The IHC’s Geographies of Place series will explore ideas of place and how they have been produced through mapping, media, and imaginative labor. The work of settlement and statecraft, social practice and cultural perception, place has historically been the source of both solace and struggle. Geographies of Place will examine the ways in which space is demarcated by identity and memory, possession and destination. In a moment when globalization, environmentalism, cognitive science, and networked media are transforming our notions of geographical space, it is crucial to contemplate our historical and contemporary perceptions of place.

souncloudClick here to listen to podcasts from the 2010-11 IHC series: Geographies of Place on SoundCloud.

Past Events

2010 - 2011

Opening Reception: Platform Gallery’s Micro-Topologies Exhibit

Opening Reception: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 / 5:00 – 7:00 PM
On View: June 1 – September 15, 2011
Introductory Lecture by Tomaz Andrade (Physic, UCSB)
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Where Platform’s previous shows Snarled Megalopolis and Suburbia explored geographies of large cities and suburbs, Micro-Topologies investigates the complexities of human-land relationships and natural-human phenomena envisioned in “local” contexts. The exhibit features artworks that reveal, examine and (re)interpret activities, environments, movements and communities on a small scale. It focuses on specific sites, interpreting “micro” as literally microscopic or hyper-local.


The Platform Gallery is a program of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and features a curated collection of prints and time-based media from an international body of artists.  Micro-topologies will be the final in a series of three shows that explored artistic interpretations of the IHC’s Geographies of Place theme.   For more information about the IHC’s Platform gallery, please visit: www.ihc.ucsb.edu/platform

Refreshments will be served.

Alisa Ochoa
Brian Collier
Diana Maria Navas
Douglas Degges
Isabel Ramil
Jake Montefu
Jean-Pierre Hébert
Krista Caballero
Liliana Velez
Lydia Moyer
Matt Weiden
Nick Loewen
Nicolaz Groll

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Talk: Directional Reference in Ahtna: Endangered Language, Endangered Geographic Knowledge

Andrea L Berez (Linguistics, UCSB)
Thursday, May 26, 2011 / 3:30 PM
Girvetz 2115

This presentation discusses aspects of the directional system in Ahtna, a severely endangered Athabaskan (Native American) language spoken in south central Alaska. The semantic basis of the Ahtna directional system is traditionally riverine, based on the flow of the local river, but intense contact with English is causing the system to shift to a cardinal basis resembling that of English. Linguistic evidence is presented from both a genre of traditional Ahtna oration known as travel narration, and from the ten months of fieldwork by the author with elderly speakers of Ahtna in Alaska.

Sponsored by the UC Graduate Fellow in the Humanities Grant and the Geographies of Place series.

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Talk: Dilemmas of Space as Dilemmas of Race: Exploring Race Relations on College Campuses

Michelle Samura (IHC Research Fellow)
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 / 3:30 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

This panel explores emergent possibilities from using a spatial approach to examine, understand, and talk about race relations on college campuses. A spatial lens locates larger racial meanings and ideologies in concrete lived experiences, material environments such as buildings and classrooms, and social relationships such as student groups. It also provides language with which to talk about experiences of racialization, race-making, and even racism in this supposedly “post-racial” moment. The discussion will begin with a brief overview of Samura’s recent research on Asian American college students’ interactions with and within campus spaces. A panel discussion of undergraduate students Drew Holcomb, Jennifer Jolorte, Kristine Lee, Maria Mosqueda, Michael Riley and Alan Sun will follow.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Research Fellows Program.

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Talk: A Matter of Edge: Border vs. Boundary at La Frontera

Edward S. Casey (Philosophy, SUNY Stony Brook)
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

The complex and evolving situation at La Frontera, the U.S.-Mexico border, has been central to current discussions of immigration and the effect of drug cartels. In order to illuminate the earlier history of La Frontera as well as what is now happening in the region, Casey will discuss La Frontera in terms of differences between borders and boundaries regarded as kinds of edge. The talk will focus on the extensive wall that has been erected along La Frontera: a formidable structure whose costs have been massive not just in financial terms but with respect to its impact on the local environment, issues of social and economic justice, and the realities of human suffering.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.

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Panel: Ground Zero and Anti-Muslim Sentiment

Maher Hathout (Senior Advisor, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Los Angeles)
Nuha Khoury (History of Art and Architecture, UCSB)
Edward Linenthal (History, University of Indiana)
Thursday, May 5, 2011 / 7:30 PM
MultiCultural Center Theater

The battle over plans to build a Muslim religious center near ground zero has thrown into sharp relief anti-Muslim rhetoric that contradicts American values of religious tolerance. This panel will explore the origin of these sentiments in the context of ground zero as an emotionally-charged memorial space, and the exploitation of this history for political and ideological purposes.

Sponsored by the Dept. of Religious Studies, the IHC’s Geographies of Place series, the MultiCultural Center, and the Walter Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion and Public Life.

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CONFERENCE: Productive Geographies: IHC Graduate Conference

Friday, April 29, 2011
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

This interdisciplinary graduate student conference is concerned with a wide variety of conceptions of space and place, both contemporary and historical, physical and imagined. The conference will explore ideas of place and space, and how these ideas have been produced through mapping, media, and imaginative labor. Productive Geographies will also examine how space is demarcated by identity and memory, possession and destination.
Spatial theories incorporate ideas from various academic fields and serve as a theoretical nexus; by making this theory our focus, we hope to create an environment which will serve to foster interdisciplinary discussion of this useful analytical lens. Our aim is not to define the boundaries themselves, but to explore the various ways geographies and expressions of place have been used, described, and depicted throughout the ages and across disciplines.

Conference Schedule:

9:00-9:15              Welcoming Remarks – Dr. Christine Thomas, Religious Studies, UCSB

9:15-10:30            Panel One: Liminal Geographies
Moderator: Jessica Ambler, Art and Architectural History, UCSB
Ryan Heryford, Literature, UCSD: The Park and the Penitentiary: Mapping Out the Preservation and the Production of ‘Uncivilized’ Life
Charles Miller, Visual Arts, UCSD: Banality Weaponized: UCSD, the ‘Edge City’ and the Political Contingencies of ‘Place’
Emily A. Schmidt, Religious Studies, UCSB: Ritual and  Architecture in Flavian Rome: The Shaping of Imperial Image

10:30-10:45         Coffee break

10:45-12:00         Panel Two: Performing Space
Moderator: Brianna Bricker, Art and Architectural History, UCSB
Daniel Hackbarth, Art and Art History, Stanford: ‘Embodied Atmospheres’: Space and Environment in the Dadaist Art and Theory of Raoul Hausmann
Brian Quinn, French and Francophone Studies, UCLA: A Post-industrial Aesthetic: French Street Theater and the Crisis of Dimension
Ruth Jones, French and Francophone Studies, UCLA: From Drifting to Leaping Without a Plan: Experiential Experiments in the City

12:00-1:00            Lunch

1:00-2:00              Keynote Lecture – Dr. Elizabeth DePalma Digeser, History, UCSB
Seeing the Virgin Mother in a Virgin Goddess: Conversion in Time and Space

2:00-3:15              Panel Three: Embodying Place
Moderator: Greg Goalwin, Sociology, UCSB
Peninah Wolpo, History, UCSB: Organic Cities and Man-Made Cultures in the Ancient World
Leigh Dodson, Feminist Studies, UCSB: Rural Obscenities: Locating Sex, Work, and Privacy in Burleson, Texas
Jade T. Hidle, Literature, UCSD: ‘For Our Truths Change With Time’: The Body’s Alternate Histories and Queer Temporalities in Andrew X. Pham’s Catfish and Mandala

3:15-3:30              Coffee Break

3:30-4:45              Round-table Discussion: Geography, Theory, Practice
Moderator: Peninah Wolpo, History, UCSB
Heidi Dodgen, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, UCLA: The Presentation of Geography in Neo-Assyrian Royal Inscriptions and Historiographic Texts: The Southern Levant as a Case Study
Elizabeth Reddy, Anthropology, UCI: Powered by Rescaling: Rural Mexican Places and Migrant Developers
Kirsten Rudestam, Environmental Sociology, UCSC: Integrated Waterscapes: Culture, Power and Politics in the Deschutes Basin
Matthew J. Bond, English, UCR: The Topography of Oblivion

4:45-5:15 Video Presentation
Park McArthur, Whitney Independent Study Program: Mobility: New York and A Soft Limp Key

5:15                        Closing Remarks – Emily Zinn, Associate Director, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UCSB

5:30                        Reception

This conference is hosted by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center as part of its Geography of Places series.

For more information, please contact the organizers at geopands@gmail.com.

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Talk: Campfire Talk: The Los Angeles Urban Rangers Enact the Megalopolis!

LA Urban Rangers (Art Collective, Los Angeles)
Thursday, April 28, 2011 / 4:00 PM

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Join Ranger Jenny of the LA Urban Rangers for a campfire program about their past and current projects. An interdisciplinary art collective, the Rangers explore the complex human and natural workings of their home megalopolis, through projects that have included a field guide to the L.A. County Fair, a guided hike on Hollywood Boulevard, their Downtown L.A. Trail System, and their Malibu Public Beaches safaris, which imparted the advanced skills required to find and use a Malibu beach.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Hester and Cedric Crowell Endowment, the IHC’s Geographies of Place series and the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA).

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PANEL: Writers on Place

Ellen Anderson (playwright)
Melinda Palacio (poet and novelist)
D.J. Palladino (novelist and journalist)
Sojourner Kincaid Rolle (poet and playwright)
Thursday, April 21, 2011 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Four local creative writers will discuss the ways in which notions of place have shaped their work.

In “Loving Detroit Like a Man”, Ellen Anderson explores how her hometown, Detroit, was idealized and adored in her most recent play, Bedtime in Detroit. Author of 17 produced plays, Anderson is the recipient of the Santa Barbara Arts Commission New Works Grant as well as three Santa Barbara Independent Awards. Her plays have been produced in New York City, Santa Barbara, Washington, D.C. and Portland, OR. She received a B.S. and M.A. from Wayne State University in Detroit and although she has lived in Santa Barbara for 35 years, her heart remains in Detroit.

Currently, Ellen is the director of I.V. ARTS (islavista-arts.org) at UCSB and the artistic director of Dramatic Women (dramaticwomen.org). She was a founding board member of Access Theatre, a theatre that broke new ground in accessibility in the arts. Her plays include: Bedtime in Detroit; New Amsterdames; Sleeping with Squirrels; Shirtwaist; Liz Estrada; Why Mud Flaps?; Barbed Wire Under Your Armpits; and Three Tits.

Melinda Palacio’s poetry draws on the Los Angeles of her childhood and the disconnect of visiting her father in Folsom prison. Palacio’s debut novel, Ocotillo Dreams, takes place during the tumultuous immigration sweeps of Chandler, 1997. Her historical novel reflects Chandler’s contemporary reality ever more clearly as Arizona adopts xenophobic immigration policies and laws.

Melinda Palacio grew up in South-Central Los Angeles and now lives in Santa Barbara. She holds two degrees in Comparative Literature: a B.A. from UC Berkeley and a Master’s from UC Santa Cruz. She is a 2007 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow and a 2009 alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Askew Poetry Journal, BorderSenses, Black Renaissance Noire, Buffalo Carp, Palabra: A Magazine of Chicano and Latino Literary Art, the San Pedro River Review, Maple Leaf Rag III and IV: An Anthology of Poems, the Naugatuck River Review, Pilgrimage Magazine, Quercus Review, Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature, and New Poets of the American West: An Anthology of Eleven Western States. Folsom Lockdown, the 2009 winner of Kulupi Press’ Sense of Place’ contest, is her first chapbook of poems. Her first novel, Ocotillo Dreams, will be published by Arizona State University’s Bilingual Press, Spring 2011. She regularly writes for La Bloga.com.

D.J. Palladino will discuss “Geography, Legends, History and the Cannon: The Unavoidable Relationship between Stories and Place.” He writes about the arts, food and popular culture for the Santa Barbara Independent, Santa Barbara Magazine, and Seasons. Palladino also directs the UCSB-funded Magic Lantern Film series in Isla Vista and is an advisor to student-run Word Magazine.

Sojourner Kincaid Rolle writes, “Much of my writing is autobiographical and it all takes place somewhere. That somewhere could be any of the places I have lived – from the mountains of North Carolina, the streets of New York, the byways of the California Bay Area or the Central Coast – or the places I have visited. I believe “place” is the backdrop for every poem or story and informs both the exposition and the narrative. Currently, I am working on a book-length poem about my native Carolina entitled, Where Blue Rain Tinges the Ridges An Awesome Shade of Indigo.”

Sojourner Kincaid Rolle is a poet, playwright, and environmental advocate. She is the author of six plays and seven books of poetry including her most recent, Black Street (Center for Black Studies Research, 2009) and Common Ancestry (Mille Grazie, 1999). Her poems have been anthologized in The Geography of Home, The Poetry of Peace, Poetry Zone I, II, & IV, Rivertalk and others. All of her plays have been produced by Santa Barbara’s Dramatic Women Theater Company. Her arts reviews and commentaries have appeared in local and regional publications. She has been inspiring young people to write about their surroundings since 1996 through her Song of Place Poetry Project.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.

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Talk: The Mountains

Alessandro Barchiesi (Latin Literature, University of Siena, Arezzo)
Friday, April 15, 2011 / 4:00 PM ** PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE**
HSSB 4041

This lecture will examine representations of Italic landscapes in the Aeneid, especially wilderness, as seen in mountains and woods, and (super)natural phenomena, volcanic and sulphurous. Professor Barchiesi will discuss those images in a double perspective: on the one side ‘wild Italy’ anticipates ideas of Roman control over nature, on the other it allows the poem to be read not only as a meditation on the Italic past, but as a foundational text for Roman imperial expansion, colonial and diasporic.”

Sponsored by IHC’s Geographies of Place series, Dept. of Classics, and Dept. of History.

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Talk: Blank Spots and a Black Hole: Producing and Puncturing Secrecy in Space and Place

Lisa Hajjar (Sociology, UCSB)
Trevor Paglen (Author & Experimental Geographer)
Thursday, April 14, 2011 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Secrecy is not just a matter of keeping information hidden; it is a productive enterprise that involves the creation of certain kinds of spaces, be they economic, legal, spatial, technological, or penological, within which secrecy can operate. These secret spaces often are linked or related to each other, producing, maintaining and reinforcing or altering the parameters and purposes of secrecy itself. Puncturing secret spaces and places, exposing, publicizing and criticizing what happens under the rubric of secrecy is the theme of this event. Trevor Paglen, author of Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon’s Secret World, will examine the origins and development of the National Reconnaissance Office, the US’s other (i.e., not NASA) and largely secret space agency. Paglen will show how the development of reconnaissance (spy) satellites fostered the development of a classified state within the state. Lisa Hajjar will discuss Guantánamo, the US prison camp on the south side of Cuba, which was aptly nicknamed a “legal black hole” in 2002 when it was designated as the site to hold (779) prisoners incommunicado and essentially rightless. Although much has changed since then as a result of the work of lawyers and journalists to, respectively, oppose and expose the place’s highly dubious legality, it is still “home” to 172 prisoners, and in March it garnered a new lease on life with President Obama’s executive orders ordaining indefinite detention and the resurrection of the military commissions. Hajjar went to Guantánamo three times in 2010 as a journalist—the only category of US citizens who have access, albeit circumscribed and heavily monitored—and will discuss the political/penological geography of that site as well as its hotly contested place in the American political imaginary.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.

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Talk: Sonic Maps of the Japanese Underground

David Novak (Music, UCSB)
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

The circulation of recordings encourages us to recognize a world of music from above. Scholars have often focused on the cultural blurring caused by the speed of global media, and the ways that local sounds are detached from their sources. But listeners also create maps of music scenes that bring media back to place. I describe the ways in which an emergent genre of underground music – known as Noise — was mapped through its transnational circulation between Japanese and North American listeners in the independent music networks of the 1990s. Noise was always happening somewhere else, beyond local musical space; it was projected instead into the remote frontiers of Tokyo, or New York. Its scattered audiences created maps — guides to local record stores, lists of essential recordings, charts of performance sites and creative landmarks – that emplaced their own consumption of Noise as part of a distant music scene. Compilation recordings, in particular, charted this fragmented landscape for exploratory listeners, weaving its juxtaposed sounds, labels, covers, and collections into a subterranean territory of global Noise.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.

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Talk: Lost in Santa Barbara: An American Family and the Birth of Reality TV

Cynthia Felando (Film & Media Studies, UCSB)
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

In 1973, Santa Barbara was the setting for the first-ever American “reality” television series, An American Family. Conceived by the producer Craig Gilbert as a way to challenge the sitcom premise that American families in the 1970s were happy and functional—like The Brady Bunch, the twelve-part documentary series featured a family that was made to order, as was their Southern California location. The Loud family appeared to embody the essence of the American dream: they were white, upper-middle class, attractive, with a professional dad, stay-at-home mom, five active teenagers (one of whom was openly gay), and a well-appointed canyon ranch house. And the parents, Bill and Pat, were on the verge of divorce. “Lost In Santa Barbara” explores the image of the city offered in the documentary, in addition to the national and local press reception that accompanied its premiere in 1973. It argues that the representation of Santa Barbara supports the series’ thesis that the city is a failed frontier that lacks the struggle and strength building associated with the mythos of the West, so it produces privileged families with empty, disconnected lives. In addition, the national and local press responses to the series will be explored, especially in terms of the avalanche of opprobrium that national commentators directed at the Louds and their Santa Barbara lifestyle, which was countered by lavish critical praise for the series’ producer. Such an exploration enables a consideration of the ways that specific cities and locations inform the organization of many of today’s reality TV shows. It’s also timely: an HBO feature, Cinema Verite, about the making of An American Family will be released on April 23, 2011.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.

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Brown Bag Lunch: Bioremediation in the New NOLA

Ido Haar (editor of I Am Carolyn Parker, dir. Jonathan Demme)
Friday, April 8, 2011/12:00 PM
2135 Social Sciences and Media Studies Building (SSMS)

Reclaiming home in the wake of disaster is the theme of this month’s meeting of the Environmental Media Initiative Research Group (EMIRG). The discussion focuses on post-Katrina New Orleans as seen through the lense of documentary film. Visiting international filmmaker Ido Haar will show clips from a just-completed film he edited for Jonathan Demme entitled I Am Carolyn Parker, profiling a community activist from the Holy Cross neighborhood of the Lower 9th Ward. The format for this meeting is a 10-minute screening of the film clips, after which Ido Haar will talk for 10 minutes, and then the conversation opens up to the entire group.

Sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center’s Environmental Media Initiative Research Group (EMIRG) and the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.


In light of the recent disaster in Japan, we are opening up the format of this meeting.

We want to ask ourselves: “Is there anything we can learn from post-Katrina research and experience that might be applicable to Fukushima?”

The new plan is to invite a conversation from our different disciplinary perspectives about media and the environment, not only on the subject of post-Katrina but on earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural occurrences as precipitating factors but not entire causes of environmental calamities and human suffering.

The internationally acclaimed filmmaker Ido Haar will show clips from a brand new post-Katrina documentary by Jonathan Demme and then we will talk.

Topics might include:
*the earthquake in Japan/Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
*flooding in Pakistan
*social ecology: man-made environments and natural disasters
*how do environmental media figure into the conversation, both as investigative instruments and communications outlets?

Hoping to see many of you in attendance.  We welcome your knowledge and thoughts for a lively conversation across the disciplines.


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Talk: Straddling the Pacific Ocean: Wild Maritime Places in California and New Zealand

Mike McGinnis (Institute of Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington)
Thursday, April 7, 2011 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

For thousands of years, coastal inhabitation by diverse maritime peoples across the Pacific Ocean has included a natural history of adapting to changes in the marine and coastal environment.  Whether it is a tsunami, flood, earthquake, fire or the catastrophic impacts of global climate change, the spirit of change is an important feature of Pacific maritime peoples.  This presentation will emphasize the importance of wildness and the cultivation of a sense of inhabitation and more-than-human-community across the Pacific Ocean, with a focus on the California and New Zealand maritime and place-based experiences.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.

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Ido Haar (Documentary Filmmaker)
Friday, April 1, 2011 / 2:00 PM
MultiCultural Center Theater

Just as Mexicans cross U.S. borders illegally to find work as day laborers, thousands of Palestinians do likewise, into neighboring Israel, seeking jobs in construction. For 9 Star Hotel, Israeli filmmaker Ido Haar gained the trust of a group of nomadic young men whom he observed fleeing from police, risking their lives to cross highways at night, sleeping in makeshift hovels – a dramatic contrast to the luxury housing they build by day. “We think backwards- we never think forward. We are like scavengers, like those who harvest olives after the locust,” one of his subjects confesses with lyrical simplicity. This is a devastating cinema verite portrait of young men caught in an economic and political maelstrom not of their own making – their dreams subsumed by the hard reality of day-to-day survival. Winner of the Best Documentary Award, Jerusalem International Film Festival, 2006. A surprise hit in Israel.

Ido Haar is an Israeli filmmaker, working extensively for the Israeli TV focusing on Directing, shooting and editing documentaries on social, Political & Cultural subjects. His films 9 Star Hotel and Melting Siberia enjoyed worldwide success.

Sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center, the Dept. of Film and Media Studies, Dept. of Feminist Studies, Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, and the IHC.

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Talk: Home as Elsewhere

Yi-Fu Tuan (Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Plants are truly in place. Animals less so. Humans least of all. That’s the sum of my story. I will elaborate on it in two parts. The first part identifies the conditions that make home, real home, so important to our sense of wellbeing. Leaving home can make us homesick to the extent of incapacitating us. We are prone to be sentimental about home. Even in America, a famously mobile society, the sentiment is popularized in such poems and songs as “Home Sweet Home.” On the other hand, human imagination is always capable of taking us elsewhere to realms of beauty and fruitfulness that no comforts of home can satisfy. So we migrate to greener pastures. But even when we are forced out of home and homeland, even when we are exiled, there are unexpected spiritual/intellectual rewards. Religion itself, whether it be Buddhism or Christianity, considers attachment to home and all that it ideally offers not a blessing but a condition fatal to one’s true destiny.

Sponsored by the  IHC’s Idee Levitan Endowment and the Geographies of Place series.

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Talk: From Godzilla to Hello Kitty: Sanitizing the Uncanny in Postwar Japan

Norihiro Kato (Waseda University, IHC Visiting Scholar)
Thursday, March 3, 2011 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

This talk concerns the significance of the most remarkable postwar Japanese icon: Godzilla. In the 50 years since the first movie was made in 1954, a total of 28 movies were made and about 100 million Japanese watched them. Since the mid 1990s, Japanese culture has come to be associated with “Japanese cuteness.” The lecture will trace the prehistory of this recent phenomenon, showing how it arose from postwar Japan’s culture of defeat, which Godzilla embodied. This lecture will show, in other words, how Godzilla gave birth to Hello Kitty. Norihiro Kato is a literary critic and professor of Japanese contemporary literature at the School of International Liberal Studies, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. He has published more than thirty books, including Haisengo-ron (After the Defeat, 1997, in Japanese), Nihon no mushiso (The Non-thought of Japan, 1999, in Japanese), and Sayōnara Gojiratachi (Goodbye Godzillas, 2010). His English publications include “Goodbye Godzilla, Hello Kitty: The Origins and Meaning of Japanese Cuteness” (American Interest, September/October, 2006) and the forthcoming “Hailsham, Mon Amour: Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go and the Movie It Inspired.”

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.

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Colin Gardner (Art, UCSB)
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 / 5:00 PM
IHC’s Platform Gallery, 6th Floor HSSB

Where Platform’s last exhibition, Snarled Megalopolis, visualized the organic shapes generated by cities out of control, Suburbia will highlight landscapes and architectures characterized by regulation, uniformity, and standardization. These landscapes are visions of nostalgia, constructed as rings around cities, bridges between cities, islands that echo cities, or pockets inside cities. These spaces long for a return to a bucolic paradise, yet are trapped in a frenetic geometrization that moves inexorably towards a sterilized utopia. As an international show, Suburbia will present a global perspective on the way repetitive and planned landscapes are interpreted and formed in other cultures, creating a multicultural rendering of both the motivations to form these spaces and the psychologies that suburbs generate. The IHC’s Platform Gallery features a curated collection of prints and video from an international body of artists.
Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.
Website: www.ihc.ucsb.edu/platform

Image courtesy of Shane Tolbert.

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Local Places: Isla Vista: Near Goleta, But Closer – The Poetics of Place

Harry Reese (Art, UCSB) Tuesday, March 1, 2011 / 4:00 PM McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB In February 1991 at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Harry and Sandra Liddell Reese exhibited “Near Goleta, But Closer,” a book installation subtitled “An Unnatural History.” While making the installation, we gathered ephemeral announcements that had been posted on Isla Vista streets and the UC Santa Barbara campus – on telephone poles, bulletin boards, and kiosks. Mixing them with fragments of our own past and current print and book art, we cut and collaged the remnants into nine separate books to be handled and read. Initially conceived as satirical reflections on residing for fifteen years in this student community, our research led us to gather documents and tales of the founding and development of Isla Vista. In April 2010, as part of the IHC’s “Oil & Water” conference, I used the framework of this 1991 artist book installation to introduce the interrelated importance of oil and water in Isla Vista history. In this presentation, I will discuss how selected creative projects we have made over the last thirty years continue to enhance the quality of lived experience and imaginative potential that pass through our lives, and contribute to the overall poetic understanding of where and how we live. Click here to listen to a recording of Harry Reese’s talk for the IHC Geographies of Place series. Sponsored by the IHC’s Local Places and Geographies of Place series.

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Conference: Mapping Place: GIS and the Spatial Humanities

Friday-Saturday, February 25-26, 2011
Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UC Santa Barbara

This conference will examine the intersection between Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the spatial turn in the humanities. Participants have been asked to describe their mapping projects in relation to traditional humanities methodologies, research objects, and concerns. In particular, the conference will examine the contributions that GIS make to the humanities’ interest in place, and how GIS may both support and challenge traditional humanistic ideas of place.

To download the conference poster, click here.

Friday, February 25

9:00 Coffee and pastries
9:15 Opening remarks and introductions: Ann Bermingham, Acting Director, IHC
9:45 Diane Favro, Department of Architecture, Director, Experiential Technologies Center, UCLA, Mapping Lost Places: GIS and Moving Through Ancient Worlds

Elaine Sullivan, Experiential Technologies Center, UCLA, Creating a New Breed of ‘Neo-geographers’: Teaching Mapping to Humanists
Timothy Tangherlini, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and Department of Scandinavian Languages, Creator of the Danish Folklore Data Nexus, UCLA, Mapping Folklore: Challenges from the Evald Tang Kristensen Collection

11:30 Lunch in 6056 HSSB
Poster presentations on view in the Crowell Reading Room:
Janice Burns, Research Analyst, Advancement Project – Healthy City, Closed, Open Spaces: When Public Parks and Recreational Spaces are Unsafe
Stanislav Parfenov (GISP), Claudia Schenk (University of Salzburg), Viola Miglio (Spanish and Portuguese, UCSB), Davide Zori (Mosfell Archaeological Project), Jesse Byock (Mosfell Archaeological Project), Mapping and Documenting a Viking Age Valley System through GIS
12:30 Viewing of a selection of historical and contemporary maps from UCSB Davidson Library Special Collections and Map and Imagery Library: Mary Cheadle Room, Davidson Library.  Please meet in front of the elevators on the 6th floor of the HSSB to walk to the library as a group.
2:00 Keynote address: David Rumsey, creator of the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection Database, and President of Cartography Associates, Reading Close, Distant, and Dynamic: Unlocking Historical Maps with Our Eyes and GIS
Introduction by Larry Carver, former UCSB Davidson Library director of library technologies and digital initiatives
3:15 Dan Edelstein, Department of French and Italian, Director of Mapping the Republic of Letters, Spatial History Project, Stanford University, Social Networking in the Enlightenment
Zephyr Frank, Department of History; Director, Spatial History Project, Stanford University, Visualizing Rio: Movement, Intensity and Social Space in Nineteenth-Century Brazil
4:30 Lightning talks:
Waldo Tobler (Geography, UCSB)
Katharine E. Currier (Center for Spatial Studies, UCSB)
Lisa Berry (Geography, UCSB)
Bruce Caron (Sampling the Sea project, UCSB)
Lindsey Palmer, (Film and Media, UCSB)
Lisa Jevbratt (Art, UCSB) and students from Art 122
5:45 Reception
Poster presentations on view in the Crowell Reading Room

Saturday, February 26

9:00 Coffee and pastries
9:30 Diana Sinton, Director of Spatial Curriculum and Research, University of Redlands, Maps, Metaphors, Analogies and the Next Generation of GIS & Humanities Questions
10:30 Keynote address: John A. Agnew, Department of Geography, UCLA, Place and Mapping Electoral Politics

Introduction by Donald Janelle, UCSB Center for Spatial Studies

12:00 Lunch in 6056 HSSB

Poster presentations on view in the Crowell Reading Room

1:00 Brett Stalbaum, Visual Arts Department, UC San Diego, Transborder Immigrant Tool: Current State of Affairs
1:45 Ruth Mostern, Developer of the Digital Gazetteer of the Song Dynasty (DGSD) and affiliate of the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, Program in History, UC Merced, Modeling Place:  Names, Events, Texts, and the Future of the Digital Gazetteer
2:30 Lightning talks:
Karl Grossner (Geography, UCSB)
Steve Duncan (History, UC Riverside)
Desiree D’Alessandro (Art, UCSB)
Marta Jankowska (Geography, UCSB/UCSD)
Christopher T. Ringewald (Advancement Project, Los Angeles)
Kelsey Brannan (Film and Media Studies, UCSB)
Benjamin Adams (Computer Science, UCSB) and Grant McKenzie (Geography, UCSB)
3:30 Plenary discussion and closing remarks: Mike Goodchild, Department of Geography, UCSB, and Chair of the Executive Committee, National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis

The conference will be free and open to the public. To RSVP, please send an email to ldevendorf@ihc.ucsb.edu.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Sara Miller McCune and George D. McCune Endowment, the IHC’s Geographies of Place series, and the UCSB Center for Spatial Studies.

Participant biographies:

Keynote speakers:

John Agnew is Distinguished Professor of Geography at UCLA and a specialist in political geography. In 2006 he was given the Distinguished Scholarship Award by the Association of American Geographers. Educated at the Universities of Exeter and Liverpool in England and Ohio State in the United States, Agnew is best known for reinventing “geopolitics” as a field of study, and for his theoretical and empirical efforts at showing how national politics is best understood in terms of the geographical dynamics of “places” and how they are made out of both local and long-distance determinants. His publications include Place and Politics (1987), The Power of Place (1989), Place and Politics in Modern Italy (2002), Berlusconi’s Italy: Mapping Contemporary Italian Politics (2008), and Globalization and Sovereignty (2009).

David Rumsey is President of Cartography Associates, a digital publishing company based in San Francisco, and director of Luna Imaging, a provider of software for online image collections.  Rumsey’s collection of historical maps numbers over 150,000 cartographic items and is one of the largest private map collections in the United States. He received his BA and MFA from Yale University where he was a lecturer in art and a founding member of Yale Research Associates in the Arts, a group of artists working with electronic technologies.  In 2002, Rumsey received an Honors Award from the Special Libraries Association for making his private map collection available to the public via the Internet at www.davidrumsey.com. In 2009 Rumsey committed to donating his physical and digital map collection to Stanford University.


Dan Edelstein works primarily on eighteenth-century France, which also serves as a convenient launching pad for raids into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as the early modern period. His publications include The Terror of Natural Right: Republicanism, the Cult of Nature, and the French Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009) and The Enlightenment: A Genealogy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010).  With J.P. Daughton, Edelstein co-directs the French Culture Workshop at the Stanford Humanities Center, and with Paula Findlen, is a principal investigator for a project called “Mapping the Republic of Letters,” which received a three-year Presidential Fund for Innovation in the Humanities grant, and a “Digging into Data” grant from the NEH

Diane Favro is a professor of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA.  Her research focuses on the urbanism of ancient Rome, archaeological historiography, women in architecture, and the pedagogy of architectural history.  Her publications include Streets: Critical Perspectives on Public Space (University of California Press, 1994), The Urban Image of Augustan Rome (Cambridge University Press, 1996), and numerous writings on ancient architecture, urban laws and administration, the experience of ancient cities, and methods of architectural history.  She is Director of the UCLA Experiential Technologies Center, which creates real-time digital models of historic environments (Digital Roman Forum, Digital Karnak), and promotes humanities research using new technologies.

Zephyr Frank is an Associate Professor of History at Stanford University, Director of the Spatial History Project, and the principal investigator for the Terrain of History project. This project is an international collaborative project that seeks to reconstruct and analyze the social, cultural, and economic spaces of nineteenth-century Rio de Janeiro. Professor Frank has been conducting this research for the last eight years.

Ruth Mostern (faculty.ucmerced.edu/rmostern/index.html) is Associate Professor and Founding Faculty in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts at the University of California, Merced.  An expert in Chinese and world history, she has a long-standing interest in socially-authored, spatial, and digital tools for reasoning and communicating about history.  She has recently published the Digital Gazetteer of the Song Dynasty (songgis.ucmercedlibrary.info),co-authored with Elijah Meeks.  Her book Dividing the Realm in Order to Govern:  The Spatial Organization of the Song State is forthcoming from Harvard University Press.

Diana Stuart Sinton is the Director of Spatial Curriculum and Research at the University of Redlands (California) where she leads LENS (LEarNing Spatially), a campus-wide initiative to integrate mapping and spatial perspectives into diverse academic disciplines. Her focus is the role for spatial literacy in higher education, a topic that she has written about in publications such as Understanding Place: GIS and Mapping across the Curriculum (ESRI Press, 2007). Before moving to California in 2007, Diana was a Chief Program Officer at NITLE (the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education) where she developed mapping-based curriculum and taught workshops for faculty in the liberal arts and sciences at dozens of NITLE institutions.

Brett Stalbaum is a lecturer with security of employment in the Visual Arts Department at UCSD, and coordinator of the ICAM major. A serial collaborator, he was a founding member of the information theory/art corporation C5 in 1997, and the Electronic Disturbance Theater in 1998. With EDT he co-developed electronic civil disobedience software called FloodNet, which has been used on behalf of the Zapatista movement against the websites of the Presidents of Mexico and the United States, as well as the Pentagon. Current collaborative projects include walkingtools.net, which provides an umbrella for XML, APIs, Applications and Projects for and by walking artists, and with the CALIT2 B.A.N.G. Lab/EDT where he is the primary software developer for the Transborder Immigrant Tool project.

Elaine Sullivan is a post-doctoral fellow in UCLA’s Keck Program in Digital Cultural Mapping and adjunct assistant professor of Near  Eastern Languages and Cultures.  She served as project coordinator for the “Digital Karnak Project,” creating a multi-phase 3D model of the famous ancient Egyptian temple of Amun-Re at Karnak.  Dr. Sullivan teaches mapping technologies at UCLA and has incorporated neo-geography tools into a variety of Humanities courses on the  ancient world.

Timothy R. Tangherlini is a professor in the Scandinavian Section and the Dept. of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA. His primary area of research is folklore. In recent years, he has been developing computational approaches to pattern discovery in the large archival folklore resources of the Danish Folklore Archive. His current work focuses on mapping places mentioned in the approximately 250,000 stories that comprise the Evald Tang Kristensen collection, and connecting these stories to the storytellers who told them, as well as linking them to the field collecting journeys on which they were collected.

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WORKSHOP & CONFERENCE: Mediterranean Princely Courts and the Transmission of Cultures

Friday-Saturday, February 18-19, 2011
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

The Medieval Studies Program in conjunction with the UC Multicampus Research Project for Mediterranean Studies will be hosting a general workshop on topics in Mediterranean Studies and a conference on “Mediterranean Princely Courts and the Transmission of Cultures.” The conference will use princely courts as a lens to study influence across and among cultures. The meeting will ask questions about how various Mediterranean courts learned from and were influenced by the cultural and artistic ideas and practices of their neighbors, who might be from a different tradition. It addresses these influences in terms of how various aspects of culture and material exchange worked across courts embedded in or tied to the Mediterranean.
For information on the conference please contact Edward English at english@history.ucsb.edu and for information on the workshop please contact Courtney Mahaney at cmahaney@ucsc.edu. Registration required for the the general workshop.
Sponsored by the Medieval Studies Program, the IHC’s Geographies of Place series, the UC Multi-Campus Research Project on Mediterranean Studies, the Department of History, the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, the Department of French and Italian, the Department of Religious Studies, and the Center for Middle East Studies.

The Medieval Studies Program in conjunction with the UC Multicampus Research Project for Mediterranean Studies will be hosting a general workshop on topics in Mediterranean Studies and a conference on “Mediterranean Princely Courts and the Transmission of Cultures.” The conference will use princely courts as a lens to study influence across and among cultures. The meeting will ask questions about how various Mediterranean courts learned from and were influenced by the cultural and artistic ideas and practices of their neighbors, who might be from a different tradition. It addresses these influences in terms of how various aspects of culture and material exchange worked across courts embedded in or tied to the Mediterranean.

For information on the conference please contact Edward English at english@history.ucsb.edu and for information on the workshop please contact Courtney Mahaney at cmahaney@ucsc.edu. Registration required for the the general workshop.

Sponsored by the Medieval Studies Program, the IHC’s Geographies of Place series, the UC Multi-Campus Research Project on Mediterranean Studies, the Department of History, the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, the Department of French and Italian, the Department of Religious Studies, and the Center for Middle East Studies.

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LOCAL PLACES: Solvang Past and Present

Esther Bates (Executive Director, Elverhøj Museum of History and Art)
Ethan Turpin (Local Filmmaker)
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 / 3:00 PM

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Solvang’s particular Danishness has evolved in step with the American twentieth- and twenty-first centuries.  An emphasis on tourism has both preserved and distorted the heritage that fueled the community’s origin. By looking at the details of Solvang’s architecture and objects, we learn what lures recreational shoppers from around the world. Interviews with Solvang’s residents reveal points of view on a cultural production that packages Danish traditions with a dependence on a Latino workforce. Esther Jacobsen Bates will discuss the history of Solvang and how it became the Danish enclave it is today. Ethan Turpin will share short films on his hometown and what he learned in the process of documenting its cultural space.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Local Places series.

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Talk: Chronographics: The Emergence of the Timeline and its Relation to Modern Historical Imagination

Daniel Rosenberg (History, University of Oregon)
Thursday, February 10, 2011 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

The convention of mapping historical chronologies in the form of straight, measured lines is ubiquitous. Yet, like the conventions of historical narrative, this graphic convention has a complex history. This paper explores the emergence of the timeline and related graphic forms in the context of the development of print media and examines the relationship between these developments and that of the modern historical imagination.

Daniel Rosenberg is Associate Professor of History in the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon. With Anthony Grafton he is author of Cartographies of Time (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010).

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.

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Talk: Surround Sound

Aranye Fradenburg (English, UCSB)
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 / 4:00 PM

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

“Surround Sound” explores the affective significance of the relationship between sound and the experience of space, particularly with respect to language acquisition and its role in attachment.   The practice of making and understanding meaningful sounds, and their ability to travel in and even mark out space, hence reach the ears of absent others, begins very early in life–at about 6 prenatal months.   This lecture argues that, as a consequence, recent emphases on the disconnectedness of verbal from pre- or paraverbal experience – e.g. in clinical practice and in affect theory – need to step down.  Affective spatiality depends first and foremost on our use of sound to construct meaning.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.

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PANEL: The Fight to Stay Put

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

This panel uses different media expressions to explore how urban re-productions of space/place often have emotional impacts on people whose values, cultural ways and quality of life are at best secondary to economic interests of growth and development. By theoretically and empirically engaging with literature and debates on gentrification, displacement and urban restructuring and demonstrating how media can both materially impact urban life and provide novel glimpses into its formations, productions and negotiations, “The Fight to Stay Put” makes the case that media/city relations must be fundamental components of both urban studies and media studies. The panel will feature presentations by Stuart Aitken (Geography, SDSU), James Craine (Geography, CSU-Northridge), Giorgio Curti (Geography, SDSU), and Colin Gardner (Art, UCSB). Aitken, Craine and Curti are coeditors of The Fight to Stay Put, forthcoming from the University of Mainz media geography series.
Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.


Stuart Aitken
Stuart Aitken is Chair of the Department of Geography at San Diego State University. He has completed substantive areas of research in urban and social geography with an emphasis on families and communities, children and youth, and  film.

Jim Craine
Jim Craine is an assistant professor of geography at California State University, Northridge. Specializing in the geography of media, his most recent work centers around exploring the affective qualities of digital cartography and examining the role of visual media in the production of space. He is a co-founder and co-editor of Aether: The Journal of Media Geography.

Giorgio Curti
Giorgio Hadi Curti recently defended his dissertation in the San Diego State University – University of California, Santa Barbara Joint Doctoral Program in Geography. He currently works as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography at San Diego State University and serves as the Review Editor for Aether: The Journal of Media Geography. Giorgio’s dissertation, titled “The Body Geographic: Affect, Imagination and the Relationality of Be(com)ing, or Movements Through Spinozan Earth-Writings”, focused on the work of philosopher Benedict de Spinoza and argued that his ontological and epistemological perspectives offer especially constructive ways to approach and understand contemporary and emerging theoretical issues in geography and cognate disciplines, including interests in the nonrepresentational and considerations of the social as more-than-human. Highlights from this research include publications related to the Japanese animated film Ghost in the Shell (1995), Shinto, the city and landscape; urban re-development projects in Hollywood, CA and how they affect and are affected by popular geographical imaginations; animated subtitles in the Russian language film Night Watch (2004) and how they reveal the material and corporeal forces of language and text through spatially affective- and expressive-movements of filmic scapes; the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a material and embodied fight over memory and forgetting; becomings of children and adults beyond representation; and how new geographies are created through affective interactions between media and the body.

Colin Gardner
Working at the intersection of film, art and interdisciplinary media theory, Colin Gardner earned his M.A. in History from St. John’s College, Cambridge and Ph.D. in Cinema Studies at UCLA before becoming Professor of Critical Theory and Integrative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he teaches in the Departments of Art, Film & Media Studies, Comparative Literature, and the History of Art and Architecture.
Gardner has published two books in Manchester University Press’s “British Film Makers” series: a critical study of the blacklisted American film director, Joseph Losey (2004), and a monograph on the Czech-born British filmmaker and critic, Karel Reisz (2006). Related research has also appeared in the Franco-American film journal, Iris; the Parisian web-based theoretical journal, Critical Secret No. 6 (2001), Interdisciplinary Humanities (2002), and Media History (2006). He is currently researching a book on Samuel Beckett’s experimental work for film and television.

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Conference: Basque Whaling in the Seventeenth Century

Friday, January 28, 2011 / 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

This conference brings together experts on history and philology from the Basque Country, Iceland, and the United States. It focuses on a little known event in Basque history: the cold-blooded killing of 30 Basque whalers stranded in the north-west of Iceland after a shipwreck. The conference analyzes the antecedents to this new era of Basque whaling, the factors leading up to the massacre, as well as highlighting the legal and organizational aspects of whaling in the Basque Country, and the cultural sides of the contact between Basques and Icelanders in a remote part of a remote island during the 17th century.

Sponsored by the Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, the Latin American and Iberian Studies Program, Basque Government, IKER Institute and the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.

Website: tinyurl.com/basque2011

To download the conference program, click here

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Talk: 21st Century Tuan: Revisiting “Space and Place” in the i-Age

Jon Jablonski (Davidson Library’s Map & Imagery Laboratory, UCSB)
Thursday, January 27, 2011 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Yifu Tuan’s 1977 Space and Place is a signature text of humanistic geography.  Written against the backdrop of the rise of feminist, critical, and qualitative geographies, the book lays out a series of examples of why the study of place is a necessary complement to quantitative geography.  The current generation of senior geographers were all exposed to Tuan’s ideas during their training, but few assign the book to today’s scholars-in-training.

In this lecture I will lay out Tuan’s arguments and illustrate them with examples from a society which is being strongly affected by mobile communications and computing technology.  Is the study of place using Tuan’s methods relevant to contemporary geographers and humanists working in other disciplines?  What does it mean to ‘read the landscape’ when the our daily interactions with the landscape are constantly mediated by digital technologies?

Jon Jablonski is director of the Davidson Library’s Map & Imagery Laboratory.  From 2004 until earlier this year he was David & Nancy Petrone MAP/GIS Librarian at the University of Oregon, and will be a Fulbright Scholar in Wuhan, China in winter and spring of 2011.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.

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Screening: Memories of Underdevelopment

Dir. Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
(1968) 97 min.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 / 6:00 PM
Introduction by Colin Gardner (Arts, UCSB)
MultiCultural Center Theater

Directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea in 1968, Memories of Underdevelopment (Memorias del Subdesarrollo) tells the story of Sergio, a wealthy bourgeois aspiring writer, who decides to stay in Cuba even though his wife and friends flee to Miami. Sergio looks back over the changes in Cuba, from the Cuban Revolution to the missile crisis, the effect of living in an underdeveloped country, and his relations with his girlfriends Elena and Hanna. Memories of Underdevelopment is a complex character study of alienation during the turmoil of social changes. The film is told in a highly subjective point of view through a fragmented narrative that resembles the way memories function.  This film will be discussed at the forthcoming panel “The Fight to Stay Put: Social Lessons through Media Imaginings of Urban Transformation and Change.”

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series and the UCSB MultiCultural Center’s Cup of Culture film series.

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CANCELLED: Seeking Spatial Justice

Edward Soja (Urban Planning, UCLA)
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

In his 2010 book Seeking Spatial Justice from which this lecture will be drawn, Soja argues that justice has a geography and that the equitable distribution of resources, services, and access is a basic human right. Building on current concerns in critical geography and the new spatial consciousness, Soja interweaves theory and practice, offering new ways of understanding and changing the unjust geographies in which we live. After tracing the evolution of spatial justice and the closely related notion of the right to the city in the influential work of Henri Lefebvre, David Harvey, and others, he demonstrates how these ideas are now being applied through a series of case studies in Los Angeles, the city at the forefront of this movement.  Edward Soja is Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning at the UCLA School of Public Affairs, and for many years was Centennial Visiting Professor in the Cities Programme, London School of Economics. He is the author of Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Theory, Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places, and Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions. Courtesy of Borders copies of Seeking Spatial Justice will be available for purchase and signing.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Harry Girvetz Memorial Endowment and Geographies of Place series.

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conference: Reimagining the Hemispheric South

Thursday-Friday, January 20-21, 2011
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

The event will build on contemporary retheorizations of the Global South by exploring the rapid transformation of many relationships, communities, and alliances within the Western hemisphere. While the concept of the Hemispheric South suggests a move away from the nation-state as a primary unit of critical analysis, it also intends to foreground the manner in which imperial, colonial, and nationalist projects, along with predatory forms of capitalism, have shaped definitions of hemispheric “Southernness” in terms of unique poverty (including constructions of indigeneity and the rural), wealth (including natural resources, beauty), and culture (including ideas of authenticity). Overall, the conference will examine the multiple realities, knowledge systems, migrations, and intellectual border crossings associated with “southernness” in the Americas, especially as these dynamics contribute to articulations of the Americas as part of the “Global South.”  In particular, the conference conveners present this event as an opportunity to consider the ways that the Hemispheric South has unfolded as a powerful facet of the social imaginary.  Focusing on relationships and negotiations in the Americas which stretch over many hundreds of years, the conference invites scholars and the interested public to consider the complicated struggles that have ensued in various media as a great array of meanings have been attached to notions of the “southern” in this context.

Conference Panels:

Neoliberalism and Global Imperialism
Rosaura Sanchez (UC San Diego):  “Combating Necessary Illusions in the South: The Failure of Neoliberalism”
Riché Richardson (Cornell University): “Condoleezza Rice and Race”

Performance, Subjectivity and Citizenship
Stephanie Batiste (UC Santa Barbara): “Transnationalism and the Development of US Black National Subjectivities in Performance Culture”
Tiffany Ana Lopez (UC Riverside): “The Staging of Cultural Citizenship in U.S. Latina/o Drama and Visual Production”

Media Circuits I
George Lipsitz (UC Santa Barbara): “Closer Together and Farther Apart: Mediascapes after NAFTA”
Cristina Venegas (UC Santa Barbara): “Post-NAFTA Media Circuits”

Critical Spirit
Desiree Martin (UC Davis): “The Migrant Saint, the Bandit Saint and La Santísima Muerte”
José David Saldivar (Stanford University): “Junot Diaz’s Global South and the Fuku Americanus”

Indigenous Social Movements
Maylei Blackwell (UC Los Angeles): “The Practice of Autonomy in the Age of Neoliberalism:  Indigenous Women’s Organizing, Cross Border Communities, and the Politics of Scale”
Teresa Shewry (UC Santa Barbara):  “Wandering Ecologies: Water and Indigenous Politics”

Keynote Address
Ileana Rodriguez (Ohio State University): “Reimagining the ‘Hemispheric South’: Reflections on the Nature of the Nation-state”

Cultivating Critical Listening: Music and Poetry

Felice Blake (UC Santa Barbara): “Down These Mean Streets with a Saxophone in My Hand: Black and Latino Dialogue in Music and Literature”
Jayna Brown (UC Riverside): “Represent the World Town: Music, War and the Rehabitation of Injured Bodies”
Rachel Adams (Columbia University): “Listening to Gaby: Disability Rights in a Hemispheric Perspective”

Binary Logics, Critical Reversals
Candace Waid (UC Santa Barbara): “The Reverse Slave Narrative”
Esther Lezra (UC Santa Barbara): “Wide-Eyed Monkeys, Thoughtful Tigers and Smiling Snakes: Re-thinking Self-Other Binaries Dividing Colony and Metropole”

Translating Haiti
Susan Gilman (UC Santa Cruz) and Kirsten Silva Gruesz (UC Santa Cruz): “Victor Hugo, Haiti and Translation”

Media Circuits II
Curtis Marez (UC San Diego): “From Third World Cinema to National Video: Visual Technologies and UFW World Building”
Ellen McCracken (UC Santa Barbara): “Vooks and the Hemispheric South: Enhanced E-books and U.S. Latino Literature”

Afro-Hemispheric Difference
Winston James (UC Irvine): “Black Contact Zones: Their Role in the Development of Pan-Africanism, Transnationalism and Internationalism—The Cases of Panama and Costa Rica, 1880-1939”
Shelley Streeby (UC San Diego): “Archiving Alternate Black Worlds and Near Futures: Scrapbooks, Stereopticons, and Social Movements”

Rethinking Plantations
Aisha Finch (UC Los Angeles):  “Sugar’s ‘Unapparent Histories’:  Alternate Temporalities and Rival Geographies in the Caribbean Plantation”
Clyde Woods (UC Santa Barbara): “Neo-plantation, Neo-Liberalism”

**Updates regarding the presentations and the schedule will be posted at the conference web site: http://acc.english.ucsb.edu/conference/

Conference Co-sponsors:

This event is co-sponsored by the UC Humanities Research Institute, the Department of English, the Hemispheric South/s Research Initiative, the Chicano Studies Institute, the Center for Black Studies Research, the American Cultures and Global Contexts Center, and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center’s Geographies of Place series.

Reimagining the Hemispheric South Conference:


Thursday, January 20
9:00AM – 9:15AM
Conference Introduction

9:15AM – 10:20AM
Neoliberalism and Global Imperialism
Rosaura Sanchez:  “Combating Necessary Illusions in the South: The Failure of Neoliberalism”
Riché Richardson: “Condoleezza Rice and Race”

10:25AM – 11:30AM
Performance, Subjectivity and Citizenship
Stephanie Batiste: “Transnationalism and the Development of US Black National Subjectivities in Performance Culture”
Tiffany Ana Lopez: “The Staging of Cultural Citizenship in U.S. Latina/o Drama and Visual Production”

11:35AM – 12:40PM
Media Circuits I
George Lipsitz: “Closer Together and Farther Apart: Mediascapes after NAFTA”
Cristina Venegas: “Post-NAFTA Media Circuits”

12:40PM – 1:30PM

1:30PM – 2:35PM
Critical Spirit
Desiree Martin: “Illegal Marginalizations: La Santisima Muerte”
José David Saldivar: “Junot Diaz’s Global South and the Fuku Americanus”

2:40PM – 3:45PM
Indigenous Social Movements
Maylei Blackwell: “The Practice of Autonomy in the Age of Neoliberalism:  Indigenous Women’s Organizing, Cross Border Communities, and the Politics of Scale”
Teresa Shewry:  “Wandering Ecologies: Water and Indigenous Politics”

4:00PM – 5:45PM
Keynote Address
Ileana Rodriguez: “Reimagining the ‘Hemispheric South’: Reflections on the Nature of the Nation-state”

Friday, January 21
9:00AM – 10:50AM
Cultivating Critical Listening: Music and Poetry
Felice Blake: “Down These Mean Streets with a Saxophone in My Hand: Black and Latino Dialogue in Music and Literature”
Jayna Brown: “Represent the World Town: Music, War and the Rehabitation of Injured Bodies”
Rachel Adams: “Listening to Gaby: Disability Rights in a Hemispheric Perspective”

10:55AM – 12:00PM
Media Circuits II
Curtis Marez: “From Third World Cinema to National Video: Visual Technologies and UFW World Building”
Ellen McCracken: “Vooks and the Hemispheric South: Enhanced E-books and U.S. Latino Literature”

12:00PM – 1:00PM

1:00PM – 2:05PM
Hemispheric Translations of the Haitian Event
Susan Gilman and Kirsten Silva Gruesz: “Hugo, Melville, and the Black Jacobins”

2:10PM – 3:15PM
Binary Logics, Critical Reversals
Candace Waid: “The Reverse Slave Narrative”
Esther Lezra: “Wide-Eyed Monkeys, Thoughtful Tigers and Smiling Snakes: Re-thinking
Self-Other Binaries Dividing Colony and Metropole”

3:30PM – 4:35PM
Afro-Hemispheric Difference
Winston James: “Black Contact Zones: Their Role in the Development of Pan- Africanism, Transnationalism and Internationalism—The Cases of Panama and Costa Rica, 1880-1939”
Shelley Streeby: “Archiving Alternate Black Worlds and Near Futures: Scrapbooks, Stereopticons, and Social Movements”

4:40PM – 5:45PM
Rethinking Plantations
Aisha Finch:  “Sugar’s ‘Unapparent Histories’:  Alternate Temporalities and Rival Geographies in the Caribbean Plantation”
Clyde Woods: “Neo-plantation, Neo-Liberalism”

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Talk: The Global Landscape of Holocaust Memorials Since 1945

Harold Marcuse (History, UCSB)
Respondant: Richard Hecht (Religious Studies, UCSB)
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Since the January 2000 Stockholm conference “The Holocaust – Education, Remembrance, and Research,” which was attended by high-level representatives from 46 countries, there has been much discussion of a “globalization” of memory of the Nazi Holocaust.  This lecture uses memorials and museums the trace the origins and spread of public awareness of “the” Holocaust and its changing meanings from the 1940s to the new millennium.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place Series.

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Talk: Zeroing In: Infrastructure Ruins and Datalands in Afghanistan and Iraq

Lisa Parks (Film & Media Studies, UCSB)
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 / 12:00 PM
5824 Ellison Hall
Zeroing in is an apt metaphor for the way citizen-viewers are positioned in relation to world events since they increasingly view them from the perspectives of aerial and orbital machines. Building on the work of Rey Chow, Paul Virilio, and others, this essay delineates a series of knowledge practices that take shape in relation to satellite imagery. The discussion moves from an analysis of declassified US satellite images of bombed communication infrastructure in Afghanistan and Iraq to an analysis of a US policy known as the “shutter control rule,” designed to limit access to satellite imagery to protect US national security interests, and onto a discussion of Google Earth’s emergence and some of the controversies surrounding its use. I consider how satellite images represent the world, or parts of it, simultaneously as sites of scrutiny, destruction and extraction. As the satellite image figures the earth’s surface as a target of observation, conquest, and (re)development, it is commandeered in flexible economies of visual, military and corporate control, and in efforts to regulate acts of interpretation and access to information.

Lisa Parks (Ph.D.) is Professor and Chair of the Department of Film and Media Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara and is a research affiliate of the Center for Information Technology and Society and the Carsey Wolf Center. Her areas of interest include media and geography, globalization, and science and technology studies. She is the author of Cultures in Orbit: Satellites and the Televisual (Duke UP, 2005), and co-editor of Planet TV (NYU, 2003) and is currently writing two new books: Coverage: Media, Space and Security after 911 (Routledge) and Mixed Signals: Media Infrastructures and Cultural Geographies. She is also co-editing the book Down to Earth: Satellite Technologies, Industries and Cultures (Rutgers UP) with James Schwoch. Parks was a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) in Berlin in 2006/2007 and has given keynote lectures at Media Studies, Communication, and Geography Conferences and invited lectures in 15 countries.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.

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Symposium: National Identities: The Changing Identities of Central Asia, Russia, and the Caucasus

Monday, November 22, 2010 / 1:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, HSSB 6020

The geography of Eurasia is inhabited by populations whose understanding of identity has been redefined due to the shifting borders of empire and nation. The Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the new states emerging in post-Soviet space have all sought to create new categories for inhabitants’ identities. The geographical units have had to adapt to older, deep seated identities rooted in clan, religion, and nomadic vs. sedentary cultures. The symposium will include experts on Central Asian identities, Armenian identity and Russian identity.

Sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Dept. of Germanic, Slavic, & Semitic Studies,  Dept. of History, Dept. of Political Science, IHC’s Geographies of Place series, IHC’s Identity Studies RFG,  and the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies.

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Talk: Sugar Cane, Slaves and Ships: Black Slaves, White Tourists and the Problem of Colonial Vision in 19th century Landscapes of Jamaica

Charmaine Nelson (Art History and Communication Studies, McGill Univeristy, Montreal)
Thursday, November 18, 2010 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Charmaine Nelson is an Associate Professor of Art History, in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University, Montreal. Her research and teaching interests include postcolonial and black feminist scholarship, critical (race) theory, Trans Atlantic Slavery Studies and Black Diaspora Studies. She has made significant contributions to the fields of the Visual Culture of Slavery, Race and Representation and Black Canadian Studies. Her publications include the co-edited volume Racism Eh?: A Critical Inter-Disciplinary Anthology of Race and Racism in Canada (Concord, Ontario: Captus Press, 2004), The Color of Stone: Sculpting the Black Female Subject in Nineteenth-Century America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007) and Representing the Black Female Subject in Western Art (New York: Routledge, 2010).

She has authored several chapters in edited books, journal articles and dictionary entries on the subjects of the “Hottentot Venus”, black British identity, black body politics, slavery and memory, public culture, Black Canadian Studies, black popular culture, women’s studies, nineteenth-century female artists and imperialism and landscape art. Some recent publications include “The ‘Hottentot Venus’ in Canada: Modernism, Censorship and the Racial Limits of Female Sexuality” ed. Deborah Willis Venus 2010: They Called Her Hottentot: The Art, Science, and Fiction of  Sarah Baartman (Philadelphia: Temple University Press,  Academic, 2010), “Buried in a Watery Grave: Trauma, Commemoration and Memorialization of the Middle Passage” eds. Michelle Goodwin, Sandra Jackson, Fassil Demisse The Black Body: Imagining, Writing, and (Re)reading (University of South Africa Press, 2009) and “Blacks in White Marble: Interracial Female Subjects in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Neoclassicism” Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/Body Politics in Africana Communities eds. Dr. Regina E. Spellers and D. Kimberly R. Moffitt, Communication and Culture, African Diaspora Series, Series Editor Dr. Marsha Houston, (Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press, Inc., 2010).

Nelson has lectured at museums, universities and public forums in Canada, the USA, Britain, the Caribbean and Italy. Her forthcoming book is an edited volume which explores issues of black (self)representation, popular culture (film, television, music), multiculturalism, institutional racism and  the state of Black Canadian Studies entitled Ebony Roots, Northern Soil: Perspectives on Blackness in Canada (Cambridge Scholar’s Press, in press, December 2010). Her most recent research explores nineteenth-century landscapes of Montreal and Jamaica as products of colonial discourse and imperial geography.  She is currently a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair (2010) at the university of California, Santa Barbara.

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Local Places: Flying A Studio: Santa Barbara’s First Brush with High Tech

Dana Driskel (Film & Media Studies, UCSB)
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

In the summer of 1912 the city of Santa Barbara welcomed a “high-tech” industry to the area for the first time. Even then the primary employers within city limits were the hotels and tourism trades, Ranches, agriculture, and the winter mansions of the wealthy fringed the beautiful little mission town of 15,000 souls and the oil industry was kept at arm’s length, over the hill and down the coast in Summerland. If there were to be a new industry in town, with the jobs that came with it, that industry was not likely to be a factory in the conventional sense.

Enter the American Film Manufacturing Company of Chicago, a young aggressive enterprise with international reach via film printing laboratories in both Chicago and London. Known to the movie-going public as the Flying A brand, American swiftly became an important part of community life and the local economy but within ten years it was just a memory and Santa Barbara’s contribution to film history was just that, history.

Dana Driskel’s research works to explain the Flying A’s unique relationship to our community and to the movie industry at large.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.

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Local Places: Islands, Interiors, and In Between: Chumash Life on the Oxnard Plain

Colleen Delaney-Rivera (Anthropology, CSU Channel Islands)
Monday, November 15, 2010 / 5:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

The archaeology of the Oxnard Plain of Ventura County has received relatively little attention, with a few notable exceptions. This study focuses on the Chumash occupations of the Oxnard Plain through time, with particular attention to a series of Middle Period sites located on the southern edge of the Plain.  We delve into the activities of both pre-European Contact and Contact-era Chumash, focusing on transportation, interaction, and sociopolitical issues related to the settlement of the southern Oxnard Plain (including Simo’ mo and Muwu).  We will also consider the social and economic interaction of interior, coastal and island Chumash through time.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series and Archaeology RFG.

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Symposium: Spatium Sets

Saturday, November 13, 2010 / 6:00 PM
479 Gallery in Old Gym on UCSB campus

“Spatium Sets” is a group art exhibition of contemporary art practitioners in collaboration with a solo exhibition of UCSB MFA candidate, Daniela Campins.  Venezuelan-born Campins’ artwork articulates the idea of space and visual perception though painting. Using Campins’ paintings as a point of departure, various California-based artists have been invited to exhibit their work dealing with similar issues. The dynamic of Spatium Sets reveals a communal consciousness amongst the artists which transcends their relative geographical distances from one another. All of the selected artists have independently devoted recent projects to exploring their relationships with space traversing between an architecturally-aware painting practice and conversely, a painterly approach to creating 3D work. The conceptual content directly influences the materiality and form in this grouping of paintings and sculptures.    Representing Southern California are the artists Dashiell Manley, Todd Bura and Rachel Malin. Artists from Northern California include Lisa Rybovich Cralle, Dan Tierney, Renee Gertler, Julia Goodman, Albert Meyer, Norman Ballou, Lakeshia King and Rema Gholoum.

Spatium Sets runs from Saturday November 13th to Saturday November 20th, 2010. The opening reception will be on Saturday Nov. 13 from 6-9 pm. Regular gallery hours are M-F from 12-4pm and weekends by appointment; contact Bessie Kunath at 415.378.5428

Sponsored by the UCSB Department of Art and the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.

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LOCAL PLACES: A Conversation with Artist Ann Diener

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 / 4:00 PM
University Art Museum

Artist Ann Diener will lead an informal gallery walkthrough of her commissioned wall drawing at the University Art Museum and present a slide talk about her new body of work. Diener’s large-scale, abstract drawings chart and interpret the changes to and the industrialization of farmland over the past several decades in southern California.  Diener’s most recent drawings map the course of waterways and are inspired by the failure of the St. Francis Dam in 1928, California’s worst man-made disaster.   Ann Diener’s work has been shown nationally, most notably at Bank Gallery, Los Angeles; Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, and the Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series and the University Art Museum.

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Roundtable: The Manhattan Mosque and Burning Qur’ans: Placing an American Dilemma in Perspective

Wednesday, November 3, 2010 / 4:00 PM
Corwin Pavilion

America’s Muslims have become a flashpoint for public debate about freedom of religion, freedom of speech, civil rights, and U.S. relations with Muslim majority countries in the Middle East and Asia. Recently there has been an outcry about the propriety of building an Islamic center (called a mosque in the media) near the site of the World Trade Center in Manhattan. There also appears to be a rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric and incidents around the country, including threats to stage burnings of the Muslim holy book, the Qur’an.  Four UCSB faculty experts from the departments of Religious Studies and History will discuss and assess these developments with an aim to enhance public understanding of the issues involved and their consequences. Panelists are Juan E. Campo (Religious Studies), Richard Hecht (Religious Studies), Kathleen Moore (Religious Studies), Salim Yaqub (History), and Wade Clark Roof (J.F. Rowney Professor of Religion and Society, Director of the Walter H. Capps Center).

Sponsored by the Dept. of Religious Studies, the Center for Middle East Studies, the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life, the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, the Center for Cold War Studies and International History, and the IHC

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Talk: Being there (virtually): Night of the Dead on Janitzio and in Hannover

Ruth Hellier-Tinoco (Music/Theater and Dance, UCSB & University of Winchester, UK )
Monday,  November 1, 2010/ 3:30 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Each November second since the postrevolutionary nationalistic years of the 1920s the diminutive cemetery on the tiny island of Janitzio, Lake Pátzcuaro, Mexico has been a site/sight of attraction for visitors and tourists, where the communal commemorative ritual of Night of the Dead is performed.   Each year, over one hundred thousand outsiders make a journey to this island to witness the event.

In 2000, a 3D real-time interactive film of Night of the Dead on Janitzio, Soul of Mexico, was exhibited at EXPO 2000, the World’s Fair, Hannover, Germany. Spectators could ostensibly experience the ritual “as if they were there” (EXPO Program). Dealing with issues of space, place, identity, memory, death, embodiment, and history, Dr Hellier-Tinoco discusses the twentieth-century processes of site sacralization and authentication that shaped this little island as an authentic destination to experience Night of the Dead.

Ruth Hellier-Tinoco, PhD, is a scholar, creator and performer, whose work engages in an interdisciplinary context with the fields of performance studies, ethnomusicology, dance studies, theatre studies, applied and community arts, and Latin American studies, focusing particularly on Mexico.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series and the IHC’s Performance Studies RFG.

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Talk: From 1973 Photo Documentary to 2010 Cyber-Infrastructure Cultural Atlas

George Legrady (Media Arts & Technology, UCSB)
Thursday, October 21, 2010 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

In 1973, George Legrady created a photographic document of everyday life in four James Bay Cree Indian settlements in sub-arctic Canada at the time of the start of their legal negotiations with the James Bay Hydro-Electric Corporation. This project was a mix of journalistic, ethnographic, and fine arts photography and resulted in a collection of 3200 black and white and color images that represented a personalized overview of the Cree indigenous culture as Legrady encountered it in his day-to-day life over an eight week period. The images include rituals, housing, hunting, people, interaction with nature, and the transition to Western ways. During the past few years, the project has been rediscovered as the Cree are historicizing their forty year negotiations for legal, cultural and land rights with the government, the James Bay Corporation and the mediated world at large. The period between 1973 to now has been a significant transition for the Cree as the culture shifted from hunter trappers to a politically conscious culture which has managed to define their own identity, and cultural focus throughout the years of external and cultural intrusion. The lecture will give an overview of the 1973 project Legrady, describe its context, and follow with current plans for its transformation into an interactive digital cultural atlas.

George Legrady is director of the Experimental Visualization Lab in the Media Arts & Technology department with a joint appointment in the Department of Art. He received his MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute. Legrady’s early artistic work focused on a conceptual and semiotic analysis of the photographic image, and is one of the first generation of artists in the 1980’s to integrate computer processes into their artistic work, producing pioneering projects in interactive digital installations. His contribution to the digital media field has been in intersecting cultural content with data processing as a means of creating new forms of aesthetic representations and socio-cultural narrative experiences. His commission for the Seattle Public Library is one of the few digital artworks to collect and parse data continuously until 2014, and his project on the NASA Spitzer infrared satellite was featured at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series.

Click here to listen to a recording of this talk for the IHC’s series Geographies of Place.

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Talk: From Literal to Spiritual Soldiers of Christ: The Contestation of Space in Late Antique Rome

Jacob Latham (IHC Research Fellow)
Wednesday, October 20, 2010 / 12:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

There were at least five disputed episcopal elections in the fourth through the sixth centuries. This intra-Christian competition did not, however, lead to the contestation of space in the form of processions as it did, for example, in Constantinople, where Arians and Niceans held competing processions. At Rome, intra-Christian competition took the form, at least rhetorically, of siege and occupation. Instead of conquering urban space through processions—impossible as the Roman aristocracy and their patronage of traditional public display still dominated and defined the public sphere—Roman Christians resorted to warfare.

Throughout all of these electoral disputes two elements consistently emerge: one, the use of martial language to describe the events and two, the concentration on a few contested sites. A strategy of militaristic occupation of centrally important churches clearly marked these schisms, as each side marched upon and occupied the principal churches of Rome, invading and expelling their enemies from other principal churches when they could. The martial language in the descriptions of these conflicts often veered close to the religious, indicating, hinting, that the origins of Christian processions lie in conflict and battle. From the literal soldiers of Christ, armed with clubs, rocks, and swords, emerged spiritual soldiers bearing crosses and singing hymns.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series and Research Fellows Program.

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Snarled Megalopolis

Debut of IHC’s PLATFORM Gallery
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 / 6:00 PM
6th Floor, HSSB

Visions of the Emerging Face of Megacities

This exhibition collects artists’ visualizations of vertiginously growing megacities, with their impulsive structures and grids.  Featuring the work of fourteen individual artists from around the world, Snarled Megalopolis will explore a wide range of urban configurations — slum, favela, comuna, barrio de invación, taudis, shantytown.
This exhibition gathers art pieces based on unplanned urban growth of different megacities, showing how these spaces reflect and shape local political, cultural, and religious practices, and focusing on the common configuration of the urban grid.

Introduction by:
BRIAN JONES, PhD Candidate
Department of Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara

“Going Nowhere:
The Utopian Lane in the Snarled Megalopolis”
Brian Jones’ research focuses primarily on the interrelations between literature, architectural theory and urban space in 19th and early 20th century Germany. His dissertation, City Machines and Garden Cities, studies the history of comprehensive planning schemes that leads to High Modernist visions of the totally rationalized city.


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Talk: Achieving a Two-State Solution

Moshe Halbertal & Raghida Dergham
Sunday, October 17, 2010 / 3:00 PM
UCSB Corwin Pavilion

A dialogue between Moshe Halbertal, noted Israeli pholosopher, award-winning author, and Professor of Jewish Thought and Philosophy at Hebrew University and Raghida Dergham, columnist and senior diplomatic correspondent for the London-based newspaper, Al-Hayat, and political analyst for NBC, MSNBC, and Arab satellite LBC.

Moshe Halbertal is the Gruss Professor at NYU Law School and a Professor of Jewish Thought and Philosophy at the Hebrew University, and he is a member of the Israel’s National Academy for Sciences and the Humanities. He received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University in 1989, and from 1988-1992 he was a fellow at the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. Moshe Halbertal served as a visiting Professor at Harvard Law School at University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is the author of Idolatry (co authored with Avishai Margalit) and People of the Book: Canon, Meaning and Authority, both published by Harvard University Press. He has also authored Interpretative Revolutions in the Making, Between Torah and Wisdom: R. Menachem ha-Meiri, The Maimonidean Halakhists in Provence, and By Way of Truth: Nahmanides and the Creation of Tradition.  His latest book, Concealment and Revelation: Esotericism in Jewish Thought and Its Philosophical Implications, was published by Princeton University Press in 2007. Moshe Halbertal is the recipient of the Bruno Award of the Rothschild foundation, and the Goren Goldstein award for the best book in Jewish Thought in the years 1997-2000.

Raghida Dergham is Columnist and Senior Diplomatic Correspondent for the London-based Al-Hayat, the leading independent Arabic daily, since 1989. She writes a regular weekly strategic column on International Political Affairs.   Dergham is also a Political Analyst for NBC, MSNBC and the Arab satellite LBC. She is a Contributing Editor for the LA Times Syndicate Global Viewpoint and has contributed to: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune and Newsweek. Ms. Dergham was featured in the PBS documentary, Caught in The Crossfire. Dergham has been a frequent guest on PBS’s “Charlie Rose” and “The News Hour,” CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, Canada’s CBC, Al-Jazeera as well as a radio guest on NPR and the BBC.  A Lebanese-born American citizen, Dergham is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations. She was co-chair of the Council’s 1997 conference: “In the National Interest: Does diversity make a difference?”  She serves on the Board of the International Women’s Media Foundation, and has served on the Advisory Council of Princeton University’s Institute for Transregional Studies of the contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.

The Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Foundation Endowed Symposia in Jewish Studies at UC Santa Barbara, a programof the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, is cosponsored by UCSB Arts & Lectures, Department of Religious Studies, Congregation B’nai B’rith, Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara Hillel. This event is also cosponsored by the Center for Middle East Studies at UCSB.

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Tools for Map Making: A Geographies of Place Workshop

Friday, October 15, 2010 / 1:00PM – 4:00PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Maps can add important dimensions to analysis and interpretation in the humanities, illustrating the distribution of phenomena, patterns of activities, processes of landscape change, flows among places, and connections between natural and human environments. They also enable the transfer of information, provide guidance to navigation, and offer insight to solving problems.

This workshop will provide demonstrations for a range of tools used in map making that are readily accessible and that illustrate a variety of applications of likely interest in the humanities.  These tools will include open-source software to create maps from databases and online mapping tools that allow access to historical and contemporary socio-demographic data. Demonstrations will cover procedures for transferring GPS tracks and locations to maps and for embedding one’s own information and imagery to Google Earth and similar geo-browsers. Information on courses and software licenses available at UCSB will be provided, along with listings of mapping resources and data that are Web accessible. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops to the workshop for accessing resources that exist online.

UCSB geographers Keith Clarke, Michael Goodchild, Alan Glennon, and Indy Hurt will each demonstrate select mapping tools and types of readily available data. Ann Bermingham and Donald Janelle will moderate the session and lead a question-and-answer session.

Participants are encouraged to bring laptops in order to follow along.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Geographies of Place series in cooperation with the Center for Spatial Studies and the Department of Geography.

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Talk: Geographies of Place Inaugural Lecture

Kim Yasuda (Art, UCSB)
“Isla Vista: A Public Research Lab”

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

“We are within and part of what we study. Participatory research thus begins with the assumption that all forms of meaning, doing, making, thinking and knowing are participatory entanglements with both discursive and material systems.”

Iain Kerr, Participatory Research: Geography: Experimental


In the disciplines of public arts, design, planning and geo-sciences alone, we are experiencing a natural alignment of our fields within the spatial turn of the 21st century. With the contextual formations afforded by available tools and technologies, such as VGIS (voluntary geographic Information systems), we now have the opportunity to form research alliances to tackle much larger scale issues and problems, brought about by this amplified definition of the public sector – one that now exists both on and off line in huge numbers of globally distributed geographies and subjectivities. This has, in turn, fueled disciplinary collaborations that can tackle the increased scale of a networked world and, at the same time, draw from this powerful workforce of voluntary observations, opinions and data submitted to these open contributory networks.

Proximity Research continues a multi-year (2005-2010), arts + planning initiative to expand university investment within a community context through new disciplinary clusters that engage the college town of Isla Vista as a socially-embedded studio/laboratory for new research. Through public art, planning and emergent participatory technologies, a cultural infrastructure is being explored to enhance spatial and social networking amongst the broad range of academic and non-university stakeholders in Isla Vista. This hyper-local research model also provides opportunities to study the social influences within a dominantly student-centered, geographically defined space, as well as point to hybrid curricular, program and planning methodologies that could inform future decision-making toward community-driven change. Through a map that continually changes with user input, community investment is activated and actuated through personal, anecdotal and public information layers that help render the complex nature of visual, spatial and social connectivity. These patterns can be visually intriguing, as well as bring visibility to the complex assets/challenges that render the character of a given community.

Kim Yasuda is a public artist whose site-specific works investigate the relationship between identity and space. Since 2005, she has served as co-director of the multi-campus research unit, UC Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA). For the past 5 years, Yasuda has activated university teaching with her public arts research, developing initiatives that forge partnerships between academic environs and the local/regional communities in which they are situated, exploring potential intersections between a creative practice, knowledge production and community development. Yasuda has collaborated with students and professionals on projects that include a public art plan for an affordable farm-worker housing complex, the repurposing of shipping containers into mobile art studios and the recent public art and participatory research and planning projects in the college community of Isla Vista, California with architect and urban designer Seetha Raghupathy.

Through these ‘proximity research’ field experiments, Yasuda established Friday Academy, a temporary instructional environment within the university that maintains its own academic calendar and curricula to conduct year-round, off-site and project-based learning experiments – a response to what Yasuda believes is “a critical need to retool existing institutional learning structures toward a model of ‘anticipatory education’ — one that prepares the 21st century practitioner with the creative skill set and nimble capacity to navigate a perpetually changing and uncertain future”.

Yasuda has commissioned public works throughout California and has exhibited her installation work internationally at venues including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada; Camerawork, London; the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Connecticut and MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston.  She is the recipient of two visual arts fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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About the Logo
The logo for Geographies of Place refers to Pangaea, the supercontinent of the late Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras that subsequently broke apart through tectonic movement, producing the modern continents. The term "pangaea" combines the Greek words terms "pan" (entire) and "gaia" (earth). The use of Pangaea is a way of referencing all geographical locations at the same time and suggesting an a-chronological approach that blends past, present and future. The smaller, curved text on the side implies the round shape of the globe, reflecting the interconnection of distant spaces.

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