racism.

Author and UC Santa Barbara alum Ula Taylor describes this gender inequality in her book The Promise of Patriarchy: Women and The Nation of Islam, which she spoke about earlier this month at Embarcadero Hall.

HFA Writing student Mika Kaczmer covered the event.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, New Frontiers in Media Arts and Technology

FOCUS ON FACULTY: JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, New Frontiers in Media Arts and Technology

Imagine if you could explore the world of atoms, fly through the human brain, and come face to face with the surface of the moon. After years of collaborative research, JoAnn Kuchera-Morin and her team of scientists, artists, and engineers have made this possible here at UC Santa Barbara.

The AlloSphere, a 3-story-high spherical research instrument, takes data too small to see or hear and visually and sonically magnifies it to the human scale, allowing scientists and engineers to interact with complex data like artists: creatively and intuitively.

In a recent interview, JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, a professor of Media Arts and Technology and Music who is director of the research lab, discussed the importance of holistic thinking and a return to the learning-by-doing that the AlloSphere enables.

LAUNCH: UCSB's Journalism Certificate Program

LAUNCH: UCSB's Journalism Certificate Program

UC Santa Barbara launched a Journalism Certificate Program this fall, the first time the university has offered a credential in that field. The new program grants certification through a combination of courses from the Writing Program and Professional & Continuing Education, formerly known of as UCSB Extension. The program is an opportunity for undergraduate students to gain hands-on journalism experience. Currently, Berkeley is the only UC campus with a journalism school, and it is primarily a graduate school.

The application for the International Reporting course, which includes a trip to Berlin, is due December 5, 2018.

Out of the Vault: The AD&A's Susan Lucke on What Gives Art Value

Out of the Vault: The AD&A's Susan Lucke on What Gives Art Value

“Museums need to cater to all people,” says Selections from the Permanent Collection at UCSB’s Art Design & Architecture Museum (AD&A) collections manager Susan Lucke.

Approaching its Dec. 2 close, this show makes for a perfect opportunity to learn about art history and how the value of art differs based on the context in which it is shown. It displays art from all reaches of the fine arts collection normally held underground in the archives at UC Santa Barbara. Of the roughly 900 items usually held in storage, the exhibition shows us pieces ranging from Belgian Congo headdresses to modern abstract paintings by UC Santa Barbara alum Richard Serra. This juxtaposition of art across different places and time periods allows visitors to see a Pre-Colombian era sculpture and a still-life painting by Northern Europe’s Cornelis Mahu in the same room.

Chronicled: A Journalism Career Begins

Chronicled: A Journalism Career Begins

“The news that I was one of the 20 accepted could not have come at a better time in my life,” said college journalist Alondra Sierra of her acceptance into the Chronicle of Higher Education’s journalism workshop.

The Chronicle is the largest newspaper in the nation to cover higher education. This past summer, Sierra was among 20 college journalists from across the U.S to attend its two-day reporting workshop, all expenses paid. Now, back at UC Santa Barbara, Sierra is continuing to take journalism course through the Writing Program as part of the new Journalism Certificate program.

Race and Literature: Urging Young Black Women to Forge Their Own Paths

Race and Literature: Urging Young Black Women to Forge Their Own Paths

“It is very necessary to talk about race, and black girls are often left out of the conversation,” said Amoni Jones, who recently facilitated the MultiCultural Center’s first Race and Literature event at UC Santa Barbara. The monthly event explores race using various literary works.

Jones is a Feminist Studies doctoral student, who has worked with underprivileged African-American girls in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. She used the novel Shapeshifters, by Aimee Cox, to talk about the struggles young black women face growing up, and to show that society often stereotypes girls of color and forces them into roles they don’t want to be in. 

BLOG: Extra English Offers a Path to Success

BLOG: Extra English Offers a Path to Success

Chinese student Zhitao Kou describes how UC Santa Barbara eased his transition into American university life with programs for international students and step-up Linguistics department classes run by the English for Multilingual Students.

“ Each of us needed to write and present on current affairs such as presidential election, American social classes, American ethnicities and so on. Compared to other easy freshman courses, these classes are quite challenging,” writes Kou, who also benefited from one-on-one contact with professors.