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From 1968 to 2018: Finding Parallels Fifty Years Later

From 1968 to 2018: Finding Parallels Fifty Years Later

The History departments screened the documentary, 1968: The Year That Changed a Generation, shown last week in the McCune Conference room, highlighting parallels between the politics of that time and the politics of today. 1968 was a year filled with major events and protests, such as the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. and the protests against the Vietnam War. “We wanted to do something that marked the 50-year anniversary of the year 1968,” said history professor Salim Yaqub, who organized the event.

Emily Bender: Computers Change the Game in the Field of Linguistics

Emily Bender: Computers Change the Game in the Field of Linguistics

The introduction of computers in the linguistics field have made it easier for researchers to verify their research and data. “It allows linguistic researchers to off-load the tedious part of verifying analyses to a computer,” said linguistics scholar Emily Bender in a recent talk at UC Santa Barbara.

Bender currently teaches at the University of Washington. Her main area of research is multilingual grammar engineering, computational semantics and the relationship between linguistics and computational linguistics.

Jennifer Jacobs: Connecting Art and Technology

Jennifer Jacobs: Connecting Art and Technology

Art and technology have often been thought of as separate domains. But in recent years, artists have been integrating more technology in their work.  “Computation shapes the way people make things,” said Stanford Computer Science researcher Jennifer Jacobs to a crowded room in Elings Hall during a Media and Art Technology seminar last week.

Although computational tools and computer programs are used more now than ever it can be difficult to fully integrate technology into art and design because of how different each artist is. “Developers of computational tools struggle to provide appropriate constraints and degrees of freedom to match the needs of diverse practitioners,” Jacobs said.

We are all cartographers: Keith Clarke explains digital mapmaking

We are all cartographers: Keith Clarke explains digital mapmaking

To kick off the History of Art and Architecture's Digital Image Lab series, UC Santa Barbara Geography professor Keith Clarke led a Wednesday afternoon mapmaking workshop. "Anybody can sit down in front of a computer and make a map," he said. Though the process initially seemed complex, Clarke showed how digital programs have made it easier to create and access maps.

Dennis Ross: Middle East peace requires more than a military approach

Dennis Ross: Middle East peace requires more than a military approach

Speaking at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center’s Taubman Symposium in Jewish Studies, Middle East expert and former diplomat Dennis Ross Ross said that President Trump has “a policy — but not a strategy” for the Middle East.

He pointed out that Trump’s actions show a pattern – a tendency to favor counter-terrorism and counter-Iranian policies, as well as a desire to resolve to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. But, he said, there are flaws in the Trump administrations approach to all three of these Middle East policy areas, and those shortcomings prevent long-term progress.

A Call for Community: Danny Glover speaks at the 50th anniversary of the North Hall Takeover

A Call for Community: Danny Glover speaks at the 50th anniversary of the North Hall Takeover

“There’s no place where we are neutral. All of us are affected,” American actor and humanitarian Danny Glover urged his appreciative audience at UC Santa Barbara during last week’s conference titled “A Black Vision of Change.”

The 3-day event marked the 50th anniversary of the 1968 North Hall Takeover and honored those who participated in the protest, in which 12 students barricaded themselves in a campus building to demand equal treatment for black students, as well as a more relevant curriculum for students of color. The protest action led to the creation of the Department of Black Studies and the Center for Black Studies Research in 1969, as well as Chicano/a Studies. It also paved the way for the creation of Asian American Studies, Feminist Studies, and other minority studies on campus.

Writing Through Trauma to Help Others: An Author Breaks Stereotypes about Mental Illness

Writing Through Trauma to Help Others: An Author Breaks Stereotypes about Mental Illness

Author and psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison recently addressed UC Santa Barbara Writing Program students and community members about the commonly misunderstood topic of mood disorders.

Humanities, she said, are vital because they help people to understand one another, and when people are quiet about their struggles, those struggles may seem abnormal and frightening to the rest of society. “One of the great things that can be done is to write,” she said as she scanned the small room full of young writers who had gathered for a creative workshop.

The following evening in Campbell Hall, Jamison discussed bipolar disorder in the context of her personal experience and professional career.

The new Barron Fund for environmental advocacy benefits undergraduates in the humanities

The new Barron Fund for environmental advocacy benefits undergraduates in the humanities

Author and environmentalist T.A. Barron has $500,000 to establish endowed fund for environmental leadership in the humanities that benefits undergraduate students.

“Environmental advocacy is above all else an act of persuasion,” said John Majewski, the Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts at UCSB. “Given all the ways in which our culture communicates about significant and important issues — including literature, music, film and the arts — the humanities have a vital role in addressing the critical environmental issues that now confront us.”

With more than 70 faculty members who teach courses that address issues in the environmental humanities, UCSB already is an international leader in the field. The campus already has a range of related programming, from the English department’s Literature and the Environment Center, to the Environmental/Climate Justice Hub based at the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, among others.


 Interview:  Pollock Theater Director Matthew Ryan

Interview: Pollock Theater Director Matthew Ryan

Pollock Theater director Matthew Ryan introduced UC Santa Barbara to the Script to Screen series in 2010, an event that features classic or current films followed by a question and answer session with its screenwriters. That same year, he started the Pollock Internship, a program that enlists students interested in film, screenwriting, and production, to put on Pollock Theater events. Writing student Tyler Carr interviewed him for her Journalism for Web and Social Media course.

Haiti Week: Tradition, Dreams, and Social Change

Haiti Week: Tradition, Dreams, and Social Change

Renowned Haitian singer Emeline Michel's performed at UC Santa Barbara as part of the Center for Black Studies Research's annual Haiti Flag Week, dedicated to celebrating Haitian culture and marking the country’s independence and the creation of its flag in May, 1803. 

Other events included the screening of “Charcoal,” a short film by Haitian filmmaker and photographer Francesca Andre, which captures the parallel stories of two Black women and their lifelong journey to overcome internalized colorism as they find self-acceptance and ultimately redemption. And Jana Braziel, visiting from Miami University, spoke about her book “Riding with Death: Vodou Art and Urban Ecology in the Streets of Port-au-Prince.” 

Violence, Memory, and History: Sharing Research in Latin American and Iberian Studies

Violence, Memory, and History: Sharing Research in Latin American and Iberian Studies

Violence, memory and history. That was the theme of the first ever Latin American and Iberian Studies graduate student conference, held this spring at UC Santa Barbara.

The conference gathered 24 graduate students from universities both in the United States and Europe. Each graduate student presented the topics they discussed in their thesis statements.

Katie Tur to UCSB Grads: Do what matters and keep having fun

Katie Tur to UCSB Grads: Do what matters and keep having fun

Commencement 2018 speaker Katy Tur of MSNBC tells UC Santa Barbara graduates in Humanities and Fine Arts and Social Sciences  how studying philosophy helped her navigate the world of broadcast journalism.

 “Do what you like. Do it for a cause that is bigger than you. And you will have fun,” Tur said at the Sunday, June 17, graduation ceremony. “Sometimes what makes a job fun is that it matters.”

Tur graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2005, majoring in philosophy. She is author of the 2017 bestseller Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History.


UCSB's Reel Loud: Biggest in 27 Years

UCSB's Reel Loud: Biggest in 27 Years

Passion, innovation, and inspiring talent were on display at Campbell Hall last month at an annual student-run showcase for filmmakers, artists, musicians, and other performers. Students and the larger community applauded 12 of UC Santa Barbara’s filmmakers and other creative artists at the 27th annual Reel Loud Film and Art Festival where student-directed silent short films were accompanied by live on-stage music. Nine months of hard work and dedication from the Reel Loud organizing team paid off in an evening filled with musical performances, art features, and a room full of people ready to be inspired.

NEWS: Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Thesis Exhibition

NEWS: Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Thesis Exhibition

UC Santa Barbara’s master’s students in visual arts readied themselves for their next professional “moves” at a reception to exhibit their MFA thesis projects last week. The group titled its exhibition “The Chess Club” because they will apply the strategies they have learned in the program to sustain their future work and their careers.

The  MFA Thesis Exhibition Reception took place at the Art, Design & Architecture museum on campus and featured the artwork of seven graduates. The free event filled up quickly, with attendees including faculty from different departments and divisions, as well as other graduate and undergraduate students.

NEWS: UCSB Media Arts and Technology (MAT)'s 2018 End of Year Show

NEWS: UCSB Media Arts and Technology (MAT)'s 2018 End of Year Show

The Media Arts and Technology Program (MAT) at UC Santa Barbara presents its End of Year Show 2018, a celebration of the year's research in electronic music, emergent media, computer science, engineering, and art. The theme for this year is Invisible Machine, which represents the way that transformation is jumpstarted through the Media Arts. 

The MAT conducts research in the art of the “invisible becoming visible,” a process that can range from revealing the abstract processes between the input and output of a machine, to turning complicated scientific data into shapes and colors. Its technologists and artists seek to create new works that transcend the way that we currently view the world. 

NEWS: Fifteen Years Later— Time to Reframe Perceptions of Iraq

NEWS: Fifteen Years Later— Time to Reframe Perceptions of Iraq

For many U.S. college students, hearing mention of Iraq evokes images of soldiers, oil, refugees, and destruction. In 2003, the United States invaded the country and American soldiers remained there for roughly eight years. Those soldiers and the combat that surrounded them dominated U.S. media coverage, leaving little room for the stories of Iraqi civilians and the hardships they endured during and after the occupation.

Now, 15 years after the invasion, several departments at UC Santa Barbara came together for a symposium to flip the script and reframe U.S. perspectives on Iraq. “[The goal is to] re-orient us towards Iraq in order to overturn these reductive and insufficient representations of human beings,” said organizer Mona Damluji, a professor in the Film and Media Studies Department.

The two-day event, called “Iraq Front and Center” was held earlier this month to create a space for interdisciplinary conversations, bringing together guest speakers from the diverse perspectives of novelist, journalist, filmmaker, and doctor.

The Dynamics of Oppression: A talk by activist Kimberlé Crenshaw

The Dynamics of Oppression: A talk by activist Kimberlé Crenshaw

At a time when tensions are high over police violence against African Americans and sexual violence against women, hundreds of UC Santa Barbara students lined up to hear race theory and civil rights activist Kimberlé Crenshaw advise marginalized groups to go beyond marching under one banner.

“People are so convinced we are moving forward, they don’t realize we are passing the same terrain we’ve seen before,” Crenshaw said at Campbell Hall in a talk hosted by the Multi Cultural Center.

VERBAL KALEIDOSCOPE: UCSB's First Indigenous Literature Conference

VERBAL KALEIDOSCOPE: UCSB's First Indigenous Literature Conference

The Spanish and Portuguese Department earlier this month presented “Verbal Kaleidoscope” the first interdisciplinary conference at UC Santa Barbara dedicated to Indigenous literatures. Several poets of the Zapotec, Mazatec, Spanish, Basque, and other language groups recited their work in what organizer Osiris Gómez described as a display of diversity.

“Verbal Kaleidoscope is a metaphor for cultural and linguistic plurality, said Gómez, a Spanish and Portuguese Ph.D. candidate. “The world, even at a community level is immensely diverse…With every swirl, movement, transition, we face new challenges and promising forms.”

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.