Fall 2018 IHC Funding Award Winners

The IHC is pleased to announce the winners of its Fall 2018 awards applications. Congratulations to these UCSB faculty members!

Faculty Fellowship

For a one-quarter teaching release during 2019-20 to concentrate on a research project.

Bound to Respect? Democratic Dignity & the Indignities of Slavery
Jeannine DeLombard, English
“Bound to Respect” builds on recent interdisciplinary efforts to historicize the concept of dignity. Before the mid-twentieth century, dignity involved respect for the status of legal persons rather than recognition of an intrinsic human worth. This law-and-humanities monograph reads classic literature by Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, and Mark Twain alongside dignitary tort cases over invasion of privacy and false imprisonment to demonstrate that nineteenth-century Americans understood slavery in terms of degradation rather than dehumanization. From police misconduct to mass incarceration, we see the afterlives of slavery in the ongoing assault on Black dignity that continues to stunt American democracy.

Faculty Collaborative Awards

For collaborative research or instructional projects taking place within the next 12 months.

Contemporary Asian American Activism: An Activist-Scholar Methodological and Collaborative Project
Diane Fujino, Asian American Studies
George Lipsitz, Black Studies and Sociology
This project utilizes activist-scholarship methodologies to study contemporary Asian American activism.  The project consists of three components: (a) a public symposium featuring community organizers and activist-scholars speaking on Asian American organizing; (b) a closed-door retreat for candid discussions about strategies, theories of organizing, leadership development, and obstacles to organizing in today’s charged political climate and a writing workshop; and (c) an edited book based on the symposium proceedings.  This will be the first extended study of present-day Asian American activism.  We develop and test community-engaged methodologies based on horizontal scholar-activist relations to develop the symposium and anthology.

Disquantified: The Humanities in the Age of Metrics
Christopher Newfield, English
Aashish Mehta, Global Studies
Heather Steffen, Chicano Studies Institute
“Disquantified: Critical Perspectives on Metrics Culture” is an interdisciplinary workshop and conference that will bring outside scholars to UCSB to review draft publications created by the “Limits of the Numerical: Metrics and the Humanities in Higher Education” research group, which has been collaborating for 3 years at UCSB to develop a cultural approach to the study of data cultures in higher education. It will also bring cutting-edge scholarship on data cultures to UCSB’s campus with a one-day conference open to the public.

Modeling the Pacific: Oceanic Research in Science, Technology, and the Humanities
Christina Vagt, Germanic and Slavic Studies
Wolf Kittler, Germanic and Slavic Studies
This international conference brings together scholars from humanities and sciences to discuss the history and function of measuring and modeling techniques for the scientific study of oceans, in general, and of the Pacific Ocean, in particular, and to connect the scientific mode of dealing with oceans and marine life with approaches from media studies, history of science, and literature. It is a cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Studies in Media Cultures of Computer Simulations (MECS) in Lüneburg, Germany.

Timely Intersections: Black Histories on the Page and Stage
Christina McMahon, Theater and Dance
Stephanie Batiste, English and Black Studies
To commemorate the Theater Department’s stage adaptation of the Civil Rights-themed middle-grade novel, Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, we are organizing an interdisciplinary symposium to explore the complexities of adapting Black histories to the page and stage. As both literature and theater have advanced causes of Black liberation across historical eras and genres, we will consider creative adaptations of Black (hi)stories as both conduit for social change and mode of education.  We also ask how intersections of Black histories, performance, and literature might forward education and critical thought about Black liberation causes as both crucible of national violence and world-shaping revolution.

Collaborative Arts Teaching Program Award

For community-engaged visual and performing art projects housed within UCSB courses.

Opera Outreach: Lucinda, a Children’s Opera
Isabel Bayrakdarian, Music
“Opera Outreach” is a course offered annually in the Department of Music as MUS A139/A239 and taught by Dr. Isabel Bayrakdarian.  It involves the preparation of operatic scenes (sung in English) and performed at various high schools and elementary schools in the Santa Barbara area.  In Fall 2019, a new initiative will involve bringing Grade 5 and Grade 6 students from various elementary schools in the Goleta Union School District to attend live matinee performances of the children’s opera, Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena (composed in 2016 by Evan Mack), performed at UCSB’s intimate Karl Geiringer Hall in the Department of Music. Based on the Mexican folk tale, Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena tells the story of how the poinsettia became a meaningful symbol of the holiday season. Written in a combination of English and Spanish, this lovely holiday opera transcends religious preference with its strong message of courage, hope, and transformation. This initiative will not only empower the students to identify and celebrate their inner strength, but it will also introduce them to opera, which is an art form that they probably have not experienced live.  One soiree performance is also being planned for the general community (UCSB faculty, students, friends and family).