A. CENTER'S PROJECTS
1. Haitian Religion Project -
This research is part of a larger Indigenous Religions
Project that the Center plans to pursue. Under the auspices of the Center for Black
Studies, The Congress of Santa Barbara, and Brooklyn College in New York, two conferences
on the theme, "The Spirit and The Reality: Vodou and Haiti," were
organized (see fliers and photos).
The first conference took place at UCSB on April 25 & 26, 1997 and the second at
Brooklyn College in New York City on April 3 & 4, 1998. The presenters were
commissioned to write chapters on the different themes presented at the conferences.
A book, The Spirit and The Reality: Vodou and Haiti, is under contract with The University
Press of Florida, and will be published under the auspices of the Center for Black Studies
and the Congress of Santa Barbara.
2. Disney Project: Culture of Illusion and
Illusion of Culture
3. Research conducted by Frederick Knight, as part of a
pre-doctoral fellowship to complete his Ph.D. in History from at UC Riverside.
4. Research conducted by Sheila Page-Edwards, Ph.D. candidate in
Sociology at the University of Oregon, and pre-doctoral fellow at the Center in 1997-1998.
B. GRANTS SUBMITTED TO OUTSIDE AGENCIES
Michel, Claudine: The Study of Indigenous Religious Traditions: New Paradigms, Alternative Discourse. With Jacob Olupona and Ines Talamantez as Co-PIs.
This proposal seeks funding to enable us to carry out a
series of planning meetings and research in Indigenous Religious Traditions. The
overarching goal of the project is to develop new paradigms and discourses in the study
and teaching of Indigenous Religious Traditions, especially in African Religions, Vodou
and Native American Religions. In the next academic year, the three scholars
involved in this project will conduct archival and library research. We will meet in
Davis and Santa Barbara to formulate challenging research areas and to write a grant
proposal, which will be submitted for extramural funding. The result of this
preliminary research on new paradigms and discourses in Indigenous Religious Traditions
will be published in journals and academic newsletters.
C. AWARDS ADMINISTERED
As mentioned in the Director's statement, in our efforts to bring the Center for Black Studies up to a level comparable with the other organized research units at UCSB, we have developed a comprehensive plan to encourage faculty to secure extramural as well as intramural funding.
Ultimately, the Center administered seven different grants in 1997/1998. The Principal Investigators are faculty in the Department of Black Studies and a professor with emeritus status. The funding agencies are: UCSB College of Letters and Science, Undergraduate Mentorship Program; UCSB Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Project Crossroads; The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; UC Office of the President, Urban Community-School Collaborative.
Excerpts from each grants abstract follow:
Akudinobi, Jude: Lecturer, Department of Black Studies: African Cinema and the Question of Meaning -- an interview with Jean-Pierre Bekolo, published by Third Text. Planting the Trees of Specificity -- an interview with Gaston Kabore, accepted for publication, spring 1999 (NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Arts). An undergraduate student and Black Studies major, Ndidi Oriji, transcribed audio tapes and assisted in collecting data for the project.
Berry, Faith: Professor, Department of Black Studies: From Bondage to Liberation: Writings By and About Afro-Americans 1700 Present, Publisher: Continuum Publishing Group. The Center provided some clerical support toward the completion of the book (Sept/Oct, 1998).
Daniels, Douglas: Black Los
Angeles Historical Research Project
Kennedy, Shirley: Jazz
Symposium UCSB 1998 Regents Lecturer Fan Shengqi -- two-week series of events with
Fan Shengqi. Mr. Fan is an accomplished musician, composer, arranger, conductor,
historian, and teacher. He plays jazz, both western and Chinese classical music, and
blends jazz with Chinese folk tunes in his compositions and arrangements. Fan
presented at a one-day symposium and performed with many other distinguished scholars and
musicians on campus (see Co-sponsored Activities). Dr. Kennedy has already produced a
video on the work of Fan, Jazz Odyssey, and plans to continue her research in the area of
jazz in China--an old American art form that has transcended international
boundaries. In this regard, jazz is an ambassador of African-American culture
overseas (click here for more details on the one-day symposium during
Matthews, Pamela, PI; Cedric
Robinson, Mentor: Cultural Representations of African Americans in Special Network
Robinson, Cedric: Black
Filmmakers. Professor Robinson conducted research on early Black filmmakers,
focusing primarily on those screenwriters, directors, and performers who produced movies
from 1912 (Bill Fosters Pullman Porter) to the end of their silent movie era in 1931
(due to production costs, Black filmmakers worked without sound for several years beyond
the introduction of talkies in 1927 by big studios). Since the earliest surviving
Black film (Oscar Micheauxs Within Our Gates) only dates back to 1919, and nearly
all the black films between 1912 and 1931 have been lost, the study of these films and
filmmakers requires reclamation from secondary sources. These sources are: newspaper
advertisements, notices and reviews (particularly Black newspapers like New York Age and
New Yorks Amsterdam News, Pittsburgh Courier, Chicago Defender, California Eagle,
Seattles Republican and Caytons Weekly, the District of Columbias
Washington Bee, the Boston Guardian, Atlantas Daily World) entertainment (Billboard,
Variety) and movie periodicals (Moving Picture World, Moving Picture News and Moving
Picture Magazine); special museum and library collections (George Eastman House in
Buffalo, UCLAs George P. Johnson collection); and documents housed at the American
Film Institute in Washington D.C. and New York. (For more
details on the project)
Smith, James: The Extent
to Which a Community Learning Center Affects Positive Results in the Academic Performance
of Students in Urban Community Schools.
Note: this project was recently awarded another
year of funding.
4. MINI-GRANTS AWARDED BY CBLS
Jones, Aaron: Alumni, Former UCSB AS President: Scholarship to participate as a first-hand observer/researcher in a research project on the current state of affairs in Haiti: Witness for Peace Delegation to Haiti January 8-22, 1998. The Center provided a modest contribution to complement Mr. Jones' grant from Witness for Peace. Mr. Jones went to Haiti with the delegation as a researcher examining the current political state of Haiti. Haiti is currently at a crossroads between real democracy or domination by US policies, US corporate interests and their wealthy Haitian allies. The individuals participating had the opportunity to: observe first-hand the Afro-Caribbean culture and religion; talk with peasant farmers, peasant womens groups, local community workers, urban factory workers, clergy and politicians; learn the history of Haiti and that of US involvement; investigate land reform and what it may mean for the people of Haiti and their future; see and hear about the alternatives which will help the people achieve true national sovereignty; learn how to be an advocate in the US for the Haitian people. (Witness for Peace: A Delegation to Haiti brochure, 1997.)
Tettegah, Sharon: Doctoral
Candidate in Graduate School of Education, Educational Psychology, UC Santa Barbara: This
mini-grant was used by Ms. Tettegah to offset the costs of completing her dissertation, Impact
of Teachers' Racial Identity Development on their Perception of Students' Academic
Potential. Ms. Tettegahs groundbreaking research systematically brings
cross-cultural and multicultural perspectives to the core of traditional psychological
research. The larger implication of the study, in addition to its obvious
contributions to teaching and learning in the classroom, is a clear analysis of the impact
of systematic oppression and racism on the cognitive and mental well being of school
children and of the American population in general.