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Focus on Faculty

Defining Personhood: Slavery Through a Legal Lens

Defining Personhood: Slavery Through a Legal Lens

In a recent workshop, UC Santa Barbara English professor Jeannine DeLombard said American legal doctrine granted the status of ‘persons’ to slaves in order to prosecute them, a dynamic that lingered long after emancipation in the criminalization of African Americans.

“Slaves were recognized as criminally responsible, but not having civil rights,” DeLombard said. “And this is mapped onto African Americans today.”

A Digi-Humanist: Alan Liu Links Big Data to the Humanities

A Digi-Humanist: Alan Liu Links Big Data to the Humanities

Alan Liu, a professor of English at UC Santa Barabara is a self-described digi-humanist. Liu is currently directing a $1.1 million humanities grant from the Mellon Foundation. The project, “WhatEvery1Says,” collects big data relating to the word ‘humanities.’ He also published a book last year with the University of Chicago Press titled “Friending the Past.”

Liu recently sat down for an interview to discuss the intersection between humanities and our increasingly digital  environment.

Bazerman Fellow Kathy Patterson Researches Blogging in College Writing

Bazerman Fellow Kathy Patterson Researches Blogging in College Writing

UCSB writing professor Kathy Patterson shared her recent research on incorporating blogging in first-year college writing courses during the 3rd annual celebration for the Charles Bazerman Endowed Faculty Fellowship for Professional Development in Writing. As the 2018-2019 recipient of the research fellowship, Patterson discussed the benefits blogging has on a college student’s motivation, writing process, digital literacy, and connection with their community.

From Page to Stage: Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig Supports Student Playwrights

From Page to Stage: Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig Supports Student Playwrights

Created in 2017 by theater professor Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, New Works Lab is a workshop production program that gives students the unique opportunity to see their works come to life. It brings together student directors, playwrights, designers, stage managers, publicists and actors to put on original plays written by UCSB students. In the fall, students submit their scripts, after which a committee of students and faculty choose their top five or six scripts to which to give developmental productions. Directors, stage managers, designers and actors are then chosen in the winter and the shows are put into production in the spring. Every two weeks, each show performs their play in front the New Works Lab class and receives feedback from other students and faculty mentors.

In a recent interview, Cowhig spoke more about the class and its growth since its conception.

Ellen O’Connell Whittet: Writing for the Future of Ballet

Ellen O’Connell Whittet: Writing for the Future of Ballet

UCSB Writing Program lecturer Ellen O’Connell Whittet examines the art and tradition of ballet, with the critical eye of a writer and the perspective of a former ballerina. In this interview, she discusses her experience as a dancer and her memoir, which explores the intersection of feminism and ballet.

Kuo-Chi'ng Tu: Bringing Taiwan Studies to UCSB

Kuo-Chi'ng Tu: Bringing Taiwan Studies to UCSB

As the director of UCSB’s Center for Taiwan Studies, Kuo-Chi’ng Tu aims to promote Taiwan Studies in America through events such as the recently held conference, “World Literatures in Chinese: Transnational Perspectives of East Asian Cultures.” In this interview, Tu speaks about the conference, as well as how the Center for Taiwan Studies came to be.

 Ilene Miele: Inspiring Peer Publication

Ilene Miele: Inspiring Peer Publication

In an interview, UCSB writing professor Ilene Miele discusses Starting Lines, a yearly compilation of student work used to teach future writing students. Miele describes the motivation behind the launch of the publication and its impact on the lives of hundreds of students and alumni alike.

Jennifer Holt: Protecting Freedom in a Digital Age

Jennifer Holt: Protecting Freedom in a Digital Age

Jennifer Holt, a Film and Media Studies professor at UC Santa Barbara, researches media policy and the digital infrastructure that underlies modern communication.  In this interview, she provides crucial insight on how to be a properly informed citizen without losing sight of our basic rights when it comes to digital usage.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: From Wool to Apps, Lisa Jevratt on Art and Technology

FOCUS ON FACULTY: From Wool to Apps, Lisa Jevratt on Art and Technology

“Understanding programming can really help shape science, help shape production, help shape art and culture,” says Lisa Jevratt, an art professor who teaches in UC Santa Barbara’s Media Arts and Technology Program and is part of the university’s Center for Information Technology.

Jevbratt’s work, which has included the Zoomorph app, research projects, and collaborations with MAT students, offer us a picture of the future of technology. In this interview with Writing student Vinny Leonelli, ,she answers questions about the future and her achievements in her field.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Becoming Nearly Carbon Neutral

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Becoming Nearly Carbon Neutral

When UC Santa Barbara put out a climate report in 2014, professor Ken Hiltner was in complete awe at the enormity of the carbon footprint that academic conferences left behind, amounting to about 55 million pounds of carbon dioxide.  With a joint appointment in Environmental Studies and English Literature, Hiltner was ideally suited take action. He spoke in a recent interview about his Nearly Carbon Neutral Guide to academic conferences and the intersection of humanities and the environment.

Focus on Faculty:  Erika Rappaport on Tea, Identity and "Global Imagination"

Focus on Faculty: Erika Rappaport on Tea, Identity and "Global Imagination"

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.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, New Frontiers in Media Arts and Technology

FOCUS ON FACULTY: JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, New Frontiers in Media Arts and Technology

Imagine if you could explore the world of atoms, fly through the human brain, and come face to face with the surface of the moon. After years of collaborative research, JoAnn Kuchera-Morin and her team of scientists, artists, and engineers have made this possible here at UC Santa Barbara.

The AlloSphere, a 3-story-high spherical research instrument, takes data too small to see or hear and visually and sonically magnifies it to the human scale, allowing scientists and engineers to interact with complex data like artists: creatively and intuitively.

In a recent interview, JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, a professor of Media Arts and Technology and Music who is director of the research lab, discussed the importance of holistic thinking and a return to the learning-by-doing that the AlloSphere enables.

FOCUS ON FACULTY:  Susan Derwin's Writing Workshop for Veterans

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Susan Derwin's Writing Workshop for Veterans

Having the ability to tell your story can change your life – at least according to Susan Derwin, a specialist on trauma studies and a professor in UC Santa Barbara’s Comparative Literature and Germanic and Slavic Studies departments. Derwin has created a space for student veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars – as well as their loved ones  — to employ storytelling in order to both recover from personal trauma and to share their experiences with the public.

As director of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC) on campus, Derwin created the course seven years ago and continues to teach it today. The class is titled “Writing Workshop for Student Veterans and Their Loved Ones,” and during the summer there is an opportunity for student veterans from across the entire UC system to participate in a similar workshop.

In a recent interview, Derwin discusses the power of narrative today, a time when many voices continue to go unheard.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Laura Kalman, History

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Laura Kalman, History

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.”

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Charles Bazerman

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Charles Bazerman

After more than 50 years of research and teaching, Charles Bazerman's contributions have left a tangible effect on the international community of writing educators.

This week, UCSB’s Writing Program is honoring Bazerman for generously funding the "Charles Bazerman Endowed Faculty Fellowship for Professional Development in Writing,” which will amount to $300,000 in support for continuing lecturers in the Writing Program to further their research. A reception is set for 4 p.m, at Mosher Alumni House with a talk by colleague and Writing Program Lecturer Katie Baillargeon.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Monique Meunier

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Monique Meunier

Monique Meunier, a ballet dancer and UC Santa Barbara assistant professor, felt a need to respond to the polarizing, divisive presidential election of 2016, believing that national solidarity is more important than ever.

So she choreographed and directed a Fine Arts and Performing Arts collaborative performance titled Still We Rise, for UCSB students to come together to support those whose futures are imperiled by proposed changes to DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was begun during the Obama presidency.

The performance premiered last winter to 120 people over two nights and concluded with ten dancers coming together at center stage to recite poet Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise.”

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. 

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Aline Ferreira

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Aline Ferreira

Aline Ferreira, an assistant professor in the department of Spanish and Portuguese, is currently directing high-tech eye tracking equipment in UCSB’s Bilingualism, Translation, and Cognition Laboratory to observe the brain as it translates from a speaker or typist’s mother tongue to a second language and back again.

She discussed this and other projects in a recent interview with HFA student Sierrah DeBoer.