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January 2021

Research Focus Group Talk: The Asian/American Studies Collective Winter Speakers Series
Diane Fujino

January 26, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Zoom Meeting Link: https://ucsb.zoom.us/j/84178208506 The Asian/American Studies Collective is proud to celebrate the publication of Dr. Diane Fujino's book, Nisei Radicals: The Feminist Poetics and Transformative Ministry of Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake. About the book While critiques of the model minority trope abound, this work has not dislodged the Nisei, or second-generation Japanese Americans, from the label of “Quiet Americans.” Working against the announced politics of Nisei assimilationism, this talk examines the feminist poetics of Mitsuye Yamada and the transformational “jubilee liberation” ministry of her brother, Rev. Michael Yasutake. Mitsuye Yamada’s sensitive writings are known for revealing tropes of silence in the lives of Japanese American women, often through critique of the complicated relationship with her own mother. Michael Yasutake moved from military resistance during World War II, to counseling draft objector during the Vietnam War, to explicit opposition

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February 2021

Research Focus Group Talk: Social Media and the Shape of “Man”
Alexander Cho

February 9, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Zoom Meeting Link: https://ucsb.zoom.us/j/85893482888 Inspired by Cho's ethnographic work with queer of color users of the platform Tumblr and using the Tumblr presence of Filipinx transfeminine visual and performance artist Mark Aguhar as a recurring touchstone, this work-in-progress talk’s provocation is that the assumptive ways in which a social media platform “should” be designed—singular identity, linear text exchanges, direct messaging, traversable connections, and more—in fact instantiate a model of “Man” that can be traced back to the epistemological violences of European colonialism. Relying on Sylvia Wynter’s invocation of the idea of homo oeconomicus as well as Lisa Lowe’s historical analysis of the colonial-era origins of the modern liberal subject, this talk excavates the assumptions of the specific manner in which “Man” is instantiated online and offers design examples that resist this logic, inviting us to imagine digital sociality from a

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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

REGISTER NOW 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. 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 REGISTER NOW. ASL

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

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

REGISTER NOW Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link 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 Muslim Spain

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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

REGISTER NOW 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

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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

REGISTER NOW 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 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

Living Democracy Talk: Lessons of the Hour
Isaac Julien and Mark Nash

April 16, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link 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

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May 2021

Living Democracy Talk: What We Can Do For Each Other: Wake Work in Our Times
Cristina Rivera Garza

May 6, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Free to attend; registration required to receive Zoom webinar attendance link 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, many of them 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. 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

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