Twelve UCSB student journalists have just returned from a two-week reporting trip to Berlin, as part of an International Reporting course that coincided with the 30th anniversary year of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Students are producing a variety of feature stories - from German identity, to the migrant crisis, to architecture and gentrification - which will appear later this month in a project-based online publication called Berlin Beyond Borders. The UCSB student reporting has already been appearing on social media.
Ranj Atur, is currently a PhD candidate at UC Santa Barbara, focusing on Greek religion and Greek polytheism. She is also working closely with Professor Christine Thomas, an archeologist from Harvard who teaches religious studies courses at UCSB. Atur, looks at language in ancient religions by way of archeological artifacts: statues, clay tablets, pottery, and paintings from between the first century BCE and first century CE.
In a recent interview, Atur discussed how ancient religions have influenced the development of language and religion over the centuries.
21-year-old Kyrié Howard, a film and media studies major at UC Santa Barbara, recently sat down for an interview to discuss her experience in the program, how she found her calling, how she continues to hone her craft, and her plans for the future. Prior attending UCSB, Kyrié interned at Bad Robot Productions, a company led by the acclaimed film producer J.J. Abrams.
UCSB student Mikayla Knight is the current president of Shrunken Heads, an entirely student run musical theater society, that seeks to utilize theater and art not only as a mode of expression, but also as a platform for human rights activism. Knight has also performed a piece on sexual assault during the annual production of The Vagina Monologues and Herstories, a performance that deals with various aspects of the feminine experience. She recently spoke about her work in this interview.
Second-year UC Santa Barbara student Frances Woo recently launched Um… Magazine, an online and print arts publication that aims to give marginalized communities a platform to showcase their art, writing, photography, and music.
In a recent interview, Woo discussed the creation of the magazine and her plans for its future.
During the fall of 2018, Kindra Ontiveros was offered a program management position. Shortly after her start, the government awarded her department a million-dollar contract for an aerospace research project. Ontiveros is now the lead financial advisor for the project.
In a recent interview she spoke about how she has been cultivating her confidence at work in the aerospace industry and the path she took to get there.
In her years researching the social origins of the minimum wage in the Western world, historian, author, and professor at SUNY at Binghamton Kathryn Kish Sklar discovered that American labor pioneer Florence Kelley’s efforts in the late 19th century to protect women and children in factories led to the minimum wage in America. Sklar shared these findings in a recent UC Santa Barbara lecture hosted by the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy and the History Department.
“I was surrounded by those who shared the same music taste as me, whether it was our love for Lebanese artists Nancy Ajram or Fares Karam. We shared the same taste in food, the same values, and the same understanding of what it means to be an Arab in America,” said Jasmin Abdulaziz. “It was astounding to see what had flourished simply by stepping out of my comfort zone and attending a meeting with a room full of strangers.”
In this piece Abdulaziz talks about how she, a Syrian American, found herself a community after joining UCSB’s Lebanese Social Club.
Dartmouth anthropologist Sienna Craig discusses how a newer group of immigrants in New York, the Nepalis, are adjusting to a new way of life through khora, a pilgrimage and type of meditative practice.
Indiana University, Bloomington professor and UC Santa Barbara alumnus Bret Rothstein delivered a recent presentation titled “The Cheat, the Spoilsport, and the Virtuoso” to UCSB history of art & architecture students and faculty, describing the role of games in 16th century European artwork.
History of Art and Architecture professor Claudia Moser and Writing Program lecturer Christian Thomas have received a $94,000 grant from UC Santa Barbara’s Innovative Learning Technology Initiative (ILTI) to develop an interactive, game-based course called Rome: The Game. The lower division course, which will be available to students in winter 2021, is an introduction to the art, archaeology, and history of ancient Rome, with an emphasis on writing and research.
In a recent workshop, UC Santa Barbara English professor Jeannine DeLombard said American legal doctrine granted the status of ‘persons’ to slaves in order to prosecute them, a dynamic that lingered long after emancipation in the criminalization of African Americans.
“Slaves were recognized as criminally responsible, but not having civil rights,” DeLombard said. “And this is mapped onto African Americans today.”
During the Khmer Rouge reign of terror in Cambodia, possessing popular music was resulted in an immediate death sentence. Music archivist Nate Hun speaks to a UC Santa Barbara audience about his goal to recover and digitally restore vinyl recordings of Cambodian popular music from that lost era.
Alan Liu, a professor of English at UC Santa Barabara is a self-described digi-humanist. Liu is currently directing a $1.1 million humanities grant from the Mellon Foundation. The project, “WhatEvery1Says,” collects big data relating to the word ‘humanities.’ He also published a book last year with the University of Chicago Press titled “Friending the Past.”
Liu recently sat down for an interview to discuss the intersection between humanities and our increasingly digital environment.
Not many college students have the honor of receiving the title of “award-winning screenwriter.” But Aashka Pandya, a graduating student double-majoring in Film & Media Studies and Communication, earned that elite title earlier this year when she received the Best Screenplay award at the 2019 Santa Barbara International Film Festival 10-10-10 Competition. In this interview, she comments on her award as well as the connection her Indian American identity has on her filmmaking and creative process.
At a recent two-day conference called “Disquantified: Higher Education in the Age of Metrics,” leading analyst of technology in education Phil Hill spoke about the implications of digital courseware. The goal of the conference was to discuss the use of data and technology as a way to measure the quality of higher education and to drive policy change.
UCSB writing professor Kathy Patterson shared her recent research on incorporating blogging in first-year college writing courses during the 3rd annual celebration for the Charles Bazerman Endowed Faculty Fellowship for Professional Development in Writing. As the 2018-2019 recipient of the research fellowship, Patterson discussed the benefits blogging has on a college student’s motivation, writing process, digital literacy, and connection with their community.
As part of the recent memorial of the 2014 Isla Vista shooting, gun violence expert Robyn Thomas spoke at UC Santa Barbara about the future of gun safety in the United States. “It is an absolutely devastating crisis,” Thomas said. “But we have momentum on our side.”
Thomas is the executive director of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and her talk was hosted by the Walter Capps Center for Ethics, Religion, and Public Life.
Booklets, musicals, websites, essays and short stories were just some of the creative mediums produced and presented by students at the Raab Writing Fellows Showcase last week at the Mosher Alumni House. For the third year in a row, the program has allowed students to embrace their passions and explore their topic of interest through year-long research under the mentorship of faculty members in the Writing Program. The program is generously funded by UCSB Trustee Diana Raab, an award-winning author and poet, and advocate for personal writing as a source of healing and empowerment.
At a club fair at UCSB, film student Spencer Williams was immediately drawn to InterVals A Cappella, a student-run music club. “I was so drawn into the vibe. Everyone is cool,” he said. For the last four years, Williams has focused on his film and media education and his a cappella group. As he is set to graduate soon, he reflects on the profound impact being a part of his a cappella group had on his life and what it has taught him as he steps into a new future.