The Traveling Box: Containers as the Global Icon of Our Era:
November 8th, 9th, 10th 2007
UC Santa Barbara
McCune Conference Room / Corwin Pavilion

The Interdisciplinary Humanities Center [IHC] and the Center for Work, Labor and Democracy at UC Santa Barbara are pleased to host the conference The Traveling Box: Containers as the Global Icon of Our Era at the UC Santa Barbara campus November 8, 9, and 10th, 2007. This conference is one of three major events hosted by the University of California to mark the 20th anniversary of the UC President's Humanities Initiative.

The conference will focus on containers and containerization as a focus and thematic umbrella under which to consider:  

• the social, economic, and cultural impact of the shipping container
• the impact of the container on urban geography, supply chains, environmental and security issues
• the shipping container as material object/raw material to be appropriated, recycled, and adapted for multiple artistic and architectural uses

Additional conference sponsors include: Harry Bridges Institute; The Business, Society and Culture Program, Drew University, and J Staal Storage Solutions.

The IHC was founded in December of 1987 to implement the Humanities Initiative begun by the President of the University of California. Out of the conviction that research and teaching in the Humanities are becoming perilously specialized, the IHC regards its principal mission as encouraging interdisciplinary scholarship and instruction. It does this by supporting research projects, team-taught courses, lectures, seminars, and conferences. By hosting a wide array of interdisciplinary programs and activities the IHC also serves as a vital link between the campus and the community. In addition, the IHC seeks to broaden the traditional definition of humanistic endeavors by sponsoring activities in the performing and visual arts.

Thursday, November 8th, 2007 - McCune Conference Room
6020 Humanities and Social Sciences Building


Registration McCune Conference Room,
*registration is $25 for conference only; students with ID are free
conference and box lunch on Friday is $35 ($10 students)
conference, box lunch and Saturday port tour is $50($30 students)


Welcome: Dick Hebdige, Director, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center 


Opening remarks, Nelson Lichtenstein, History, UC Santa Barbara
“Transport Revolutions and Containerization: a  200 Year Perspective”

1:30 - 2:30

Introductory Address: Jennifer Siegal, Architect.
Office of Mobile Design  "The Box as Building Material"

Keynote Speaker: Marc Levinson, History, CUNY
"The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger"

Panel 1: Transport History
Chair: John Majewski, History, UCSB
Richard Greenwald, History, Drew University, “How Containers Transformed the Port of New York”
Shane Hamilton, History, University of Georgia “ Transportation Revolutions? The Box in Political and Historical Perspective”
Goetz Wolff, Urban Planning, UCLA,  “How the Container Reshaped L.A.”


Opening Reception - University Art Museum

Special Event: Screening Allan Sekula’s “Lottery of the Sea” (2007)
University Art Museum Galleries. Q&A with filmmaker.
Building on his earlier acclaimed work on global maritime trade, Fish Story (1996)  Sekula explores a matrix of narratives--Greek myths, American movies, and stories of longshoremen, lost sailors and displaced populations--and reflects on the globalizing effects of Adam Smith’s notion of the seafaring life as a form of gambling. The screened extract deals with the Barcelona dockyards.

Friday November 9th, 2007 - Corwin Pavilion, UC Santa Barbara  
Registration and Coffee

Panel 2: Spatial Politics and Economy in Metropolitan America
Chair: Peter Kuhn, Economics, UCSB
John Husing, Economics and Politics, Inc., “The Impact of Distribution Centers on the Economics and Demography of the Inland Empire” 
David Bensman, History, Rutgers, “The Plight of the New Jersey Port Truckers.”
Kristen Monaco, Economics, California State University, Long Beach, “Blue Collar Logistics in the New Los Angeles”  
Teddy Cruz, Visual Arts, UC San Diego "The Political Equator"


Panel 3: Global Logistics
Chair: Richard Appelbaum, Global Studies, UCSB
Ray Familathe, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Director of International Affairs, “Labor and Logistics in a Global Industry”  
Paula Hamilton, Geography, University of London, “DHL Global Logistics: A Geographer’s Perspective” 
Alan Sekula, Studio Arts, California School of the Arts, “The Aesthetics of a Containerized World"  
Andrew Herod, Geography, University of Georgia, “"Containers, contracts, and geography: responding to technological innovation through remaking the labor landscape"?


Box Lunch and Container Demonstration Projects
Corwin Pavilion Parking Lot
"Dance of the Containers" container moving exhibition,
J Staal Storage Solutions
College of Creative Studies Mobile Arts Lab, Jane Mulfinger and Billy Hood, artists
Art Department Atrium
, Professor Kim Yasuda's Art 104 shipping container transformation

**announcement of the 2007 Open Up the Box competition**


Panel 4: Open Up the Box: Re-use strategies/alternative spaces
Co-Chairs: Dick Hebdige, IHC; Kim Yasuda, UCIRA
Mark Strauss, principal, FXFOWLE ARCHITECTS, PC, New York, "The Gloucester Green Redevelopment Plan" 
Anthony Tindill, Auburn University, "Containers as Alternative Housing for Disaster Victims: the FEMA project"
Kara Pegg, University of Arkansas, "Containers as Alternative Housing for Disaster Victims: the FEMA project"
Kim Yasuda, Studio Arts, UCSB/UCIRA “The Container: A Visual Icon for Our Time” Eric Reynolds, Urban Space Management, "The Container City project, UK"  (video)


Panel 5: Containers: Threat, Politics, and Culture
Chair: Alice O’Connor, History, UCSB
Dana Frank, History Department, UC Santa Cruz, “Banana Containers in the Central American Landscape”
Edna Bonacich, Sociology, UC Riverside, emerita, “ The Social Cost Containerization”
David Ortez, Rand Corporation, “Port Security: Risks in the Global Supply Chain” 

Saturday, November 10th
Los Angeles Port Tour
- *pre-registration is required

8:00 - 11:00
Bus departs from University Center parking lot [lot 3], UC Santa Barbara
11:00 - 3:00

Dave Arian, Past President, ILWU will lead a tour of the Port of Los Angeles.
lunch will be available for purchase on the boat
*The Tour of the Los Angeles Port is provided courtesy of the Harry Bridges Institute

3:00 - 5:00

Return to UC Santa Barbara

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