At the Center for Information Technology & Society on Monday, University of Duisburg-Essen professor Nicole Krämer addressed the psychology of online opinion formation and its dangers. Krämer discussed fake news, filter bubbles, micro-targeting, and other side effects of online communication.
Linguistics professor Marianne Mithun was recently elected as the 95th President of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), the latest in a string of high profile UC Santa Barbara Linguistics achievements on the national level. As president, she will lead the meetings of the society, serve as the chair of the Executive Committee and appoint honorary members and non-elective committees. Meanwhile, linguistics professor Anne Charity Hudley received the LSA’s Linguistics, Language and Public award.
The manner in which two different musicians compose and perform can be just as distinct as their personalities. “Individuality of expression is the beginning and end of all art,” wrote the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Cory Fildes and Will Stout, both undergraduate music composition majors at UC Santa Barbara’s Music Department, are a perfect example of this individuality. Both students write sheets of music every week. But although these two room together, their personal journeys differ completely and these variations become strikingly apparent in their music.
Decades before Colin Kaepernick played for the National Football League, world champion boxer Muhammad Ali publicly opposed the Vietnam War and was stripped of his heavyweight title and banned from boxing for years. Recently, Kaepernick has followed in his footsteps and knelt in silence during the national anthem to protest racial injustice, hoping to garner support and promote change as Ali did in 1971.
To Brown University professor Bonnie Honig, Kaepernick and Ali’s actions that demonstrated their refusal to comply to society’s expectations reflects a “long tradition of American citizenship.”
“The societal changes of the Late Roman Republic’s aristocratic class has implications for how historians compare the past to our current political landscape,” scholar Noah Segal said in a recent talk to faculty and students of the Classics department. A decline in military background among those who serve in office is one trend in ancient Rome that echoes today.
Segal, who specializes in populism in democratic societies, will represent UC Santa Barbara at an international Classics convention in early January.
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.
President Trump’s policies have stirred a lot of criticism from both the public and government officials. Many disagreed with his so-called “travel-ban” policy, his “zero tolerance” immigration policy and his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords. Visiting Yale legal scholar and former advisor to the Dept. of State Harold Koh offered some legal grounds for optimism, explaining why these policies won’t last for long.
Julian Saporiti and Erin Aoyama, two PhD students from Brown University, are on a mission to share and perform their musical multimedia project “No-No Boy.” The piece consists of a slideshow and performance of folk songs to tell about Asian-American experiences during WWII and to confront prevailing narratives of that era that are found in textbooks. Saporiti and Aoyama presented their project to a UC Santa Barbara audience.
Prints! The Joan and Stuart Levin Collection showcases contemporary works on paper and printmaking from the 1960s, from artists like Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns who were revolutionary in this form of artistic expression. Sarah Banes, a UCSB PhD student in the History of Art & Architecture, discusses her experience with curating this exhibition in an interview with Writing student Vanessa Tang .
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.
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.
“I like doing things that aren't just the norm. I don’t want to have a nine-to-five job,” says Dorian Elgrichi, a senior Film and Media studies major, who is currently running two companies while he is still in school — a photo booth company and a car detailing company. He has recently started a partnership with the electric skateboard company Riptide, creating a video for the firm in order to promote the use of its skateboards on college campuses.
Originally from Beverly Hills, Elgrichi transferred to UC Santa Barbara from Santa Monica College in 2017. He has been working in film production since participating in a film program during high school in Beverly Hills.
In this interview, Elgrichi speaks on how he has combined his love of film and his desire to succeed in business.
At the height of the civil rights movement, women in the black Muslim organization Nation of Islam were faced with a paradox: they had to sacrifice their rights as women as part of the larger struggle against systemic racism.
Author and UC Santa Barbara alum Ula Taylor describes this gender inequality in her book The Promise of Patriarchy: Women and The Nation of Islam, which she spoke about earlier this month at Embarcadero Hall.
HFA Writing student Mika Kaczmer covered the event.
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.
UC Santa Barbara launched a Journalism Certificate Program this fall, the first time the university has offered a credential in that field. The new program grants certification through a combination of courses from the Writing Program and Professional & Continuing Education, formerly known of as UCSB Extension. The program is an opportunity for undergraduate students to gain hands-on journalism experience. Currently, Berkeley is the only UC campus with a journalism school, and it is primarily a graduate school.
The application for the International Reporting course, which includes a trip to Berlin, is due December 5, 2018.
“Museums need to cater to all people,” says Selections from the Permanent Collection at UCSB’s Art Design & Architecture Museum (AD&A) collections manager Susan Lucke.
Approaching its Dec. 2 close, this show makes for a perfect opportunity to learn about art history and how the value of art differs based on the context in which it is shown. It displays art from all reaches of the fine arts collection normally held underground in the archives at UC Santa Barbara. Of the roughly 900 items usually held in storage, the exhibition shows us pieces ranging from Belgian Congo headdresses to modern abstract paintings by UC Santa Barbara alum Richard Serra. This juxtaposition of art across different places and time periods allows visitors to see a Pre-Colombian era sculpture and a still-life painting by Northern Europe’s Cornelis Mahu in the same room.
“The news that I was one of the 20 accepted could not have come at a better time in my life,” said college journalist Alondra Sierraof her acceptance into the Chronicle of Higher Education’s journalism workshop.
The Chronicle is the largest newspaper in the nation to cover higher education. This past summer, Sierra was among 20 college journalists from across the U.S to attend its two-day reporting workshop, all expenses paid. Now, back at UC Santa Barbara, Sierra is continuing to take journalism course through the Writing Program as part of the new Journalism Certificate program.
“It is very necessary to talk about race, and black girls are often left out of the conversation,” said Amoni Jones, who recently facilitated the MultiCultural Center’s first Race and Literature event at UC Santa Barbara. The monthly event explores race using various literary works.
Jones is a Feminist Studies doctoral student, who has worked with underprivileged African-American girls in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. She used the novel Shapeshifters, by Aimee Cox, to talk about the struggles young black women face growing up, and to show that society often stereotypes girls of color and forces them into roles they don’t want to be in.
Chinese student Zhitao Kou describes how UC Santa Barbara eased his transition into American university life with programs for international students and step-up Linguistics department classes run by the English for Multilingual Students.
“ Each of us needed to write and present on current affairs such as presidential election, American social classes, American ethnicities and so on. Compared to other easy freshman courses, these classes are quite challenging,” writes Kou, who also benefited from one-on-one contact with professors.
The “Asian bubble” of Communication major Eric Lee’s hometown of San Gabriel kept him immersed in Taiwanese culture all his life. That bubble burst the instant he left home for UC Santa Barbara.
“I found myself at one of the most racially diverse campuses in the United States, a far cry from my hometown,” he said of the transition. “Without a boba café on every corner and friends and family, I felt lost. I felt like I had been disconnected from my racial identity and was unsure if I should downplay my heritage and culture to fit in better, or cling to it tighter than ever before.”
Blake Thompson, a third-year student at UC Santa Barbara who is pursuing a double major in Theater and Communication, devoted the last weeks of summer and first weeks of fall preparing for her role in the pared down Hamlet, which ran for 19 performances over a two week period.
In a recent interview, Thompson talked about the field of acting and how the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts helps an aspiring actress reach her potential.
Last weekend, UC Santa Barbara’s Ethics Bowl team secured a first-place victory at the regional championship in Salt Lake City. The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl engages students in competitive debate of relevant ethical issues, from science to business to media. The UCSB team, composed mainly of undergraduate Philosophy students, will travel to Baltimore in March to compete nationally.
The Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and the Center for Cold War Studies screened the documentary, 1968: The Year That Changed a Generation, last week, highlighting parallels between the politics of that time and the politics of today. 1968 was a year filled with major events and protests, such as the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. and the protests against the Vietnam War. “We wanted to do something that marked the 50-year anniversary of the year 1968,” said history professor Salim Yaqub, who organized the event.
“Contrary to popular belief, I was not born under some auspicious sign, playing Mozart and doodling hyper-realistic portraits since I was two days old,” explains Marc Rusli of his passion for the arts as he majors in physics. “I developed each skill slowly during some period in my life…Doodling was the only option I had to relieve boredom…I sometimes wonder whether I would have any amount of drawing skill if I had been born five years later, whether I would entertain myself with an iPad rather than pencils and paper.”
The introduction of computers in the linguistics field have made it easier for researchers to verify their research and data. “It allows linguistic researchers to off-load the tedious part of verifying analyses to a computer,” said linguistics scholar Emily Bender in a recent talk at UC Santa Barbara.
Bender currently teaches at the University of Washington. Her main area of research is multilingual grammar engineering, computational semantics and the relationship between linguistics and computational linguistics.
“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.
Art and technology have often been thought of as separate domains. But in recent years, artists have been integrating more technology in their work. “Computation shapes the way people make things,” said Stanford Computer Science researcher Jennifer Jacobs to a crowded room in Elings Hall during a Media and Art Technology seminar last week.
Although computational tools and computer programs are used more now than ever it can be difficult to fully integrate technology into art and design because of how different each artist is. “Developers of computational tools struggle to provide appropriate constraints and degrees of freedom to match the needs of diverse practitioners,” Jacobs said.
Los Angeles multidisciplinary artist Rafa Esparza spoke about the progression of his creative identity during an installment of the Fall 2018 Arts Colloquium last week. Esparza’s performance art, often involving adobe bricks and Aztec dance, engages with topics like indigeneity and colonialism as he critiques harmful power structures.
“Had I not taken that Writing Program class, I may have dropped out. Had I not watched that movie and heard that legendary journalist talk about how he discovered the newest best restaurants before anyone, heard him speak about how every bite of food tasted—making me feel the ambiance of every locale —who knows where I would be now? But that movie, and more importantly Jonathan Gold, did what two years of switching majors couldn’t do. “
Writing student Justin Mallette recounts how an encounter with the late Pulitzer-Prize winning food critic Jonathan Gold, inspired him to remain at UC Santa Barbara and become a writer.