This year, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center will present a series of programs on the theme Oil + Water. Oil + Water commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Santa Barbara oil spill, and provides an opportunity to examine the impact of these two resources on the history, economy, and culture of California and the world. Topics will range from dams to surfing to plastics to car culture; the program will examine oil and water in a global as well as local context. All Oil + Water events are co-sponsored by the Community Environmental Council.

souncloudClick here to listen to podcasts from the 2009-10 IHC series: Oil+Water on SoundCloud.

Past Events

2009 - 2010

Talk: Sacred Waters: Arts and Ecologies of Mami Wata and Other Aquatic Divinities in Africa

Henry Drewal (Art History, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Thursday, May 20, 2010 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Arts for sacred waters in Africa are ancient and widespread. They express deeply-held beliefs and practices about the sanctity and power of water. Mami Wata, Pidgin English for “Mother Water,” is the name of a widely worshiped deity, as well as the generic term for a vast “school” of water deities across much of the African continent. Mami Wata’s many attributes and roles are as fluid as water itself — only the frames of history and culture can give her specificity. This talk explores some of the faces and engagements of Mami Wata in selected environments — cultural and ecological.

Sponsored by the Idee Levitan IHC Endowed Lecture Series, IHC’s Oil+Water series and the Community Environmental Council.

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Screening: Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea

Introduction by Steve Witkowski (Film & Media Studies, UCSB)
Tuesday, May 18, 2010 / 3:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Once known as the “California Riviera,” the Salton Sea is called one of America’s worst ecological disasters: a fetid, stagnant, salty lake, coughing up dead fish and birds by the thousands.Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Seacovers the historical, economic, political, and environmental issues that face the sea, and it offers up an offbeat portrait of the eccentric and individualistic people who populate its shores.  It is an epic western tale of fantastic real estate ventures and failed boomtowns, inner-city gangs fleeing to white small-town America, and the subjective notion of success and failure amidst the ruins of the past. Hair-raising and hilarious, part history lesson, part cautionary tale and part portrait of one of the strangest communities you’ve ever seen, this is the American Dream gone as stinky as a dead carp.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil+Water Series and the Community Environmental Council.

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Regents' Lecture: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water

Maude Barlow (Chairperson, Food and Water Watch)
Tuesday, May 11, 2010 / 7:00 PM
Corwin Pavilion

By 2030, demand for fresh water will outstrip supply by forty percent. The global water crisis is the greatest human and ecological crisis of our time. Because most of us were raised with the myth of water abundance, we have been slow to come to terms with the enormity of the threat of a world without water. Maude Barlow will outline the nature of the crisis, including the crisis facing California, and offer the practical principles that could lead to a water-secure future.  Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She is also an executive member of the San Francisco-based International Forum on Globalization and a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council. Barlow is the recipient of eight honorary doctorates.  She is also the best-selling author or co-author of 16 books, including Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil+Water series, UCSB Arts & Lectures, the Dept. of History of Art & Architecture, the Dept. of Film and Media Studies, the Environmental Studies Program, the Environmental Defense Center and the Community Environmental Council.

Click here for a map to Corwin Pavilion

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Talk: Alien Ocean: Life at Sea

Stefan Helmreich (Anthropology, MIT)
Tuesday, May 4, 2010 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

A new generation of marine biologists, employing the science of DNA sequencing, is coming to see the ocean as animated by its smallest inhabitants: marine microbes. Thriving in extreme conditions – from deep-sea volcanoes to methane-rich coastal areas –  such microbes are becoming key figures in scientific and public debates about the origin of life, climate change, bioprospecting and biotechnology, and even the possibility of life on other planets. Such microbes are fresh, scientifically-imagined tokens for the life the sea symbolizes and substantiates.  Drawing on anthropological work with marine microbiologists, I name this new double-visioned sea the alien ocean – a zone in which worldly nature oscillates between familiar and strange, in which the very category of “life” is at sea.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water series and the Community Environmental Council.

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Screening: Blue Gold: World Water Wars

Tuesday, April 2, 2010 / 3:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

In every corner of the globe, we are polluting, diverting, pumping, and wasting our limited supply of fresh water at an expediential level as population and technology grows. The rampant overdevelopment of agriculture, housing and industry increase the demands for fresh water well beyond the finite supply, resulting in the desertification of the earth.  We follow numerous worldwide examples of people fighting for their basic right to water, from court cases to violent revolutions to U.N. conventions to revised constitutions to local protests at grade schools. As Maude Barlow proclaims, “This is our revolution, this is our war”. A line is crossed as water becomes a commodity. Will we survive?

Note: Blue Gold cast member and Regent’s Lecturer Maude Barlow will be giving a talk on Tuesday, May 11 at Corwin Pavillion at 7:00PM.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water series and the Community Environmental Council.

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Talk: Arctic and Antarctic Circles

Hester Blum (English, Penn State University)
Thursday, April 22, 2010 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

In 2007 a Russian submarine planted a titanium flag on the Arctic seabed under the North Pole, laying the groundwork for Russia’s claim to Arctic oil resources.  “Arctic and Antarctic Circles” explores the pre-history of Russia’s polar land-grab in terms of the influential – if satirized – early nineteenth-century theories of Hollow Earth theorist John Cleves Symmes. In doing so, the talk considers the unexplored possibilities that the Arctic and Antarctic regions offer to hemispheric or transnational conversations, as well as to more recent calls to reorganize critical thinking from a planetary perspective.  Hester Blum is associate professor of English and director of the Center for American Literary Studies at Penn State University. She is the author of The View from the Masthead: Maritime Imagination and Antebellum American Sea Narratives, which won the John Gardner Maritime Research Award. Blum is at work on a new project on the print culture of polar exploration.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water series, the ACGCC and the Community Environmental Council.

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Talk: An Authentic Performance of Fishing: Indigenismo, Tourism, Music, and Dance on Lake Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, Mexico

Ruth Hellier-Tinoco (University of Winchester)
Thursday, April 15, 2010 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Lake Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, Mexico, was singled out for special attention in the idealistic postrevolutionary years of the 1930s, promoted as a site/sight of authentic Mexicanness, useful for nationalistic and touristic agendas, performing a role as attraction, destination, and iconic location. This talk will explore the multiple signifying and sensorial uses of the waters of Lake Pátzcuaro throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty first, in relation to processes and policies of tourism, performism, nationalism, and indigenismo. Discussion encompasses tourist displays of fishing, Noche de Muertos events, tourist and advertising imagery, films (the Disney production of The Three Caballeros and Janitzio), local fish dances, and scholarly and journalistic representations.

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 and anthropology, applied and community arts, theater studies, and Latin American studies. Since 2002 she has held the post of Associate Professor in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Winchester, UK.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water series and the Community Environmental Council.

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Screening: The Silent World

Introduction by Nicole Starosielski (Film & Media Studies, UCSB)
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 / 3:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Louis Malle’s Academy Award winning documentary The Silent World is noted as one of the first films to use underwater cinematography to show the ocean depths in color. Cousteau and his team of divers shot the film over two years in the Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.  Having filmed before Cousteau turned environmentally conscious, The Silent World shows the crew of the Calypso using dynamite near a coral reef and attacking a school of sharks.  Because of these actions, the film was later criticized for the environmental damage it caused.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water series and the Community Environmental Council.

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Conference: Oil + Water: The Case of Santa Barbara and Southern California

April 8 – 10, 2010
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

This event is FREE and open to the public.  No reservations are necessary.

For information about each presenter, please click here

This conference will explore the ways in which oil and water have created and transformed the history and culture of Santa Barbara and Southern California. Topics will include the Santa Barbara oil spill; the impact of oil on Hollywood; agriculture and marine life; the Owens River Valley; the Salton Sea; cars and car culture; and environmental histories and their lessons.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water series, the UC California Studies Consortium, and the Community Environmental Council.

Thursday, April 8

5:00 PM KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Oil Runs Through It: Power, Publics, and the Role of Place
Harvey Molotch (Social & Cultural Analysis, NYU) 

Click here to listen to a recording of Moltoch’s conference segment from the IHC’s series Oil and Water.

Friday, April 9

8:30 AM Coffee
9:00 AM Introduction
Ann Bermingham (Acting Director, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UCSB)
9:15 AM PANEL: Oil, Water, and Activism: The Case of Santa Barbara Linda Krop (Chief Council, Environmental Defense Center and Environmental Studies, UCSB)
The Environmental Politics of Off Shore Drilling 

Click here to listen to a recording of Krop’s conference segment from the IHC’s series Oil and Water.

Teresa Sabol Spezio (History, UC Davis)
Most Congressmen Care Little: The Role of the Santa Barbara Oil Spill in Changing Federal Environmental LawsEric Smith (Political Science, UCSB)
What the California Public Thinks About Off Shore Oil Development


Click here to listen to a recording of Smith’s conference segment from the IHC’s series Oil and Water.

11:00 AM KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Whales, Noisemakers, and Noise
Jim Nollman (Artist & Founder of Interspecies.com) 

Click here to listen to a recording of Nollman’s conference segment from the IHC’s series Oil and Water.

12:15 PM Lunch
1:30 PM PANEL: Oil+Water: The Case of Southern California
David Maisel (Photographer & Multimedia Artist)
The Lake ProjectLola Sheppard (InfraNet Lab, Toronto, Ontario)
Farming the Salton Sea 

Click here to listen to a recording of Sheppard’s conference segment from the IHC’s series Oil and Water.

Andrew Fitzpatrick (Interpretive Specialist, Ocotillo Wells)
Ocotillo Wells: California Oil History Encapsulated


Click here to listen to a recording of Fitzpatrick’s conference segment from the IHC’s series Oil and Water.

Kenneth Rogers, Caleb Waldorf and Bill Kelley, Jr. (Third Rail Group)
Slow Activism, Dialogical Practice and Environmental Remediation at the Inglewood Oil Fields


Click here to listen to a recording of Rogers’ confrence segment from the IHC’s series Oil and Water.

3:00 PM KEYNOTE ADDRESS: After Oil!: Petroleum, Media, and the California Experiment
Stephanie LeMenager (English, UCSB)
4:00 PM PANEL: The Culture of Oil Vanessa Osborne (English, USC)
Celluloid and Oil: Early Hollywood and the Oil Industry in Upton Sinclair’s Oil! 

Click here to listen to a recording of Osborne’s conference segment from the IHC’s series Oil and Water.
Jean-Paul deGuzman (History, UCLA)
At the Car Wash! Culture and Labor in the City of AngelsDesiree D’Alessandro and Diran Lyons (video artists)
World Water Shortage vs Golf Consumption and Jake Gyllenhaal Challenges the Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize

5:30 PM Reception

Saturday, April 10

9:00 AM Coffee
9:15 AM ROUNDTABLE: Oil and Water in the Santa Barbara County Agrifood System
David A. Cleveland (Environmental Studies, UCSB) and UCSB undergraduate students Ingrid R. Avison, Caitlin Brimm, Heidi Diaz, Sydney E. Hollingshead, Dominique C. Liuzzi, Nora M. Muller, Corie N. Radka, Tyler D. Watson, and Hannah Wright.
10:45 AM KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Near Goleta But Closer: An Unnatural History
Harry Reese (Art, UCSB)
12:00 PM Lunch
1:30 PM PANEL: Histories of an Unnatural History Karen Piper (Comparative Literature, Carnegie Mellon University)
Owens Lake: California’s Albatross 

Click here to listen to a recording of Piper’s conference segment from the IHC’s series Oil and Water.


Eliza Martin (History, UC Santa Cruz)
Making Rain, Creating Floods: Expertise and the Manufacturing of Disaster in San Diego’s Flood of 1916


Click here to listen to a recording of Martin’s conference segment from the IHC’s series Oil and Water.

David Zetland, (Agriculture and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley)
Joseph Jensen and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California


Click here to listen to a recording of Zetland’s conference segment from the IHC’s series Oil and Water.

Michael R. Adamson (History, CSU Sacramento)
Oil Booms and Boosterism: Local Elites, Outside Companies, and the Growth of Ventura California


Click here to listen to a recording of Adamson’s conference segment form the IHC’s series Oil and Water.

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Screening: End of the Line

Introduction by Michael Albright (Film & Media Studies, UCSB)
Tuesday, April 6, 2010 / 3:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

In End of the Line we see firsthand the effects of our global love affair with fish as food.  It examines the imminent extinction of bluefin tuna, brought on by increasing western demand for sushi; the impact on marine life resulting in huge overpopulation of jellyfish; and the profound implications of a future world with no fish that would bring certain mass starvation.

Sponsored by the Oil + Water series and the Community Environmental Council.

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Talk: Water: The Sacred Purifier

Nandini Iyer (Religious Studies, UCSB)
Monday, March 8, 2010 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

“Just as the sacred river’s roaring voice echoes all nature’s sounds, just so, if the devotee wishes to be cleansed by its waters, his heart must respond to the cries of all living beings.”  Professor EmeritaNandini Iyer isa life-long student of the world’s mystical traditions and of the teachings of M.K. Gandhi. She has taught philosophy and religious studies at the University of Oxford, UC Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara City College. She is one of the founders of the Institute of World Culture in Santa Barbara and has been involved with several schools committed to combating religious intolerance.  Professor Iyer’s talk will be introduced by José Cabezón, Professor of Religious Studies, UCSB.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water Series and the Community Environmental Council.

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Screening: Source to Sea: The Columbia River Swim

Thursday, March 4, 2010 / 3:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

On July 1, 2003 Christopher Swain became the first person to swim the entire 1,243 mile length of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest.  His swim brought stories about the river’s disrupted ecosystems and dislocated peoples to over twenty-thousand North American schoolchildren, and to a worldwide media audience of over one billion people.

A group of thirty-plus Northwest filmmakers, led by Andy Norris, followed Swain’s swim, and created a modern history of the Great River of the West.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water seriesand the Community Environmental Council.

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Talk: Black Sea Files: A Territorial Research and Art Project on the Caspian Oil Geography

Ursula Biemann
Tuesday, March 2, 2010 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

The artist speaks about her video essay investigating the transformations activated by a new transnational infrastructure, the BTC oil pipeline, which pumps the Caspian Crude from Baku passing through the Caucasus and Turkey. The pipeline is a geo-strategic project of some political impact, not only for the powerful players in the region, but also for a great number of locals: farmers, oil workers, migrants, and prostitutes.

Sponsored by the Department of Film & Media Studies, IHC’s Hester and Cedric Crowell Endowment, IHC’s Oil + Water Series, and the Community Environmental Council.

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Talk: Cruising

Jill Casid (Art History, University of Wisconsin)
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

In the rapt attention to digital transformation and the consideration of global cultural flows and liquid images, we may run the risk of losing sight of the material consequences of the physical and material flows of goods and people by boat, that seemingly antiquated technology of European conquest, catechism, and commerce. “Cruising” calls for attention not just to traveling images but also to the practice of leisure travel and not just the environmental cost of the tourist industry—the world’s largest by the end of the 20th century—but also the ongoing transformation of material environments to meets the desires and expectations of a particular kind of tourism, the floating world of the cruise ship boat. Jill H. Casid is Associate Professor of Visual Culture Studies and Director of the Center for Visual Cultures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a historian, a theorist of visual culture, and a practicing artist in photo-based media, her work explores the productive tensions between theory, the problems of the archive and the writing of history, issues pertaining to the borders between science and art, and the performative and processual aspects of visual objects and imaging. Her research in visual studies includes her book Sowing Empire: Landscape and Colonization (2005) and her forthcoming book Shadows of Enlightenment.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water Series and the Community Environmental Council.

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Talk: Oil, Water, and the Sacred: Super/Natural Resources in Francophone Postcolonial Fiction

Richard Watts (French and Italian Studies, University of Washington)
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 / 1:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Focusing on Nan Bessora’s 2004 novel Petroleum but drawing on a wide range of texts, this paper argues that the ubiquitous deployment of “natural resources” in francophone postcolonial fiction has always served as a means of figuring the properly political relationship between France and its former colonies and highlighting the resource-extractive politics of colonialism and neo-colonialism, but that it has recently come to signify broader cultural and eco-philosophical differences between metropole and postcolony. Bessora’s Petroleum represents with equal emphasis the social and environmental externalities of the oil boom in postcolonial Gabon (pollution of waterways, political corruption) and the spiritual conflict that it provokes (between the Black Atlantic water divinity Mami Wata and what the author calls the “dieu de l’or noir,” the Oil God of the Industrialized West). Political economy and symbolic economies are therefore overlaid in a text that productively troubles the divide between the environmental social sciences and the ostensibly “soft” eco-humanities.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water Series, Community Environmental Council and American Cultures and Global Contexts Center.

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Talk: Desert Studies: An Art-Centered Initiative

Dick Hebdige (Art Studio, UCSB)
Tuesday, February 16, 2010 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

“In a landscape where nothing officially exists (otherwise it would not be ‘desert’), absolutely anything becomes thinkable, and may consequently happen…”
Reyner Banham, Scenes from America Deserta

In January 2009 the UC Institute for Research in the Arts launched the Desert Studies Project, an interdisciplinary arts-centered initiative based project at UC Riverside’s Palm Desert Graduate Center. Desert Studies combines hands-on research conducted at various locations dispersed throughout California’s 25000 square miles of ultra-arid lands and similar initiatives in process at sister institutions across the South West with comparative research and exchanges with scholars and artists from the world’s 23 desert eco-systems. We are committed to a ‘bi-focal’ approach that links locally grounded site-specific arts-centered projects to that larger range of social, environmental, cultural and political issues that together have taken the deserts of the earth from the margins to the forefront of attention in debates in the public realm, the arts and sciences on the future of our planet.

Dick Hebdige will talk about UC student/faculty projects now under way in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts stemming from the two UCIRA-sponsored ‘dry immersion’ roaming workshops held last year – the first at the Coachella Valley’s Boyd Deep Canyon Nature Reserve and Salton Sea; the second  at the 29 Palms Marine Base, Joshua Tree and Wonder Valley in the upper desert and the lower desert’s  dune/oasis system at Palm Desert.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water series and the Community Environmental Council.

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Talk: Water, Oil, and the Global Production of Islamic Sacred Space: Mecca in Modernity

Juan E. Campo (Religious Studies, UCSB)
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 / 4:00PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Saudi Arabia plays a leading role in global economy because of its oil resources.  It is also home to Islam’s two leading sacred cities—Mecca and Medina.  Drawing on his recent research, Campo’s illustrated talk will track the interrelationships of the growth of the Kingdom’s oil revenues, the transformation of these two religious centers, and the annual hajj, or Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.   His analysis will include an examination of how water supply and distribution intersects with these developments and place the subject in comparative perspective relative to the rise of Dubai and the development of Muslim sacred spaces in other localities, including Iraq, Iran, India, and Pakistan.  Juan E. Campo’s most recent book, Encyclopedia of Islam, was published in 2009 by Facts-on-File.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water series and the Community Environmental Council.

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Screening: Trouble the Water

Introduction by Nicole Starosielski (Film and Media Studies, UCSB)
Tuesday, February 9, 2010 / 3:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature, this astonishingly powerful film is at once horrifying and exhilarating. Kimberly Rivers Roberts, an aspiring rap artist, turns her new video camera on herself and her 9th Ward neighbors trapped in the city. As the hurricane begins to rage and the floodwaters fill their world and the screen, Kim and her husband Scott continue to film their harrowing retreat to higher ground and the dramatic rescues of friends and neighbors. The filmmakers document the couple’s return to New Orleans, the devastation of their neighborhood and the appalling repeated failures of government. Weaving an insider’s view of Katrina with a mix of verite and in-your-face filmmaking, Trouble the Water is a redemptive tale of self-described street hustlers who become heroes–two unforgettable people who survive the storm and then seize a chance for a new beginning.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water series and the Community Environmental Council.

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Screening: Up the Yangtze

Introduction by Ronald Egan (East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, UCSB)
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 / 3:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

A luxury cruise boat motors up the Yangtze, navigating the mythic waterway known in China simply as “The River.” The Yangtze is about to be transformed by the biggest hydroelectric dam in history. At the river’s edge, a young woman says goodbye to her family as the floodwaters rise towards their small homestead. The Three Gorges Dam — contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle — provides the epic backdrop for Up the Yangtze, a dramatic feature documentary on life inside modern China.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water Series and the Community Environmental Council.

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Keynote Address: Why Oil and Water?

Catherine Gautier (Geography, UCSB)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

This talk is the keynote address for the IHC’s Oil + Water series.  Unsustainable use of oil and water by a rapidly growing global population is creating a serious environmental security challenge. Intensified competition for these dwindling resources threatens global security. Oil and water are intertwined in many ways. Each needs the other in its respective extraction process, and the use of one accelerates the depletion of the other. Oil and water are also linked through climate change. Oil burning emits carbon dioxide responsible for the enhanced greenhouse effect and consequent global warming that modifies the water cycle and water availability.
The looming peak in oil represents a visible surrogate for most natural resource depletion, more conspicuously advertised than upcoming water shortages.  One must question why “peak oil” has become a proxy for a host of dwindling Earth resources that may have dramatic consequences for humanity. While oil is considered a catalyst for economic growth and often associated with wealth and power, water tends to be conceived as a commons, inspiring hope for multinational cooperation around water resources. In this presentation, we will lay the groundwork for the IHC’s Oil + Water series. We will also reflect, together, on the problem of translating the scientific data relevant to these challenges to humanists.
Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water series.

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Screening: Earth Days

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 / 7:30 PM
Campbell Hall
$6 general / $5 students

Visually stunning and vastly entertaining, Earth Days looks back to the dawn of the modern environmental movement – from its post-war rustlings in the 1950s to the first wildly successful 1970 Earth Day celebration and the subsequent firestorm of political action. Personal testimony from the era’s pioneers, like former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, and rare archival media create a poetic meditation on humanity’s complex relationship with nature and an engaging history of the revolutionary achievements – and missed opportunities – of groundbreaking eco-activism.

Sponsored by Arts & Lectures, the Santa Barbara Independent, KCSB Radio and the IHC’s Oil + Water series.

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Panel Discussion: Southern California’s Oil: Past and Futures

Thursday, November 12, 2009 / 4:00 PM

SCREENING: There Will be Blood

Thursday, November 12 / 7:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

This interdisciplinary panel introduces a screening of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Academy Award winning film There Will Be Blood. Panelists question what role oil has played and will continue to play in the development of southern California, both economically and as a regional culture. We will discuss the role of film, photography, and literature in mobilizing local sentiment for and against oil development. We’ll also explore a few crucial events, major spills and significant legal decisions that have shaped our region’s relationship to oil. The panel will feature Peter Alagona and Gregory Graves (History), Michael McGinnis (Environmental Studies), and Environmental Defense Center Chief Counsel Linda Krop. Stephanie LeMenager (English, Environmental Studies) will moderate.
Sponsored by the IHC’s Oil + Water series.

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Screening: No Impact Man

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 / 7:30 PM
Campbell Hall
$6 general / $5 students

In research for his next book, newly self-proclaimed environmentalist and author Colin Beavan vows to make as little environmental impact as possible for one year: no more automated transportation, no more electricity, no more non-local food and no more material consumption. That is, until his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two year-old daughter are dragged into the fray. “Proof that ‘eco’ and ‘entertainment’ aren’t mutually exclusive” (Variety), this charming film provides a candid account of one family’s struggle with their radical lifestyle change. (Laura Gabbert & Justin Schein, 2009, 90 min.)
Sponsored by Arts & Lectures, the Santa Barbara Independent, KCSB Radio and the IHC’s Oil + Water series.

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Study Day: Imagining Design After Oil

November 6, 2009 / 9am – 5pm
Interdisciplinary Humanities Center
6020 Humanities Social Science Building
University of California Santa Barbara
This event is free, and open to the public.


What does the future hold for design after oil? This study day will explore new materials, ideas, policies and design solutions for the post-carbon future

Keynote Speakers

Sheila Kennedy

Professor of Architecture, MIT
Kennedy and Violich Architecture
Director of Design & Applied Research: KVA MATx
• More about Shelia Kennedy

David Gissen

Professor of Architecture, California College of Arts
• More about David Gissen


Click on any panelist’s name to read his or her full bio

Dan Colbert
Executive Director of Institute for Energy Efficiency : UCSB

Marc Fisher
Senior Associate Vice Chancellor, Administrative Services & Campus Architect : UCSB

Lorelei K. Moosbrugger
Professor of Political Science & Chair of the Academic Senate’s Sustainability Work Group : UCSB

Ken Radtkey
Founder of Blackbird Architects : Santa Barbara, CA

Ted Rose
Principal of Rose Carbon : Boulder, CO

Dennis Thompson, AIA, LEED AP
President of Thompson Naylor Architects : Santa Barbara, CA

Susan Van Atta
President of Van Atta Associates : Santa Barbara, CA

Volker M. Welter
Professor of the History of Art and Architecture & Director of the Program in Architecture and Environment : UCSB

Kim Yasuda
Professor of Studio Art & Co-director of the UC Institute for Research in the Arts : UCSB


8:30-9:00 Coffee and Registration
9:00-9:15 Opening Remarks
9:15-10:30 Roundtable: Imagining Design After Oil

Ken Radtkey, Blackbird Architects, Inc., Santa Barbara, CA
Dennis Thompson, Thompson Naylor Architects, Santa Barbara, CA
Susan Van Atta, Van Atta Associates, Santa Barbara, CA
Marc Fisher, Campus Architect, UCSB

10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-12:00 Keynote: David Gissen, California College of Art, San Francisco
12:00-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:45 Keynote: Sheila Kennedy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2:45-4:00 Roundtable: Post-Carbon Materials and Technologies

Dan Colbert, Institute for Energy Efficiency, UCSB
Ted Rose, Rose Carbon, Boulder CO

4:00-4:15 Break
4:15-5:15 Roundtable: Educating for Sustainable Design

Kim Yasuda, Studio Art, UCSB
Volker Welter, Architecture and Environment Program, UCSB
Lorelei K. Moosbrugger, Political Science, Academic Senate, UCSB


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Panel Discussion: The Cove: Filming and Thinking though the Dolphin-Human Interaction

Simon Hutchins (Expedition Director on The Cove)
Toni Frohoff (marine mammal biologist)
Moderator: Janet Walker (Film & Media Studies, UCSB)
Wednesday, November 4, 2009 / 5:00 PM
IV Theater II

Simon Hutchins spent 7 years in the Canadian Air Force as an avionics technician, before being posted from his home in Toronto to Vancouver Island. Qualified as a British Marine Coastguard Agency Master of Yachts, Hutchins is an officer on the Ocean Preservation Society flagship Athena where he serves as dive expedition manager. He currently lives on his 48 foot sailing yacht “Scaramouche II”, an old German Frers designed racing yacht built by Palmer Johnson in 1977. Dr. Toni Frohoff is a behavioral and wildlife biologist who has been studying marine mammal behavior and communication for over 20 years. Specializing in stress and welfare in captive and free-ranging dophins in response to human activity, Dr. Frohoff holds a doctorate in Behavioral Biology, an M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, and a B.S. in Psychology. Dr. Frohoff lectures internationally and her research is frequently featured in popular and scientific books and journals and in the media (including Smithsonian and Time magazines and Animal Planet and National Geographic television). With nature writer Brenda Peterson, she is co-editor of the anthology, Between Species: Celebrating the Dolphin-Human Bond (Sierra Club Books, 2003). Most recently with Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski, she co-authored the book, Dolphin Mysteries: Unlocking the Secrets of Communication (2008, Yale University Press). Currently, Frohoff is Research Director for both TerraMar Research and the Whale Stewardship Project.

Sponsored by the Carsey-Wolfe Center for Film, Television and New Media, the Dept. of Film and Media Studies, and the IHC’s Oil + Water series.

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Screening: The Cove

(dir. Louie Psihoyos, 2009)
Tuesday, November 3, 2009 / 4:00 PM
IV Theater I

Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, including renowned former dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry, filmmaker Louie Psihoyos, and expedition director Simon Hutchins infiltrate a cove near Taiji, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health. Collaborating under the auspices of the Ocean Preservation Society, this team of marine specialists, underwater sound and camera experts, special effects artists, and world-class free divers carry out an undercover operation to photograph the off-limits cove, while eluding those who would have them jailed. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery that adds up to an urgent plea for intervention.

Sponsored by the Carsey-Wolfe Center for Film, Television and New Media, the Dept. of Film and Media Studies, and the IHC’s Oil + Water series.

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Talk: The Year Before the Flood

Ned Sublette
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Author and musician Ned Sublette will present a talk based on his new book,The Year Before the Flood.   Written a year before Hurricane Katrina, Sublette’s memoir is a companion volume to his acclaimed history of the city, The World that Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square (2006).  By turns irreverent, joyous, darkly  comic, passionate, and polemical, The Year Before the Flood juxtaposes New Orleans’ crowded calendar of parties, festivals, and  parades with the murderousness of its poverty and its legacy of  racism. Along the way, Sublette opens up windows of American history  that illuminate the present: the trajectory of Mardi Gras from pre-Civil War days, the falsification of Southern history in movies, the city’s importance to early rock and roll, the complicated story of its housing projects, the uniqueness of its hip-hop scene, and the celebratory magnificence of the participatory parades known as second lines.
Sponsored by the American Cultures and Global Contexts Center, the College of Creative Studies, and the IHC’s Oil + Water series.

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Screening: Flow – For Love of Water

(Irena Salina, 2009, 93 min.)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 / 9:30 PM
Campbell Hall
Admission $6 general / students $5

This award-winning documentary builds a case against the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution and human rights. Interviews with scientists and activists intelligently reveal the rapidly building crisis while considering practical solutions and new technologies for a successful global and economic turnaround. It begs the question: Can anyone really own water?

Sponsored by Arts & Lectures, the Santa Barbara Independent, KCSB Radio and the IHC’s Oil + Water series.

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Screening: Crude

(Joe Berlinger, 2009, 104 min.)
Tuesday, October 20 , 2009 / 7:30 PM
Campbell Hall
Admission $6 general / students $5

This cinéma-vérité feature is the epic story of one of the largest and most controversial legal cases on the planet, the infamous $27 billion “Amazon Chernobyl” case in the jungles of Ecuador. Pitting 30,000 indigenous and colonial rainforest dwellers against the oil giant Chevron, this real-life, high-stakes legal drama focuses on the human cost of our addiction to oil.

Sponsored by Arts & Lectures, the Santa Barbara Independent, KCSB Radio and the IHC’s Oil + Water series.

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Talk: Sustainable Seas – The Vision, The Reality

Sylvia Earle
Monday, October 19, 2009 / 8:00 PM
Campbell Hall UCSB
Admission $10 general / $8 student
Oceanographer and 2009 TED Prize-winner Sylvia Earle has led more than 50 expeditions worldwide involving more than 6,000 hours underwater. She has served as the chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and is currently an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society. Now, Earle is the face behind Google Oceans, a comprehensive simulated ocean guide that explores the evolving history of the sea. Earle will share her joy of discovery through images and stories from her more than 30-year aquatic career – and express how that joy can help save the world. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Sponsored by Arts & Lectures, the Environmental Studies Program as part of the Critical Issues in America Forum “Forty Years After the Big Spill – Looking Back, Looking Ahead: 21st Century Environmental Challenges in a Global Context,” and the IHC’s Oil + Water series.

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