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Cool Courses

Coming to UCSB: Embark on a Virtual Excavation in Rome

Coming to UCSB: Embark on a Virtual Excavation in Rome

History of Art and Architecture professor Claudia Moser and Writing Program lecturer Christian Thomas have received a $94,000 grant from UC Santa Barbara’s Innovative Learning Technology Initiative (ILTI) to develop an interactive, game-based course called Rome: The Game. The lower division course, which will be available to students in winter 2021, is an introduction to the art, archaeology, and history of ancient Rome, with an emphasis on writing and research.

A Closer Look at Linguistics: Speech Therapy and Beyond

A Closer Look at Linguistics: Speech Therapy and Beyond

While Olivia Saunders isn’t majoring in Linguistics, her major in Communication has provoked many questions from others about whether she wants to pursue speech therapy. That led her on a search to learn more about Linguistics, the major that is most closely linked to speech therapy. She found that its career options and students’ pursuits go much further, as she explains in this article.

Religious Studies: Yasmeen Faris on the Course that Changed Her Life

Religious Studies: Yasmeen Faris on the Course that Changed Her Life

“Jesus’s words and deeds made him one of the most impactful historical figures in the world,” writes student Yasmeen Faris, in a personal reflection on the intersection between her secular studies and her own faith.

In this piece, Faris talks about how a course in the Religious Studies department at UCSB changed her outlook on Jesus Christ, expanding her understanding of his impact on her personal life and religion and the effect that he had on the history of the world.

Hunter Johnsen: Creative Freedom in Crew Production

Hunter Johnsen: Creative Freedom in Crew Production

Student film director Hunter Johnsen discusses his passion for film and his involvement in the Film and Media Studies Crew Production class. His movie called “Obsolete,” a project for this course, is set to premiere March 22 at the Pollock Theater.

“You Again?”: Rediscovering a Friend in UCSB’s Music Program

“You Again?”: Rediscovering a Friend in UCSB’s Music Program

A little curiosity about a Music course in UCSB’s College of Creative Studies leads Phillip Mitchell to reunite with a classmate from his past. In this piece, Mitchell explores this long-lost connection, what has changed about it, and what significance of his old friend’s passions.

Student Spotlight: An Art Director On Digital Humanities

Student Spotlight: An Art Director On Digital Humanities

Word Magazine explores life in Isla Vista, the neighborhood next to campus. As current art director of the magazine, Alaska Yokota is one of a team of students who writes for the magazine and designs its layout. In a recent interview, Yokota discussed her experience with Word Magazine and her views on the future of digital humanities.

COOL COURSES:  Independent Music in America

COOL COURSES: Independent Music in America

“I grew up listening to independent music,” writes third-year UCSB English major Angie Garcia. “But until recently, I had never questioned how and when music should be categorized as indie. Then, an intriguing question popped out at me from a UC Santa Barbara music course description: ‘What does it mean for music to be independent?’ The class was called Independent Music in America and I immediately knew I had to sign up for it.”  

The course takes a historical look at the underground music from the 1970s to the present in the United States. In seminar style, the class is led by David Novak from the Ethnomusicology Program and specifically explores the punk movement that began with bands such as Minor Threat, Black Flag, and Beat Happening and the genres that expanded out it. 

COOL COURSES: Students Speak Out

COOL COURSES: Students Speak Out

In this edition of the Cool Courses series, we asked students of a variety of majors, such as Film and Media Studies, Art, and English, within the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts to describe their most memorable class experiences. 

COOL COURSES: Jon Nathan

COOL COURSES: Jon Nathan

Jon Nathan is the director of the UCSB jazz and percussion ensembles and has taught jazz performance for over 20 years. He has performed in a variety of music groups and collaborations, from concerts to musical theater and wants to see more students joining his ensembles. Becoming a member of the jazz ensemble provides opportunities for people with a range of musical abilities  -- and students can join regardless of major. These ensembles perform both on-campus and off-campus in Isla Vista.