Winter 2021 IHC Award Winners

Winter 2021 IHC Award Winners

February 4, 2021

The IHC is pleased to announce the results of its Winter 2021 awards competition. Congratulations to the winners of IHC Graduate Collaborative and Visual, Performing, and Media Arts Awards!


Awards of up $1,500 to support graduate student collaboration beyond the confines of particular departments and disciplines, both within the arts and humanities and between the arts and humanities, social sciences, and sciences

A Wakeup Call for Climate Justice? Indigenous Knowledges Respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic. A Project of Online Dialogues
Sylvia Cifuentes, Global Studies
Julia Fine, Linguistics
Erica Akemi Goto, Geography
Alexander Karvelas, Music

The project will comprise a series of global dialogues/webinars with Indigenous leaders, healers, scholars, and allied scholars in India, Ecuador, and California. These will explore the connections between 1) climate (in)justice, fossil fuel extraction and ecosystem vitality in Indigenous communities; and 2) Indigenous Ecological Knowledge (IEK), traditional medicines, health (in)equity and pandemics. The organizers seek to highlight Indigenous responses to COVID-19 that center ethics of communal care, landscape relations, and IEK. The project will critically examine the framework of “resilience,” which is present in scholarly and media descriptions of Indigenous COVID-19 responses but often applied with a colonialist lens that denies Indigenous agency.

Daigengna Duoer, Religious Studies
Keita Moore, East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies
Kaitlyn Ugoretz, East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies

With the explosive global growth of videogames, academic studies of gamic media are multiplying and crossing disciplinary boundaries. Yet scholarly conversations with ramifications for the overall study of videogames continue to occur in silos created by disciplinary borders. The future of videogame scholarship depends on our ability to overcome these boundaries and to create new transdisciplinary spaces for conversation. The GAMING + Project proposes to create a space online by inviting scholars from diverse fields to collaborate and share their research on gamic media through the production of open-access and bite-sized educational content such as short essays, videos, and podcasts.


Awards of up $1,000 to support creative work that uses its artistic medium in innovative ways to explore topics of humanistic concern

A Study on Cross-modal Generative Modeling for Visual Music
Sihwa Park, Media Arts and Technology

This project aims to 1) explore the possibilities of cross-modal generative machine learning (ML) modeling in visual music, and 2) examine the limitation that how the artist data as a stylistic bias in generative modeling affects expressivity through a comparative study of generative modeling with two different artists. Compared to the existing approaches that manually pair images and music or associate album cover art with songs in the album, this project attempts to use a more concrete sound-image relationship that can be found in visual music data to train a cross-modal generative model.

Climate Change Theatre Action
Lydia Borowicz, Theater and Dance

This production is being created as part of Climate Change Theatre Action, a global project that creates and disseminates short climate change plays to be produced in a range of formats. Borowicz will be working with students and faculty in the sciences and humanities to produce some of these plays as well as collaborating to form short new works that reflect work on climate change being done at UCSB. Culminating in two performances, students will have the opportunity to explore climate change as a lived experience and perform their findings for the UCSB community.

Hong Kong at the Crossroads
Yan Liu, East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies

Since February 2019, the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement in Hong Kong had continued unabated until the first half of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and a new national security law was passed. The Movement, therefore, has entered a new era. With Hong Kong at the crossroads, protesters have been trying to find out ways to effect political change while abiding by the law. This project intends to produce a documentary that offers the latest and most comprehensive account of Hong Kongers’ experiment with innovative forms of protest and assembly against the renewed backdrop.

Making Homes in the “Non-Existent”: Syrian War-Time Migration to Abkhazia
Gehad Abaza, Anthropology

As the ten-year anniversary of the Syrian Uprising-turned-civil war draws closer, it is important for scholars to research the sidelined consequences that war has on refugees and war-time migrants. This project focuses on how Syrians of Circassian who fled to Abkhazia, an unrecognized state in the Caucasus, creatively engage with their new houses in their ancestral land. Through a documentary-style photography project, Abaza will create a set of images that deviate from mainstream visual representation of refugees traveling from the Global South to the Global North. This project addresses the creative agency through which people navigate life after war.

Visit here to learn more about IHC funding opportunities.