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Elizabeth Timme: Designing Alternatives for an Equitable L.A.

Elizabeth Timme: Designing Alternatives for an Equitable L.A.

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.

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.

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.

Dexter Filkins Speaks on Today's Refugee Crisis

Dexter Filkins Speaks on Today's Refugee Crisis

Pulitzer prize winning journalist Dexter Filkins spoke recently at Corwin Pavilion about the modern refugee crisis and why he calls it “the great apocalypse of our time.” The talk was sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center’s Crossings + Boundaries series.

The New Yorker staff writer drew attention to the dire situations of 200 million migrants, coming mainly from South Sudan, Syria, and Afghanistan, who are living in refugee camps for an average stay of 10 years or internally displaced within their home countries.

Losing Dreamland: Drugs and Destruction in Small-Town America

Losing Dreamland: Drugs and Destruction in Small-Town America

Award-winning author and freelance journalist Sam Quinones told a packed UCSB McCune Conference room exactly what needs to happen for America to overcome the effects of a 20-years opioid epidemic:

“We have to question the drugs that are marketed to us, demand that the government stop allowing [drug] advertisements on television, depend less on pills as solutions and depend on our grocers to stock better food,” he said.