B E T W E E N
t h e
L I N E S
A Publication of UC Irvine School of Humanities • Spring/Summer 2013
Am I An A**hole? By Aaron James
In a recent book, Assholes: A Theory, I define the term “asshole” in hopes of helping us clearly identify a bothersome type of moral personality. On my analysis, the term “asshole” isn’t simply a term of abuse—however abusively we use it in traffic. Properly used, it is the perfectly good name of a moral vice, like cowardice or slothfulness or callousness. Yet the vice is distinctive. It is perhaps not necessarily as bad as being a treacherous bastard, but usually worse than being a mere jerk, schmuck, or douchebag. My definition is this: the “asshole” is the guy (yes, they are mainly, but not only, men) who systematically allows himself special advantages in social life out of an entrenched (but mistaken) sense of entitlement that immunizes him against the complaints of other people. So, for example, the asshole is the guy who swerves through
three lanes of traffic, driving like he owns the road, cuts in line at the post office, and talks too loud on his cell phone in the café. When someone complains, he either walls them out or angrily objects that he is the one not getting the respect he deserves. He gets angry when people complain because, for one or another Aaron James reason, he feels entitled to the special advantages he takes. He might cut the post
office line, for instance, because he is rich, and because, in his view, his time is therefore more important than the people standing in wait. A natural question to ask is then who, in particular, qualifies as an asshole. But before we rush to judgment about Donald Trump, it is best to ask about ourselves: Am I an asshole? While it can be difficult to tell whether someone else is an asshole, in the case of ourselves we have a handy self-test: Consider the possibility that you are, really and truly, an asshole. If you feel ashamed of yourself in the thought of being an asshole, then you probably aren’t one (even if you pull an asshole move from time to time, as most of us do). If you don’t feel ashamed of yourself, and especially if you have a sense of pride, then odds are good
that you are, in fact, an asshole. This self-test is not as straightforward as Descartes famous proof of his existence, cogito ergo sum, “I think therefore I am.” It is not enough, according to the test, that you think you are an asshole. You could well be wrong about that, worriedly thinking you are an asshole when you really aren’t one. The test is a shame test: if you really are worried, from a sense of shame, you probably aren’t an asshole. But even if you don’t now consider yourself an asshole, if you feel a certain delight in the thought of being an asshole, and maybe a sense of pride, then you’re in asshole territory. Even this isn’t entirely straightforward from a philosophical perspective. Many assholes do seem to proudly own the
The “asshole” is the guy (yes, they are mainly, but not only, men) who systematically allows himself special advantages in social life out of an entrenched (but mistaken) sense of entitlement that immunizes him against the complaints of other people.
name. “Yes, I’m asshole, and proud of it,” the asshole might say while he is taunting those he mistreats. But here we might be skeptical about whether the asshole really means it, whether he really does sincerely believe he is an asshole, at least if my definition is correct. Why is that? Because the very idea of an asshole, according to my definition, implies that someone is wrong about what he is entitled to. The asshole is just the guy who takes special advantages from cooperative life when they aren’t his to have. He vigorously defends that position from a mistaken sense of entitlement. Now, this is no problem at all when we say of someone else that he’s an asshole; we are then simply saying that he is wrong. But saying this of ourselves is puzzling. To regard yourself an asshole, as assholes do, is then in effect to say that you are both right and wrong, that you don’t have the entitlements that you yourself, being an asshole, think you have. But isn’t that some kind of
contradiction? Is it even a coherent perspective? If an asshole could take that view of himself, is he not in some deep way inconsistent, in some deep way confused? Maybe, but here are three ways to explain what is going on. (I like the third.) (1) True assholes don’t really fess up. They truly believe they have certain entitlements, and so they won’t, if they are consistent, also admit to a self-description that is tantamount to admitting that those entitlement beliefs are wrong. So when an asshole says, “Yes, I’m an asshole; deal with it!”, he’s merely saying this for show. He’s saying, “Yes, I am what you all would call an ‘asshole’.” But he’s merely mentioning rather than using the moral term (he’s speaking “disquotationally” or in the “inverted commas sense,” as philosophers put it). The same would go for a psychopath who lacks moral concepts and yet says, “yes, what I do is
‘wrong’.” He doesn’t really believe his actions to be wrong; he merely understands how others would describe what he does and mimics that description, perhaps out of curiosity, or for purposes of better manipulating people, by being able to predict what *they* will call “wrong.” Likewise, we might say, for Milton’s Satan when he says “evil be thou my good.” What he really means is: “evil”—or what people regard as “evil”—be thou my good. (2) Or we could say that the asshole doesn’t really believe he is entitled to special advantages when he takes them. Maybe he takes them anyway, perhaps knowing, deep down, that he’s wrongfully making an exception of himself. In that case, he’s more like the insensitive jerk or dolt who won’t finally go to bat for his misconduct, except that, being an asshole, he’ll keep up a show of defense for an inordinately long time. He vigorously defends what he, in his heart of hearts, knows isn’t true.
we are probably wrong about something or other but then defend any particular belief when we consider the matter on its merits. (Philosophers call this the “paradox of the preface.”) Indeed, to different degrees, we are all more or less in this situation about our own beliefs: we think we must be wrong somewhere, but don’t know where. What’s special about the asshole’s situation, then? Well, his predicament might work like this. He’ll admit that some of his entitlement beliefs are wrong, in a way that makes him an asshole from his own point of view. But he sees no reason to find out which particular entitlement belief is mistaken. He just carries on without sorting out which of his particular errors he is making, mainly by ignoring the issue. Maybe he doesn’t care, or prefers the benefits he gets from being an asshole over the benefits he’d get from having a well-integrated mind. He’d rather be rich than perfectly coherent, for example. (And wouldn’t you, if you had the choice?)
“Maybe he doesn’t care, or prefers the benefits he gets from being an a**hole over the benefits he’d get from having a well-integrated mind. ”
(3) Or, finally, we might say that the asshole is incoherent, in a certain way, or at least stuck in a deep internal conflict. In his normal moments of defensiveness, he vigorously defends his specific entitlements, and he believes he has them, even “deep down.” Yet in a moment of reflection, he can also correctly admit that he’s an asshole, and that he doesn’t have a lot of the entitlements he usually thinks he has.
If we like, we can add that the asshole who calls himself an asshole (and really believes it) doesn’t take the fact that his entitlement beliefs are mistaken as a weighty reason to do anything about those beliefs. He’s wrong again on that score, since he really should think harder and better about what others can reasonably expect of him in specific situations. But this is of course just another instance of his general failure to see others as equals, another way he is “immunized” (as I put it) against the complaints of other people.
How is that possible? Well, it could just be a case of someone accepting a straight-up contradiction (the asshole believes “I’m entitled to X” while at the same time believing “I am not entitled to X”). This is irrational, but perfectly possible; people manage it all the time.
All of which suggest that it isn’t especially pleasant trying to get inside the mind of an asshole, even if some of us may well find ourselves already there.
Still more realistically, the asshole’s beliefs could stand in an unresolved tension. Maybe he believes “I’m entitled to X” and “I’m entitled to Y”, etc., while he also believes “A lot of my beliefs about my entitlements are mistaken.” That isn’t a logical contraction. In fact, we can all consistently hold that
b Aaron James is an associate professor of philosophy at UC Irvine. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard University and was awarded the Burkhardt Fellowship by the American Council of Learned Societies, spending the 2009-10 academic year at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. He writes mainly for academic publications and has plans for a book on social practices and global justice.
...56% still preferred reading on a printed page, while 28% preferred digital, either on a tablet, computer or phone...
DIG I TA L S TORY T E L L I NG
By Erika Hayasaki
In 1946, John Hersey published the 31,000-word narrative nonfiction piece, “Hiroshima,” which filled an entire issue of The New Yorker, and later went on to become a short book. In the decades that followed, dedicating that much print space to a single journalism story in a newspaper or magazine didn’t happen very often, and in recent years, with cutbacks in newspapers and magazines, some feared longform journalism would die altogether. But a shift toward e-reading over the last three years has led to an unexpected reemergence of the mid-length story — those pieces too long to be articles, too short to be traditional books. In the digital age, the 10,000 to 30,000-word story has staked its place as a viable literary form. These stories are now marketed digitally between 99-cents and $5—longform journalism that fits in your pocket or purse, designed to be read within a few hours.
Excellence in Writing and Communication, with additional sponsorship from the Humanities Collective, and staff support from the Department of English. The one-day symposium took place on Thursday, April 18 on the UCI campus, bringing together local and national figures working in high-profile positions in digital and traditional media and fostering connections between academic and public writers to discuss questions including: Is the novella making a comeback? How do storytelling techniques like the narrative arc and the cliffhanger
Example of an original digital publication available on In April, the UCI community Byliner’s subscription reading service. discussed, debated and celebrated emerging trends in digital narrative and storytelling, evolve with these changing formats? Is there a future for the traditional book? How can writers highlighting a cross-disciplinary interest in new make a living in this new era of publishing? How media and technology, “Digital Storytelling: A Symposium,” hosted by UCI’s Program in Literary have mainstream publishers and newspapers embraced or rejected digital formats? Journalism, the Department of History, and the Center for
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A Glimpse of Sylvia Reines
By Alisa Reines Cowden - September 2007
With commencement season upon us, we take pride in celebrating the many accomplishments of our amazingly talented students, faculty, and staff. Recent evidence also reminds us of the enduring relevance of the humanities and its incremental value for our graduates. Studies by the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Association of American Colleges and Universities confirm the value of the kind of broad preparation many business leaders have long been urging. These corroborate Canadian economist Torben Drewes’ 2002 study, “Value added: humanities and social sciences degrees– evidence supports long-term employment success,” still the only serious, longitudinal survey that tracks the value of college majors over time. While Drewes does support the notion that humanities and social science graduates experience greater difficulty in the initial transition from school to work, the longer term picture actually shows that within a decade or so they actually experience greater employment and higher salaries than graduates from other fields. With all the talk today about ROI, part of the discussion should address the long-term value of investment in education, rather than its more immediate benefits. Indeed, we educate our majors not for a single job (that in all likelihood will soon become obsolescent) but by providing portable skills in communication and critical thinking we prepare them for a lifetime of professional achievement in any number of careers and jobs, many of which may not yet exist. All this to say that the humanities need to be understood and supported as a success story, both as an excellent career path and as a formative set of experiences that enrich every part of our lives with meaning and opportunity. Among the many signs of our recent success, let me mention the following few while extending my heartfelt congratulations: Ngugi Wa Thiong’o has been honored
with the 2013 UCI medal, the campus’s highest honor; other kudos: Julia Lupton, named Guggenheim Fellow; Cecile Whiting, Chancellor’s Professor; Keith Nelson and Hillis Miller, Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professors; Rebecca Davis, Humanities Professor of the Year; Daniel Gross, TA and Professional Development Award; Allison Perlman, 2013 Humanities Teaching Award. (For a complete list of faculty awards and honors see page 9.) Finally, I want to thank the many folks in leadership positions who will be completing their terms in office: Associate Dean, Sharon Block; English Chair, Julia Lupton; European Languages and Literatures Chair, Gail Hart; Spanish and Portuguese Chair, Horacio Legras; History Chair, Jeff Wasserstrom; Comparative Literature Chair, Susan Jarratt; Classics Chair, Andrew Zissos; and Equity Officer, Heidi Tinsman. You have been simply terrific to work with, and I know the entire School and campus appreciates the hard work and devotion you have shown. My thanks to all of you for a terrific year and best wishes as we move forward into a new and ever more exciting future!
Georges Van Den Abbeele , Dean
Visit the School of Humanities online at www.humanities.uci.edu for up to the minute news on events, faculty, students, and general happenings in the school.
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Los Angeles County sheriff ’s deputy Charlie Hood is working undercover for the Feds and struggling to stop the flow of guns to Mexico. In The Famous and the Dead, the sixth and final book in his bestselling Charlie Hood series, T. Jefferson Parker ‘76 “delivers a tale that is not only well-plotted and suspenseful, but subtle, surprising and endearingly perverse,” writes Patrick Anderson of The Washington Post.
What is the difference between a Kindle Single and a Nook Snap? Is an Apple Quick Read as quick as a Kobo ShortRead? And just how long, or short, are #Longreads?
In his newest novel, Return to Oakpine, Ron Carlson takes us to the small town of Oakpine, Wyoming, and into the lives of four men trying to make peace with who they are in the world. In high school, these men were in a band. With Carlson’s characteristic grace, we learn what has become of these friends and the different directions of their lives. Now that they are reunited, getting the band back together might be the most important thing they can do. In the Shadow of Blackbirds, the debut novel from English alum Cat Winters ’93, takes place in 1918, is set against the backdrop of the deadly Spanish flu and World War I. Sixteenyear-old Mary Shelley Black tragically loses her first love. When he returns to her in spirit form, Mary seeks to uncover the truth about his death. Part romance, part mystery and part ghost story, haunting period photographs add to the horror-story-like feel of this atmospheric novel.
“Digital Storytelling: A Symposium,” featured guest speakers including Mark Bryant, the editor-in-chief of Byliner, a San Francisco-based company that launched in April 2011, devoted specifically to longform (or mid-length) journalism and fiction. The company has seen unprecedented success, with one of its nonfiction stories making it to the top of The New York Times bestseller list last year — an impressive feat, since the 20,000-word narrative was competing against fulllength traditional books. This year, two of its stories are National Magazine Award finalists. The event also featured speakers from The Atavist, a Brooklyn-based digital publisher that has layered music, maps, videos, audio, and animation into its nonfiction narratives. The Atavist offered a digital storytelling “master class” that was open to the campus and public. Other guest speakers included editors from the Los Angeles Review of Books, New York-based Longform.org, Noir (a Los Angeles-based digital publication for crime stories), and Matter, a science and technology based longform journalism organization that raised over $140,000 through Kickstarter. Other panelists included Mike Sager, bestselling author and award-winning reporter for Esquire magazine, who also founded The Sager Group, a consortium of multi-media artists and writers. There was also a live Longform podcast interview with National Magazine award winner Vanessa Grigoriadis, a contributing editor at New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. The UCI symposium built upon topics discussed last year in a lecture course, “Narratives in a Digital Age,” launched by the school’s Program in Literary Journalism. The popular course welcomed 70 tweeting,
tumblring, instagramming, facebooking students who arrived on the first day armed with their devices: about 37% of the class owned iPads, Kindles, Nooks or other tablet reading devices, according to an informal survey.
However, 56% still preferred reading on a printed page, while 28% preferred digital, either on a tablet, computer or phone, and 16% liked reading both print and digital. However, most students still valued the paper page — 72% of them believed the future of publishing would be a blend of print and digital, while the rest believed it would be solely digital.
By Colleen Bromberger ‘13, fourth-year history major
Whatever the future of publishing looks like, one point can’t be ignored: “The new digital venues and publications convincingly demonstrate that long-form narrative nonfiction can survive and flourish in the age of the Internet,” said Barry Siegel, Director of the UC Irvine Literary Journalism Program. “Despite epochal change, literary journalists still have many places—in fact, more places than ever—where they can tell their story.” Erika Hayasaki is an assistant professor of English. She spent nearly a decade as a reporter covering breaking news and writing feature stories for the Los Angeles Times, where she was a staff metro reporter, education writer, and New York-based national correspondent. She has published more than 800 articles for the Times and has worked as a reporter for other newspapers such as the Tampa Tribune and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. She recently published “Dead or Alive,” a Kindle Single about her journey to understand near-death experiences.
A New Face in History and Religion At the beginning of the fall quarter 2012, the Department of History appointed Dr. Matthias Lehmann as the Teller Family Chair in Jewish History. Before this appointment, the Teller Chair had been vacant for six years. However, with Dr. Lehmann hired as the director of the Jewish studies program, as well as an affiliated faculty member in both the religious studies program and the history department, the School of Humanities hopes there will be a considerable amount of growth both in Jewish studies and in the religious studies program. Lehmann, born in Germany and educated at the University of Berlin, specializes in history and Jewish studies. He studied during his postdoctorate years in both Jerusalem and Madrid, where he narrowed his area of study to Sephardic Judaism. Eventually, he moved to Matthias Lehmann Indiana Bloomington University, where he spent 10 years teaching at its Jewish studies program, and last fall made the official move to Irvine. Lehmann now sees the department’s growth as “cautiously optimistic,” with many goals within sight, such as an endowed chair in Israel and Jewish studies, scholarships for study abroad in Israel, and funding to keep the Hebrew language program alive. “I propose to grow religious studies and draw people from the wider community to our events, but my main mission is to teach students, so there is still much left to do,”
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Eight Questions with Cat Winters
Humanities staff chats with author and English alum Cat Winters ‘93
Lehmann has already begun to achieve his goal by implemented several new courses offerings through the Humanities, including History 100W, “Jews in the Age of Discovery,” and History 132H, “3 Religions 3000 years.” In an increasingly difficult academic climate, especially for the discipline of humanities, the reinstatement of an ethnic studies program could seem unwise due to the need for expenditures; however, Lehmann is not perturbed. “I don’t think it is a difficult climate [for the reinstatement of Jewish studies] since the Humanities are central to any major,” Lehmann said. “It does teach certain skills, as well as to think about other cultures, literatures and traditions, which is a good way to facilitate reading and writing.”
1) Your debut novel In the Shadow of Blackbirds was released in April. Tell us a little bit about your book. How did it come about? Winters: In the Shadow of Blackbirds is the story of a sixteen-year-old girl named Mary Shelley Black who’s forced to deal with WWI-era America, the deadly 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, and the early1900s trend of turning to séances and spirit photography to cope with grief. She’s a highly educated, scientific, rational young woman whose world is turned completely upside down when she starts to see the ghost of her first love, who was killed in battle overseas.
“We have a different way of producing knowledge in the Humanities that not everyone appreciates. [However,] in order to have a functioning democracy, the way that Humanities teaches you to think is crucial because it is about the art of interpretation.”
The novel came about after I had been struggling for years to get published in the adult fiction market. After failing to sell a contemporary suburban satire to publishers, I spoke with my agent about an older manuscript of mine that also dealt with WWI, the Spanish influenza, and Spiritualism. She read the Cat Winters novel and loved the setting, but she thought I should take the story in an entirely different direction. By that point I had been immersing myself in a great deal of 1918 research, and shortly after our conversation, the plot and characters of In the Shadow of Blackbirds fell into place.
Article originally appeared in the January 29, 2013 issue of New University.
2)Tell us a little bit about the research you did for In the Shadow of Blackbirds.
The program of religious studies is an interdisciplinary program that seeks to integrate classes from different majors, as well as schools, including: Social Science, Social Ecology, Medicine and the Arts. “Religious studies allows you to explore other cultures,” Lehmann said. “We live in a global age, and we can’t escape the reality of our global environment. Therefore, religious studies is to prepare people for the world, and eliminate the ‘us vs. them’ type of thinking.” Lehmann stresses that in order to function to the best of its ability, humanity requires an understanding of different cultures in order to broaden perspectives and allow for a more tolerant approach to life. “I may not convince a science person to add a minor in religious studies, but they might end up taking a class or two. It still has a place in higher education: to enhance humanities skills,” Lehmann said.
FACULTY AWARDS & HONORS Bridget Cooks – James A. Porter & David C. Driskell Book Award in African American Art History Rebecca A. Davis – Humanities Professsor of the Year Margaret Gilbert – Honorary President of the World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research David Goldberg – World Technology Network 2012 Education Innovator award Daniel Gross, English – TA and Professional Development Award Erika Hayasaki – Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Education Jeffrey Helmreich – 2013 Jean Hampton Prize, from the American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Felicidad “Bliss” Lim – fellowship from the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Kyoto Julia Lupton – Guggenheim Fellowship Lyle Massey – Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Ali Meghdadi and Philip Walsh – Pedagogical Fellows Keith Nelson and Hillis Miller – Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professors Rachel O’Toole – 2013 Latin American Studies Association Perú Flora Tristán Prize Allison Perlman – 2013 Humanities Teaching Award James Porter – Spring 2013 Collaborative Award in the Humanities Collective Renee Raphael – Selected as the 12-13 Fellow at the Villa I Tatti, Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies Professor Emeritus Jaime Rodriguez – inducted to the Academia Mexicana de la Historia Vicki Ruiz – selected as one of two nominees for President-elect of the AHA Ngugi wa Thiong’o – recipient of the 2013 UCI Medal Cecile Whiting – Chancellor’s Professor
Winters: I used numerous reference books that covered everything from food rationing in WWI to Harry Houdini’s encounters with Spiritualism. I also pored over archival WWI letters, personal accounts of the Spanish influenza, 1918 photos (ten of which appear in the novel), silent films, newsreels, and literature from the time period. I’ve lived in the novel’s two primary locations, Portland, Oregon, and San Diego, California, and I’ve been a member of the San Diego Historical Society. I’ve included links to some of my favorite research websites and reference books at www. blackbirdsnovel.com. 3) Why did you pick that particular time period—right during the flu pandemic and near the end of WWI? What was the most surprising thing you learned about that time? My interest in the time period goes back to a TV show I watched when I was twelve years old: Ripley’s Believe It or Not! There was an episode about the Cottingley Fairies, a real-life story involving two girls in England who, in 1917 and 1920, claimed to photograph fairies behind their house. I can remember the narrator saying that even adults believed the fairy photos were genuine due to the fact that the World War I era was so horrifying. That story and that statement about the time period really stuck with me, and when I decided to write about early-twentieth-century Spiritualism, I dug into the history of 1918 and discovered exactly why it was so awful. The most surprising thing I learned about was the mistreatment of German-Americans and the paranoia of looking un-American. German street names were given new, patriotic names, German immigrants were bullied and, in extreme cases, lynched, and because of the 1917 Espionage Act and 1918 Sedition Act, anyone who expressed anti-war sentiments in America risked prison. 4) What is the story behind the photographs that are featured throughout your novel? Winters: I wanted to include archival photographs in the novel for two reasons: 1) Photography plays an enormous role in the plot. 2) The history I chose to write about is so surreal and hard to believe that at least one early reader thought I was making some of it up. I felt compelled to prove that this strange and
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Continued from page 9... sad historical atmosphere really existed. I included photos from the flu and the war, a real-life early-20th-century séance picture, spirit photography, and WWI propaganda posters. 5) Was there a book or series that you read growing up that inspired you? Winters: My favorite novel in high school was Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. I loved the book’s gothic English setting and the glamorous late first wife, who isn’t technically a ghost, but her presence haunts the novel just the same. Most importantly, I adored the twist at the book’s end. When I was sixteen, I wrote my own Rebecca-style novel in three spiral notebooks and practiced the art of creating unexpected endings. I’m hoping readers will react to the turn of events in In the Shadow of Blackbirds the same way I responded to du Maurier’s deliciously surprising finale. 6) What’s the most difficult aspect of writing for a younger audience? Winters: When I first started writing In the Shadow of Blackbirds, I read several YA bestsellers to get a feel for the types of book that were topping the charts. Those novels didn’t seem to be like anything I was planning to write, and I worried I wouldn’t be able to create a book that would appeal to teens. Thankfully, I attended a Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators convention in New York, and the keynote speaker, New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray, urged us all to write for the teenagers still inside of us. Once I heard that advice, I let go of all my fears and wrote the type of story I would have loved as a teen. 7) Do you have any advice for prospective writers?
Winters: Read books by talented authors—books so astounding and brilliantly worded that you feel compelled to make your own writing better. Always keep challenging yourself. 8) Do you have a new book in the works? Winters: Yes, I’m working on another gothic historical YA novel. I need to keep details about the book under wraps for now, but hopefully I’ll get to announce more news about it soon. To find out more about Cat Winters visit www.catwinters. com, facebook.com/catwintersbooks, twitter.com/catwinters, and the official In the Shadow of Blackbirds website: www. blackbirdsnovel.com.
IN MEMORIAM: Sam McCulloch
Dr. Samuel Clyde McCulloch, founding dean of the School of Humanities at UC Irvine and professor emeritus of history, died on May 13. He was 96.
Born and raised in Ararat, Australia, McCulloch came to the United States in 1937. He received his BA and PhD in history from UCLA. A specialist in Australian and British Empire history, he taught at Oberlin, Amherst, University of Michigan and Rutgers before moving to San Francisco State (now San Francisco State University) as Dean of the College. In 1963 he came to UCI, serving as Dean of Humanities and a founding member of the Department of History when the campus was still in its planning stage. In the course of his career he published three books in Australian History, over forty articles, and some 90 book reviews, remaining so active in his field that he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Conference on British Studies in 1995. Retaining close ties with Australia, he served as Fulbright Research Professor at Monash and Melbourne Universities in 1970 and as EAP Study Center Director in Melborne in 1986-1987. Early on McCulloch recognized the importance of documenting the history of the UCI campus. He collected clippings, memos, records, stories, and letters and conducted oral history interviews with key campus figures including Chancellors Daniel Aldrich and Jack Peltason, Nobel Laureates Sherwood Rowland and Frederick Reines, and president of the Irvine Company, Ray Watson. Upon
retirement, he was officially designated “UCI Historian” by then-Chancellor Jack Peltason. Using his extensive collection of historical material and interviews with more than 100 prominent members of the UCI campus, in 1996 McCulloch published Instant University, a history of the UCI campus from 1957 to 1993. Instant University was the first published history of UC Irvine. It provided insight into the acquisition of the campus site from the Irvine Company, the organization of the University’s Schools, the struggles involved in acquiring a medical school, and the difficulties of dealing with a fluctuating economy. McCulloch tells UCI’s story not only as a historian, but as a participant and observer of these events. Samuel, or “Sam” as he was affectionately known, had a profound influence thac can be felt even today. As dean, he laid the foundation for Humanities by recruiting and retaining world-class Dr. Samuel McCulloch faculty. He chaired the Academic Senate from 1978 to 1980 and served as president of the Friends of the Library. Each year the School of Humanities presents the Samuel and Sara Ellen McCulloch Undergraduate Award to an outstanding history undergraduate chosen for their academic performance. In 2009, McCulloch donated his papers to UCI Special Collections and Archives. These include correspondence, research notes, clippings, and bibliographies. Numerous interviews from the Samuel McCulloch Oral Histories are available at the Online Archive of UCI History. Sam was a constant fixture at campus events well into his nineties, keeping tabs on UCI’s progress and forming bonds of friendship with subsequent Humanities deans. He and Sally were regulars at the University Club, where the library bears his name. He served as moderator of the University Club Forum, a weekly luncheon and lecture series featuring the activities and research of the UCI faculty, from 1981 to 2008. “Dad loved UCI and all the people there,” says his son David McCulloch. “He put his heart and soul into the University. Going to Basketball was a must since 1965. So were performances at the Barclay and most of all, knowing his students. He was a teacher first. They will tell you that.” McCulloch is survived by his wife Sally; children Ellen, David and Malcolm; five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. If you would like to make a gift to the School of Humanities in memory of Sam McCulloch contact Nicole Balsamo, Director of Development, at 949-824-2329 or send a check payable to UCI Foundation to Nicole Balsamo, Director of Development; 4100 Humanities Gateway Building ; Irvine, CA 92697-3376. Please note on the memo line that the gift is in memory of Sam McCulloch.
Between the Lines is published quarterly by the UC Irvine School of Humanities Office of Development and Alumni Relations Contact Emily Stone at 949.824.1605 or firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the mailing list or to update your e-mail address.