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October 2017

IHC Open House

October 5, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

You are invited to the IHC’s Open House on Thursday, October 5, from 4-6 pm. Cosponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts. Meet new Humanities faculty, IHC fellows, and staff members. Learn about Crossings + Boundaries, our 2017-2018 public events series. Find out about our community-engagement programs and our numerous funding resources for faculty and graduate students. Explore our new lending library. Enjoy good food, drink, and conversation.

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RECEPTION: IHC Platform Gallery Exhibition Opening Reception

October 18, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Originating from the French word plateforme, meaning ‘ground plan’ or ‘flat shape’, the Platform Gallery is a public exhibition space at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UCSB, that features the work of emerging artists displayed as two-dimensional printed media. The complete Platform exhibition archive is available online. The 2017–18 Platform exhibition engages with the IHC’s public events series theme, Crossings + Boundaries, which considers diverse experiences and phenomena of boundary crossing—institutional, political, cultural, artistic, gendered, psychological, and more.  The artwork displayed in the Platform exhibition gallery brings the IHC’s academic and community guests into dialogue with Crossings + Boundaries in creative ways. Join us as we celebrate the opening of the IHC Platform Gallery Exhibition, which features artists Alexis Crashaw, Maya T. Garabedian, Brent Gibbs, Lucy Holtsnider, Elisa Ortega Montilla, Sunny Samuel, Natasha Sarkar, and F. Myles Sciotto.

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INAUGURAL PANEL: Interdisciplinary Crossings + Boundaries

October 19, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

In this inaugural event for the IHC's Crossings + Boundaries public events series, four UCSB faculty members will discuss their varied experiences as interdisciplinary scholars, followed by a reception.   Beth DePalma Digeser (History, UCSB) studies the intersection of religion and philosophy with Roman politics, as well as the procession of “conversion” in Late Antiquity. Her latest book, A Threat to Public Piety: Christians, Platonists, and the Great Persecution (Cornell 2012), explores the interactions of Platonist philosophers and Christian theologians in the period leading up to the Great Persecution of AD 303-11. Her new research explores the questions surrounding the emperor Constantine’s move to become sole emperor. Why was his grasp of the West and the Balkans stable enough to allow him to move east (even though the Gallic empire had been a breakaway regime)? To what extent can the material

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Talk: Interstellar Crossings: The Image of Exoplanets and the Imagination of Other Worlds
Lisa Messeri

October 26, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

When seven rocky planets were discovered around the star TRAPPIST-1, claims of potentially habitable worlds animated the scientific discourse and press coverage. Beautiful animations of the surfaces of these planets and imaginative tales of planet hopping suggested that this discovery was not just about discovering more planets, but that it was also about discovering worlds. In this talk, Messeri will recount ethnographic findings from her work with exoplanet astronomers. She will explore how planets become worlds and what resources scientists draw on to execute this conceptual crossing and imaginatively leave the boundary of our world to extend human presence beyond the solar system.

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November 2017

CONFERENCE: The Humanities in the Community: 2017 Convening of the Western Humanities Alliance

November 2, 2017 @ 10:30 am - November 3, 2017 @ 3:30 pm

What is the significance and power of community in the 21st century? How has community been conceptualized and created by different cultures throughout history? How are relationships between specific communities and the broader social milieu constructed and maintained? In today’s global society, what provides the impetus for a life of civic engagement, built upon democratic values, goals, and aspirations? Is the “network” the latest form of community, now disconnected from the preconditions of shared physical or social space? These and other questions will be explored in the 2017 convening of the Western Humanities Alliance.

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January 2018

Crossings+Boundaries TALK: Opening the Gates of Heaven: Religious and Philosophical Implications of Space Exploration
Michael Waltemathe

January 11, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Religion and philosophy have always been present in human space exploration, in the form of religious rituals practiced during space missions, placement of sacred objects in space, and astronauts’ descriptions of transcendental changes in perspective when looking back on Earth. Space exploration also poses ethical, religious, and philosophical challenges. How, for example, do we protect other celestial bodies from contamination by human space exploration? How do we protect the Earth from contamination by extraterrestrial samples brought back on spaceships? How will human society be represented to extraterrestrial beings? What are the wide-ranging implications of finding life in the universe? In his talk, Waltemathe will discuss these issues, exploring questions that seem to belong to the realm of science fiction while focusing on scientifically plausible exploration scenarios. Michael Waltemathe is senior lecturer in the Department of Protestant Theology at Ruhr-University Bochum

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February 2018

Crossings+Boundaries TALK: Dreamland: America’s Opiate Epidemic and How We Got Here
Sam Quinones

February 1, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Click here to read an article about Quinones' talk. Quinones will discuss the origins of our nationwide opioid epidemic: pharmaceutical marketing, changes in our heroin market, and new attitudes toward pain among American healthcare consumers. He will also discuss cultural shifts that made this epidemic possible. Sam Quinones is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist and author of three books of narrative nonfiction. His book Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic won a National Book Critics Circle award for the Best Nonfiction Book of 2015. He has reported on immigration, gangs, drug trafficking, and the border as a reporter for the L.A. Times (2004–2014) and as a freelance writer in Mexico (1994–2004). Sponsored by the IHC's Crossings + Boundaries series, the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life, and the IHC's Idee Levitan Endowment.

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Crossings + Boundaries Talks: Sayak Valencia and Lorena Wolffer

February 8, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Talk: From Queer to Cuir: Geopolitical Ostranenie from the Global South Sayak Valencia’s talk will explore the politics of survival and the alliances of the trans/border/messtizx/sissy/lesbian/dressed/slut-fag/cripple. The word “cuir” represents a defamiliarization—or ostranenie—of “queer,” which challenges automatic reading and registers, through its unfamiliarity, a geopolitical inflection southward and from the peripheries. Countering colonial epistemology and Anglo-American historiography, cuir invokes a space of decolonialized enunciation, at once playful and critical. Sayak Valencia (Cultural Studies, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte) is the author of Capitalismo Gore. Talk: Citizen Affects/Afectxs ciudadanxs Lorena Wolffer will discuss her experiences producing Citizen Affects/Afectxs ciudadanxs at UC Santa Barbara and at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City in 2017. This participatory cultural interventions project is focused on the affects that cross, regulate, and define women, queer, and non-normative individuals in our interaction with others

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Crossings + Boundaries Talk: Exodus: The Largest Movement of People Since the Second World War
Dexter Filkins

February 28, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Corwin Pavilion, 494 UCEN Rd

The world is witnessing the greatest mass migration since 1945. More than sixty-five million people, about one in every hundred on Earth, have fled their homes. Some are internally displaced; others are refugees who have moved to multiple countries. This talk will discuss the three main causes of this giant human tide: the implosion of the Middle East following the Arab Spring; climate change, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where drought and advancing deserts are pushing people to abandon their homes; and famine, because of which at least twenty million people are currently at risk of starvation, most of them in Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia. In his talk, Filkins will take the audience on a tour of these places and discuss ways to address the complex causes of mass migration. Filkins has been a staff writer with The New Yorker since

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March 2018

Crossings + Boundaries Talk: Murder and Mattering in Harambe’s House
Claire Jean Kim

March 6, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Date change to Tuesday, March 6th at 4:00PM. This talk approaches the controversy over the killing of the gorilla Harambe in the Cincinnati Zoo in May 2016 as a unique window onto the making of animalness and blackness in the contemporary U.S.  It will explore the notion of a racial-zoological order in which the “human” is constructed simultaneously in relation to both the “black” and the “animal.” Claire Jean Kim is Professor of Political Science and Asian American Studies at University of California, Irvine.  She is the author of Bitter Fruit: The Politics of Black-Korean Conflict in New York City (2000) and Dangerous Crossings: Race, Species, and Nature in a Multicultural Age (2015), both of which won book awards from the American Political Science Association. Sponsored by the IHC’s Crossings + Boundaries series and the Sara Miller McCune and George

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April 2018

Crossings + Boundaries Reading: Of Great Importance
Nachoem M. Wijnberg

April 12, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Wijnberg Poetry Reading

The poems in Of Great Importance discuss taxes and debts, stocks and flows, citizenship and labor contracts, notaries and accountants, factories and strikes, freedoms and fundamental rights, how to make money and how to win elections, when to declare war and when to found a new state. The collection has been called “a painfully consistent and uncomfortably accurate analysis of power, economic and social structures and mechanisms which are at the root of the degenerate world in which we wake up each morning.” The poems look at history in order to learn something from it and build upon the best work of thinkers and poets such as Marx, Keynes, Heine, Miłosz, and especially Kaváfis. Nachoem M. Wijnberg is a Dutch poet and novelist who has been acclaimed as one of the foremost Dutch authors of the last decennia. His poetry has received many Dutch and Belgian awards,

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Symposium: Humanities in Prison

April 26, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Humanities in Prison

Why study the humanities in prison? Why teach them?  What is the value of prison humanities programs for communities both inside and outside of prisons?  What humanistic texts and skills do we teach? This day-long symposium, hosted by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center of the University of California, Santa Barbara, will explore the building of intellectual communities across systemic divides through the humanities. The symposium will include the voices of educators and formerly incarcerated individuals and will be of interest to those involved in public humanities, social justice, transformative pedagogy and civic engagement. Sponsored by the IHC’s Crossings + Boundaries series and the Hester and Cedric Crowell Endowment; the College of Letters & Science Critical Issues in America series, Changing Faces of U.S. Citizenship; and the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life Schedule 9:00–10:45      Introductory

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May 2018

Crossings + Boundaries Talk: Borderwall as Architecture
Ronald Rael

May 3, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Ronald Rael’s talk will reexamine what the 650 miles of physical barrier dividing the US and Mexico is and could be, suggesting that the wall is an opportunity for economic and social development along the border that encourages its conceptual and physical dismantling. Rael will illuminate the transformative effects of the wall on people, animals, and the natural and built landscape through the story of people on both sides of the border who transform and creatively challenge the wall’s existence. He will also discuss his architectural studio’s counterproposals that reimagine, hyperbolize, or question the wall and its construction, cost, performance, and meaning. Rael proposes that despite the intended use of the wall, which is to keep people out and away, the wall is instead an attractor, engaging both sides in a common dialogue. Ronald Rael is the Eva Li Memorial Chair

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Crossings + Boundaries TALKS: Sinan Antoon and Sara Pursley
Sinan Antoon and Sara Pursley

May 10, 2018 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Talk: The Times of Revolution in Jawad Salim’s Monument to Freedom The Iraqi artist Jawad Salim’s famous Monument to Freedom, which still stands in Baghdad’s Liberation Square, is usually read as a linear historical narrative of the Iraqi nationalist movement and the 1958 revolution it produced. Pursley’s talk explores heterogeneous conceptions of time in the work, including depictions of cyclical forms of temporality that reference Khaldunian historical time, Shi`i messianic time, and the time of mourning. She suggests that these forms of time do not work against promises of radical change in the monument, but, on the contrary, give such promises more imaginative purchase than they typically achieve in linear modernization narratives, with their tendency to open onto a singular and static future. Sara Pursley is Assistant Professor in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. Talk: Pre-occupation, Epistemic Violence,

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October 2018

IHC Open House

October 4, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

You are invited to the IHC’s Open House on Thursday, October 4, from 4-6 pm. Cosponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts. Meet new Humanities faculty, IHC fellows, and staff members. Learn about Social Securities, our 2018-2019 public events series. Find out about our community-engagement programs and our numerous funding resources for faculty and graduate students. Enjoy good food, drink, and conversation.

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Social Securities Inaugural Lecture: Social Insecurities: Media Policy and the Fight for Digital Liberties
Jennifer Holt

October 11, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

In the US, media policy is designed to protect a host of cultural values, particularly those promoting the public interest and freedom of expression. This talk will explore how these values and their attendant “social securities” have been actively sabotaged by the regulators charged with preserving them, threatening everything from our individual privacy to democracy itself. In such a dire landscape, the humanities offer much needed direction toward reclaiming a brighter future. A reception will follow. Jennifer Holt is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies. She is the author of Empires of Entertainment and co-editor of Distribution Revolution; Connected Viewing; and Media Industries: History, Theory, Method. She is a former Director of the Carsey-Wolf Center’s Media Industries Project and a Fellow at the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington, D.C.  Sponsored by the IHC’s Social Securities series Image

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Social Securities Talk: Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women
Victoria Law

October 18, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Since 1980, the population of female prisoners has increased eightfold in this country, with women of color disproportionately impacted. In her talk, Ms. Law will examine the structural inequities and injustices behind the rise in the number of incarcerated women and the recurring violation of rights women face inside prison, including lack of access to reproductive and medical health care and pervasive sexual harassment and abuse. Law will also discuss how incarcerated women are challenging and organizing against prison conditions and suggest ways that people on the outside can support their actions and resistance. Victoria Law is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women, which won the 2009 PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) award. She frequently writes and speaks about the intersections between mass incarceration, gender and resistance. Sponsored by

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November 2018

Social Securities Talk: Money is No Object: Aesthetics, Abstraction, and the Politics of Care
Scott Ferguson

November 15, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

In his talk, Scott Ferguson will rethink the historical relationship between money and aesthetics in an effort to broaden the politics of care using the alternative conception of money articulated by the contemporary heterodox school of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Mobilizing MMT, Ferguson critiques exhausted dialectical oppositions between money and art and contends that monetary abstraction, rather than representing a private, finite, and alienating technology, is instead a public and fundamentally unlimited medium that harbors still unrealized powers for inclusion and cultivation. A reception will follow. Scott Ferguson is Associate Professor of Film and New Media Studies in the Department of Humanities and Cultural Studies at the University of South Florida. He is the author of Dependence: Money, Aesthetics & the Politics of Care (2018) and Co-Director of The Modern Money Network Humanities Division, co-host of the Money on the

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January 2019

Social Securities Talk: Embracing Shari’a: Women, Law, and Activism in Somalia
Mark Fathi Massoud

January 17, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Gender equality is a key principle of human rights and political security. But how are gender equality and human security ensured in societies struggling with legacies of civil war and political violence? This lecture reveals how, in a country where many observers presume law and security are absent, women are turning to Islam’s foundational sources—the Qur’an and the Hadith—to promote women’s rights and human and political security.  A reception will follow. Mark Fathi Massoud is Associate Professor of Politics and Legal Studies at UC Santa Cruz and the author of Law’s Fragile State: Colonial, Authoritarian, and Humanitarian Legacies in Sudan. Sponsored by the IHC's Social Securities series and the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life

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Social Securities Talk: Why Can’t Feminists Change the Law? The History and Politics of Welfare Reform in the Modern U.S.
Felicia Kornbluh

January 24, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

In her talk, Kornbluh will reveal how welfare reform is shaped by “intersectional sexism,” the gendered and racialized dimensions of legal activity that are evident, persistent, yet ignored by mainstream policy makers and Washington, D.C.-based intellectuals. Taking as her example the failed passage of a feminist welfare reauthorization bill in the early 2000s, Kornbluh will discuss why the Democratic Party resisted embracing this initiative and explore the crucial role feminist scholars and activists have to play in understanding the details of policy and law in the intersectional context of gender, race, poverty, and inequality.  A reception will follow. Felicia Kornbluh is Associate Professor of History and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Vermont.  She is the author of The Battle for Welfare Rights: Poverty and Politics in Modern America (2007) and, with Gwendolyn Mink, Ensuring Poverty: Welfare Reform in Feminist Perspective (2018).

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Social Securities Talk: Shaping Community Futures Through Policy + Architecture
Elizabeth Timme

January 31, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

LA-Más is a Los Angeles urban design non-profit focused on empowering lower-income and working class families who struggle to find affordable homes to rent or for whom walking is a primary mode of transportation. This talk will explore the architectural projects of LA-Más that provide accessible affordable housing and support the pedestrian right of way, and that, in doing so, create built environments that address the city’s social instability. Elizabeth Timme is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of LA-Más, a non-profit urban design organization based in Los Angeles that helps lower-income and underserved communities shape their future through policy and architecture. Timme teaches at Woodbury University’s School of Architecture and serves on the Zoning Advisory Committee of Re:Code LA, a city-led effort to transform the city’s outdated zoning code. She holds a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and

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February 2019

Social Securities Talk: Teaching the People: Enlightenment and the American Republic
David Marshall

February 21, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

In this talk, David Marshall will illuminate contemporary debates about the value of the liberal arts and sciences and public investment in higher education by examining Enlightenment arguments for both liberal education and public education in the early American Republic, and the 19th-century Land Grant movement, which resulted in the establishment of the University of California as a “public trust” in the California State Constitution. These two Enlightenment moments resonate today as we try to make the case for accessibility, the liberal arts, and the public research university in the face of privatization and pressure to focus on vocational and pre-professional training, and applied research. David Marshall is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UC Santa Barbara, where he serves as Executive Vice Chancellor.  His research focuses on eighteenth-century fiction, aesthetics, and moral philosophy. Past President of the National

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Social Securities Talk: Environmental Justice as Freedom
Julie Sze

February 28, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

This talk argues that environmental justice movements are freedom struggles. Beginning with the starting point that unjust environments are rooted in racism, capitalism, militarism, colonialism, land theft from Native peoples, and gender violence, the talk frames environmental justice as particularly significant in the moment of danger that we are currently facing. It is drawn from a forthcoming book that examines activism at Standing Rock, in Flint and the Central Valley, and in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Maria. Julie Sze is Professor of American Studies at UC Davis. She is also the founding director of the Environmental Justice Project for UC Davis’ John Muir Institute for the Environment. Sze's research investigates environmental justice and environmental inequality; culture and environment; race, gender and power; and urban/community health and activism. Sponsored by the IHC’s Social Securities series and the Harry Girvetz Memorial Endowment

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May 2019

2019 Arthur N. Rupe Great Debate: Immigration: A Boon or Burden to U.S. Society?
Rubén G. Rumbaut, Mark Krikorian, Donald M. Kerwin, Jr.

May 2, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Campbell Hall, Building 538, University of California, Santa Barbara, Mesa Rd,

Thursday, May 2, 2019 / 7:30 PM Participants: Rubén G. Rumbaut Mark Krikorian Moderator: Donald M. Kerwin, Jr. UCSB Campbell Hall FREE Experts on immigration, national security and refugee movements will engage in a debate about the U.S. immigration system, the values and interests it serves and the impact of immigration on the nation. Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, is the co-author of Open Immigration: Yea & Nay and the author of The New Case against Immigration, Both Legal and Illegal and How Obama is Transforming America through Immigration. Rubén G. Rumbaut, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at UC Irvine, is the author of Immigrant America: A Portrait and Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation. The debate will be moderated by Donald M. Kerwin, Jr., Director of the Center for Migration Studies of New York. Co-presented

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Reading: UC Santa Barbara Student Veteran Writers

May 30, 2019 @ 11:45 am - 1:00 pm

Read the student veterans' stories in The Santa Barbara Independent. Eight student veterans will read stories about their military experiences.  Following the reading there will be time for questions from the audience. Gio Caballaro | Bradley Fry | Adrian Mejia | Andy Molina-Ochoa | Scott Rothdeutsch | Edward Rutherford | Kyle Shipe | Melissa Weidner Lunch will be provided. Sponsored by the IHC’s Social Securities series and the UC Santa Barbara Veterans Writing Workshop.

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Symposium and Staged Readings: The Hungry Woman: A Mexican Medea

May 31, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - June 1, 2019 @ 9:30 pm

Cherríe Moraga’s play, The Hungry Woman: A Mexican Medea (1995), depicts a dystopic future in a fractured América, aggravated by an entrenched patriarchy. It also explores the tenets of the movement that founded what are now thriving Chicana/Latina programs throughout the Southwest, including the UCSB Chicano Studies program, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019. This symposium will present a timely (re)consideration of a movement in progress, alongside two staged readings of the play. Friday, May 31, 7:30 PM | Multicultural Center Theater, UCSB Staged reading of The Hungry Woman by a professional Los Angeles cast and UCSB community members, followed by a discussion with the playwright. Saturday, June 1, 1:00 PM | McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB 1:00 P.M. Opening and Welcome 1:15 P.M. "The Making of The Hungry Woman" - Playwright, Cherríe Moraga (Department of English) presents on

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October 2019

IHC Open House

October 3, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

You are invited to the IHC’s Open House on Thursday, October 3, from 4-6 pm. Cosponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts. Meet new Humanities faculty, IHC fellows, and staff members. Learn about Critical Mass, our 2019-2020 public events series. Find out about our community-engagement programs and our numerous funding resources for faculty and graduate students. Enjoy good food, drink, and conversation.

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Critical Mass Inaugural Lecture: Plastic’s Tipping Point
Roland Geyer

October 10, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Plastic production, use, and pollution have been growing steadily for decades, without much public comment or concern. But suddenly, and very recently, there has been strong and widespread backlash against the pervasiveness of plastic. What prompted this sudden change in public opinion?  Did plastic pollution itself reach a tipping point?  Or did public attitudes toward this pollutant undergo a radical shift? Roland Geyer will discuss the history of global plastic production and disposal and will consider the future of both plastic and public outrage against its environmental impact. A reception will follow. Roland Geyer is a Professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB. In his research he uses the approaches and methods of industrial ecology, such as life cycle assessment and material flow analysis, to assess pollution prevention strategies based on reuse, recycling, and material

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Public Forum: Building a Green New Deal: Community, Coalition, and Organizing for Environmental Justice

October 24, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

In communities, classrooms, and protest sites across the country, people have embraced the call for a Green New Deal as a way of recognizing that climate change presents us with an unprecedented historic challenge—and the need for comprehensive and transformational reform. California’s Central Coast has a powerful tradition of grassroots activism to draw on in rising to the challenge, from the wide-ranging environmental movement sparked by the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill to the multi-racial labor, immigrant, and indigenous people’s rights organizations leading the struggle for economic justice region-wide. Together, these and allied organizations have formed the Central Coast Climate Justice Network, a regional coalition dedicated to developing a collective vision and coalitional strategy for achieving holistic and intersectional environmental justice in our region. Featuring presentations from Network member organizations, the aim of the forum is to launch a broad,

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November 2019

Screening and Panel Discussion: Surviving Home

November 12, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

SURVIVING HOME is an intimate documentary that follows four U.S. military veterans from different generations over an eight year period as they rebuild their lives after war. Interwoven with veterans' voices from across the country, their unique paths of healing and transformation shed light on longterm consequences of war and raise questions about the roots of war and societal cycles of violence. A severely injured Iraq War veteran discovers a new voice that helps heal his wounds of war, as he and his wife struggle to keep their marriage alive. A Vietnam War veteran becomes a Buddhist monk in an effort to come to terms with the carnage and dehumanization of combat. A female Iraq War veteran fights through the effects of Military Sexual Trauma to take on the U.S. government in a class action lawsuit that could improve the

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Critical Mass Talk: Ady Barkan: Love and Death, Hope and Resistance
Ady Barkan

November 21, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Sitting in that hotel armchair, I realized that my deadly disease was giving me newfound power at the very moment it was depriving me of so much strength. My voice was growing softer, but I was being heard by more people than ever before. My legs were disintegrating, but more and more people were following in my footsteps. Precisely because my days were numbered, people drew inspiration from my decision to spend them in resistance. Precisely because I faced such obstacles, my comrades were moved by my message that struggle is never futile. In this talk, the paralyzed political activist Ady Barkan will explore the existential questions that he has faced in the wake of his terminal diagnosis with ALS, and that the American people have faced under the Trump administration: What kind of life will our children have, and

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January 2020

Critical Mass Talk: Nations in Crisis, People in Crisis: Connecting Upheaval
Jared Diamond

January 15, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Corwin Pavilion, 494 UCEN Rd
Jared Diamond

IHC Director Susan Derwin asked Jared Diamond, UCLA Professor of Geography, a few questions about his work in light of the current pandemic. Read his comments here. Nations that successfully navigate crises do so by making selective changes to their identities and actions. When individuals experience crises—mid-life, financial, health, relationship—they may also adopt selective changes to overcome the situation. But some individuals, like some nations, are better at navigating upheaval than others. By drawing on the factors that counselors and psychotherapists have identified that affect the likelihood of overcoming personal crisis, Diamond will examine the extent to which crisis response on the individual scale helps us to understand the outcomes of recent and impending national and world crises. Jared Diamond is professor of Geography at UCLA and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Collapse, and other books. Copies of Diamond's books

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February 2020

Critical Mass Talk: Art as Compass and Catalyst for Change
Aaron Huey

February 20, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Aaron Huey Critical Mass Talk

Amplifier.org is "a nonprofit design lab that builds art and media experiments to amplify the most important movements of our times." In this lecture the Founder of Amplifier will speak on the power of art at threshold moments, recounting visual campaigns like We The People, which flooded the streets for the Women's March and 2017 Presidential Inauguration protests. Amplifier believes that in times of uncertainty—in times like these, when fear and misinformation attempt to divide us—that art is more than beauty or decoration: It is a weapon and a shield. Art has the power to wake people up and serve as a catalyst for real change. It is a megaphone for important but unheard voices that need amplifying. It is a bridge that can unite movements with shared values in ways other mediums cannot. Art gives us symbols to gather

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October 2020

Inaugural Lecture: Living Democracy in Capitalism’s Shadow: Creative Labor, Black Abolitionists, and the Struggle to End Slavery
John Majewski

October 8, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link In the two decades before the Civil War, a new type of capitalism developed in the northern United States that stressed mass education, widespread innovation, and new markets for art and design. For Black abolitionists, the changing northern economy presented new opportunities to highlight the evils of slavery. While continuing to attack slavery’s physical cruelty, Black abolitionists in the 1840s and 1850s increasingly highlighted the “mental darkness” of slavery, focusing on the systematic denial of literacy, learning, and creativity. Through their own creative labor, Black abolitionists made a compelling case for racial equality. The fate of Black creative labor after the Civil War, though, demonstrated the limits of using creativity as a way of obtaining citizenship, and raises important questions about how we in the 21st century “live democracy”

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The 2020 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence: Jesmyn Ward

October 20, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm
Jesmyn Ward by Beowulf Sheehan

Note: The full-length video recording of this event is available for UCSB affiliates through December 31, 2021. Please email events@ihc.ucsb.edu if you are a UCSB affiliate and would like to watch the video. Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link Join us online for a conversation between Jesmyn Ward, 2020 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-in-Residence, and IHC Director Susan Derwin. Audience Q&A will follow. MacArthur Genius and two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward has been called “the new Toni Morrison” (American Booksellers Association). In 2017, she became the first woman and first person of color to win the National Book Award twice—joining the ranks of William Faulkner, Saul Bellow, John Cheever, Philip Roth, and John Updike. Her writing, which encompasses fiction, nonfiction, and memoir, is “raw, beautiful, and dangerous” (The New York Times Book Review).

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Living Democracy Talk: Struggling to Save America’s Cities in the Suburban Age: Urban Renewal Revisited
Lizabeth Cohen

October 22, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link Urban Renewal of the 1950s through 1970s has acquired a very poor reputation, much of it deserved. But reducing it to an unchanging story of urban destruction misses some important legacies and genuinely progressive goals. Those include efforts to create more socially mixed communities, to involve suburbs—not just cities—in solving metropolitan inequality, and most importantly, to hold the federal government responsible for funding more affordable housing and other urban investments, rather than turn to the private sector. Cohen will revisit this history by following the long career of Edward J. Logue, who worked to revitalize New Haven in the 1950s, became the architect of the “New Boston” in the 1960s, and later led innovative organizations in New York at the state level and in the South Bronx. She will

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Living Democracy Talk: From the Embers of Crisis: Creating Equitable and Deliberative Democracy
Archon Fung

October 29, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Archon Fung Talk

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link At a moment when American Democracy was characterized by record levels of political division, inequality, and institutional distrust, it was hit by the perfect storm of the COVID-19 health crisis, an economic crisis of soaring unemployment and economic dislocation, and a civic crisis of reckoning with deep racism and police abuse. What would it take to create from the embers of these crises a deeper, more egalitarian and deliberative democracy in America? Many lay their hopes in a change of Presidential administration in the coming election. But long before Donald Trump, our government had already failed to create a system that shared the fruits of prosperity justly. Our government was unresponsive to the wishes of many Americans, especially people of color and non-wealthy Americans. A return to the pre-Trump

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November 2020

Critical Mass Talks and Staged Reading: On Collecting and Hoarding
William Davies King and Rebecca Falkoff

November 5, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 8:30 pm

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: 4:00 - 5:15 PM Talks: William Davies King and Rebecca Falkoff 7:00 - 8:00 PM Staged Reading: Collections of Nothing Enough is Enough EVENT DETAILS: Talks: William Davies King and Rebecca Falkoff The Creative Edge of Collecting William Davies King has spent a lifetime collecting nothing in a way he brought to light in his 2008 book Collections of Nothing. His collecting of such things as Cheez-It boxes, “Place Stamp Here” squares, hotel door cards, and the little stickers you find on fruit runs into the tens of thousands of items, all on the low edge of the valueless and the ephemeral. But he has also spent a lifetime engaged with the arts–drama, performance art, collage–and he has explored the ways the activity of the collector, who thinks through the world, connects to the work of the

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Living Democracy Talk: Making Abolition Geographies: Stories from California
Ruth Wilson Gilmore

November 19, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Making Abolition Geographies: Stories from California

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link This talk explores how visions of abolition guide and connect organizing across a range of social justice struggles. Gilmore will highlight examples relating to environmental justice, public sector labor unions, farm workers, undocumented households, criminalized youth, and community based approaches to prevent and resolve gender and interpersonal violence. The vivid California stories she will present reveal how abolition is a practical program for urgent change grounded in the needs, talents, and dreams of vulnerable people. Audience Q&A will follow. Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Co-founder of many grassroots organizations including the California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network, Gilmore

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January 2021

Living Democracy Talk: Land Grab U: Land-Grant Universities and Indigenous Peoples
Tristan Ahtone and Robert Lee

January 22, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Land Grab U: Land-Grant Universities and Indigenous Peoples

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, which distributed public domain lands to raise funds for fledgling colleges across the nation. The creation story told around this event is that land-grant universities were given the gift of free land. But the truth is much more complicated: The Morrill Act worked by turning land expropriated from tribal nations into seed money for higher education. In all, the act redistributed nearly 10.8 million acres from more than 250 tribal nations for the benefit of 52 colleges. Those lands, when grouped together, represent an area approximately the size of Denmark. Ahtone and Lee's presentation will both examine the land specifically used to found the University of California and also discuss the methods employed in this investigation of land expropriation, in

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February 2021

Living Democracy Talk: Strongmen: From Mussolini to Trump
Ruth Ben-Ghiat

February 11, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Strongmen: From Mussolini to Trump

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link What do strongman leaders across a century have in common? Why do people continue to follow them, despite the destruction they cause? Drawing on her new book, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, Ruth Ben-Ghiat discusses the playbook of corruption, virility, propaganda, and violence they utilize, how people have resisted authoritarians over a century, and what we can do to strengthen democracy in America and around the world. Audience Q&A will follow. Ruth Ben-Ghiat is Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University. She writes frequently for CNN and other news and analysis sites on fascism, authoritarian leaders, propaganda, and threats to democracy around the world and how to counter them. Sponsored by the IHC’s Living Democracy series, the IHC’s Harry Girvetz Memorial Endowment, and the UCSB Italian Studies Program

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Living Democracy Talk: Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration
Reuben Jonathan Miller

February 25, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Reuben Miller Critical Mass Talk

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link While more people are incarcerated in the United States than in any other nation in the history of the western world, the prison is but one (comparatively) small part of a vast carceral landscape. The 600,000 people released each year join nearly 5 million people already on probation or parole, 12 million who are processed through a county jail, 19 million U.S. adults estimated to have a felony conviction, and the staggering 79 million Americans with a criminal record. But the size of the U.S. carceral state is second in consequence to its reach. Incarcerated people are greeted by more than 48,000 laws, policies and administrative sanctions upon release that limit their participation in the labor and housing markets, in the culture and civic life of the city, and

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April 2021

CANCELLED | Living Democracy Talk: Lessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass
Isaac Julien and Mark Nash

April 16, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Lessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED Artist and filmmaker, Isaac Julien, and writer and curator, Mark Nash, will screen excerpts from Julien's film "Lessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass" in a presentation that will explore the importance of looking to history and biography to articulate contemporary cultural movements. Isaac Julien's moving image practice draws from and comments on a range of artistic disciplines including film, theatre, photography and performance. Julien is a Distinguished Professor of the Arts and Nash is a Professor of Arts at UC Santa Cruz where they run the Isaac Julien Lab, a platform for the innovation of visual and sonic languages for production and the critical reception of moving image, video art, and installation work by examining historical and contemporary art practice. Sponsored by the IHC’s Living Democracy series and the Hester and Cedric Crowell Endowment Image: Isaac Julien,

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May 2021

Living Democracy Talk: What We Can Do For Each Other
Cristina Rivera Garza

May 6, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
What We Can Do for Each Other: Wake Work in Our Times

One of the greatest threats against democracy and justice is indolence--defined as a form of militant indifference based on the lack of empathy for the suffering of others. Cristina Rivera Garza will explore how taking part in and contributing to transnational emotional communities in Mexico and the U.S., many based on shared experiences of social suffering and the grieving that comes with it, may help us leap out of ourselves and into the heart of the bond we share with human and non-human beings alike. Audience Q&A will follow. Cristina Rivera Garza is Distinguished Professor of Hispanic Studies and Creative Writing and Director of the PhD in Creative Writing in Spanish Program at the University of Houston. She is an award-winning author, translator, and critic. Her recent publications include The Taiga Syndrome, translated by Suzanne Jill Levine and Aviva Kana (Dorothy Project, 2018); The

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2021 Arthur N. Rupe Great Debate: Taming Titans: How Should We Regulate Big Tech?
Michael J. Burstein, Sonia Katyal, Kate Klonick, Randal C. Picker

May 18, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link Participants: Sonia Katyal, The University of California, Berkeley, School of Law Kate Klonick, St. John's University, School of Law Randal C. Picker, The University of Chicago, The Law School Moderator: Michael J. Burstein, Yeshiva University, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Experts on law and technology will debate how Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft should be regulated. Are they 21st-century trusts? Guardians of free speech? Threats to our privacy? Do they impede or fuel innovation? Join us for a lively discussion of the role big tech companies play in our lives and the role they should play in the coming decade. Sonia Katyal, Distinguished Haas Chair at UC Berkeley School of Law and Co-Director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, has published widely on the intersection of

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Reading: UC Santa Barbara Student Veteran Writers

May 27, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm

Read the student veterans’ stories in The Santa Barbara Independent. UC Santa Barbara student veterans will read stories about their military experiences, followed by audience Q&A. Presenters: David Guerrero, Robert Hickman, Michael Ramirez, and Nick Tash David Guerrero served in the United States Marine Corps as an Infantry rifleman from 2003 to 2007. He earned his AS in Criminology and Liberal Arts from Santa Barbara City College. David transferred to UCSB in the Fall of 2020 and is currently studying sociology and minoring in applied psychology and education studies. David plans to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and help veterans improve and maintain their mental wellness. Robert Hickman served as an Infantryman in the U.S. Army for three years. He earned his AA in biology at Reedley College and is currently studying biology at UC Santa Barbara, where

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