Educators and students gathered at the 6th Annual American Indian and Indigenous Collective Symposium held recently at UC Santa Barbara and sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center. From an indigenous perspective, participants discussed modern decolonization as a means of forging a relationship with one’s roots.
Brown University historian Amy Remensnyder honored retiring UC Santa Barbara medieval studies professor Sharon Farmer at a recent colloquium hosted by UCSB’s History department. As a celebration of the professor’s career, Remensnyder and six of Farmer’s previous students presented their own research related to Medieval history.
Adam Kearney, a ‘knowledge engineer’ for Amazon, gave a talk last week to UC Santa Barbara students on how to create new ideas and make them into a success. “I feel like there’s a misconception on what creativity is and where you actually find it to start ideas,” said Kearney. His talk entitled, “Truth Emerges More Readily from Error,” was part of the Media Arts and Technology (MAT) Seminar Series.
In honor of Black History Month, human rights activist Ericka Huggins spoke in the opening event of the Black Student Union’s annual two-day series, Heart and Soul Case. In her talk, “An Evening with Ericka Huggins: Identity, Activism, and Change,” she urged students to step out of the boxes society places them in.
Performing songs from the Jazz Age like “Ladybird,” by Tadd Dameron, and “My Shining Hour,” by John Coltrane, The Matt Perko Quintet captivated a UC Santa Barbara audience during a recent performance for the weekly World Music Series, put on by the UCSB Department of Music and the MultiCultural Center. Wednesdays, outside at the Bowl, or inside when it rains.
Students and faculty filled nearly all of UC Santa Barbara’s Studio Theater for award-winning playwright and actor Petrona de la Cruz Cruz’s recent performance of her play, Bittersweet Dreams/Dulces y amargos sueños . The play deals with heavy topics such as sexual assault and both de la Cruz Cruz and director Doris Difarnecio discussed that in a question and answer session after the performance. “Theater has brought me so many places and because of this, I know that my path has many less thorns and stones, and many more flowers,” said de la Cruz Cruz.
As part of the debut of the library exhibition “In Her Own Image,” a panel discussion about women in comics was held to highlight the feminist implications of the UCSB Reads 2019 selection "The Best We Can Do," by Thi Bui. Panelists also described how women have built their own underground movements through the use of comics.
Judy Shepard visited UCSB to discuss the significance of her son’s murder and how it inspired the play “The Laramie Project,” which UCSB is now staging, directed by Eric Jorgensen, a PhD candidate in Theater and Dance. In 1998 when Matthew Shepard was just 21 years old, he was beaten, tortured and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming—a violent act fueled by anti-gay hatred. The wound of Matthew Shepard’s death has now been open for 20 years and produced a legacy that continues today.
Space architect and researcher Barbara Imhof spoke at UCSB about her current and past projects exploring human habitation of space. Her talk “The Stars Look Very Different Today (David Bowie)” was part of the Seminar series hosted by Media Arts & Technology.
Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and human rights advocate Jose Antonio Vargas visited UC Santa Barbara to speak about the challenges undocumented immigrants faced. He urged undocumented immigrants to stand up for legal recognition of their status in the United States. “When our presence is broadly criminalized, our very existence is an act of resistance,” said Vargas in a recent talk at Campbell Hall.
At the Active Shooter Preparedness Training hosted earlier this month by the Walter H. Capps Center, emergency physician Dr. Scott Sherr recounted the hurdles his team faced during the Las Vegas Music Festival shooting. Drawing from his experience, Sherr offered a major piece of advice for the general public to better prepare for future mass shootings.
The 22nd U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith came to visit UC Santa Barbara to share her poems and writing process. Before her talk in UCSB’s Campbell Hall, she spoke to poets and aspiring student poets at the Old Little Theatre in The College of Creative Studies, where Writing, English and Literature students asked questions about her inspiring poetry journey.
UC Santa Barbara’s Asian Resource Center (ARC) hosted a celebration for Lunar New Years last week with different Asian Pacific Islander clubs organizing activities and performances that showed off traditional aspects of different Asian cultures. “Lunar New Year is not only about family reunion and local communities. It is also about cultural diversity when celebrated globally such as today in this building,” said East Asian Studies professor Xiaorong Li.
Cornell University English professor Helena María Viramontes urged students and faculty in UC Santa Barbara’s English department to consider launching a Creative Writing program during her talk called, “Residing, Reciting, Reading: One Writer’s Perspective on the value of Creative Writing.” Currently, the College of Creative Studies is where UCSB students can pursue a Writing and Literature major, while the Writing Program offers courses in creative nonfiction. But Viramontes endorsed the life-changing value creative writing has to offer to a larger population of students.
The Los Angeles landscape does not adapt to the people living there, says Elizabeth Timme, co-founder of urban design non-profit LA-Más. “We have this environment that is friendly to the rules and unfriendly to people.” In her talk at UC Santa Barbara’s Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, Timme discussed efforts to make L.A. more habitable, vibrant, and pedestrian-friendly.
Japanese artist Aisuke Kondo recently spoke about his Diaspora Memoria exhibition from his Matter and Memory series, which explores the idea of reconstructing memories of self and history.
“In doing research about your own history, you come to see how the larger societal history has developed,” Kondo said Thursday in a talk hosted by UC Santa Barbara’s Theater and Dance department. Kondo’s work explores the history of his great-grandfather who immigrated to the United States and was then forced to stay at the Topaz internment camp in Millard County, Utah.
Historian Jane Sherron De Hart’s new book “Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life” marks the first full biography written about the second female U.S. Supreme Court Justice. But the biography wasn’t an easy accomplishment. In a talk hosted by the UCSB History Associates last weekend, De Hart spoke about the challenges she faced while writing the biography.
Scholars, activists, and healers discussed the lack of opportunity given to formerly incarcerated students in the education system a colloquium called: The “Outlaw(ED) Intellectuals: Critiquing Structures of Power from Within.” The day-long event in UC Santa Barbara’s McCune Conference room was sponsored by the College of Letters and Science, the UCSB Multicultural Center, the Center for Black Studies Research, and several other organizations across campus.
“Collecting is very expensive but it’s money well spent,” said UC Santa Barbara alum Tomás Sanchez at the walkthrough of his collection, ¡Chicanismo! Sanchez’s collection will be on display until December 8 at UCSB’s Art, Design and Architecture Museum in honor of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Chicano/a Studies Department.
In a two-day International Conference on Chinese Religio-Environmental Ethics and Practice, an array of speakers touched on environmental issues such as the extinction of animals and how traditional Chinese religious cultures view them. Panelists spoke about religious rituals like making trees and forests sacred, the care of animals, preserving sacred sites and native places, and the ethics of these religious practices.