As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan draw to a close, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center will consider, from the perspective of the humanities, the impact of war upon individuals, cultures, institutions and societies. Throughout the 2012-13 academic year, scholars, public intellectuals, journalists and social workers will explore topics such as the psychological and social challenges confronting veterans and their communities, the diverse narratives and commentaries that circulate about war, the place of war in the social imaginary, and the manifold forms of human aggression. Art installations, film screenings, creative performances and literary readings will give voice to the experiences of those whose lives have been affected by war.

souncloudClick here to listen to podcasts from the 2012-13 IHC series: Fallout: In the Aftermath of War on SoundCloud.

Past Events

2012 - 2013

THE NINTH ARTHUR N. RUPE GREAT DEBATE: Drone Warfare: Prospects and Dangers

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 / 8:00 PM
Campbell Hall – FREE

Debate participants:
David Cole (Law, Georgetown University)
Mary Ellen O’Connell (Law, University of Notre Dame)
Avery Plaw (Political Science, Dartmouth University)

Moderator:Jeff Greenfield

The use of militarized drones – flying unmanned aircraft equipped with weaponry – represents a major shift in the calculus of war and combat. Three leading thinkers debate the perils and promises of drone warfare. David Cole is a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, volunteer attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights and author of Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism. Mary Ellen O’Connell is the Robert and Marion Short Chair in Law at University of Notre Dame, research professor of international dispute resolution and an expert on the international law of armed conflict. Avery Plaw is an associate professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, specializing in political theory and international relations, and author of Targeting Terrorists: a License to Kill?  Jeff Greenfield, who for 30 plus years served as correspondent, analyst and anchor for CBS, ABC and CNN, will moderate.

Click here to watch a video of the debate from the IHC’s Fallout: In the Aftermath of War series.

Presented by the College of Letters & Science at UC Santa Barbara and made possible by an endowment from the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation.  Co-presented by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center’s Fallout: In the Aftermath of War series and UCSB Arts & Lectures.

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Closing Talk and Reception: Remembering War, Looking Forward

John W.I. Lee (History, UCSB)
with series closing remarks by IHC director Susan Derwin
Thursday, May 9, 2013 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Historian John Lee offers closing reflections on the year’s IHC program, Fallout. Using as a starting point the war memoirs of Xenophon (ca. 427-355 BC), Lee considers our changing visions of war, memory and trauma, war memoirs, and the relationship between war and the humanities. Sponsored by the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.

Click here to listen to a recording of John Lee’s talk for the IHC’s Fallout series.

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Talk: The Last Guardian of the Earth

Wolf Kittler (German, Slavic & Semitic Studies)
Thursday, May 2, 2013 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Carl Schmitt, in his book Theory of the Partisan, makes a fundamental distinction between wars that are fought in defense of a specific territory and wars that are fought in the name of a specific ideology; for instance, international communism and global guerrilla wars. The automation of warfare which we have been experiencing within the last two decades, an effect of digital techniques, adds a new component. What happens when the transgression of boundaries can be done at no risk to the lives of a nation’s soldiers, or a group of guerrilleros or international terrorists? What will define the end of such “no-risk” wars?

Sponsored by the IHC series Fallout: In The Aftermath of War.

Click here to listen to a recording of Wolf Kittler’s talk from the IHC’s Fallout series.

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Conference: Narrative-Making in the Aftermath of War

Thursday-Friday, April 25-26, 2013
Interdisciplinary Humanities Center – UC Santa Barbara
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

“Narrative-Making in the Aftermath of War” will focus on the capacity of narrative-making to help returning service members deal with the after-effects of war and reintegrate into their communities.  This conference is sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC) of the University of California, Santa Barbara as part of its 2012-2013 program “Fallout,” a year-long series of events dedicated to examining the impact of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan upon the soldiers who have fought in these wars.

Please click here for more information about the conference participants.

Thursday, April 25

9:00 AM                 Coffee and pastries

9:15 AM                 Opening remarks and introductions:

David Marshall, Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts

Susan Derwin, Director, IHC

9:30 AM                 Panel #1

Chair: Wolf Kittler, German, Slavic and Semitic Studies, UCSB

Liam Corley, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona: “Wounded Narratives and Amputation”

Farzana Marie, School of Middle Eastern & North African Studies, University of Arizona: “Poetic Narratives of Conflict in Afghanistan”

Anne Shea, California College of the Arts, “’Writing Ourselves Into Being’: 9 Scripts from a Nation at War

10:45 AM              Keynote address: Judith Broder and Carol Tanenbaum, The Soldiers Project: “Who are you now, where did we meet before? Reconnection in Family Life Through Shared Narratives”

12:00 PM              Lunch

1:00 PM                 Panel #2

Chair: John Talbott, History, UCSB

Jacqueline Genovese, Institute for the Medical Humanities, University of Texas: “Post-Traumatic Story Disorder: Using the Power of Narrative to Heal the Invisible Wounds of War”

Dale Flynn, University Writing Program, UC Davis: “A Literature & Medicine Program at a VA Hospital”

2:15 PM                 Coffee break

2:30 PM                 Keynote address: Helene Moglen, UC Santa Cruz, and Sheila Namir, Psychoanalyst and Clinical Psychologist, Santa Cruz: “’Fighting for Words’: A Creative Writing Workshop for Veterans”

4:00 PM                 Readings by UCSB student veterans:

Steve Gunderman, U.S. Marine Corps veteran

Ben Hatcher, U.S. Coast Guard veteran

Paul Malone, U.S Army veteran

Lola Mondragὀn, U.S. Navy veteran

Raymond Morua, U.S. Army veteran

Victor Orta, U.S. Army veteran

Jose D. Perez, U.S. Navy veteran

5:00 PM                 Reception

 Friday, April 26

9:00 AM                 Coffee and pastries

9:15 AM                 Panel #3

Chair: John W.I. Lee, History, UCSB

Tim Wood, SUNY Nassau Community College: “How to Hear a True War Story: Using Literature to Bridge the Experiential Divide between Veterans and Civilians”

Allen Redmon, Texas A&M University: “Reading War with Soldiers and their Spouses”

Susan Derwin, UC Santa Barbara: “Learning from Veterans’ Writing”

10:45 AM              Reading: “Ghosts”: Shannon Camlin Ward, Methodist University

11:00 AM              Readings by UCSB military loved ones:

Erin Anding, military dependent

Lyanne Garcia, military spouse

Lola Mondragὀn, military spouse

Brent Snyder, military dependent

12:00 PM              Lunch

1:00 PM                 Panel #4

Chair: Brian Donnelly, English, UCSB

Frank Usbeck, University of Dresden: “Storytelling from the Front: American Milblogging as non-Native Warrior Ceremonies”

Lawrence Acker, Lindenwood University: “Not Technically a Veteran: The Impact of Working in a Combat Theatre for an Army Civilian”

John Becknell, Pacifica Graduate Institute: “When Civilians Listen to Veterans’ Narratives of War”

2:30 PM                 Plenary discussion and closing remarks

The conference is free and open to the public. To register to attend, please complete the following form:

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Talk: Seeing War: Identity, Purpose and Play

Nina Berman (documentary photographer, Associate Professor of Journalism, Columbia University)
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

War is both everywhere and invisible.  It’s there when we shop, when we socialize. We are reminded of it and yet distracted from its effects. In our culture we conflate war and play.   We are attracted to weapons of war, in part, because they give us the promise of power and inspire heroic fantasies, at a time when many aspects of life feel small and without purpose.  In the words of Chris Hedges,  “war is a force that gives us meaning.” Photographic artist Nina Berman will present examples from three bodies of work – Purple Hearts,  Marine Wedding, and Homeland – which explore the consequences and allure of war and militarism in post-September 11 America.

Sponsored by the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.

Click here to listen to a recording of Nina Berman’s talk form the IHC’s Fallout series.

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Symposium: The Legacy of Abu Ghraib

Lisa Hajjar (Sociology, UCSB)
Joshua Phillips (author of None of Us Were Like This Before)
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Nearly a decade after the exposure of prisoner abuse perpetrated by US military personnel at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the IHC will host a symposium to consider the long-term impact of the violations upon human rights policy and upon the United States’ war on terror. Featured speakers will be Professor Lisa Hajjar, author of Torture: A Sociology of Violence and Human Rights, and award-winning print and broadcast journalist Joshua Phillips, author of None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture.

Sponsored by the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.

Click here to listen to a recording of Lisa Hajjar and Joshua Phillips’ symposium from the IHC’s Fallout series.

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Talk: Fictions of Friction: Narratives of War and “Post-War” in Contemporary Afghan Literature

Wali Ahmadi (Near Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley)
Thursday, March 7, 2013 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

This talk will focus on how the wars of the last three decades have been represented in contemporary fiction in Afghanistan. It argues that the war against the Soviets concretized a sense of cohesiveness and national identity. The subsequent Civil War then created a critical juncture for writers to question the validity of a superficial national narrative and pinpoint the fault-lines of a sweeping Afghan nationalism. The talk will show how writers offer a critical evaluation of nationalism, and yet insist on the need for a grand national narrative in Afghanistan. Finally, the talk will address how the US intervention, especially Bush’s mission civilisantrice that insisted on “nation-building” in Afghanistan actually led to furthering of hostilities among various “ethnic” groups inside Afghanistan. In a crucial sense, the “nation-building” scheme actually proved a disastrous experiment in “nation-wrecking.”

Sponsored by the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.

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Symposium: Life in the Age of Drones

Thursday, February 28, 2013 / 2:00 – 5:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB
Casey Cooper Johnson (filmmaker, “UNMANNED: A Filmmaker’s Journey”)
Arthur Kroker (Canada Research Chair in Technology, Culture and Theory, Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Pacific Centre for Technology and Culture at the University of Victoria in British Columbia)
Nancy Mancias (CODEPINK, Coordinator of the Ground the Drones and War Criminals campaigns)
Lisa Parks (Film & Media Studies, UCSB)
Marko Peljhan  (MAT, UCSB)

Life in the Age of Drones brings together a philosopher, activists, and artists to speak about the growing use of unmanned aerial vehicles or “drones” in the world over the past decade. Panelists will present an array of research, art, and activist projects exploring how life has changed in age of drone warfare. Topics to be addressed include: the US drone war in Pakistan and practices of targeted killing; anti-drone protest movements; artistic interventions using drones; filmmaking and drone warfare; and DIY drones. Speakers’ presentations will be followed by discussion with audience members.

Sponsored by CITS, the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War, the Dept. of Art, the Dept. of Feminist Studies, the Dept. of Film and Media Studies, the Global Studies Program and the Dept. of Sociology.

Symposium Schedule

2:00 PM Welcome

 2:15 PM Keynote address
Arthur Kroker, Canada Research Chair in Technology, Culture and Theory at the University of Victoria, British Columbia: “After the Drones” (featuring video by Arthur and Marilouise Kroker and Jackson 2bears)

3:00 PM  Panel 1
Marko Peljhan, MAT, UCSB, UCIRA Co-director: “The Art and Science of Unmanned Systems – A Brief History”
Casey Cooper Johnson, Independent Filmmaker, MFA, American Film Institute
UNMANNED: A Filmmaker’s Journey”

4:00 PM Panel 2
Nancy Mancias, CODEPINK campaign organizer
“Much Ado About Drones: New Media to New War”
Lisa Parks, Film & Media Studies, UCSB, CITS Director
“Targeted Homelands: Networked Visions of the US Drone War in Pakistan”

5:00 PM Reception


Participant Bios:

Casey Cooper Johnson – Before completing his MFA at the American Film Institute, Casey spent ten years working in post-war Kosovo as a documentary filmmaker and political satirist. While there, he produced dozens of docs and an internationally syndicated current affairs program, LIFE IN KOSOVO. Casey is best known in the region for his satirical TV sketches, “KOSOVA’S SON IN LAW”.  After a decade of covering issues of conflict in the Balkans, he moved to Los Angeles for film studies and grew fascinated with the new ways that his own nation fights wars today.   While at AFI, Johnson wrote and directed his first fiction film, UNMANNED, a short about the surreal life of a commuter drone operator, which screened at AFI Fest and Tribeca Film Festival.   He currently produces non-fiction content for WIGS, a new digital channel created by Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia, while developing UNMANNED into a feature length movie, scheduled for release in 2014.  For more info about UNMANNED,visit:  www.unmannedthemovie.com

Arthur Kroker is the author, among others, of _Body Drift: Butler, Hayles, Haraway_, _The Will to Technology: Heidegger, Marx, Nietzsche_ and _Born Again Ideology_. Co-editor with Marilouise Kroker of the acclaimed online scholarly journal, CTheory.net, he is Canada Research Chair in Technology, Culture and Theory at the University of Victoria,Canada.

Nancy L. Mancias is a campaign organizer for CODEPINK. An anti-war, gay and women’s rights advocate, Mancias has been actively trying to bring the troops home from their overseas misadventures and waging peace and equality across the country. She has also been part of the movement against torture and a proponent of closing the prison in Guantánamo. Like many in the anti-war movement, Mancias views her work against drone warfare as a natural extension of her peace efforts. She is a contributing writer to “Beautiful Trouble: A toolbox for revolution”, a book that puts the accumulated wisdom of decades of creative protest into the hands of the next generation of change-makers.

Lisa Parks  is a Professor and former Department Chair of Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara, and an affiliate of the Department of Feminist Studies. She also currently serves as the Director of the Center for Information Technology and Society at UC Santa Barbara). Parks has conducted research on the uses of satellite, computer, and television technologies in different national contexts. Her work is highly interdisciplinary and engages with fields such as geography, art, international relations, and communication studies. She has published on topics ranging from secret satellites to drones, from the mapping of orbital space to political uses of Google Earth, from mobile phone use in post-communist countries to the visualization of communication infrastructures.

Marko Peljhan  founded the arts and technology organization Projekt Atol in the early 90’s and cofounded one of the first media labs in Eastern Europe, LJUDMILA in 1995. In the same year, the founded the technology branch of Projekt Atol called PACT SYSTEMS where he developed the Global Positioning System based participatory networked mapping project, the Urban Colonisation and Orientation Gear 144, one of the first works in the s.c. “locative media” genre. He has been working on the Makrolab, a project that focuses on telecommunications, migrations and weather systems research in an intersection of art and science from 1997-2007, the Interpolar Transnational Art Science Constellation during the International Polar Year (project 417) and is currently, together with Matthew Biederman, coordinating the Arctic Perspective Initiative art/science/tactical media project focused on the global significance of the Arctic geopolitical, natural and cultural spheres.



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Talk: Ontologies of Aerial Observation: Panoramic Reconnaissance and the Pre-History of Air War

Caren Kaplan (American Studies, UC Davis)
Friday,  February 22, 2013 / 1:00 PM
SSMS 2135

Before the advent of aviation, industrializing nations sought to produce increasingly accurate surveys of territorial possessions, drawing on new technologies and sciences to interpret and reproduce sights and images.  Kaplan will argue that most analysis of the imagery of air power–reconnaissance analog and digital photography–situates this kind of visual data as universalized panopticism; total, rational, and complete. According to this approach, reconnaissance imagery can reveal meanings which are always already there waiting to be read. Yet, instances of aerial or elevated viewing before the invention of the airplane suggest a more ontological approach to perception; one that requires habits of observation over time to assemble things like “views.” The strange perspective of vertical views from balloons, the dizzying “pirouette” of the oblique panorama, and the triangulated precision of the ordnance survey–these diverse instances demonstrate the uneven nature of representations of terrain that required the development of new habits of visual expertise. In the effort to make sense, to make “something,” out of numerous sights, sounds, and sensations, aerial observation offered neither rational panopticism nor irrational multiplicity. Instead, these technologies of vision and representation were “put together” by viewers who sought to repeat the experiences of aerial and elevated observation for pleasure, knowledge, and also, for war.

Caren Kaplan is Professor of American Studies and affiliated faculty in Cultural Studies, Science & Technology Studies, and Cinema & Technocultural Studies at the University of California at Davis. She is the author of Questions of Travel: Postmodern Discourses of Displacement (Duke, 1996) and the co-author and co-editor of Introduction to Women’s Studies: Gender in a Transnational World (McGraw-Hill 2001/2005), Between Woman and Nation: Transnational Feminisms and the State (Duke 1999), and Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices (Minnesota 1994) as well as two digital multi-media scholarly works, Dead Reckoning and Precision Targets. Her current research focuses on aerial views and militarized visual culture.

Sponsored by the Center for Information Technology and Society, the Department of Film and Media, and the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.


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Talk: When Janey Comes Marching Home: Portraits of Women Combat Veterans

Laura Browder (American Studies, University of Richmond)
Thursday, February 21, 2013 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

To date, more than 280,000 women have served in Iraq, Afghanistan and surrounding regions. Their jobs include working as convoy gunners, searching homes, and conducting IED sweeps. On February 21, Laura Browder will discuss  her book and exhibit (with photographs by Sascha Pflaeging) When Janey Comes Marching Home, which gives a presence and a voice to American women returning from  service in a war zone. Watching and listening to these women will unsettle our fixed ideas about Americans at war and add dimension to the often flawed or fragmentary pop culture depictions of women in the military: as novelties, but not as real soldiers. It will also undermine stereotypes and preconceptions about women in war.  These stories tell us things we never knew about the experiences of women in combat:  not just what it’s like to be under fire, but also how women deployed to Iraq cope with motherhood, marriage, duty, and sexism.  We hope that by seeing the faces of women who have deployed, and hearing their stories, we can begin to get a sense of all the ways women are experiencing this long war.

Read Laura Browder’s “Revisions in Red” in The Chronicle Review.

Read Browder’s “Women in Combat: Listening to Those Who Have Been There” in Time.


Sponsored by the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.

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Talk: Combat Trauma and Moral Injury

Jonathan Shay (author of Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character and Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming)
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Injury of mind and spirit from war is often broader and more destructive than Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as officially defined. The strict definition can be understood as the persistence, after battle, of the valid adaptations in brain and mind that kept you alive when other humans were trying to kill you. In civilian life, these adaptations are not needed and become impairments. In the ‘90s, Shay coined the term “moral injury” for a painfully common source of the “something more,” not captured by PTSD, but supremely captured by Homer in his portrait of Achilles in the Iliad. Compared to pure PTSD, moral injury destroys the capacity for trust, increases suicidality, domestic violence, and criminality, and wrecks the capacity for a flourishing human life. Shay will explain moral injury, describe how the term is now used for two related but different damages of war, and give his view on the prevention of psychological and moral injury in military service. Shay, a 2007 MacArthur Fellow, has spent over twenty years working with veterans and military leaders. He is a passionate advocate of improved mental health treatment for soldiers and of more effective efforts to prevent PTSD and moral injury in military service.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Idee Levitan Endowment and the IHC series FalloutIn the Aftermath of War.

Click here to listen to recording of Jonathan Shay’s talk from the IHC Fallout series.

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Artist Talk: canceled

Wafaa Bilal (Tisch School, NYU)
Thursday, February 7, 2013 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

This event has been canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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Performance: Theater of War

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 / 7:00 PM
Marjorie Luke Theatre, Santa Barbara Junior High School
Thursday, January 31, 2013 / 4:00 PM
Hatlen Theater, UCSB

Theater of War is an innovative project that presents professional actors reading scenes from ancient Greek drama about soldiers returning from war. Following the reading, a panel of veterans and community members will offer their personal responses to the play in order to initiate an audience discussion about the psychological, physical, emotional and social challenges facing veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Note:  the Theater of War cast will include Evan Parke (Django Unchained, King Kong), in lieu of Keith David.

This event is supported in part by The Marjorie Luke Theatre’s Dreier Family Rent Subsidy Fund.

Sponsored by the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion and Public Life, the Department of Theater and Dance, the IHC’s Hester and Cedric Crowell Endowment, and the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.

Presented by Outside the Wire: http://www.outsidethewirellc.com
33 Flatbush Avenue, 5th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Phone: 718-624-0350
Fax: 718-624-0354
Email: info@outsidethewirellc.com


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Panel: Terror’s Aftermath: New Developments in America and the Middle East

Juan Campo (Religious Studies), Richard Hecht (Religious Studies), Kathleen Moore (Religious Studies), Salim Yaqub (History)
Moderator: Wade Clark Roof (Religious Studies)
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Four UCSB professors join in a panel discussion to assess the effects of the war on terror and the Arab Spring on the U.S. and the Middle East.  Topics addressed include U.S. policy toward the Middle East, religious freedoms in the U.S., the Arab Spring as seen from Israel and Islamic political resurgences in the Middle East.

Sponsored by the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion and Public Life, the Education Abroad Program and the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.

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Talk: Knowing Terrible Things: Thinking the Unthinkable in Time of War

Martha Bragin (Hunter College School of Social Work, CUNY)
Thursday, January 24, 2013 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

The discourse on psychosocial reintegration of combat veterans in the United States has largely been confined to discussions of the best treatment for those diagnosed with psychiatric disorders. This medicalization of lived experience may well be a mechanism of the social imaginary designed to defend the public against what we cannot possibly dare to know or be driven mad by: our own very real complicity as part of the polis, and the very ordinariness of so much of what goes on in everyday life whether in a war zone or out of one. Is being changed by intense experience of life and death really a disease from which we should be cured?   How can it be true that the activities of war, that are so clearly known on some level by all of us, are still considered to be unknowable and unthinkable?  Bragin will draw on psychoanalysis, literature and history to help us think the unthinkable in time of war.

Martha Bragin is an Associate Professor in the Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College, CUNY. Her areas of expertise include psychosocial programs that support resilience in women, children, youth and families affected by conflict, disaster, and adversity. For the past 25 years, she has served as consultant to governments and international organizations on demilitarization and reintegration of soldiers following war, with special attention to women and children.

Sponsored by the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.


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talk: Tales from the Front Lines: Reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan

Dexter Filkins (The New Yorker, author of The Forever War)
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 / 8:00 PM
Campbell Hall – FREE

Dexter Filkins is one of the most respected combat journalists of his generation. His 2008 book, The Forever War, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Nonfiction Book and was named a best book of the year by the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time and the Boston Globe. As part of a team of New York Times reporters, Filkins won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for dispatches from Pakistan and Afghanistan. In this lecture, he will retrace the seven years he spent covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, using vivid images by some of the best photojournalists working today. Filkins’ intimate knowledge of many of the main actors – American, Iraqi and Afghan – in two of the most polarizing wars in American history gives him a unique perspective on these contemporary conflicts.

Filkins has been a member of the staff of The New Yorker since January of 2011. Before coming to The New Yorker, he was a reporter for the New York Times since 2000, reporting from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. He has also worked for the Miami Herald and the Los Angeles Times, where he was chief of the paper’s New Delhi bureau. Filkins was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2006-07 and a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2007-08.

Copies of The Forever War will be available for purchase and signing at the event, courtesy of Chaucer’s Books.

Sponsored by the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War and the IHC Harry Girvetz Memorial Endowment.

Watch Filkins’ talk below:

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Screening and Q&A: The Invisible War (Kirby Dick, 2012 93 min.)

Amy Ziering (Producer)
Thursday, November 15, 2012 / 7:00 PM
UCSB Pollock Theater

The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigation about one of America’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. The film paints a startling picture of the extent of the problem: a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.

Focusing on the powerfully emotional stories of rape victims, The Invisible War is a moving indictment of the systemic cover-up of military sex crimes, chronicling the women’s (and men’s) struggles to rebuild their lives and fight for justice. It also features hard-hitting interviews with high-ranking military officials and members of Congress that reveal the perfect storm of conditions that exist for rape in the military, its long-hidden history, and what can be done to bring about much-needed change.

Q&A with Producer Amy Ziering and reception to follow.

Reservations are required for this free event.  Visit: http://www.carseywolf.ucsb.edu/events/film-screening-invisible-war

Sponsored by UCSB’s Carsey-Wolf Center, UCSB Rape Prevention Education Program, UCSB Veteran’s Resource Team, the Claeyssens Veterans Museum and Library, and the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.

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Talk: A Sociotheological Approach to Understanding Religious Violence

Mona Sheikh (Danish Institute of International Studies)
Mark Juergensmeyer (UCSB Orfalea Center)
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 / 12:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

How do scholars make sense of acts of violence–even terrorism–that are undertaken not just for strategic political gain but to make a symbolic statement on behalf of a religious world view? Two scholars who have interviewed scores of violent activists reflect on the methodological approaches involved in their research. Mona Sheikh has interviewed leaders of the Pakistani Taliban and Mark Juergensmeyer has interviewed activists from a variety of religious backgrounds for his books on religious violence. Together they have coined the name for a cross-disciplinary analytic approach that they call  “sociotheology,” taking seriously both the humanistic perspective of the subject’s religious world views and the social scientific analyses of their social contexts and impact.

Sponsored by Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies and the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.

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Talk: Where Soldiers Come From

Heather Courtney (director, Where Soldiers Come From)
Dominic Fredianelli (artist, subject of Where Soldiers Come From )
Thursday, November 8, 2012 / 3:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Using clips from her Emmy award-winning film Where Soldiers Come From, director/producer Heather Courtney will discuss the struggles of today’s young veterans to return to school and cope with the hidden war wounds of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and PTSD.  From a snowy small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, Where Soldiers Come From follows the four-year journey of childhood friends, forever changed by a faraway war.  The film follows these young men as they grow and change from reckless teenagers, to soldiers looking for roadside bombs in Afghanistan, to 23-year-old veterans dealing with the silent war wounds of TBI and PTSD.

In her presentation, Courtney will also discuss the effects of deployments on the families, spouses, and girlfriends of soldiers she filmed.  She will be joined by artist Dominic Fredianelli, one of the young men and former soldiers depicted in the film. During the week preceding this event, Fredianelli will be an artist-in-residence at UCSB, where he will create a large-scale mural with UCSB student veterans and art students.  The piece will reflect Fredianelli’s own experiences and the experiences of UCSB student veterans.  The mural will be installed in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center outside the McCune Conference Room.  Fredianelli recently completed a mural at the National Veterans Art Museum.

Where Soldiers Come From  has won numerous awards, including a News and Documentary Emmy, an Independent Spirit Award, and Jury Awards at SXSW, Traverse City, and Philadelphia Film Festivals.  It was broadcast nationally on the PBS program POV.  More info is available at www.wheresoldierscomefrom.com.

Sponsored by the IHC’s series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.

Click here to listen to a recording of Heather Courtney and Dominic Fredianelli’s talk for the IHC’s Fallout series.

View UCSB Dominic Fredianelli Residency in a larger map

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Artist Residency: Dominic Fredianelli

Artist Residency: Dominic Fredianelli
Tuesday, October 30 – Wednesday, November 8, 2012

Dominic Fredianelli is a graffiti artist from Houghton, Michigan. Dominic was one of the subjects of the Emmy award-winning documentary Where Soldiers Come From. His work has been featured at the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago. In collaboration with UCSB student veterans and UCSB art students, he created a 27-foot mural, which has been displayed on the sixth floor of UCSB’s Humanities and Social Sciences Building, and at the UCSB Library. The Studio Art students who collaborated with Fredianelli are Natalia Cardenas, Ime Diaz, Jacky Martinez, and Bryan Orpinela.

Click here to view an album of photos from the residency.


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Screening: Where Soldiers Come From

(Heather Courtney, 2011, 90 min.)
Monday, November 5, 2012 / 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM
IV Theater 2
Q&A following the 7:00 PM screening with Dominic Fredianelli (artist and subject of Where Soldiers Come From)

Emmy award-winning documentary Where Soldiers Come From follows the four-year journey of childhood friends who, after graduating from high school in rural Michigan, join the National Guard, enticed by a $20,000 signing bonus and college tuition support.  Called to service, the friends are sent to Afghanistan, where they spend their days sweeping for Improvised Explosive Devices.  By the time their deployment ends, each of these young men has undergone profound transformation, having survived countless bomb blasts and endured the multiple stresses of insurgent warfare. The film intimately follows their struggles with Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD and reveals the challenges they face upon returning to their families and communities. Dominic Fredianelli, one of the soldiers appearing in the film whose artwork has been featured at the National Veterans Art Museum, will conduct a question and answer session after the 7:00 PM screening of the film.

Sponsored by Magic Lantern Films and the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.

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Screening: Where Soldiers Come From

(Heather Courtney, 2011, 90 min.)
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Emmy award-winning documentary Where Soldiers Come From follows the four-year journey of childhood friends who, after graduating from high school in rural Michigan, join the National Guard, enticed by a $20,000 signing bonus and college tuition support.  Called to service, the friends are sent to Afghanistan, where they spend their days sweeping for Improvised Explosive Devices.  By the time their deployment ends, each of these young men has undergone profound transformation, having survived countless bomb blasts and endured the multiple stresses of insurgent warfare. The film intimately follows their struggles with Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD and reveals the challenges they face upon returning to their families and communities.  Director Heather Courtney will visit UCSB on Thursday, November 8, to discuss the process of making this extraordinary documentary. Courtney will be accompanied by Dominic Fredianelli, one of the soldiers appearing in the film, whose artwork has been featured at the National Veterans Art Museum.  This film will also be shown on Monday, November 5 at 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM in IV Theater 2: click here for details.

Sponsored by the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.


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Inaugural Lecture: War in History and Memory

Thursday, October 25, 2012 / 4:00 PM
John E. Talbott (History, UCSB)
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Professor John E. Talbott will inaugurate the IHC’s year-long exploration of the impact of war. He will discuss the history of warfare from the Greek way of war through the asymmetric wars the United States has fought since 1945.  He will consider the many forms war stories have taken–in the accounts of soldier-historians and academic historians; the fiction of soldier-novelists; the memoirs of combatants; and in ancient and modern myths, from the Iliad and the Odyssey to Hollywood. He will attend to the invisible wounds of combat stress and the world of pain they can create for veterans.

John E. Talbott is Professor of History and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel at UCSB.  His books include The Politics of Educational Reform in France, 1918-1940, The War Without A Name: France in Algeria, 1954-1962, and The Pen-and-Ink Sailor: Sir Charles Middleton and the King’s Navy, 1778-1813.  He is currently working on a book entitled Mind Wounds: War and Psychic Injury from Bull Run to Fallujah.

Sponsored by the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.

Click here to listen to a recording of John E. Talbott’s inaugural talk for the IHC’s Fallout series.

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Screening: Persistence (Daniel Eisenberg, 1997)

Introduction by Daniel Eisenberg
Saturday, October 20, 2012 / 5:00 PM
MultiCultural Center Theater

Filmmaker Daniel Eisenberg will introduce and screen his impressionistic film, which is a meditation on the fraught postwar period in Germany, examining larger questions about the continuous and discontinuous threads of history and the role of film in shaping our views of events. Persistence was shot in 1991-92 in Berlin, and edited with films by U.S. Signal Corps cameramen in 1945-46, obtained from Department of Defense archives. Interspersed through these materials are filmic quotations from Rossellini’s Germany Year Zero (1946).

Sponsored by Marcia and John Mike Cohen as part of the UCSB Art, Design & Architecture Museum’s exhibition, “The Stumbling Present: Ruins in Contemporary Art,” and by the IHC series Fallout: In the Aftermath of War.

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