S&J Colleague Charis Thompson Receives Honorary Doctorate from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Science & Justice Research Center colleague Charis Thompson received an honorary doctorate from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) on Friday, November 17 for her important contributions to the social study of emerging technologies.

Thompson is Chancellor’s Professor and Chair of Gender & Women’s Studies at UC Berkeley, Associate Director of Berkeley’s Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society, and Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics.

S&J Colleague Donna Haraway Receives Award from Yale and Discusses “Making Oddkin”

Recently, on October 23 and 27 2017, Science & Justice Research Center colleague and UC Santa Cruz Professor Emerita (History of Consciousness) Donna Haraway gave two lectures, one at Yale University and one at Duke University. Both lectures were titled “Making Oddkin: Telling Stories for Earthly Survival” and explored the possibilities of the intersection of science, art, and activism, as well as the responsibilities of living in the Cthulhucene, including the decolonization of contact zones. Yale University, from which Haraway received her PhD in biology, also awarded her the Wilbur L. Cross medal for Distinguished Graduate School Alumni, one of Yale’s highest honors. You can now see both lectures on YouTube (follow these links to watch October 23 talk at Yale University and the October 26 talk at Duke University). You can read about her honor and the events surrounding her trip to Yale’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) department here.

Hear SJRC Director Jenny Reardon on Radio Australia

Radio Australia recently aired an episode of its Big Ideas program featuring a talk by SJRC Director Jenny Reardon. The episode highlighted her research on genomics and justice, as well as her forthcoming book from the University of Chicago Press, The Postgenomic Condition: Ethics, Justice, and Knowledge After the Genome. Reardon specifically discussed the ways in which, despite the hype and real advances of genomic science in recent decades, genomics also has produced a pervasive “dis-ease” that must be addressed through a turn to justice as a guiding principle if the hope for a genomics that serves public values is to be realized. You can listen to the entire episode via Radio Australia’s website here and see Professor Reardon discuss her book in person on November 29 at UC Santa Cruz.

April 5 | Post Conflict Battlefield Landscape Recovery – or Not?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
4:00-6:00 PMLIDAR Digital Elevation Model of Fort Douamont and Surrounding Landscape
Engineering 2, room 599

 

The multiple forms of disturbances rendered by conflict upon landscapes around the world demonstrate that this anthropogenic agent is an incredible force that is capable of exerting an influence on the environment in a wide variety of ways, yet the bridge between geomorphology and environmental histories of battlefields is rarely made. This research associated with this presentation examines two case study battlefields, and how post-conflict land-use patterns are tied into what we see on the contemporary landscape of today. Also emphasized in the presentation are how various geospatial data collection tools and methods can be utilized with geospatial software to model the changes rendered to landscapes due to conflict, and to link these disturbances with modern land-use patterns.

Joe Hupy (Associate Professor of Geography, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire)
Joseph Hupy earned his PhD in geography from Michigan State University using soils as a proxy indicator for landscape stability following disturbances rendered by explosive munitions in World War One. Out of that research he coined the term ‘bombturbation’, which describes how soils are disturbed from explosive munitions, one of many forms of anthropogeomorphology where humans shape the landscape. The research surrounding World War One bombturbation led towards examination of other battlefields around the world, including research forays on the Viet Nam battlefield of Khe Sanh in 2007 and 2009. Research on all these battlefields relied upon a myriad of geospatial equipment and Geographic Information System modeling techniques. Out of that research and most recently, Joe has begun to use Unmanned Aerial Systems as a tool to gather data, and hopes to revisit other world battlefields in collaboration with other researchers in different disciplines using this technology as a tool.

In discussion with Science & Justice Graduate Fellow Jeff Sherman (Politics).
Co-Sponsored by the Anthropology department and the Center for Creative Ecologies.

March 1 | Telling the Truth: Objectivity and Justice

Illustration of the world melting4:00-6:00 PM
SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

The terms “post-fact”, “post-truth”, and “post-reality” are now being used to label the new era we have entered. We are already seeing the erasure of climate data from servers and websites, and purveyors of the truth, including climate scientists, journalists, and academics are being put on warning. (The Climate Scientists witch-hunt and the Professor Watchlist are just two of many indicators). Data refuge efforts are underway amid concerns that the incoming administration will wage a war on scientific expertise.

At the same time that it is of upmost importance that facts, truth, and reality be asserted to counter the normalization of lies and fake news used to obscure the truth and manipulate the public, there is a large body of scholarship showing the non-innocent and often times harmful use of these terms in ways that collude with the forces of power, including colonialism, racism, militarism, etc.

We are creating this cluster to help us think through these issues during these extraordinary times.

Convened by Karen Barad, our first two meetings on Objectivity & Justice proved to be generative. During our first meeting we talked about what the terms ‘fact’, ‘truth’, and ‘reality’ signal to each of us. At our second meeting we had a wonderful discussion of the last chapter of Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism and we came up with some different approaches we might useful take in moving forward. Science & Justice invites you to our third meeting Wednesday March 1st 4-6pm. We will begin with a discussion of Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. Even if you don’t have time to do the reading you are welcome to join us.

Here is a pdf of the novel, which is also available for less than a dollar on Kindle.

Feb 22 | Rick Prelinger, “Silence, Cacophony, Crosstalk: Archival Talking Points”

The Center for Cultural Studies hosts Rick Prelinger, an Associate Professor of Film and Digital Media at UCSC, as well as Founder of the Prelinger Archives and a board member at the Internet Archive.

Prelinger currently researches the political economy and aesthetics of archives. He produces live urban history film events made for participatory audiences and is in the early stages of a film counterposing the lived experience of city dwellers as shown in home movies with the pronouncements of urban theorists and historians.

More event information.

February 22, 2017 | 12:00 -1:00 PM | Humanities Building 1, Room 210

book

Spring Course | UCSC FDM 225: Software Studies

This coming spring term at UCSC, Science & Justice affiliate Warren Sack, Professor of Film & Digital Media and Digital Arts & New Media, will offer FDM 225: Software Studies, predominantly a history and theory graduate seminar. The course will meet in the Communications Building, Room 139 on Wednesdays from 3pm-6pm.
FDM 225 will incorporate a fairly extensive, hands-on project that deals with the artificial intelligence software used to generate stories automatically (akin to the engine in the Sims game that propels the characters).
The syllabus from my last offering of the course which is different from the coming spring offering in four respects:
  1. A number of new texts have been published on the topic since my last offering (spring of 2014), so several of those will be integrated into the readings (e.g., Federica Frabetti, Software Theory: A Cultural and Philosophical Study (2014)).
  2. I have a book manuscript for the MIT Press “Software Studies” book series that will be integrated into the readings.
  3. The hands-on, maker project described above involves modifying, extending and/or analyzing some software I have written.  You can get a preview of that software, a story generator, here (narrated by FDM PhD student Fabiola Hanna): http://fdm.ucsc.edu/~wsack/DecodingDemocracy/index.html
  4. On the first day of class (April 5th), I have two luminaries in the world of software studies and software art coming to speak.  They will both come to class to speak with us, but also be giving separate talks on campus:
    1. Matthew Fuller (Goldsmiths College, University of London) will speak at the Cultural Studies Colloquium on April 5th at noon in Humanities Room 210.
    2. Olga Goriunova (Royal Holloway, University of London) will speak at our Visual and Media Cultures Colloquium in Porter 245 at 4:00pm on April 5th(http://havc.ucsc.edu/news_events/2016/11/08/visual-media-cultures-colloquium-olga-goriunova)

Feb 17/18 | Democratizing the Green City: Sustainability and the Affordable Housing Crisis

 

democratizing-green-city

This two day conference examines a paradox: urban sustainability initiatives that are so vital in countering climate change can, through their improvements, contribute to driving up rents and driving out residents, and in the process, exacerbate sprawl, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change itself. Our speakers examine this growing link between environmental improvement and social displacement and ask: How is it possible to break this link? What would it mean to include affordable housing and equity within sustainability efforts? And what are the consequences—socially and ecologically—if we don’t?

 

February 17, 2017 5:00pm-7pm | Digital Arts Research Center 108
February 18, 2017 9:30am-6pm | Red Room, Rachel Carson College

We begin with a focus on the housing crisis that is transforming our own state and region. Renowned for greening and sustainability initiatives—from transit-oriented development to locavore food sheds to green building—California is also home to the most unaffordable housing markets in the country, including Santa Cruz. Thus greening interacts with gentrification and increased consumption, declining diversity and rising inequality, displacement and longer commutes, and multiple environmental health and ecosystem impacts, including habitat fragmentation, loss of groundwater, and increased carbon footprints. Our region, however, is not alone. We bring together a new generation of scholars, planners, and activists addressing ‘the housing question’ and green affordability crises across the Americas —in Mexico City and New York, Seattle and Medellin, Sao Paulo and Oakland— as well as emerging strategies for democratizing the green city.

For more information on the schedule, locations and registrations visit: https://democratizing-the-green-city.sites.ucsc.edu/

Organizers: Miriam Greenberg and Hillary Angelo, UCSC Sociology, Urban Democracy Lab/Democratizing the Green City NYC (NYU), Critical Sustainabilities Project (UCSC)

Sponsors: Urban Democracy Lab, The UCSC Sustainability Office, Rachel Carson College, UCSC Sociology Department, The Science and Justice Research Center

Feb 7 | TELLING THE TRUTH: OBJECTIVITY & JUSTICE

Illustration of the world meltingFeb 7 | 4:00-6:00 PM | SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

 

The terms “post-fact”, “post-truth”, and “post-reality” are now being used to label the new era we have entered. We are already seeing the erasure of climate data from servers and websites, and purveyors of the truth, including climate scientists, journalists, and academics are being put on warning. (The Climate Scientists witch-hunt and the Professor Watchlist are just two of many indicators). Data refuge efforts are underway amid concerns that the incoming administration will wage a war on scientific expertise.

At the same time that it is of upmost importance that facts, truth, and reality be asserted to counter the normalization of lies and fake news used to obscure the truth and manipulate the public, there is a large body of scholarship showing the non-innocent and often times harmful use of these terms in ways that collude with the forces of power, including colonialism, racism, militarism, etc.

We are creating this cluster to help us think through these issues during these extraordinary times.

Convened by Karen Barad, our first meeting on Objectivity & Justice provided to be a generative conversation on what the terms ‘fact’, ‘truth’, and ‘reality’ signal to each of us in relations to our own research. Science & Justice invites you to our second meeting Tuesday Feb 7th 4-6pm. Our second meeting will be dedicated forming different task groups while continuing to work together as a research cluster. Come get involved and come learn more about the structuring of our cluster at our meeting. We will begin with a discussion of Ch.13 of Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism (pp. 460-479). Even if you don’t have time to do the reading you are welcome to join us.

Food provided. Please join us.