“‘You won’t make any money.’ It’s a myth all creatives hear constantly and one that up until my second year of college I believed to be true.”
In her piece, Tatiana [LAST NAME] discovers through the Humanities and Fine Arts, and specifically a Film and Media Studies course on media criticism, that her creativity not only applies to the hobbies that fill up her free time, but is also a viable skill that could contribute to a future career path.
“I never considered that I wanted to be a director until I realized that you had to put yourself in the position of an actor,” Theater and English student Katherine Hamilton admitted in a recent interview. She discusses what influenced her to change her focus from acting to directing, and how that choice—and her subsequent directing of “I Didn’t Want a Mastodon,” a student-produced, one-act comedy—has influenced her in return.
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.
“Inspired by my family roots in Italy and my obsession with spaghetti, I decided to dip my toes into the culture, society, and entertainment of the country. As a Communication major, I would never have thought that a course in Humanities and Fine Arts would play such a huge part in enriching my time at UCSB.”
Mia Sheffield describes how an Italian Cinema class changed how she felt about General Education courses.
“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.
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.
Garrett Gerstenberger, who graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011, began his printing business in a garage near campus almost a decade ago as a Film and Media student. Today he runs Isla Vista Screen Printing and Embroidery a nine-person firm that produces dozens of unique UCSB and Isla Vista custom-designs. Gerstenberger matched his passion for business with his interest in the arts.
“All voices were hushed and eyes were drawn toward the stage at UC Santa Barbara’s Studio Theater. The lights dimmed and black silhouette-like dolls walked out onto the stage. I looked on in awe at the undergraduate UCSB dance majors performing in a student-choreographed modern dance recital. I was then a sophomore but butterflies struck my stomach, reminding me of the nervousness I had felt years earlier before a dance competition. Then I realized I was no longer the one who was looking out from the stage into the black sea of an audience, but rather the one spectating a university dance student performance.”
Here, Katie Orr recalls the jarring moment in a UCSB Humanities course in which she realized that dancing on a stage was still calling to her years after she had stopped her practice.
Recent UC Santa Barbara alum Kian McHugh graduated from Film and Media Studies already with a solid foothold in the music industry, as one of the principals of The Kollection, a website devoted to alternative music. “You get a taste of that life and it’s just something you’re kind of addicted to,” he recalls. “Then you realize that it could be a job someday, and that’s when it gets really exciting.” Read an interview with him here.
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.
Kaili Emery, a UC Santa Barbara global studies major, spent her fall quarter pursuing an international marketing internship in in Colombia. In an interview, Emery explains how her UCSB education influenced this experience abroad.
“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.
The following Student Spotlight videos, produced by Writing Program students, feature three UCSB artists who express their academic interests and personalities through their creative endeavors.
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.
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.
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.