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IHC Open House

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA

You are invited to the IHC’s Open House on Thursday, October 5, from 4-6 pm. Meet new Humanities faculty, IHC fellows, and staff members. Learn about Imagining California, our 2023-24 public events series. Find out about our publicly engaged programs and funding resources for faculty and graduate students. Enjoy good food, drink, and conversation. Cosponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts

Imagining California Inaugural Talk: Imagine This: The (Re)generation of Place

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA

Seeded by sorrow, the evolving work that Cherríe Moraga will present journeys through her home-country of California, marking her footsteps alongside Native ecologies and Chicanx genealogies. In part, it is reflective of a queer embodied half-century inquiry—writing of place and out of place, perhaps unknowingly inspired by a once paradisal Califas of women of color warriors. Here, nature and the implicate order of its elements (fire, air, water, and earth) become illuminated signposts along the ...

Talk: Nuclear Ghost: Atomic Livelihoods in Fukushima’s Gray Zone

2135 Social Sciences and Media Studies SSMS UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

"There is a nuclear ghost in Minamisōma." This is how one resident describes a mysterious experience following the 2011 nuclear fallout in coastal Fukushima. Investigating the nuclear ghost among the graying population, Morimoto encounters radiation’s shapeshifting effects. What happens if state authorities, scientific experts, and the public disagree about the extent and nature of the harm caused by the accident? Based on Nuclear Ghost, one of the first in-depth ethnographies of coastal Fukushima in English, ...

Imagining California Talk: Is Barbie Feminist? It’s Complicated

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA

In 1994, when M.G. Lord interviewed the California-based creators of the Barbie doll, she had no doubt Barbie would be as provocative in 2023 as she was in 1959. But Lord did not anticipate that this plastic object, once tarred as anti-feminist, would evolve into a touchstone for understanding feminism—as well as the star of a blockbuster attack on patriarchy. This talk will explore the Greta Gerwig effect and the 64 years of changes in ...

TMI Talk: How Are You? Sentiment, Surveillance, and Anti-Asian Racism

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA

Sentiment analysis entails the widespread surveillance of users' posts and actions to determine how they feel. This talk outlines the importance of early- and mid-20th-century studies of women workers and Japanese and Japanese-American internees in U.S. WWII internment camps to the rise of sentiment analysis. A reception will follow. Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is the Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media at Simon Fraser University and leads the Digital Democracies Institute, which was launched ...

Humanities Decanted: Daughter of the Dragon

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA

Join us for a dialogue between Yunte Huang (English) and Constance Penley (Film and Media Studies) about Huang’s new book, Daughter of the Dragon: Anna May Wong's Rendezvous with American History. Refreshments will be served. Daughter of the Dragon is a trenchant reclamation of the Chinese American movie star, whose battles against cinematic exploitation and endemic racism are set against the currents of twentieth-century history. Born into the steam and starch of a Chinese laundry, ...

Research Focus Group Talk: Between and Beyond Images and Words: A Multimodal Stylistic Study of Children’s Picturebooks


A multimodal approach to children’s picturebooks focuses on how images and words (and their interactions) collaboratively make meaning. Narrative theory enriches picturebook studies by demonstrating how paratextual elements (book cover, author’s note, afterword, etc.) complement the body text. Drawing on Gérard Genette’s (1997) distinction of “peritext” and “epitext” and Nina Nørgaard’s (2018) multimodal stylistics of the novel, this talk treats another multimodal dimension of “quasi-textual” elements or features (such as typography, layout, page-turn, gutter, blank ...

Research Focus Group Talk: Secret Clocks: The U.S. Military, Einstein’s Relativity, and the Global Positioning System

4080 HSSB UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

For nearly a decade, beginning in the mid-1970s, a debate unfolded among physicists and engineers over how best to include effects from Einstein's general theory of relativity in the new military technology now known as the Global Positioning System (GPS). Although some exchanges were published in the open scientific literature, much of the debate played out behind the scenes, in memos, reports, and special review sessions arranged by the U.S. military. Theoretical physicists who had ...

Imagining California Talk: The Dreamt Land: How the Invention of California Became Miracle and Ruin

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA

In this talk, journalist Mark Arax will discuss how California's capture of land and water is the story of a people's defiance of nature and the wonders and devastation it has wrought. It's a tale of magic and madness in the arid West, of genocide and endless extraction, of redirected rivers and ever higher dams and deeper wells, of imported workers left behind in the sun and the fatigued earth made to give more even ...

Imagining California Talk: Writing California

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA

Join us for a talk by award-winning author Susan Straight. Straight is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside, where she has taught since 1988. Her most recent novel Mecca (2022) was a finalist for The Kirkus Prize and named a best novel of the year by The Washington Post and NPR, as well as a Top Ten California Book by the New York Times, and it was the winner of the ...

Imagining California Event: California Against the Sea: Visions for Our Vanishing Coastline

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA

Join us as Los Angeles Times reporter Rosanna Xia and Dr. Charles Lester, Director of UC Santa Barbara’s Ocean and Coastal Policy Center, discuss sea level rise and the challenges looming over the California coast. Xia will draw from her new book, California Against the Sea, in which deeply reported stories braid together science, policy, and the state’s social history. The conversation will explore how the decisions we make today will determine where we go ...

Imagining California Talk: Aesthetic Mobility and Solidarities at Self Help Graphics & Art


REGISTER NOW Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link Self Help Graphics & Art is a legacy arts organization that served on the cultural front of the Chicano Movement. Its emphasis on printmaking as an accessible medium infused with activist aims and its ability to cultivate and navigate various solidarities helped to support over fifty years of growth. This presentation by the co-editors of Self Help Graphics at Fifty looks at ...