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.
In a recent interview, Raymok Ketema, a first-generation African American college student pursuing her PhD in History at UCSB, discussed her project for the Center for Black Studies Research on minorities in engineering and why she perseveres in her work for women, the Black community, and other people of color.
“Intimate labor and the workers who performed it have always been central to the history of capitalism,” University of Wisconsin historian April Haynes said in a recent talk at UC Santa Barbara. She argues that intimate labor and sex have always played an important part in the United States’ economy.
Haynes, a UCSB alumna, shared her research on intimate labor from the 1790s to the 1860s during her talk for the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy.
“Once you start seeing these links between Cold War propaganda and scientific freedom, you can’t un-see them,” Philadelphia-based writer, editor, and historian Audra J. Wolfe told a UC Santa Barbara audience. Wolfe discussed her recent book Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science as part of the Lawrence Badash Memorial Lecture Series, sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.
Directors rely on history to be a backdrop and to set the scene for their storytelling, Film and Media Studies and History double major Ryann Stibor says. In a recent interview, she answers questions about how knowledge of history affects society today and how that knowledge intersects with her second major in film.
“Groupthink” occurs when a group of individuals feel pressure to agree, abandoning critical thinking and conforming to group values. It’s also a psychology concept that Justine Betti never imagined would intersect with a field that she had considered entirely separate: history. But when an example of groupthink appeared in her social psychology course, referencing the Kennedy administration, she decided to explore the History department as an avenue to expand her views on psychology.
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.
In a series of video interviews, Humanities and Fine Arts professors share thoughts on the merits of their fields and their most rewarding experiences as teachers and researchers.
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.
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.
The Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and the Center for Cold War Studies screened the documentary, 1968: The Year That Changed a Generation, last week, 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.
“The whole point of having the undergrad education and having it be in liberal arts is that it’s that ideal time in your life to explore every possible thing that seems interesting and then at some point you may find your passion.”
—BILL GRAYSON, ALUMNUS IN HISTORY AND POLITICAL SCIENCE AT UC SANTA BARBARA
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.”
My partner stood up. “Her name is Leticia,” he said. “She is a twin. She is a history major who is going to be a teacher.”
To be fair, I did not inform my partner that I have wanted to be a lawyer since I was a child. But nor did I ever mention to him any desire to be a teacher.
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.