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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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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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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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