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Talk: Mystery Children: The Stasova International Children’s Home During Stalin’s Purge

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA, United States

Drawing on her current book project, Communist Neverland, Elizabeth McGuire tells the story of the Stasova International Children’s Home, an elite orphanage and boarding school for the children of Communist Party leaders from all parts of the globe. Professor McGuire will focus in this talk on “Jimmy Ruegg,” one of the Stasova home’s many “mystery children.” Jimmy spent his earliest years in the International Settlement in Shanghai, believed he was German, and thought he had ...

2024 Arthur N. Rupe Great Debate: Is Housing a Human Right?

Campbell Hall Building 538, University of California, Santa Barbara, Mesa Rd,, Santa Barbara, CA, United States

The dramatic housing shortage in California affects millions of residents and leads thousands to homelessness. The 2024 Arthur N. Rupe Great Debate will address this issue by asking, “Is Housing a Human Right?” If so, our state faces a massive undertaking. Experts with diverse specialties and experiences will wrestle with some of our biggest challenges. How, for example, can we build low and moderate income housing when construction costs are high and community opposition is ...

Imagining California Talk: Aesthetic Mobility and Solidarities at Self Help Graphics & Art


Self Help Graphics & Art is a legacy arts organization that served on the cultural front of the Chicano Movement. Its emphasis on printmaking as an accessible medium infused with activist aims and its ability to cultivate and navigate various solidarities helped to support over fifty years of growth. This presentation by the co-editors of Self Help Graphics at Fifty looks at the multiple aesthetic styles and collaborative innovations that produced intergenerational, transnational, and cross-racial ...

Humanities Decanted: Janet Afary

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA, United States

Join us for a dialogue between Janet Afary (Religious Studies) and Dwight Reynolds (Religious Studies) about Afary’s new book, Mollā Nasreddin: The Making of a Modern Trickster, 1906-1911. Refreshments will be served. In the early twentieth century, a group of artists and intellectuals reinterpreted the Middle Eastern trickster figure Nasreddin in their periodical Mollā Nasreddin. They used folklore, visual art, and satire to disseminate a consciously radical and social democratic discourse on religion, gender, sexuality, ...

RFG Talk: Encyclopédie Noire: The Making of Moreau de Saint-Méry’s Intellectual World

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA, United States

Sara Johnson is professor of literature of the Americas at the University of California, San Diego. Her book, Encyclopédie noire: The Making of Moreau de Saint-Méry’s Intellectual World (Omohundro Institute/UNC Press, 2023), documents the work of Moreau de Saint-Méry, a late eighteenth-century Caribbean intellectual. The book combines traditional academic chapters and experimental forms in its use of archival fragments and visual culture to tell the stories of the free people of color and enslaved women ...

RFG Talk: Drawing Deportation: Art and Resistance among Immigrant Children


Drawing Deportation: Art and Resistance among Immigrant Children (NYU Press, 2023) argues that immigrant children are not passive in the face of the challenges presented by U.S. anti-immigrant policies. Based on ten years of work with immigrant children in two different border states—Arizona and California—Drawing Deportation gives readers a glimpse into the lives of immigrant children and their families. Through an analysis of 300 children’s drawings, theater performances, and family interviews, this book, at once ...

RFG Talk: Buddhists Whisper Down the Lane: A Burmese Novel and a Nepalese Nun Lost and Found in Translation

3041 HSSB UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States

This talk by Christoph Emmrich follows the cascading series of translations into three languages, over a period of half a century, from 1963 to 2016, of the story, told by a leading Burmese poet, historian, and monastic manager, about a feisty Newar Buddhist adolescent girl child prodigy from a wealthy Nepalese family who joined a troupe of Assamese elephant hunters to cross the Indian northeast and reach a nunnery in a sleepy town on the ...

RFG Talk: Bhakti and Its Place in Subaltern India

3041 HSSB UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States

In this talk, Maharshi Vyas will explore the intersection of studies of Adivasis, Indigenous tribal communities in India, and theorizations of the category of bhakti (devotion) in South Asian Studies. Drawing on archival materials and ethnographic research, he will seek to provide hermeneutical space to the subaltern voices of the Adivasis themselves by providing an analysis of bhajans, devotional songs, originating from the Bhil Adivasi community in the language of Bhili, an Adivasi language spoken ...

RFG Talk: Fractured Fairy Tales and Subversion: Red Ridin’ in the Hood and Other Cuentos by Patricia Marcantonio


Inside a cardboard box, Mama packed a tin of chicken soup, heavy on cilantro, along with a jar of peppermint tea, peppers from our garden, and a hunk of white goat cheese that smelled like Uncle Jose's feet. That meant one thing. "Roja, your abuelita is not feeling well," Mama told me. "I want you to take this food to her." “But Mama, me and Lupe Maldonado are going to the movies," I replied, but ...

Symposium: Edible Insect Art Exhibition

Glass Box Gallery UCSB Art Department, Building 534 (Space 1328), Santa Barbara, CA, United States

The Edible Insect Art Exhibition event is a community celebration of insect cuisine and a critical exploration of food futures. The event will take place April 4th, 2024 from 5:00–7:30 PM at UCSB's GlassBox Gallery and will feature student artwork, organization tabling, delicious food, insect-inspired tastings, and panel conversations with community members and edible insect experts, including Monica Martinez, founder of Don Bugito, Aly Moore, founder of Bugible, and MacKenzie Wade, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of ...

Imagining California Discussion: Ending Poverty in California: A Movement, A Plan, A More Equitable Future

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA, United States

What would a California without poverty look like? How would ending economic hardship advance freedom and well-being for all? This is a prospect that has captured the imaginations of activists, reformers, and everyday people for decades, ever since Upton Sinclair made it the centerpiece of his near successful gubernatorial campaign in 1934. Today, it animates the work of a new generation of community-based leaders who have come together in End Poverty in California (EPIC), an ...

RFG Talk: Images of War for Children in Ukrainian Picturebooks: Aesthetic, Political, and Emotional Strategies


Parents and authors across the world are dealing with the question of how to talk to children about war. Ukrainian writers and illustrators in particular have to find narrative and visual techniques to address children who are growing up under circumstances of war and displacement. In this talk, Svetlana Efimova will analyze Ukrainian picturebooks created during two stages of war: since 2014 and especially since 2022. First, she will focus on the relationship between representation ...

Imagining California Panel Discussion: Reparations in California

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA, United States

Join us for a discussion on reparations in California with panelists Daina Ramey Berry (UCSB), Tiffany Caesar (San Francisco State University), and Jovan Scott Lewis (UC Berkeley), moderated by Giuliana Perrone (UCSB). Panelists will consider the history of reparations in the United States, explain why they are being considered in California, and assess the current status of plans for reparations in San Francisco as well as the state as a whole. Audience Q&A and a ...

Symposium: 11th Annual American Indian and Indigenous Collective Symposium: Indigenous Health and Well-being

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA, United States

The 11th Annual American Indian & Indigenous Collective (AIIC) Symposium, Indigenous Health and Well-being, brings together individual papers, performances, and panels from across disciplines (humanities, fine arts, social sciences, ITEK, and STEM) within and outside of the academy, including practitioners and community members. This annual gathering will address the prevalent issues facing Indian Country and beyond in terms of health disparities and how Native communities come together to heal and work toward Indigenous well-being, resilience, ...

New Research in the Humanities: Presentations by the IHC’s 2023-24 Faculty Fellows

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA, United States

Please join us in celebrating our 2023-24 Faculty Fellows, whose works-in-progress are supported this year by IHC release-time awards. Fellows will give a short presentation of their work. A reception will follow. Utathya Chattopadhyaya, History “Ganja Matters: Empire and the Pursuits of Cannabis in British India” Mona Damluji, Film and Media Studies “Pipeline Cinema” Rachael King, English “Improving Literature: Media, Environments, and the Eighteenth-Century Improvement Debate”

RFG Talk: Racialized Sound in Mainstream Cinema: Spike Jonze’s Her


This talk examines Samantha, the operating system from Spike Jonze’s Her (2013), analyzing how the film’s portrayal of Samantha both differs from and uncannily evokes both fictional and real-world Black women domestic servants. Exploring how the film deliberately and repeatedly marks Samantha as female, how her vocal pitch, tone, and timbre code her as white, and how the film uses this ascribed white femaleness to grant her a form of subjecthood, Owens contends that the ...

Humanities Decanted: Thomas Mazanec

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA, United States

Join us for a dialogue between Thomas Mazanec (East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies) and Xiaorong Li (East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies) about Mazanec’s new book, Poet-Monks: The Invention of Buddhist Poetry in Medieval China. Poet-Monks focuses on the literary and religious practices of Buddhist poet-monks in Tang-dynasty China to propose an alternative historical arc of medieval Chinese poetry. Combining large-scale quantitative analysis with close readings of important literary texts, Mazanec describes how Buddhist ...

The History of Chicana/o Theater: Zoot Suit

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA, United States

Isla Vista Arts will host renowned Chicana/o theater scholar Professor Jorge Huerta (UC San Diego) for a lecture on the history of Chicana/o theater leading up to the monumental 1978 play Zoot Suit by Luis Valdez. Professor Huerta will contextualize the play within the history of the Zoot suit, a fashionable cut of suit worn by Chicano men in the 1930s and 1940s, and the “Sleepy Lagoon” murder trial 1942. The trial rapt the nation’s ...

RFG Talk: Thinking with the Sound of Catastrophe


When death is ubiquitous and violence structural and gratuitous, catastrophe has a sound. How do our racialized lives allow for or shield us from familiarity to this sound? The conditions of colonial violence, imperialism, and global capitalism construct African Black bodies into a kind of listening bodies. But what kind of listening bodies are these? In this talk, Brenda Umutoniwase will explore the listening body from Rwanda to South Africa as a site of conflations: ...

Humanities Decanted: Swati Chattopadhyay

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA, United States

Join us for a dialogue between Swati Chattopadhyay (History of Art and Architecture) and Cristina Venegas (Film and Media Studies) about Chattopadhyay's new book, Small Spaces: Recasting the Architecture of Empire. Chattopadhyay recasts the history of the British empire by focusing on the small spaces that made the empire possible. Her book takes as its subject a series of small architectural spaces, objects, and landscapes of the British empire in India and uses them to ...

RFG Symposium: Intergenerational Dynamics: Undergraduate Research Showcase

6320 Phelps and Zoom

Intergenerational Dynamics is the second annual undergraduate research showcase sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center's Research Focus Group on Global Childhood Ecologies. It features multidisciplinary presentations of undergraduate research related to childhood, including senior honors thesis research in Comparative Literature by senior major Daian Martinez and research on Education by Lakshmi Garcia in the College of Creative Studies. The panel of presentations and subsequent discussion on the theme Intergenerational Dynamics will focus on dynamics between ...

RFG Talk: Seeking Mirabai: The Making of a Saint and Cultural Heroine

3041 HSSB UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States

In this talk, Nancy Martin will trace the making of the sixteenth-century royal rajput devotee Mirabai into a saint and cultural heroine through the varied portrayals of her across the centuries found in hagiography, rajput historiography, nationalist rhetoric, and oral epic song traditions. She will also examine the early twentieth-century mobilization of Mirabai as a cultural heroine by Gandhi, Tagore, and others, culminating in Subbulakshmi’s film portrayal of the poet-saint on the cusp of Indian ...

The Future of the Lumpenproletariat: A Conference in Memory of Glyn Salton-Cox

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA, United States

This conference will explore the Marxist concept of the lumpenproletariat, which was initially translated into English as “social scum.” Speakers include: Maurizia Boscagli (UC Santa Barbara) Katherine Connelly (New York University London) Colleen Lye (UC Berkeley) Ben V. Olguín (UC Santa Barbara) Robert Weide (California State University, Los Angeles) Keynote: Cedric Johnson (University of Illinois, Chicago) Visit the conference website for more information. Cosponsored by the IHC’s Graduate Collaborative Award; Ben V. Olguín, Robert and ...

RFG Talk: “Guano in Their Destiny”: A Conversation with Tao Leigh Goffe


Join the Environmental and Postcolonial Media Theories RFG for a conversation with Dr. Tao Leigh Goffe about her work, "'Guano in Their Destiny': Race, Geology, and a Philosophy of Indenture," and beyond. Dr. Tao Leigh Goffe is an associate professor of literary theory and cultural history with a focus on the environmental humanities and geology. She joined the Department of Africana, Puerto Rican, and Latino Studies at Hunter College, City University of New York after ...

RFG Talk: The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan

3041 HSSB UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States

Pakistan is today a Muslim country, and it has been so for nearly a thousand years. But before that, Buddhism thrived in the area known today as Pakistan, especially in the regions of Gandhara, Gilgit, and Baltistan. In this talk, José Cabezón will explore the Buddhist heritage of Pakistan through a virtual tour of some of its most important Buddhist sites, with examples of the exquisite art of Gandhara found in Pakistan’s major museums. José ...

RFG Talk: Narrating Nemo: Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland and the Evolution of the Comic Strip


As one of the pioneers of the animation medium as well as the comics medium, Winsor McCay's cultural significance is rivaled by few. However, the scholarly scrutiny of his works has yet to match his historical prominence. His most well-known creation, Little Nemo in Slumberland, which ran from 1905 to 1927, was the first comic strip with an ongoing, open-ended serialized narrative. Yet, it only started off as a regular Sunday strip and over its ...

IHC Open House

McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB Santa Barbara, CA, United States

You are invited to the IHC’s Open House on Thursday, October 3, from 4-6 pm. Meet new Humanities faculty, IHC fellows, and staff members. Learn about Key Passages, our 2024-25 public events series. Find out about our publicly engaged programs and funding resources for faculty and graduate students. Enjoy good food, drink, and conversation. Cosponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center