May 2 | What’s Left of Progressive Politics?

The Center for Emerging Worlds presents a Roundtable Discussion with Dr. Vijay Prashad, Dr. Lisa Rofel, Dr. Mayanthi Fernando, and Asad Haider

Dr. Vijay Prashad is Professor of International Studies and South Asian History at Trinity College, Connecticut and a renowned journalist. He was trained as a historical anthropologist and received his Ph.D from the University of Chicago. Prashad’s work addresses issues like race and imperialism, race and immigrant communities in the US, geopolitical changes in the global South after 9/11, the propagation of policies that produce and exacerbate income inequalities, the possibilities of political solidarities among social movements committed to progressive change in the world, and the role of national governments and regional alliances in the context of economic and political changes in the world.

For more information, contact sjetha@ucsc.edu

May 2nd | 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm | Humanities 2, Room 259

April 26 | Seeing Like a Valley

Seeing like a Valley seeks to bring together scholars, policy makers, artists and practitioners to understand the place of the Valley in shaping not just new technologies, but moral visions.  It will explore how these visions help and hinder abilities to see and respond to today’s pressing issues and problems: growing inequalities and entrenched forms of discrimination; political polarization; declining trust in institutions; changing labor practices.
At this first meeting, we will evaluate the project proposal and ask people to respond to the prompt:

I am in [this position].  From here I see …. in SV.

This is very much a project in formation, and we look forward to your input.  We feel it is a critical time to think with the Valley about how to disrupt in a manner that addresses the serious social issues of the day.  This requires a collective effort of people who can see differently and critically.

April 26, 2017 | 4:00-6:00 PM | Engineering 2, room 599

"Seeing Like a Valley"
SJWG Rapporteur Report
26 April 2017
Rapporteur report by Shun-Nan Chiang
The event was held in Room 599 of Engineering 2. Around 4 pm, there were around 20 people in the room. Some participants came to the event together or knew each other before the event. There were already some chats before the event began.

Jenny opened the event. She introduced what the Science and Justice Center does and cares about as well as the uniqueness of the center. Then she moved to the introduction of the event about “Silicon Valley.” She mentioned that It is an experimental event. She proposed several intriguing questions about “living with/next to Silicon Valley” and “who” is seen as  important or who belongs to the Valley.

After the introduction, as the tradition of S&J event, Jenny invited everyone to go around and introduce themselves. Several people were new to the S&J event or even from outside the campus. Some came particularly for the event. The issue of the Valley and the title of “See in the Valley” may successfully attract some new participants. During the introduction, several people followed Jenny’s opening introduction and expressed what they have thought of or their relevant experience about Silicon Valley.

Then Jenny introduced Joe and briefly mentioned how they began this project. And then Joe gave a full background of the project. He mentioned that the idea of this project is inspired by James Scott’s “Seeing Like a State.” From my impression at that time, many people in that room did not know who James Scott is so may not be able to relate to the idea immediately. Joe then explained the original idea of Scott’s book and pointed out the analogy/connection -- from tunnel vision of the state to the valley vision of companies. Then Joes continued to ask what moral visions of Silicon Valley are and tried to unpack the idea of “morality.” Then Joe introduced his vision about how technology is organized by material culture and talked about the idea of “solutionism.” He mentioned the example of Juicero, a new agrifood tech. Many people in the room knew the case and laughed. Finally, Joe briefly discussed the idea of “Seeing the Valley” and the plan for future projects, including a series of panel discussions about moral visions. During Joe’s introduction, the room was actually quite quiet. My own impression at that time is that I was trying to follow the ideas Joe was articulating and developing.

After Joe’s introduction of the idea of “seeing like a valley,” cultural historian Fred Turner is the first panelist who gave his vision of the Valley. He said “I see the legacy of American puritanism.” Then he emphasizes the idea of “Actual Valley” and introduced projects he has worked on to make visible the invisible part of the Valley. He thought there will be many connections between this S&J project and his work.

The second panelist is Katherine Isbister. She is a professor in Computational Media and introduced herself as a post-hippie. She shared her experience that the Valley has changed from a more idealistic and communal vision to the Valley today that she felt increasingly alienated from. She also mentioned the utopian vision of the Valley and the question how to better train future engineers. When I was listening to her sharing, I was surprised of phrases she used and concepts she articulated because she didn’t seem to be a typical computer scientist to me but more like a social science or humanities scholar.

The third panelist is Morgan Ames. She introduced her project about “One laptop left behind” and also made some allusion to "no laptop left behind.” Then she introduced her current project in marginalized communities in the Valley. As she positioned her research, she focused the communities that are "made marginal" and "proximate peripheries."

After Morgan’s sharing, there were some discussions about potential themes for this project, especially children. Jenny proposed to begin to put ideas on the big whiteboard in the back of the conference room. Melissa De Witte from Social Science Division volunteered to write ideas on the board.

After that, because the fourth panelist went out to pick up a phone call, and it was also around 5 o’clock, Jenny made the decision to have a break. Everyone then went out to have some refreshments. And there were also lots of discussions during the break, just like other S&J events.

It was around 5:20 when everyone returned to the conference room and began the second half of the event. More 5 participants had left during the break. Then the four panelist Michael Mateas shared his vision of the Silicon Valley. He thought there was a genuine utopianism that hoped to change the world for good in the past. As the chair of the Computational Media Department, he also mentioned since they will definitely be present in the Silicon Valley, he was wondering how that could be a transformative platform and how to actually intervene from inside?

Then the discussion opened up to all participants. Almost all participants share their thoughts, experience, or visions. Eventually the entire whiteboard was written with different ideas. Melissa did a good job organizing and sorting out thoughts when writing them on the board.

As the photos of the whiteboard show, participants have proposed many ideas from different angles. “Children” is a topic being brought up several times. Participants seem to think that the issue of children has a clear connection with the idea of morality.

Another important question that was touched several times is who the audience this project hope to speak to. Jenny mentioned many of those tech company owners do have good intentions and hope to contribute in some way. Thus, she asked do we want to reach out to them? From their experience, other participants also mentioned that these company owners will be interested in knowing new perspectives and ideas. Fred mentioned the Salon project he worked on. Other participants also proposed similar events that could bring different visions and different groups of people into discussion. Some participants then mention to bring in other marginalized or invisible groups of people also living in the Valley.

Spatial aspect is another focus. This indicates not only spatial relations within the Valley but also relationships of the Valley to other parts of the world. As some participants ask: “Where is Valley?” Some participants also mentioned the public transportation and google bus in the Valley.

Towards the end of the event, Chris Benner from ENVS/Sociology raised some interesting questions from a different angle. He mentioned that his first book is about the laborers in the Silicon Valley. Then he shared some statistics to show who lives in Silicon Valley. 34% of residents in the Valley are foreign born, many of them are latinos. He suggested that we should also try to invite some of the groups which work on the Valley to join the discussion. Joe and Jenny mentioned that some activists or activism groups working in the Valley were invited to attend the event but didn’t manage to make it.

At this point, I realized that except for few international scholars and students, it seems other U.S. participants are all white.

Margo from Harvard proposed that “Seeing like” and “Valley” are already good topics for future events.  

Before the event ended, Jenny and Joe raised the question about how this project could move forwards and what may be a format to communicate with each other. Then all the participants agreed to have a extra mark in the sign-up sheet if they are willing to follow up the project. The event ended around 10 minutes after 6 o’clock.

April 25 | Lunch with Uppsala

‘… what happened in Sweden last Friday’.
Mythologies and Methods in post-fact times

Tuesday April 25, 2017
12:00-1:00 PM
SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

Join Science & Justice in welcoming “Knowledge production beyond the norms” a transdisciplinary research node from Uppsala university, Sweden. Core of their scope of interest are the effects of political realities and epistemological assumptions that structure knowledge production, as well as the subversive potential of academic research – especially in relation to gender, sexuality, race and species, and in intersection with artistic investigations.

This seminar starts with short presentations by Uppsala University’s Ann-Sofie Lönngren (Associate Professor of Literature, Gender Studies) and MA-students Rebecka Göransdotter (Rhetorics), Cecilia Luzon (Literature) and Henrietta Olsson (Genocide Studies). As a background to the discussion, participants are advised to read this blog post by Irish media scholar Gavan Titley (Maynooth university): http://wildcatdispatches.org/2017/02/21/gavan-titley-in-trumps-sweden-or-malmo-switzerland/

“What happened in Sweden last Friday? You tell me.” This was the response many Swedes posted on their facebook-sites after US president Donald Trump’s address on February 18th, when he referred to an unspecified event in Sweden to strengthen one of his arguments about immigration. This was just one example of the kind of rhetoric that, at least since Brexit and the last US election, has come to be seen as characteristic for an era of “post-truth” and “alternative facts”. Although it can certainly be argued that facts have never been “pure” and that ideology is always an active part in the interpretation of the world, the material effects of the current political development on the academic production of knowledge need to be addressed. How do certain nations, times, species, landscapes, groups and individuals come to function as mythological tropes for political purposes, and with what effects? How can the academic challenges be defined, which matters are urgent to address in current and future productions of knowledge? What methods, theories and material are relevant to engage in order to construct potentially subversive, ‘just’ knowledge in post-fact times?

Lunch will be provided to those who RSVP to Cleo Woelfle-Erskine (cwoelfle@ucsc.edu) by Wednesday, April 19th with any diet restrictions. Seating is limited to 20.

April 19 | Food For Thought’s Unequal Healthscapes in California’s “Biohub”

Wednesday, April 19th
5:30-7:30 pm
Namaste Lounge

Hosted by the College Nine and Ten CoCurricular Programs Office, SJRC Assistant Director, Kate Weatherford Darling will present her research centering social justice and health inequalities in the discussion of biomedicine and US healthcare and policy. Asking the question: What would it take to build new California “healthscapes” (Clarke 2010) with visions of disability justice and health equity?

Unequal Healthscapes in California’s “Biohub”

California’s recent Tech Boom buoyed the Bay Area economy and transformed the political geography of the state and a global center of wealth. Venture capital / philanthropic investment along with public policies to promote “entrepreneurism” are rapidly changing the spaces, places of biomedical science and healthcare practice. In this talk, Kate offers an incomplete map of our unequal “healthscapes” (Clarke 2010), the cultural, economic and political terrains of health. Drawing on findings from her current and forthcoming research, she asks: What would it take to build new California healthscapes with visions of disability justice and health equity?

Katherine Weatherford Darling is Assistant Director at the Science and Justice Research Center and faculty in UCSC Sociology Department. Her research and teaching bridges Sociology of Health, Illness and Disability and Feminist Science Studies. Her current projects span diverse topics including: Post-Genomic epidemiology and HIV/AIDS science and health policy in the U.S. With UCSC and Bay Area collaborators, her new projects examine how the social and built environments of Bay Area’s tech and biotech economies are impacting the health of low-income Californians.

Flyer for Food for Thought

Flyer for Food for Thought

April 12 | Book Discussion with Victoria Pitts-Taylor

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
12:00-1:00 PM
SJRC Common Room Oakes 231

Join SJRC fellows and affiliates for lunch and a discussion with Victoria Pitts-Taylor, Professor of Sociology and Science in Society, and Chair of the Feminist, Gender, and Sexualities Program at Wesleyan University. Professor Pitts-Taylor will be discussing Chapter One of her most recent book The Brain’s Body: Neuroscience and Corporeal Politics. Lunch will be provided to those who RSVP to Kate Weatherford Darling (kdarling@ucsc.edu) by Wednesday, April 5th with any diet restrictions. Seating is limited to 20.

On April 13th at 3:30pm, Victoria will visit UCSF for a seminar and reception hosted by the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and sponsored by the School of Nursing Dean’s Office.

Details for the UCSF Talk:
Thursday, April 13th from 3:30pm-5pm
UCSF Laurel Heights Campus, Gay Becker Conference Room (inside IHA, 3rd Floor)
3333 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94118

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.

April 4 | Telling the Truth: Objectivity and Justice

Illustration of the world meltingTuesday April 4, 2017
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 have created this research cluster to help us think through these issues during these extraordinary times.

Convened by Karen Barad, our first three meetings on Objectivity & Justice proved to be a 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. For our third meeting we read and discussed Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. For our fourth meeting we have agreed to watch the film classic “Inherit the Wind,” and to continue our discussion of possible interventions.

Science & Justice invites you to our fourth meeting Tuesday April 4th 4-6pm. We will begin with a discussion of “Inherit the Wind” (available on Youtube). Even if you don’t have time to watch the film you are welcome to join us. And as always there will be snacks!

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

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