This two-day conference critically examined the myriad ways scholars in Ethnic Studies at UC have expanded academic canons and disciplines, developed new theories and methodologies, and integrated their teaching and research with the struggles faced in peoples’ daily lives. The conference brought together over 30 UC scholars from a variety of campuses and from a diverse range of ethnic studies disciplines to explore and analyze how their teaching and research is employed to maintain a commitment to their profession, discipline, and the communities they are seen to represent. In addition to talking about their own research, presenters spoke indirectly about issues of plurality and unity in Ethnic Studies research. Discussion groups explored ways in which communication can be increased between Ethnic Studies programs, how to narrow the gap between communities of color and the academy, and the important role Ethnic Studies components must play in the current cultural, political, and economic landscape. The conference included a number of exhibits including a display of Ethnic Studies books by UC professors and a historical exhibit on Santa Barbara’s Chinese community.
The Center for Black Studies was the principal organizer of the conference and worked with a steering committee that included representatives from the Women’s Studies Program, Department of Chicano Studies, Department of Black Studies, Center for Chicano Studies, Department of Religious Studies and Department of Asian American Studies. Sponsors included the UC Office of the President, and at UCSB, the Offices of the Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor, Vice Chancellor for Research, vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, College of Letters & Science, Office of Affirmative Action, the MultiCultural Center, EPCA, and Project Crossroads.
Crystal Griffith, Filmmaker, director, teacher, and scholar, January 11: a screening of her feature-length film titled Del Otro Lado (The Other side). January 13 lecture and reception
Camille Billops, Filmmaker, director, February 8: a screening of her films Finding Christa which won the 1992 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, and Suzanne, Suzanne; February 10 lecture and reception.
Cauleen Smith, Director, February 15: a screening of her New York Urbanworld Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winning film titled Drylongso. February 17 lecture and reception.
Michelle Parkerson Director, February 22: a screening of her films titled Gotta Make this Journey: Sweet Honey in the Rock (1983) and A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lord; February 24 lecture and reception.
Julie Dash, Filmmaker, March 3: a screening of her film titled Daughters of the Dust.
April 10: A multi-media inclusive history performance showcase expressing students’ concerns about ethnic histories and identity in America. Performances and videos by the MultiCultural Drama Club (MCDC, Playsia, Skyline Dancers, Teatro Nopal and special guests
Edwidge Danticat Writer, April 14: Readings from her published works including National Book Award Finalist Krik Krak, Breath, Eyes, Memory and her American Book Award Winner, The Farming of Bones.
Marta Carlson, Scholar of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, filmmaker, and playwright, May 12: Her presentation examined the images of Indians in American Film and TV.
Myriam Chancy, Professor of English at Arizona State University, writer; her works include Searching for Safe Spaces: Afro-Caribbean Women Writers in Exile and Framing Silence: Revolutionary Novels by Haitian Women. May 18: Her presentation explored the issues of race, class, color, caste, nationality and sexuality prevalent in the fiction of Haitian women writers.
Franklin Odo, former chairperson and Professor of Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Hawaii; currently the Counselor to the Provost for the Asian Pacific American Studies Program of the Smithsonian Institution. June 2: Discussion about Asian Pacific Americans and their public representation through the Smithsonian Institution.
As in the past, the Center co-sponsored many events with other campus associations/departments and the local community:
Building Bridges: from Hate to Harmony, October 24; the Center for Black Studies, City of Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department, Santa Barbara Jewish Federation/Jewish community Relations Council, Santa Barbara NAACP, KCLU, Pro-Youth Coalition, County of Santa Barbara Human Relations Commission, Not in Our Town, Pacific Pride Foundation, La Casa de la Raza, Baha’i Faith, Latinos for Better Government, Women’s Economic Ventures and the Santa Barbara Society for Jewish Secular Humanism, among others co-sponsored this day of special presentations, breakout sessions and music and dance performances.
Dia De Los Muertos, October 30, a public cultural event that celebrated the Spanish-speaking community in Isla Vista.
Spiritual Politics in West Africa: A New Approach for the Third Millennium, November 18, a talk by Sheikh Abdoulaye Dieye, Spiritual Leader and Presidential candidate, Senegal, West Africa
Black History Month, a series of special events throughout February, sponsored by the UCSB MultiCultural Center.
30 Years of Writing and Activism for Justice and Political Change, February 8, a lecture and reading featuring Barbara Smith, an author and independent scholar.
Megan Vaughan, Professor of Commonwealth Studies, University of Oxford, March 2: Masculinities under Slavery: Mauritius in the Eighteenth Century.
Catherine Davies, University of Manchester, May 18: The Feminist-Abolitionist Novel ‘Sab’ and Cuban Slavery in the 1830’s.
(Re) Encounters: North America and the Portuguese-Speaking World(s), June 6: this one-day conference included a screening of Flora Gomes’ The Blue Eyes of Yonta.
The George Washington Carver Scholarship Club, June 25: scholarship awards ceremony.