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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

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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