IHC Programs to Explore Geography, Examine UC Commission Ideas
By ANDREA ESTRADA
The Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC) has two important yet disparate programs on the docket for the 2010-11 academic year. One will examine how globalization, environmentalism, cognitive science, and new spatial technologies are transforming our perception of space and place, and the other will take a look at the UC Commission on the Future and the recommendations of its working groups.
In a yearlong series titled “Geographies of Place,” the IHC will study how mapping, media, and imaginative labor have produced and changed ideas of place.
The series begins on Wednesday, October 13, with a lecture by Kim Yasuda, professor of art. In “Isla Vista: A Public Research Lab,” Yasuda will discuss the use of mapping technologies to explore how the residents of Isla Vista use their social spaces. She will speak at 4 p.m. in the McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB.
“UCSB is the perfect place to do this series,” said Ann Bermingham, the ICH’s acting director. “Not only do we have numerous faculty members whose work involves the study of space and place, but we also have resources such as an extraordinary collection of architectural drawings in the University Art Museum, an outstanding collection of maps in Davidson library, and a tremendously innovative interdisciplinary program, spatial@ucsb, which fosters spatial research and teaching.”
On Friday, October 15, Michael Goodchild, professor of geography, and members of spatial@ucsb will present “Tools of Mapmaking,” a workshop highlighting new mapping technologies and their applications in the humanities. More than just tools for finding one’s way, these technologies can tell stories, reveal previously unseen patterns and trends, pose political and social questions, and function as works of art. The workshop will take place from 1-4 p.m. in the McCune Conference Room.
Also in the fall, media arts and technology professor George LeGrady will present his work documenting everyday life in Cree Indian settlements in James Bay, Canada; and film and media studies professor Dana Driskel will discuss Flying A Studios and Santa Barbara’s early filmmaking history.
Other events will include a screening of the film “9 Star Hotel,” with a talk by Israeli filmmaker Ido Haar; an art exhibit titled “Snarled Megalopolis”; and a two-day conference on mapping.
Continuing last year’s “Future of the University” program, which examined the challenges facing UC due to the state’s budget crisis, the IHC will host a series of faculty forums centered on the recommendations of the UC Commission on the Future working groups. The groups made their recommendations to UC President Mark G. Yudof in June, noted Bermingham, yet despite their importance, they have received little analysis.
The topic of the first Faculty Forum, beginning at 3 p.m. on Thursday, October 28, will be the kind of knowledge students should acquire at the lower division and introductory levels of higher education, in order to become informed and responsible graduates of UCSB. To facilitate discussion, participants in this roundtable will post their position statements on the IHC Web site in advance of the event, along with relevant suggested readings.