McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

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McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

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January 2018

Research Focus Group Talk: Cold War Curvature: Measuring and Modeling Gravity in Postwar American Physics
David Kaiser

January 24, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

A popular image persists of Albert Einstein as a loner, someone who avoided the hustle and bustle of everyday life in favor of quiet contemplation. Yet Einstein was deeply engaged with politics throughout his life; indeed, he was so active politically that the FBI kept him under surveillance for decades. His most enduring scientific legacy, the general theory of relativity – physicists' reigning explanation of gravity and the basis for nearly all our thinking about the cosmos – has likewise been cast as an austere temple standing aloof from the all-too-human dramas of political history. But was it so? By focusing on examples of research on general relativity from the 1950s and 1960s, this lecture will examine some of the ways in which research on Einstein's theory was embedded in, and at times engulfed by, the tumult of world politics.…

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HUMANITIES DECANTED: Robert Samuels, Educating Inequality: Beyond the Political Myths of Higher Education and the Job Market

January 25, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us for a dialogue between Robert Samuels (Writing) and Heather Steffen (English and Writing) about Samuels’ new work, Educating Inequality. Refreshments will be served. Politicians and school officials often argue that higher education is the solution to many of our social and economic problems. Educating Inequality argues that in order to reduce inequality and enhance social mobility, public policies are needed to revamp the financial aid system and increase the number of good jobs. Exploring topics such as the fairness of the current social system, the focus on individual competition in an unequal society, and democracy and capitalism in higher education, this important book seeks to uncover the major myths that shape how people view higher education and its relation to the economy. Looking to models that generate economic mobility and social equality, this book advocates a broader vision…

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February 2018

Crossings+Boundaries TALK: Dreamland: America’s Opiate Epidemic and How We Got Here
Sam Quinones

February 1, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Quinones will discuss the origins of our nationwide opioid epidemic: pharmaceutical marketing, changes in our heroin market, and new attitudes toward pain among American healthcare consumers. He will also discuss cultural shifts that made this epidemic possible. Sam Quinones is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist and author of three books of narrative nonfiction. His book Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic won a National Book Critics Circle award for the Best Nonfiction Book of 2015. He has reported on immigration, gangs, drug trafficking, and the border as a reporter for the L.A. Times (2004–2014) and as a freelance writer in Mexico (1994–2004). Sponsored by the IHC's Crossings + Boundaries series, the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life, and the IHC's Idee Levitan Endowment.

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Research Focus Group Conference: Queer Hemisphere: América Cuir

February 8, 2018 @ 9:00 am - February 9, 2018 @ 4:00 pm

Queer Hemisphere: América Cuir is a two-day conference comprised of six interdisciplinary graduate student panels, two keynote presentations, one by Prof. Sayak Valencia (author of Capitalismo Gore) and the other by performance artist Lorena Wolffer (Mapping Dissent), a keywords dialogue with Prof. Marcia Ochoa (UCSC), and a charla with UCSB Profs. Micaela Díaz-Sánchez and Cherríe Moraga. On the conference theme: This conference will bring together scholars from Mexico, Brazil, Peru, other Andean countries, as well as Latinx communities in the US, along with activists and performers, to analyze the challenges of studying gender and sexuality in the Americas, under the current threat of racist populism, state violence, and new forms of mobilization. Queer Hemisphere: América Cuir grows out of a UCHRI-sponsored working group by the same name. All are welcome. Sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center; the Latin American & Iberian Studies Program;…

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Crossings + Boundaries Talks: Sayak Valencia and Lorena Wolffer

February 8, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Talk: From Queer to Cuir: Geopolitical Ostranenie from the Global South Sayak Valencia’s talk will explore the politics of survival and the alliances of the trans/border/messtizx/sissy/lesbian/dressed/slut-fag/cripple. The word “cuir” represents a defamiliarization—or ostranenie—of “queer,” which challenges automatic reading and registers, through its unfamiliarity, a geopolitical inflection southward and from the peripheries. Countering colonial epistemology and Anglo-American historiography, cuir invokes a space of decolonialized enunciation, at once playful and critical. Sayak Valencia (Cultural Studies, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte) is the author of Capitalismo Gore. Talk: Citizen Affects/Afectxs ciudadanxs Lorena Wolffer will discuss her experiences producing Citizen Affects/Afectxs ciudadanxs at UC Santa Barbara and at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City in 2017. This participatory cultural interventions project is focused on the affects that cross, regulate, and define women, queer, and non-normative indiviuals in our interaction with others…

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Conference: Patterns and Networks in Classical Chinese Literature: Notes from the Digital Frontier

February 9, 2018 @ 9:00 am - February 10, 2018 @ 1:00 pm

Twelve scholars from around the globe will present examples of the groundbreaking research taking place at the intersection of digital humanities and classical Chinese literary studies. Covering poetry, prose, fiction, history, linguistics, and philosophy over the course of two millennia, these studies will show how computing technologies can help researchers uncover previously unseen patterns and networks in their materials, shedding new light on premodern texts. Keynote Address by Michael Fuller (East Asian Languages and Literatures, UC Irvine), "Digital Humanities and the Discontents of Meaning," on Friday, February 9 at 4:30 PM. Free and open to the public. Conference participants include: JING CHEN (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), TIMOTHY CLIFFORD (Bryn Mawr College), MICHAEL FULLER (UC Irvine), YI-LONG HUANG (National Tsing Hua University), CHAO-LIN LIU (National Chengchi University), CHEN LIU (Kyoto University), THOMAS MAZANEC (UCSB), EVAN NICOLL-JOHNSON (University of Alberta), DONALD STURGEON (Harvard…

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HUMANITIES DECANTED: Bhaskar Sarkar, “No Man’s (Is)land: Ecology of a Border”

February 22, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us for a dialogue between Bhaskar Sarkar (Film and Media Studies) and Lisa Sun-Hee Park (Asian American Studies) about Sarkar’s new article, “No Man’s (Is)land: Ecology of a Border.” Refreshments will be served. Focusing on a stretch of the international border between Bangladesh and India that coincides with the river Ganges, Sarkar’s new article examines the ambiguous productivities of proliferating borders in the era of globalization. In this overpopulated region of South Asia, the Farakka barrage has compounded problems of riverbank erosion, causing the loss of arable lands and homes. When displaced communities move to the silt islands—chars— that emerge in the middle of the river, they pose a problem for both states: are they citizens or foreigners? Analyzing a documentary film about the char people, Sarkar explores contemporary documentary’s engagement with border ecologies and migrant communities, state policies…

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March 2018

Crossings + Boundaries Talk: Murder and Mattering in Harambe’s House
Claire Jean Kim

March 1, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

This talk approaches the controversy over the killing of the gorilla Harambe in the Cincinnati Zoo in May 2016 as a unique window onto the making of animalness and blackness in the contemporary U.S.  It will explore the notion of a racial-zoological order in which the “human” is constructed simultaneously in relation to both the “black” and the “animal.” Claire Jean Kim is Professor of Political Science and Asian American Studies at University of California, Irvine.  She is the author of Bitter Fruit: The Politics of Black-Korean Conflict in New York City (2000) and Dangerous Crossings: Race, Species, and Nature in a Multicultural Age (2015), both of which won book awards from the American Political Science Association. Sponsored by the IHC’s Crossings + Boundaries series and the Sara Miller McCune and George D. McCune Endowment.

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April 2018

Crossings + Boundaries Reading: Of Great Importance
Nachoem M. Wijnberg

April 12, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The poems in Of Great Importance discuss taxes and debts, stocks and flows, citizenship and labor contracts, notaries and accountants, factories and strikes, freedoms and fundamental rights, how to make money and how to win elections, when to declare war and when to found a new state. The collection has been called “a painfully consistent and uncomfortably accurate analysis of power, economic and social structures and mechanisms which are at the root of the degenerate world in which we wake up each morning.” The poems look at history in order to learn something from it and build upon the best work of thinkers and poets such as Marx, Keynes, Heine, Miłosz, and especially Kaváfis. Nachoem M. Wijnberg is a Dutch poet and novelist who has been acclaimed as one of the foremost Dutch authors of the last decennia. His poetry has received many Dutch and Belgian awards,…

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Symposium: Humanities in Prison

April 26, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Why study the humanities in prison? Why teach them?  What is the value of prison humanities programs for communities both inside and outside of prisons?  What humanistic texts and skills do we teach? A day-long symposium, hosted by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center of the University of California, Santa Barbara, will include the voices of educators and the formerly incarcerated, in this exploration of building intellectual communities across systemic divides through the humanities. This program will be of interest to those involved in public humanities, social justice, transformative pedagogy and civic engagement. Sponsored by the IHC’s Crossings + Boundaries series and the Hester and Cedric Crowell Endowment.

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May 2018

Crossings + Boundaries Talk: Borderwall as Architecture
Ronald Rael

May 3, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Ronald Rael holds the Eva Li Memorial Chair in Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. He is an applied architectural researcher, design activist, author, and thought leader in the fields of additive manufacturing and earthen architecture. He is the author of Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the U.S.-Mexico Boundary (2017), which advocates for a reconsideration of the existing barrier dividing the U.S. and Mexico through design proposals that are hyperboles of actual scenarios that have occurred as a consequence of the wall. Image courtesy UC Berkeley

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Crossings + Boundaries TALKS: Sinan Antoon and Sara Pursley
Sinan Antoon and Sara Pursley

May 10, 2018 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Talk: The Times of Revolution in Jawad Salim’s Monument to Freedom The Iraqi artist Jawad Salim’s famous Monument to Freedom, which still stands in Baghdad’s Liberation Square, is usually read as a linear historical narrative of the Iraqi nationalist movement and the 1958 revolution it produced. Pursley’s talk explores heterogeneous conceptions of time in the work, including depictions of cyclical forms of temporality that reference Khaldunian historical time, Shi`i messianic time, and the time of mourning. She suggests that these forms of time do not work against promises of radical change in the monument, but, on the contrary, give such promises more imaginative purchase than they typically achieve in linear modernization narratives, with their tendency to open onto a singular and static future. Sara Pursley is Assistant Professor in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. Talk: Pre-occupation, Epistemic Violence,…

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HUMANITIES DECANTED: Lal Zimman, Transgender Language Reform: Some Challenges and Strategies for Promoting Trans-Affirming, Gender-Inclusive Language

May 17, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us for a presentation and discussion with Lal Zimman (Linguistics) about his new work, “Transgender Language Reform.” Refreshments will be served. With a growing societal interest in the experiences of transgender people has come a new kind of awareness about gendered language. Zimman’s recent article, “Transgender language reform: some challenges and strategies for promoting trans-affirming, gender-inclusive language,” takes a linguistic approach to trans-inclusive language by distilling the practices of transgender speakers of English into a series of challenges and potential solutions. A short presentation of his work will be followed by an audience discussion of practical strategies for trans-affirming and gender-inclusive language in the university context. Lal Zimman is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at UC Santa Barbara. His research takes a broad perspective on trans language, from voices to narratives to terminological choices. His edited volume, Queer Excursions: Retheorizing…

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Presentation by UCSB Student Veterans

May 24, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Student veterans will read stories about their military experience. Following the reading there will be time for questions and answers from the audience. Sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, the UCSB Veterans Writing Workshop and UCSB Veteran and Military Services.

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Launching New Research in the Humanities: Presentations by the IHC’s 2017-18 Faculty Fellows
Jennifer Holt, erin Khuê Ninh, Eric Prieto

May 31, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Please join us in celebrating our 2017-18 Faculty Fellows, whose works-in-progress are supported this year by IHC release-time awards. Fellows will give a short presentation of their work followed by a reception. Jennifer Holt Film and Media Studies “From Convergence to the Cloud: Media Policy in the Digital Era”     erin Khuê Ninh Asian American Studies “Almost Perfect: Passing for the Model Minority”     Eric Prieto French and Italian “World Literature, Urban Theory, and the Informal City”

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