It’s a “dystopian fiction tragi-comedy set in 2050” that explores “our desire of a technological utopia that is supported by human greed and inevitable climate change,” said Maiza Hixon, a graduating Master of Fine Arts student.
Hixon recently held a reading of her first written play Chimera at the Art, Design and Architecture Museum in conjunction with the opening of the 2019 MFA thesis exhibition Temporary Clash.
“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.
Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN) is the ambitious year-long project organized by students in Kapatirang Pilipino (KP), an organization which fosters a close-knit network of Filipinx-American students at UCSB to promote social, cultural, political, and academic ties within the community. The Filipinx student group just celebrated its 40th anniversary on the UCSB campus and serves as the powerhouse behind nearly three decades of Pilipino Cultural Nights.
“I learn about different indigenous cultures, and the dances that originate there and what inspired those performances,” a student said. “I learn about the hardships of the Filipinx people and become aware of matters in the past and present.”
“Great ancestors, you are breath, you are bridge, you carry us over tumultuous time,” recited New Orleans poet Sunni Patterson to a Tuesday evening spoken word event at UC Santa Barbara’s MultiCultural Center. As she does below, she conveys the beauty and pain of being human into words.
“We often say that living in New Orleans is an act of resistance,” she said. She described the area as both a home and a burial ground, where its residents avoid talking about slavery’s legacy on the city’s culture. When people start digging to build a pool, she said, they often find bones in the ground.
Visiting poet Tyree Daye says his process for exposing reality in a poem is more fantastical and imaginative than literal. “Imagination. Magic all day long,” Daye told a recent gathering of UC Santa Barbara students interested in poetry, or aspiring to be poets themselves. Daye recited selections of his work at the 2019 annual event to honor the Diana and Simon Raab Writer in Residence.
“My work is about vulnerability, desire, and fear,” Los Angeles ceramicist Lauren Gallaspy said in an installment of the Spring 2019 Arts Colloquium. “I’m interested in the recolonization of the territory of our minds and our bodies.”
Gallaspy’s work explores the transitional state that separates life from death, and creatures from objects. She seeks to convey wholeness and brokenness in her ceramic pieces, breaking the rules of ceramics and completing the process in unorthodox ways.
“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.
On Thursday evening, UCSB alumnus and artist John Nava returned to his alma mater to discuss his creative evolution with students, staff, and community members at the Art, Design, and Architecture Museum. Nava channels his fascination with the fine details of the human figure into his work and credits his UCSB art education as the catalyst that led him to discover his artistic voice.
Writing Program lecturer Robert Krut’s newest book, The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All on Fire, has been awarded the Codhill Poetry Award by the Codhill Press. The award is given to the poet whose work stood out as the best of the year among all other submitted poetry. “It is always a nice feeling to know that someone appreciated what you’ve written,” Krut said.
“Any excessive emotion, that’s where it comes in, because you got nothing but emotion to the rest of the aria,” said mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, one of the music world’s most beloved figures, mentoring students at a recent UCSB Department of Music’s “Guest Artist Masterclass.” Students Kelly Guerra, Byron Mayes and others brought their best work for von Stade to critique.
“Remember that you’re not trying to prove that you know more than your parents. Instead, you’re allowing yourself to grow and discuss things,” writes author and escapee from South Vietnam Thi Bui. In this piece, Communication and Music Studies student Esther Liu draws connections from the writer’s experiences into her own life as an Asian American.
David Marshall, UC Santa Barbara’s Vice Chancellor, urged universities, including UCSB, to re-prioritize “critical discourse and critical thinking,” when evaluating our system of education. His talk titled "Teaching the People: Enlightenment and the American Republic" was part of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center’s Social Securities series.
In a talk that at times felt as intimate as telling stories around a campfire, Peter Manseau, a curator of American religious history at the Smithsonian Institution, explained how the invention of the camera offered consolation to those affected by the Civil War. In his latest book, The Apparitionist,‘ Manseau writes about ‘sprit photographer’ William Mumler who convinced the bereaved to believe that ghosts of the deceased could be captured through photography.
Educators and students gathered at the 6th Annual American Indian and Indigenous Collective Symposium held recently at UC Santa Barbara and sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center. From an indigenous perspective, participants discussed modern decolonization as a means of forging a relationship with one’s roots.
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.
Adam Kearney, a ‘knowledge engineer’ for Amazon, gave a talk last week to UC Santa Barbara students on how to create new ideas and make them into a success. “I feel like there’s a misconception on what creativity is and where you actually find it to start ideas,” said Kearney. His talk entitled, “Truth Emerges More Readily from Error,” was part of the Media Arts and Technology (MAT) Seminar Series.
In honor of Black History Month, human rights activist Ericka Huggins spoke in the opening event of the Black Student Union’s annual two-day series, Heart and Soul Case. In her talk, “An Evening with Ericka Huggins: Identity, Activism, and Change,” she urged students to step out of the boxes society places them in.
Performing songs from the Jazz Age like “Ladybird,” by Tadd Dameron, and “My Shining Hour,” by John Coltrane, The Matt Perko Quintet captivated a UC Santa Barbara audience during a recent performance for the weekly World Music Series, put on by the UCSB Department of Music and the MultiCultural Center. Wednesdays, outside at the Bowl, or inside when it rains.
Students and faculty filled nearly all of UC Santa Barbara’s Studio Theater for award-winning playwright and actor Petrona de la Cruz Cruz’s recent performance of her play, Bittersweet Dreams/Dulces y amargos sueños . The play deals with heavy topics such as sexual assault and both de la Cruz Cruz and director Doris Difarnecio discussed that in a question and answer session after the performance. “Theater has brought me so many places and because of this, I know that my path has many less thorns and stones, and many more flowers,” said de la Cruz Cruz.
As part of the debut of the library exhibition “In Her Own Image,” a panel discussion about women in comics was held to highlight the feminist implications of the UCSB Reads 2019 selection "The Best We Can Do," by Thi Bui. Panelists also described how women have built their own underground movements through the use of comics.