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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
To kick off the History of Art and Architecture's Digital Image Lab series, UC Santa Barbara Geography professor Keith Clarke led a Wednesday afternoon mapmaking workshop. "Anybody can sit down in front of a computer and make a map," he said. Though the process initially seemed complex, Clarke showed how digital programs have made it easier to create and access maps.
Speaking at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center’s Taubman Symposium in Jewish Studies, Middle East expert and former diplomat Dennis Ross Ross said that President Trump has “a policy — but not a strategy” for the Middle East.
He pointed out that Trump’s actions show a pattern – a tendency to favor counter-terrorism and counter-Iranian policies, as well as a desire to resolve to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. But, he said, there are flaws in the Trump administrations approach to all three of these Middle East policy areas, and those shortcomings prevent long-term progress.
“There’s no place where we are neutral. All of us are affected,” American actor and humanitarian Danny Glover urged his appreciative audience at UC Santa Barbara during last week’s conference titled “A Black Vision of Change.”
The 3-day event marked the 50th anniversary of the 1968 North Hall Takeover and honored those who participated in the protest, in which 12 students barricaded themselves in a campus building to demand equal treatment for black students, as well as a more relevant curriculum for students of color. The protest action led to the creation of the Department of Black Studies and the Center for Black Studies Research in 1969, as well as Chicano/a Studies. It also paved the way for the creation of Asian American Studies, Feminist Studies, and other minority studies on campus.
Author and psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison recently addressed UC Santa Barbara Writing Program students and community members about the commonly misunderstood topic of mood disorders.
Humanities, she said, are vital because they help people to understand one another, and when people are quiet about their struggles, those struggles may seem abnormal and frightening to the rest of society. “One of the great things that can be done is to write,” she said as she scanned the small room full of young writers who had gathered for a creative workshop.
The following evening in Campbell Hall, Jamison discussed bipolar disorder in the context of her personal experience and professional career.
Author and environmentalist T.A. Barron has $500,000 to establish endowed fund for environmental leadership in the humanities that benefits undergraduate students.
“Environmental advocacy is above all else an act of persuasion,” said John Majewski, the Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts at UCSB. “Given all the ways in which our culture communicates about significant and important issues — including literature, music, film and the arts — the humanities have a vital role in addressing the critical environmental issues that now confront us.”
With more than 70 faculty members who teach courses that address issues in the environmental humanities, UCSB already is an international leader in the field. The campus already has a range of related programming, from the English department’s Literature and the Environment Center, to the Environmental/Climate Justice Hub based at the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, among others.
Pollock Theater director Matthew Ryan introduced UC Santa Barbara to the Script to Screen series in 2010, an event that features classic or current films followed by a question and answer session with its screenwriters. That same year, he started the Pollock Internship, a program that enlists students interested in film, screenwriting, and production, to put on Pollock Theater events. Writing student Tyler Carr interviewed him for her Journalism for Web and Social Media course.
Renowned Haitian singer Emeline Michel's performed at UC Santa Barbara as part of the Center for Black Studies Research's annual Haiti Flag Week, dedicated to celebrating Haitian culture and marking the country’s independence and the creation of its flag in May, 1803.
Other events included the screening of “Charcoal,” a short film by Haitian filmmaker and photographer Francesca Andre, which captures the parallel stories of two Black women and their lifelong journey to overcome internalized colorism as they find self-acceptance and ultimately redemption. And Jana Braziel, visiting from Miami University, spoke about her book “Riding with Death: Vodou Art and Urban Ecology in the Streets of Port-au-Prince.”
Commencement 2018 speaker Katy Tur of MSNBC tells UC Santa Barbara graduates in Humanities and Fine Arts and Social Sciences how studying philosophy helped her navigate the world of broadcast journalism.
“Do what you like. Do it for a cause that is bigger than you. And you will have fun,” Tur said at the Sunday, June 17, graduation ceremony. “Sometimes what makes a job fun is that it matters.”
Tur graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2005, majoring in philosophy. She is author of the 2017 bestseller Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History.
Passion, innovation, and inspiring talent were on display at Campbell Hall last month at an annual student-run showcase for filmmakers, artists, musicians, and other performers. Students and the larger community applauded 12 of UC Santa Barbara’s filmmakers and other creative artists at the 27th annual Reel Loud Film and Art Festival where student-directed silent short films were accompanied by live on-stage music. Nine months of hard work and dedication from the Reel Loud organizing team paid off in an evening filled with musical performances, art features, and a room full of people ready to be inspired.
UC Santa Barbara’s master’s students in visual arts readied themselves for their next professional “moves” at a reception to exhibit their MFA thesis projects last week. The group titled its exhibition “The Chess Club” because they will apply the strategies they have learned in the program to sustain their future work and their careers.
The MFA Thesis Exhibition Reception took place at the Art, Design & Architecture museum on campus and featured the artwork of seven graduates. The free event filled up quickly, with attendees including faculty from different departments and divisions, as well as other graduate and undergraduate students.
The Media Arts and Technology Program (MAT) at UC Santa Barbara presents its End of Year Show 2018, a celebration of the year's research in electronic music, emergent media, computer science, engineering, and art. The theme for this year is Invisible Machine, which represents the way that transformation is jumpstarted through the Media Arts.
The MAT conducts research in the art of the “invisible becoming visible,” a process that can range from revealing the abstract processes between the input and output of a machine, to turning complicated scientific data into shapes and colors. Its technologists and artists seek to create new works that transcend the way that we currently view the world.
For many U.S. college students, hearing mention of Iraq evokes images of soldiers, oil, refugees, and destruction. In 2003, the United States invaded the country and American soldiers remained there for roughly eight years. Those soldiers and the combat that surrounded them dominated U.S. media coverage, leaving little room for the stories of Iraqi civilians and the hardships they endured during and after the occupation.
Now, 15 years after the invasion, several departments at UC Santa Barbara came together for a symposium to flip the script and reframe U.S. perspectives on Iraq. “[The goal is to] re-orient us towards Iraq in order to overturn these reductive and insufficient representations of human beings,” said organizer Mona Damluji, a professor in the Film and Media Studies Department.
The two-day event, called “Iraq Front and Center” was held earlier this month to create a space for interdisciplinary conversations, bringing together guest speakers from the diverse perspectives of novelist, journalist, filmmaker, and doctor.
At a time when tensions are high over police violence against African Americans and sexual violence against women, hundreds of UC Santa Barbara students lined up to hear race theory and civil rights activist Kimberlé Crenshaw advise marginalized groups to go beyond marching under one banner.
“People are so convinced we are moving forward, they don’t realize we are passing the same terrain we’ve seen before,” Crenshaw said at Campbell Hall in a talk hosted by the Multi Cultural Center.
The Spanish and Portuguese Department earlier this month presented “Verbal Kaleidoscope” the first interdisciplinary conference at UC Santa Barbara dedicated to Indigenous literatures. Several poets of the Zapotec, Mazatec, Spanish, Basque, and other language groups recited their work in what organizer Osiris Gómez described as a display of diversity.
“Verbal Kaleidoscope is a metaphor for cultural and linguistic plurality, said Gómez, a Spanish and Portuguese Ph.D. candidate. “The world, even at a community level is immensely diverse…With every swirl, movement, transition, we face new challenges and promising forms.”
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.
Pulitzer prize winning journalist Dexter Filkins spoke recently at Corwin Pavilion about the modern refugee crisis and why he calls it “the great apocalypse of our time.” The talk was sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center’s Crossings + Boundaries series.
The New Yorker staff writer drew attention to the dire situations of 200 million migrants, coming mainly from South Sudan, Syria, and Afghanistan, who are living in refugee camps for an average stay of 10 years or internally displaced within their home countries.
“The story of American Jews is one of Americanization in linear and progressive terms…I want to present another way of understanding it, through the prism of revolution, of conflict and utopianism,” said Tony Michaels, PhD., a religious studies professor from University of Wisconsin-Madison, in a recent address in UC Santa Barbara.
Michaels has dedicated his career to researching the Jewish story in America and was presenting his new research for the first time as a guest of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center’s Taubman symposia in Jewish Studies.
Bestselling author Sarah Vowell credited Lincoln’s “magnanimous” personality and “reason” for his ultimate success in passing the Emancipation Proclamation that ended slavery, and said his respect for democratic institutions was crucial.
“If we die, we die by suicide, because we stop adhering to our constitution and the rule of law,” said Vowell, summarizing Lincoln’s message in his 1838 address in Springfield Illinois. Vowell wrote 2005’s Assassination Vacation, in which she traveled the country visiting site related to assassinated presidents.