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November 2017

HUMANITIES DECANTED: Elisabeth Weber, Kill Boxes: Facing the Legacy of US-Sponsored Torture, Indefinite Detention and Drone Warfare

November 9, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us for a discussion of Elisabeth Weber's new work. Refreshments will be served. Kill Boxes addresses the legacy of US-sponsored torture, indefinite detention and drone warfare by deciphering the shocks of recognition that humanistic and artistic responses to violence bring to consciousness if readers and viewers have eyes to face them. The book provides intensive readings of philosophical texts by Jean Améry, Jacques Derrida, and Christian Thomasius, with poetic texts by Franz Kafka, Paul Muldoon, and the poet-detainees of Guantánamo Bay Prison Camp, and with artistic creations by Sallah Edine Sallat, the American artist collective Forkscrew and an international artist collective from Pakistan, France and the US. Kill Boxes demonstrates the complexity of humanistic responses to crimes committed in the name of national security.Elisabeth Weber’s publications include Speaking about Torture (Fordham, 2012), co-edited with Julie Carlson, and the edited collection Living

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January 2018

HUMANITIES DECANTED: Robert Samuels, Educating Inequality: Beyond the Political Myths of Higher Education and the Job Market

January 25, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us for a dialogue between Robert Samuels (Writing) and Heather Steffen (English and Writing) about Samuels’ new work, Educating Inequality. Refreshments will be served. Politicians and school officials often argue that higher education is the solution to many of our social and economic problems. Educating Inequality argues that in order to reduce inequality and enhance social mobility, public policies are needed to revamp the financial aid system and increase the number of good jobs. Exploring topics such as the fairness of the current social system, the focus on individual competition in an unequal society, and democracy and capitalism in higher education, this important book seeks to uncover the major myths that shape how people view higher education and its relation to the economy. Looking to models that generate economic mobility and social equality, this book advocates a broader vision

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February 2018

HUMANITIES DECANTED: Bhaskar Sarkar, “No Man’s (Is)land: Ecology of a Border”

February 22, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us for a dialogue between Bhaskar Sarkar (Film and Media Studies) and Lisa Sun-Hee Park (Asian American Studies) about Sarkar’s new article, “No Man’s (Is)land: Ecology of a Border.” Refreshments will be served. Focusing on a stretch of the international border between Bangladesh and India that coincides with the river Ganges, Sarkar’s new article examines the ambiguous productivities of proliferating borders in the era of globalization. In this overpopulated region of South Asia, the Farakka barrage has compounded problems of riverbank erosion, causing the loss of arable lands and homes. When displaced communities move to the silt islands—chars— that emerge in the middle of the river, they pose a problem for both states: are they citizens or foreigners? Analyzing a documentary film about the char people, Sarkar explores contemporary documentary’s engagement with border ecologies and migrant communities, state policies

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May 2018

HUMANITIES DECANTED: Lal Zimman, Transgender Language Reform: Some Challenges and Strategies for Promoting Trans-Affirming, Gender-Inclusive Language

May 29, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us for a presentation and discussion with Lal Zimman (Linguistics) about his new work, “Transgender Language Reform.” Refreshments will be served. With a growing societal interest in the experiences of transgender people has come a new kind of awareness about gendered language. Zimman’s recent article, “Transgender language reform: some challenges and strategies for promoting trans-affirming, gender-inclusive language,” takes a linguistic approach to trans-inclusive language by distilling the practices of transgender speakers of English into a series of challenges and potential solutions. A short presentation of his work will be followed by an audience discussion of practical strategies for trans-affirming and gender-inclusive language in the university context. Lal Zimman is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at UC Santa Barbara. His research takes a broad perspective on trans language, from voices to narratives to terminological choices. His edited volume, Queer Excursions: Retheorizing

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October 2018

Humanities Decanted: Carlos Morton, Trumpus Caesar
Carlos Morton

October 23, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us for a staged reading of a new play by Carlos Morton (Theater and Dance), Trumpus Caesar, followed by a discussion. Refreshments will be served. A bawdy satire in the tradition of Greco-Roman Comedy–Saturday Night Live meets Julius Caesar.  The comic premise is that Trumpus Caesar, having recently been elected emperor by the plebeians, is impeached by a Chorus of Republican satyrs who then fight over the crown.  In this "farce for our times," Caesar doesn't die but is subpoenaed by a chorus of Satyrs. Carlos Morton’s professional playwriting credits include the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Denver Center Theatre, La Compañía Nacional de México, the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, and the Arizona Theatre Company. He has written for Columbia Pictures Television and Fox Television and is the author of The Many Deaths of Danny Rosales and

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November 2018

Humanities Decanted: Mario T. García, Father Luis Olivares: A Biography
Mario T. García

November 29, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us for a dialogue between Mario T. García (Chicana and Chicano Studies and History) and Verónica Castillo-Muñoz (History) about García’s new biography, Father Luis Olivares: Faith Politics and the Origins of the Sanctuary Movement in Los Angeles. Refreshments will be served. García‘s latest book is the untold story of the Los Angeles sanctuary movement’s champion, Father Luis Olivares (1934–1993), a Catholic priest and a charismatic, faith-driven leader for social justice. Beginning in 1980 and continuing for most of the decade, hundreds of thousands of Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees made the hazardous journey to the United States, seeking asylum from political repression and violence in their home states. Instead of being welcomed by the “country of immigrants,” they were rebuffed by the Reagan administration, which supported the governments from which they fled. To counter this policy, a powerful sanctuary movement rose up to provide safe

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April 2019

Humanities Decanted: Silvia Bermúdez, Rocking the Boat
Silvia Bermúdez

April 4, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us for a dialogue between Silvia Bermúdez (Spanish and Portuguese) and Cristina Venegas (Film and Media Studies) about Bermúdez’s new book, Rocking the Boat: Migration and Race in Contemporary Spanish Music.  Refreshments will be served. Rocking the Boat is a nuanced account of how popular urban music, produced between 1980 and 2013, shaped the discourse on immigration, transnational migrants, and racialization in the Spanish State borne after the Constitution of 1978. Silvia Bermúdez is Professor of Spanish and Latin American Literatures.  Her most recent publications include the co-edited volumes A New History of Iberian Feminisms (University of Toronto Press, 2018) and Cartographies of Madrid: Contesting Urban Space at the Crossroads of the Global South and the Global North (Vanderbilt University Press, 2018). Sponsored by the IHC’s Harry Girvetz Memorial Endowment

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Humanities Decanted: Ruth Hellier-Tinoco, Performing Palimpsest Bodies: Postmemory Theatre Experiments in Mexico
Ruth Hellier-Tinoco

April 18, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us for a dialogue between Ruth Hellier-Tinoco (Music) and Jessica Nakamura (Department of Theater and Dance) about Hellier-Tinoco’s new book, Performing Palimpsest Bodies: Postmemory Theatre Experiments in Mexico. Refreshments will be served. Performing Palimpsest Bodies proposes the concept of palimpsest bodies to interpret provocative theatre and performance experiments that explore issues of cultural memory, bodies of history, archives, repertoires and performing remains. Combined with ideas of postmemory and rememory, palimpsest bodies are inherently trans-temporal as they perform re-visions of embodied gestures, vocalized calls and sensory experiences. Focusing on one of Mexico’s most significant contemporary theatre companies, La Máquina de Teatro, this study documents the playfully rigorous performances of layered, plural and trans identities as collaborative, feminist, and queer re-visions of official histories and collective memories. Dr. Ruth Hellier-Tinoco is a scholar, creative artist and an associate professor of performing arts and

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November 2019

Humanities Decanted: Migrant Longing: Letter Writing across the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands
Miroslava Chávez-García

November 20, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Humanities Decanted Chavez-Garcia

Join us for a dialogue between Miroslava Chávez-García (History) and John S.W. Park (Asian American Studies) about Chávez-García’s new book, Migrant Longing: Letter Writing across the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. Refreshments will be served. Migrant Longing draws upon Miroslava Chávez-García’s personal collection of 300 letters exchanged by family members across the U.S.-Mexico border, illuminating what migrants experienced in their everyday lives both “here” and “there” (aqui y alla). Chávez-García uses these private, firsthand accounts to demonstrate not only how migrants struggled to maintain their sense of humanity in el norte but also how those remaining at home made sense of their changing identities in response to the loss of loved ones. Miroslava Chávez-García is Professor in the Department of History at UC Santa Barbara and holds affiliate status in the Departments of Chicana and Chicano Studies and Feminist Studies. She is the

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December 2019

Humanities Decanted: Borges, Buddhism and World Literature: A Morphology of Renunciation Tales
Dominique Jullien

December 5, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us for a dialogue between Dominique Jullien (French and Comparative Literature) and Sowon Park (English) about Jullien’s new book, Borges, Buddhism and World Literature: A Morphology of Renunciation Tales. Refreshments will be served. Jullien’s latest book follows the renunciation story in Borges and beyond, arguing for its centrality as a Borgesian compositional trope and as a Borgesian prism for reading a global constellation of texts. The renunciation story at the heart of Buddhism, that of a king who leaves his palace to become an ascetic, fascinated Borges because of its cross-cultural adaptability and metamorphic nature, and because it resonated so powerfully across philosophy, politics and aesthetics. From the story and its many variants, Borges’s essays formulated a 'morphological' conception of literature (borrowing the idea from Goethe), whereby a potentially infinite number of stories were generated by transformation of a

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January 2020

Humanities Decanted: Queering Black Atlantic Religions: Transcorporeality in Candomblé, Santería, and Vodou
Roberto Strongman

January 23, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us for a dialogue between Roberto Strongman (Black Studies) and Jennifer Tyburczy (Feminist Studies) about Strongman’s new book, Queering Black Atlantic Religions: Transcorporeality in Candomblé, Santería, and Vodou. Refreshments will be served. In Queering Black Atlantic Religions, Roberto Strongman examines Haitian Vodou, Cuban Lucumí/Santería, and Brazilian Candomblé to demonstrate how religious rituals of trance possession allow humans to understand themselves as embodiments of the divine. In these rituals, the commingling of humans and the divine produces gender identities that are independent of biological sex. As opposed to the Cartesian view of the spirit as locked within the body, the body in Afro-diasporic religions is an open receptacle. Showing how trance possession is a primary aspect of almost all Afro-diasporic cultural production, Strongman articulates transcorporeality as a black, trans-Atlantic understanding of the human psyche, soul, and gender as multiple, removable, and

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October 2020

Humanities Decanted: Transgenerational Remembrance: Performance and the Asia-Pacific War in Contemporary Japan
Jessica Nakamura

October 13, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 4:45 pm
Jessica Nakamura

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link Join us online for a dialogue between Jessica Nakamura (Theater and Dance) and Catherine Nesci (French and Italian, Comparative Literature) about Nakamura’s new book, Transgenerational Remembrance: Performance and the Asia-Pacific War in Contemporary Japan. Audience Q&A will follow. In Transgenerational Remembrance, Jessica Nakamura investigates the role of artistic production in the commemoration and memorialization of the Asia-Pacific War (1931–1945) in Japan since 1989. During this time, survivors of Japanese aggression and imperialism, previously silent about their experiences, have sparked contentious public debates about the form and content of war memories. Working from theoretical frameworks of haunting and ethics, Nakamura develops an analytical lens based on the Noh theater ghost. Noh emphasizes the agency of the ghost and the dialogue between the dead and the living. Integrating her Noh-inflected analysis into

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Humanities Decanted: Antigone Rising: The Subversive Power of the Ancient Myths
Helen Morales

October 27, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 4:45 pm

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link Join us online for a dialogue between Helen Morales (Classics) and Vilna Bashi-Treitler (Black Studies) about Morales’ new book, Antigone Rising: The Subversive Power of the Ancient Myths. Audience Q&A will follow. A witty, inspiring reckoning with the ancient Greco-Roman myths and their legacy, from what they can illuminate about #MeToo to the radical imagery of Beyoncé. The picture of classical antiquity most of us learned in school is framed in certain ways -- glossing over misogyny while omitting the seeds of feminist resistance. Even today, myths are still informing harmful practices like diet culture and school dress codes. But in Antigone Rising, classicist Helen Morales reminds us that the myths have subversive power because they can be told -- and read -- in different ways. Through these stories,

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February 2021

Humanities Decanted: The Musical Heritage of Al-Andalus
Dwight Reynolds

February 18, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 4:45 pm

Click here for a 20% publisher's discount on The Musical Heritage of Al-Andalus   Join us online for a dialogue between Dwight Reynolds (Religious Studies) and Debra Blumenthal (History) about Reynolds’ new book, The Musical Heritage of Al-Andalus. Audience Q&A will follow. The Musical Heritage of Al-Andalus is a critical account of the history of Andalusian music in Iberia from the Islamic conquest of 711 to the final expulsion of the Moriscos (Spanish Muslims converted to Christianity) in the early 17th century. This volume presents the documentation that has come down to us, accompanied by critical and detailed analyses of the sources written in Arabic, Old Catalan, Castilian, Hebrew, and Latin. It is also informed by research the author has conducted on modern Andalusian musical traditions in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria. While the cultural achievements of medieval

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March 2021

Humanities Decanted: Making Art Work: How Cold War Engineers and Artists Forged a New Creative Culture
W. Patrick McCray

March 4, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 4:45 pm

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link Join us online for a dialogue between Patrick McCray (History) and Alan Liu (English) about McCray’s new book, Making Art Work: How Cold War Engineers and Artists Forged a New Creative Culture. Audience Q&A will follow. Despite C. P. Snow’s warning, in 1959, of an unbridgeable chasm between the humanities and the sciences, engineers and scientists of that era enthusiastically collaborated with artists to create visually and sonically interesting multimedia works. This new artwork emerged from corporate laboratories, artists’ studios, publishing houses, art galleries, and university campuses and it involved some of the biggest stars of the art world. Less famous and often overlooked were the engineers and scientists who contributed time, technical expertise, and aesthetic input to these projects. These figures included the rocket engineer-turned-artist Frank J. Malina,

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April 2021

Humanities Decanted: Violentologies: Violence, Identity, and Ideology in Latina/o Literature
Ben Olguín

April 22, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 4:45 pm

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link Join us online for a dialogue between Ben Olguín (English, UCSB) and María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo (Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU) about Olguín’s new book, Violentologies: Violence, Identity, and Ideology in Latina/o Literature. Audience Q&A will follow. Violentologies: Violence, Identity, and Ideology in Latina/o Literature, explores how various forms of violence undergird a wide range of Latina/o subjectivities, or Latinidades, from 1835 to the present. Drawing upon the Colombian interdisciplinary field of violence studies known as violentología, which examines the transformation of Colombian society during a century of political and interpersonal violence, this book adapts the neologism "violentology" as a heuristic device and epistemic category to map the salience of violence in Latina/o history, life, and culture in the U.S. and globally. Based on one hundred primary texts and archival

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Humanities Decanted: Race Characters: Ethnic Literature and the Figure of the American Dream
Swati Rana

April 29, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 4:45 pm

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link Join us online for a dialogue between Swati Rana (English) and Stephanie L. Batiste (English) about Rana’s new book, Race Characters: Ethnic Literature and the Figure of the American Dream. Audience Q&A will follow. A vexed figure inhabits U.S. literature and culture: the visibly racialized immigrant who disavows minority identity and embraces the American dream. Such figures are potent and controversial, for they promise to expiate racial violence and perpetuate an exceptionalist ideal of America. Swati Rana grapples with these figures, building on studies of literary character and racial form. Rana offers a new way to view characterization through racialization that creates a fuller social reading of race. Situated in a nascent period of ethnic identification from 1900 to 1960, this book focuses on immigrant writers who do not

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May 2021

Humanities Decanted: Plato and the Mythic Tradition in Political Thought
Tae-Yeoun Keum

May 20, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 4:45 pm
Keum

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link Join us online for a dialogue between Tae-Yeoun Keum (Political Science) and Andrew Norris (Political Science) about Keum’s new book, Plato and the Mythic Tradition in Political Thought. Audience Q&A will follow. Plato’s use of myths—the Myth of Metals, the Myth of Er—sits uneasily with his canonical reputation as the inventor of rational philosophy. Since the Enlightenment, interpreters like Hegel have sought to resolve this tension by treating Plato’s myths as mere regrettable embellishments, irrelevant to his main enterprise. Others, such as Karl Popper, have railed against the deceptive power of myth, concluding that a tradition built on Platonic foundations can be neither rational nor desirable. Tae-Yeoun Keum challenges the premise underlying both of these positions. She argues that myth is neither irrelevant nor inimical to the ideal of rational

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