In this inaugural event for the IHC’s Crossings + Boundaries public events series, four UCSB faculty members will discuss their varied experiences as interdisciplinary scholars, followed by a reception.
Beth DePalma Digeser (History, UCSB) studies the intersection of religion and philosophy with Roman politics, as well as the procession of “conversion” in Late Antiquity. Her latest book, A Threat to Public Piety: Christians, Platonists, and the Great Persecution (Cornell 2012), explores the interactions of Platonist philosophers and Christian theologians in the period leading up to the Great Persecution of AD 303-11. Her new research explores the questions surrounding the emperor Constantine’s move to become sole emperor. Why was his grasp of the West and the Balkans stable enough to allow him to move east (even though the Gallic empire had been a breakaway regime)? To what extent can the material culture of Gallia Belgica help scholars understand how people there might have responded to Constantine’s self-presentation? Increasingly in her research, she is interested in exploring the relevance of theories of identity formation and cultural entanglement first used by historians to study the southwest US borderlands.
Laila Shereen Sakr (Film and Media Studies, UCSB) is Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies and Faculty Affiliate in the Feminist Studies Department at University of California, Santa Barbara. At UCSB, she has co-founded Wireframe, a new digital media studio that supports critical game design, data visualization, VR/augmented realities, digital arts and activism. She is known as the creator of the cyborg, VJ Um Amel, and the R-Shief software system. Her areas of research include Media Theory/Practice, Algorithmic Culture, Cyber-Feminism, Middle East Studies, Global Human Rights, Interactive Media Design, and Glitch Art.
Jeremy White (History of Art and Architecture, UCSB) is an architect, architectural historian, and game designer. After earning his B. Arch from the University of Arizona he worked for a variety of firms in the San Francisco Bay Area, securing his architecture license. A persistent and growing interest in history drew Jeremy back to school, earning his Ph.D. in architecture history from Berkeley. He has been teaching in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at UCSB for ten years, and for nearly as long, taught history and then art history seminars in the MFA program at the Brooks Institute of Photography. His architecture training and the experience he gained as an architect informs the approach he takes to teaching about the built environment, its history, and the way space shapes everyday life. His interests in history, art, and design also propelled him into game design, a field that has offered Jeremy opportunities to bring architectural concepts, art, and historical subjects together in unexpected ways. As President of the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara, Jeremy has also endeavored to take education about art and the built environment beyond the college campus, using history, art, and the game as persuasive vehicles for public engagement.
Brandon Whited (Theater and Dance, UCSB) is an Assistant Professor of Dance in the Department of Theater & Dance, with a focus on creative/choreographic research, interdisciplinary collaboration, and men’s/masculinities studies in relation to dance. Mr. Whited’s newest work in progress—tentatively titled Boys Like Us—is a duet exploration for two LA-based professional dancers. Utilizing discussion and informal interview, the work draws from personal experience, and that of the dancers, in order to delve into the often lonely process of ‘coming out’ as a gay adolescent male.