Jan 9, 2017 | The Land Beneath Our Feet

The IHR Research Cluster on Race, Violence, Inequality and the Anthropocene presents

The Land Beneath Our Feet

A film by Sarita Siegel & Gregg Mitman

Followed by a conversation with Gregg Mitman & Donna Haraway

Monday January 9, 2017


Digital Arts Research Center 108

The Land Beneath Our Feet follows a young Liberian man, uprooted by war, who returns from the USA with never-before-seen footage of Liberia’s past. The uncovered footage is embraced as a national treasure. Depicting a 1926 corporate land grab, it is also an explosive reminder of eroding land rights. In post-conflict Liberia, individuals and communities are pitted against multinational corporations, the government, and each other in life-threatening disputes over land. What can this ghostly footage offer a nation, as it debates radical land reforms that could empower communities to shape a more diverse, stable, and sustainable future?

For more information, visit: http://ihr.ucsc.edu/event/gregg-mitman/

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Humanities Research, Institute of the Arts and Sciences, the Center for Creative Ecologies, the Science and Justice Research Center, and the Center for Emerging Worlds

Juana Alicia, “La Promesa de Loma Prieta” in the Oakes College Mural Room. Photo by Nolan Calisch for the Collective Museum, with permission.

Call for Action: UCSC community reaffirms commitment to shared #UCSCvalues

The UC Santa Cruz community is committed to social justice. It has rich ties among the arts, natural and social sciences, and humanities. Inquiries based on science-and-fact are supported in a robust natural world. This is our mission.

Read and Sign: a message from the UCSC community reaffirming our shared values

During a time when current political developments appear to threaten this shared mission, the UCSC community pledges to reaffirm their commitment to social justice. Read their message to support each other, their students, and mission.


Please share the statement. We invite your signature.

Statement Co-initiators:
  • Donna Haraway, Distinguished Professor Emerita, History of Consciousness Dept. Humanities Division, UCSC
  • Karen Barad, Professor, Feminist Studies, Philosophy, and History of Consciousness, and Co-director of the Science & Justice Research Center Graduate Training Program, Humanities Division, UCSC
  • Angela Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita, History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies, Humanities Division, UCSC
  • Beth Shapiro, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, Genomics Institute and Physical and Biological Science Division, UCSC
  • Mark Diekhans, Technical Project Manager, Genomics Institute, Baskin School of Engineering, UCSC
  • John Pearse, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Physical and Biological Sciences Division, UCSC
  • Jenny Reardon, Professor of Sociology and Founding Director of the Science and Justice Research Center, Social Sciences Division, UCSC
  • Rosa-Linda Fregoso, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Latin American and Latino Studies, Social Sciences Division, UCSC
  • Jennifer González, Professor, History of Arts and Visual Culture, Arts Division, UCSC
  • John Weber, Founding Director, Institute of the Arts and Sciences, Arts Division, UCSC,
  • Farnaz Fatemi, Lecturer in Writing, UCSC
  • Zia Isola, Director of the UCSC Genomics Institute Office of Diversity Programs and Co-Director of the UCSC Bridge to Doctorate Program, Baskin School of Engineering
  • Anne Callahan, Human Resources Manager, Humanities Division, Retired, Alumni Association Outstanding Staff Award, 2012, UCSC
  • Andrea Hesse, Academic Divisional Computing Director, Humanities Division, UCSC
  • Kimberly TallBear, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous People, Technoscience, and Environment, University of Alberta. UCSC PhD 2005

(Image Note: Juana Alicia, “La Promesa de Loma Prieta” in the Oakes College Mural Room. Photo by Nolan Calisch for the Collective Museum, with permission.)

In the wake of the 2016 Presidential Election of Donald Trump: a Statement from the UCSC Science and Justice Research Center



Dear Science and Justice Friends, Colleagues, Allies and Communities,

Like many of you, all of us at SJRC have been reflecting, re-grouping and gearing up for action in light of the November 2016 US presidential election. We are re-committing to our core values and standing in solidarity with all those threatened by state sanctioned violence and repressive policies. We will work to empower and support students, staff, scholars and scientists through collaborative research and action:

  • We will oppose threats to defund science, the Environmental Protection Agency and other crucial regulatory agencies, healthcare programs, and sanctuary cities.
  • We will oppose the surveillance and targeting of professors (e.g. the Professor Watchlist) and climate scientists, Muslim communities (e.g. the “Muslim Registry”), undocumented immigrants, and community activists from diverse backgrounds and movements.
  • We will support sanctuary campuses and safe spaces at UCSC, defend academic freedom in and beyond universities, academic freedom, oppose censorship and provide a platform for the views and research of our affiliates to create broad impacts across multiple audiences.
  • We will continue to draw on our critical resources as feminist decolonial anti-racist science studies scholars to re-claim and enrich our commitments to objectivity, truth and social and environmental justice. In the face of “fake news”, climate denialism, new instantiations of eugenics, and all efforts to de-legitimize and de-fund science, we will fight for situated, robust and responsive inquiry and critical engagement. We will work to make our concepts/categories adequate for the present moment.
  • We will build a public archive of the dismantlement of knowledge production, critical regulatory institutions, and healthcare and environmental infrastructures. We will track the efforts afoot to dismantle the EPA, repeal the ACA and privatize Medicare, and the attacks made against individual scientists, institutions, and disciplines.
  • We will support our graduate and undergraduate students in pursuing “seedling” research and community action projects that can rapidly and flexibly respond to the problems, questions, and mobilizations that are most urgent.
  • We will fight against racism, white supremacy, anti-semitism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, ablism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and misogyny, and assaults on poor and historically marginalized people both here in the US and worldwide.
  • We will continue to work from a place of caring response-ability, mutual support and fierce solidarity.

President Napolitano, Chancellor Blumenthal and members of the California Legislature have made statements to affirm their commitments to inclusion and diversity, and in particular in support of undocumented members of our UC community. We offer our unqualified support for all undocumented communities in California, and in particular support the UC’s commitment to the privacy and civil rights of everyone in our community. We stand with these leaders, and we promise to hold ourselves accountable when our actions and policies fall short.

In solidarity,

Science and Justice Research Center leadership, staff and faculty-affiliates


Nov 16, 2016 | The ‘Public Good’ of Genomics

The Science and Justice Research Center will host Steve Sturdy, Professor of the Sociology of Medical Knowledge at the University of Edinburgh, in a Working Group event that explores the question of the ‘public good,’ and how it has been thought of and variously understood within the field of genomics.

Lindsey Dillon, Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz and Gretchen Gano, Associate Director of Research for the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society at UC Berkeley will serve as discussants.

November 16, 2016 | 4:00-6:00pm | Engineering 2 room 599

Nov 09, 2016 | Cocktail Hour: Food Security and the Data Deluge

4:00-5:30pm | SJRC Common Room (Oakes 231)

The Science and Justice Research Center will host Madeleine Fairbairn, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California – Santa Cruz, and Zenia Kish, Teaching Fellow at Stanford University in a Cocktail Hour discussion.

Madeleine and Zenia will discuss their preliminary research into how the “data revolution” is reshaping efforts to address international food security on the part of development organizations, governments, and agribusinesses. As private global actors increasingly gather environmental and farmer-produced data from mobile phones, remote sensors, satellites, and agricultural equipment, food production and markets are being transformed by data infrastructures and algorithmic logic. There is potential for these new technologies to provide low-cost assistance to small farmers and valuable information for countries where official data collection is unreliable.  However, by making farmers into data workers, these technologies also have the potential to exacerbate existing vulnerabilities, further privatize responsibility for food security, and alter the way that smallholder knowledge is valued.

Madeleine Fairbairn is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2014. Zenia Kish is a postdoctoral fellow in the Thinking Matters program at Stanford University. She received her PhD in American Studies from New York University in 2015.

Nov 02, 2016 | Cocktail Hour: Making the Island Desert: Cotton Colonialism and the Long History of the Shrinking Aral Sea

4:00-5:30pm | SJRC Common Room (Oakes 231)

The Science and Justice Research Center will host Maya Peterson, Assistant Professor of History at the University of California – Santa Cruz, in a Cocktail Hour discussion.

The rapid disappearance of the Aral Sea over the years leading up to and since the collapse of the Soviet Union has been called “one of the worst environmental disasters in the world.” Yet the disappearance of the sea was no accident; indeed, Russians had predicted the shrinking – and eventual disappearance – of the sea long before the late twentieth century. The major Soviet river diversion and irrigation projects undertaken beginning in the 1960s can be seen as the culmination of decades of policies designed to transform the vast Central Asian region to the south and east of the Aral Sea into a cotton colony of the Russian and Soviet empires. These policies continue to have severe consequences for the indigenous people of the region and those who depended upon the sea for their livelihoods. Drawing on recent work in environmental history and the history of technology, as well as original research in Russian and Central Asian libraries and archives, this talk explores the history of Russian perceptions of the Aral Sea to see whether, rather than simply dismissing the Aral Sea crisis as a predictable outcome of Soviet gigantomania, considering the story of the sea’s disappearance in its longer-term historical context can help to illuminate the nature of the relationships between water management and power and to illustrate lessons about the consequences of technological optimism that human beings might do well to heed in future.

Maya Peterson is an assistant professor of history at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her research and teaching interests include Russian, Soviet, and Central Asian history, the history of the environment, technology, and engineering, as well as comparative empires. Her current book project, based on the dissertation she completed at Harvard University in 2011, is titled Pipe Dreams: Water, Technology, and the Remaking of Central Asia in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. The book examines tsarist and Bolshevik efforts to irrigate the Central Asian borderlands and how such hydraulic engineering projects reflected imperial and Soviet notions of civilization and progress, as well as Russia’s quest to be a European empire in the heart of Asia.

Oct 19, 2016 | Cocktail Hour: Affect of Water in Colombia

4:00-5:30 PM | SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231
Diana will share her work on the affects of water in Colombia in order to think about community based water management and the ways in which the water infrastructure built for the big agro-industries of banana and palm oil is constantly repurposed. She will also reflect on issues of scale in her own forms of intervention in relation to the rhythms and movements of the rivers and people with whom she works.

Diana Bocarejo is a Visiting Scholar at the Science and Justice Research Center and Professor of Anthropology at Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia.

Oct 05, 2016 | Cocktail Hour: Meet & Greet

Please join us for a beginning of quarter cocktail hour. In addition to a chance to celebrate the new academic year and enjoy each other’s company over nice food and drink, we will be welcoming new members of our community, and welcoming back others. We will also officially welcome the Center’s recently hired Assistant Director of Research and Academic Programs, Katherine (Kate) Weatherford Darling and the 2016-2017 Science and Justice Fellows!
This will be a great chance for everyone to meet the new faces in the Center and foster emerging collaborations!
Graduate students interested in the Science & Justice Training Program, please visit: Science & Justice Training Program. Faculty interested in supporting the Science & Justice Training Program or for more information on our Broader Impacts Initiative, please read: Broader Impacts.
October 5 | 4:00-5:30 PM | SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

Sept 28, 2016 | TJ Demos on Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology

The Center for Emerging Worlds, The Center for Cultural Studies and the Institute of the Arts and Sciences present a book talk with TJ Demos.

HAVC professor and influential art and visual culture historian critic TJ Demos will present from his new book, Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology.

DEMOS poster

September 28 | 5:30 pm | Humanities 1, RM 210