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Focus on Faculty

FOCUS ON FACULTY:  Susan Derwin's Writing Workshop for Veterans

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Susan Derwin's Writing Workshop for Veterans

Having the ability to tell your story can change your life – at least according to Susan Derwin, a specialist on trauma studies and a professor in UC Santa Barbara’s Comparative Literature and Germanic and Slavic Studies departments. Derwin has created a space for student veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars – as well as their loved ones  — to employ storytelling in order to both recover from personal trauma and to share their experiences with the public.

As director of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC) on campus, Derwin created the course seven years ago and continues to teach it today. The class is titled “Writing Workshop for Student Veterans and Their Loved Ones,” and during the summer there is an opportunity for student veterans from across the entire UC system to participate in a similar workshop.

In a recent interview, Derwin discusses the power of narrative today, a time when many voices continue to go unheard.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Laura Kalman, History

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Laura Kalman, History

Professor of 20th Century History Laura Kalman, in her vintage jean jacket and brown leather shoes, makes her history lectures as colorful as her rainbow shoelaces. Teaching history seems to be something that is as much fun for her as it is for her students.

“I love teaching 20th century United States history,” Kalman said. “I feel as though it is important that you all (students) have some sense of what it is.”

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Charles Bazerman

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Charles Bazerman

After more than 50 years of research and teaching, Charles Bazerman's contributions have left a tangible effect on the international community of writing educators.

This week, UCSB’s Writing Program is honoring Bazerman for generously funding the "Charles Bazerman Endowed Faculty Fellowship for Professional Development in Writing,” which will amount to $300,000 in support for continuing lecturers in the Writing Program to further their research. A reception is set for 4 p.m, at Mosher Alumni House with a talk by colleague and Writing Program Lecturer Katie Baillargeon.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Monique Meunier

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Monique Meunier

Monique Meunier, a ballet dancer and UC Santa Barbara assistant professor, felt a need to respond to the polarizing, divisive presidential election of 2016, believing that national solidarity is more important than ever.

So she choreographed and directed a Fine Arts and Performing Arts collaborative performance titled Still We Rise, for UCSB students to come together to support those whose futures are imperiled by proposed changes to DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was begun during the Obama presidency.

The performance premiered last winter to 120 people over two nights and concluded with ten dancers coming together at center stage to recite poet Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise.”

ANNOUNCING: The Charles Bazerman Faculty Fellowship in Writing

ANNOUNCING: The Charles Bazerman Faculty Fellowship in Writing

The UC Santa Barbara  Writing Program is pleased to announce the creation of the Charles Bazerman Endowed Faculty Fellowship for Professional Development in Writing. This endowed fund supports an annual, competitive, two-course fellowship for a Continuing Lecturer in the Writing Program. 

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Aline Ferreira

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Aline Ferreira

Aline Ferreira, an assistant professor in the department of Spanish and Portuguese, is currently directing high-tech eye tracking equipment in UCSB’s Bilingualism, Translation, and Cognition Laboratory to observe the brain as it translates from a speaker or typist’s mother tongue to a second language and back again.

She discussed this and other projects in a recent interview with HFA student Sierrah DeBoer.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Patricia Fancher wins a research grant

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Patricia Fancher wins a research grant

Writing Program lecturer Patricia Fancher’s research on 20th Century women physicians aligns with her focus on feminist rhetoric, women's writing and writing in the sciences. She was a first generation college student and attributes much of her own success to the community of women who supported her and mentored her through her educational journey.

“It feels like a beautiful tribute to continue to study how other communities of women mentor and support each other,” Fancher said.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Elizabeth Pérez

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Elizabeth Pérez

Elizabeth Pérez, assistant professor in Religious Studies at UC Santa Barbara, has won a top
honor for her first book, Religion in the Kitchen: Cooking, Talking, and the Making of Black
Atlantic Traditions
. Pérez was awarded the Clifford Geertz Prize in the anthropology of religion
at the 2017 American Anthropological Association meeting in Washington, D.C.

"When I was a PhD student and waiting to talk to people about larger-scale rituals, I was put to
work in the kitchen: slicing vegetables, frying plantains for Platanos Fritos, or rolling little
dumplings or balls of different kinds of flour. I found that it wasn't just the glamorous rituals with the splendid altars and the exciting music that were important, but that what I was doing had a place in the tradition, especially in the formation of religious subjects."

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Robert Krut

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Robert Krut

UCSB writing lecturer Robert Krut has some advice for soon-to-be teachers: “Remember what it’s like to be a student. Remember what it’s like to sit in a classroom.” 

One would imagine that after investing thousands of dollars in tuition, students would be scribbling attentively in their notepads each piece of information that spills from the mouth of their respective professors. 

But, this is often not the case.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Jane Callister

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Jane Callister

UC Santa Barbara Art professor Jane Callister is a featured artist in the Thomas Fire Artists’ Recovery Exhibition, taking place at Porch Gallery in Ojai, California until March 11th. Callister is a 53-year-old professional artist who has exhibited works of paintings, drawings, and installations.

Originally from the Isle of Man, she has been a full-time faculty member of the Art Department at UC Santa Barbara for more than 20 years. She donated one of her paintings, the acrylic Turmoil (2017), to the exhibition to help raise funds to benefit local artists who were victims of the fire.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Writing Program Lecturer Cissy Ross

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Writing Program Lecturer Cissy Ross

"I don’t like to call it retiring, I like to call it reinventing." 

                                                             — Writing Lecturer Cissy Ross

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Anne H. Charity Hudley

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Anne H. Charity Hudley

UC Santa Barbara’s hire Anne H. Charity Hudley believes linguistics is a discipline that offers insight into one of the most intriguing aspects of human knowledge and behavior: how we use language.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Film Professor Patrice Petro

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Film Professor Patrice Petro

The Carsey-Wolf Center wrapped up its fall film series “Hollywood Berlin: Exiles and Immigrants” with the final film Some Like It Hot. The event featured guest speaker David Mandel who is a writer, director and executive producer of shows such as Veep and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Kate McDonald

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Kate McDonald

For the past 11 years, UCSB historian Kate McDonald has had tourism on her mind - the tourism of early 20th century Japan. The resulting book “Placing Empire: Travel and the Social Imagination in Imperial Japan,” has just come out. It investigates tourism, movement, and territory in Japan in the early 1900s, and how that travel contributed to the creation of a Japanese national identity. McDonald’s book looks at land and mobility, using a unique lens to examine the origins of the Japanese empire and identity. HFA intern Giovanna Vicini spoke to the author.