Page 1

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 2012

What’s in an Apology? By Carol Burke

On February 20, 2012, American soldiers in Afghanistan disposed of Qurans from the prison at Bagram Air Base by throwing them into a burning trash pit. When a couple of local Afghans working nearby discovered what was being done, they yelled for the soldiers to stop and reached into the fire to pull out the singed Qurans. General John Allen, commander of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) in Afghanistan, announced the next day that he had ordered an investigation into the incident and vowed that such desecration would not happen again: I offer my sincere apologies for any offense this may have caused. My apologies to the president of Afghanistan. My apologies to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and most importantly my apologies to the noble people of Afghanistan. I would like to thank the local Afghan people who helped us identify the error and who worked with us to immediately take corrective action. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta also apologized on the 21st, and on February 23rd, U.S. Deputy Defense Sec. Ashton

Carter met with Afghan leaders in Kabul and delivered a written apology from President Obama assuring the leaders that the desecration of the Qurans was “inadvertent” and

Professor Carol Burke (L) embedded with troops in Afghanistan

that “we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, including holding accountable those responsible.”


Although President Karzai called for restraint when the incident first became public, he later referred to the Quran burning as a “Satanic act” and advocated a 2013 withdrawal of all foreign troops, a demand he later retracted. He did, however, appoint a group from The Ulema, a council of senior Afghan clerics, to conduct its own investigation into the Quran burning. After that investigation, the Ulema refused to accept the apologies offered by the president and U.S. military leaders for what these clerics characterized as an “evil act” warranting a public trial. The Taliban also rejected the apologies, claiming that such words were mere “show,” and they called on Afghans to take revenge until “those who do such inhumane acts are prosecuted and punished,” to attack foreign bases and convoys, and to kill and beat soldiers as a lesson so that they will never again “dare to insult the holy Quran.” That call was heeded, and the two weeks following the recent Quran burning were plagued with widespread demonstrations, violence, and death.

Republican primary candidates, save Ron Paul, seized the opportunity to make political hay out of the president’s apology: Rick Santorum called Obama’s apology “unacceptable,” Newt Gingrich described it as “an outrage,” and Mitt Romney, the man whose autobiography is titled “No Apology,” insisted that it offered further evidence of Obama’s bungling of the war. Obama, on the defensive, justified the apology as something tendered to “make sure that our troops who are there right now are not placed in further danger.” Secretary of State Clinton defended the Obama apology likening it to apologies offered by President George W. Bush during his tenure. Most notable is probably Bush’s apology for the lack of swift governmental action in the wake of Katrina. In Afghan culture, apologies for offences committed against others enjoy a long history. It is only the new western-style legal system, bought and paid for by Western funds and

They fail to see that the analogy they make between the Bible and the Quran is not an apt one, that although Muslims treat with reverence the Bible and the Torah, they view the Quran as the literal word of God...

riddled with corruption, that fails to acknowledge the role of apology. An Afghan legal system that predates this less-than-a-decade-old western-style system and that still functions in many parts of Afghanistan is a system of restorative justice in which grievances are brought before local jurgas or shuras. These groups function like juries; they hear both sides and determine not only if a wrong has been committed but who is at fault and what the guilty party should do to make the victim whole again--a criminal and a civil system rolled into one. In this form of dispute resolution the apology plays an important role. An apology typically includes an admission of wrong, an implied or explicit promise not to commit the offense again, and an agreed upon restitution. This system, which places justice in the hands of trusted elders, often functions as a brake on a fierce Afghan honor code that demands, for example, that when a brother is killed in one family, a surviving brother must take the life of a member of the family suspected of the crime. When the apology is made and the “blood money” paid, honor is restored and violence averted. So why were the apologies offered by Obama and

others met with anger and violence? Some in the West blamed internal insurgents and external agitators (specifically from Iran) who exploited Afghan impatience with outside occupiers. Others faulted Karzai’s inflammatory statements. Still others, and I would include Islamaphobes in this group, pointed to the rage that erupted in the wake of this “inadvertent” act as further evidence of a religion that can easily turn violent. This latter group points to the fact that were a Bible to be burned, lives would not be lost. They fail to see that the analogy they make between the Bible and the Quran is not an apt one, that although Muslims treat with reverence the Bible and the Torah, they view the Quran as the literal word of God, an untranslatable word which must properly be read in its original Arabic. To disrespect the Quran is to insult God. Any Pashtun child in Afghanistan can tell you that it is improper for a non Muslim to handle a Quran and that if a Quran is dropped in the dirt by mistake, there are prayers to perform or fasting to complete in penance. For an adult who has mistreated the Quran, there is also the requirement that meals be provided to the poor or that the money to provide those meals be given to a charity.


The president’s apology misses the mark on both criteria required of apology. It comes with no token, no “sadaqah” or gift for the poor, and rings hollow in light of past instances, all published internationally, in which the Quran in American hands was desecrated:

• •

• •

In 2002 the International Committee of the Red Cross reported detainee allegations at Guantanamo Bay of mistreatment of the Quran by guards In 2003 a former prisoner, Abdallah Tabarak, told the BBC that guards tore up copies of the Quran and threw them in the toilet (Dec 30, 2004) In 2005, there were more reports of Qurans thrown into the toilets (Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan 20, 2005) Later that year, five former British prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay claimed that they had witnessed fellow prisoners who were sexually humiliated and forced to watch copies of the Koran flushed down toilets (Harford Courant, Jan 16, 2005) In 2005, the ACLU obtained copies of FBI reports containing detainee allegations of Quran desecration. Soldiers who had gone through SERE (for Survive, Evade, Resist, and Escape) programs to prepare for the harsh treatment that might await them if captured by the enemy reported that those acting the part of sadistic captors in a theater of captivity with the look and feel of the real desecrated the bible in similar ways. In support, two lawyers (M. Gregg Bloche and Jonathan Marks) who had experience of SERE claimed in an op-ed piece on Nov 14, 2005 that the commander of Guantanamo, Gen Hill, had applied SERE techniques on the detainees. Allegations that surfaced during the earlier Abu Ghraib scandal noted the similarity between the abuse of prisoners at the Iraqi prison and the simulated POW camp designed by the U.S. Army and supervised by American psychologists. In fact, one veteran I spoke with soon after the release of the Abu Ghraib photos

said, “What’s the big deal; that was what happened to us at SERE.” Other veterans I spoke with corroborated the ironic similarity. ACLU documents obtained in 2007 from the FBI included reports by FBI agents detailing “aggressive treatment, interrogations or interview techniques on GTMO detainees which was [sic] not consistent with Bureau interview policy/guidelines.” One detainee was gagged with duck tape, and the tape was used to cover his entire head and long hair. Startled, the agent asked the civilian army interrogator responsible for the detainee if the prisoner had spit at the interrogators. The unnamed Special Agent recounted the civilian interrogator’s explanation of why the detainee had deserved this punishment, “Mr. [ ] laughed and stated that the detainee had been chanting the Koran and would not stop.” Another interrogator bragged about making a detainee listen to “satanic black metal music for hours and hours.” (Responses, 35) One investigator was alleged to have dressed up as a Catholic Priest and baptized a detainee in order “to save him”. (Responses, 44) In May 2008, a U.S. soldier in Iraq was using the Quran, with an expletive scrawled across the front, for target practice. In March 2011, the Rev. Terry Jones burned a Quran after putting the holy text on trial for what he called “crimes against humanity.” With Jones serving as judge, the holy book was convicted and set ablaze. The news reached most of Afghanistan when President Karzai went on national TV and radio to denounce Jones’ act and call for American authorities to arrest the infidel.

We know from recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that toppling a regime in power can be accomplished more easily and more swiftly than the war of counterinsurgency that follows. We defeated the Taliban in a matter of weeks. For the last ten years, we have been trying to win a protracted war of counterinsurgency, America’s longest war. Contemporary counterinsurgency theory is based on a Maoist/people’s revolution rather than on the kinds of wars we are fighting today. These are wars in which religion plays a staring role. Our Western secular bias sometimes blinds us to the power of religion to define the enemy we seek to subdue and the populous we seek to protect till it is too late, till all we have is a hollow apology to offer. There is a familiar Afghan proverb that is apt here, “Avoid what will require an apology.” Carol Burke is a professor of English and the only folklorist at UCI. Through her ethnographic work, she’s documented the lives of Midwestern farm families, female inmates in our nation’s prisons, and most recently, members of the armed services. Burke was embedded December ‘08 - January ‘09 with a military unit in northern Iraq, and last summer returned to the Middle East, where she was entrenched with two combat brigades in Afghanistan. In recognition of her service, she was awarded a U.S. Army Superior Civilian Service Award, the civilian equivalent of the Bronze Star.


C A RV I NG O U T A SPAC E F OR V I E T NA M E SE A M E R IC A N S TOR I E S By Thuy Vo Dang

In every family there are unanswered questions or old wounds that may have been, however haphazardly, papered over in the collective construction of an agreeable familial narrative. For so many Vietnamese American families, personal wounds bleed into the broader strokes of history; specifically to the Vietnam-American War and its ensuing ruptures. To carry on, many of us must make sense of senseless loss and learn how to function within fractured families. In 1975, Vietnamese began leaving their homeland en masse; most were uncertain of where they would eventually end up. In the late 1970s and 1980s, Vietnamese refugees continued to enter the United States and the largest overseas population formed in Southern California. Currently home to over 340,000 Vietnamese Americans, Southern California is where we find a robust ethnic economy, “cultural capital,” and key site of political contestation over the parameters of Vietnamese American community and identity.

Photo credit Thuy Vo Dang

For these reasons, it certainly makes sense that in Southern California we begin to build a centralized collection of life stories of Vietnamese Americans. In the fall of 2011, the School of Humanities launched the Vietnamese American Oral History Project (VAOHP). Funded by a generous anonymous donation, the project assembles, preserves, and digitally disseminates life stories of Vietnamese Americans, particularly focusing on the refugee or immigrant generation. This generation is comprised of those who left Vietnam and traversed oceans, leaving their homeland during a time of great turmoil and under the watchful eyes of the world. They are those who remember a nation no longer there (South Vietnam) and can offer a unique perspective on an era that mainly resonates as military defeat and disillusionment for the American public. Vietnamese American stories are diverse and complex, full of unspoken remembrances and derelict yearning. In the United States, public documentation and commemoration of the Vietnam era privilege American lives and American losses. In postwar Vietnam, Vietnamese refugees who fled were initially considered traitors and disavowed by the nation so that generations born after the Vietnam-American War learn an incomplete history. Thus, within both U.S. and Vietnam histories, Vietnamese refugee and immigrant stories have been marginalized. The VAOHP carves out a space for some of these stories, intervening in the production of knowledge about Vietnamese Americans so that we may have a more nuanced understanding of the past. During the winter quarter, I taught a course called “Vietnamese American Experience” through the

Little Saigon during Tet Parade, January 28, 2012.

Continued on page 6...

Vietnamese American stories are diverse and complex, full of unspoken remembrances and derelict yearning...


A Glimpse of Sylvia Reines

DEAN’S MESSAGE

By Alisa Reines Cowden - September 2007

ranked UCI number one in Critical Theory, a historic strength of our School. Many colleagues have received prestigious Guggenheim, ACLS, Fulbright, and NEH fellowships as well as coveted book prizes in their fields. I gratefully acknowledge four “scary smart” individuals who have devoted considerable time away from their own groundbreaking research to serve as Associate Deans of Undergraduate and Humanities Gateway stands as a testament to the Graduate Studies. Sharon Block, Rodrigo Lazo, hard work of our behind-the-scenes professionals. Glen Mimura, and James Steintrager have brought Colin Andrews and former Assistant Dean their exemplary problem solving skills, goodwill, Katherine Haines can take much of the credit for and compassion to pivotal leadership roles in one of the most beautiful buildings on campus the School. I also acknowledge the incredible and one of the most nationally recognized. The development team that guides our successful capital first UCI building to receive LEED Platinum campaign. Carolyn Canning-White, Jennifer Smith, Certification, Humanities Gateway has received a number of awards from the building trades industry. Emily Stone, and Kristie Williams are terrific Its design called “Industrial Elegance” features open ambassadors for our School. In closing, I express my deep appreciation to our stalwart community ceilings with exposed pipes, including two in the supporters—your gifts have made a significant Dean’s Office labeled “Storm Drain” and “Storm difference in the lives of our students and I treasure Drain Overload.” your trust, vision, and friendship. Though we continue to weather financial storms, Sinceramente, the School of Humanities is a top-tier hub for critical theory, creative writing, and interdisciplinary work. I am proud of our powerhouse faculty— world-class intellectuals in every department and program, including four Pulitzer Prize winners in 
 Vicki L. Ruiz, Dean the Department of English and Program in Literary Journalism. U.S. News and World Report recently As many of you are aware I will step down as Dean on August 31, 2012. This is a bittersweet moment for me as I write my last column. While I look forward to returning to the classroom and the archives, I will miss working alongside the best team of academic professionals I know. The new Dean will be blessed with an amazingly talented group led by Assistant Dean Penny Portillo, Director of Personnel Becky Baugh, Finance Director Kevin Kramp, Facilities Manager Colin Andrews, and Director of Computing Dwayne Pack. On the fourth floor, we all pull together for the good of our students, colleagues, and the School. Their insights, drive, and corazón have created a very special workplace community.

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.


BOOKSHELF This Morning is the fifth book of poetry from Michael Ryan, director of the MFA program in poetry at UC Irvine. Love, sex, pain, compassion, mortality, the great subjects of art and life are treated in fresh and immediate ways in this collection. “[Ryan] puts individuals before us so that we can’t look away or forget them,” writes Edward Hirsch of the Washington Post. “His work is finely honed, provocative, questing, and humane.”

No One is Here Except All of Us , the first novel from MFA alum Ramona Ausubel, tells the stories of families in a remote Jewish village in Romania in 1939 as the war closes in on them. All of Us is concerned with family history, communal memory and the power of the imagination and as Jane Ciabattari wrote for the New York Times, “maintains an uncanny, sometimes troubling, aura of innocence throughout. “ Poet Michael Collier describes Two-Headed Nightingale, the debut poetry collection from English alum Shara Lessley as “less a freak of nature than a paradox of imagination.” The book’s title suggests Keats’s intoxicating bird, but is also the stage name of 19th century conjoined songstresses Christine and Millie McCoy. In many ways these two subjects—the natural world and the world of female performers (both public and private)—serve as the project’s bookends.

Stories continued...

Hoang X. Pham, UCI Communications

Thuy Vo Dang teaching Vietnamese American Experience course

Department of Asian American Studies and trained 36 students to conduct and process oral histories for the collection. By the end of the quarter, each student turned over a complete oral history which included an audio-recorded interview lasting between one and two hours, full interview transcripts, a time log summary, an abstract, reflective field notes, and keywords to catalog the interviews in the library database. They also took photographs of their narrators and collected old documents and photos to include with the narrator’s story. One of my students, Stephanie Wong, who interviewed her father, reflected on her experiences in my course, “The transcription process was probably the longest task aside from the interview, but it was my favorite...I was really proud of the interview, because I felt that my dad really opened up. I’ve always been close to my dad, but I felt a greater connection to him because I now knew more about his childhood and about his life in great detail.” Another student, Michelle Pham, also interviewed her father, Duc Tri Pham. During the interview, she learned some troubling details about the abuse of refugees by a sponsor in Georgia and brought this to my attention. I mentioned his story in an interview I gave to Nguoi Viet Daily News recently. Once the story was published, he came across the article and was moved by the mention of his life narrative. Mr. Pham subsequently sent more documents and photos to include with his interview. Michelle came to appreciate her dad in new ways after her oral history project. She

Continued on page 7...


Stories continued... wrote, “My father’s closing statement was by far the most insightful thing I’ve ever heard him say. To be honest I didn’t think he had it in him. Seeing his hands glide in the air as if illustrating his timeline and his head bobbing with the rhythm and intonations of his voice made me step back and see the person sitting in front of me as more than just my loving father, but a man that endured so much and still has the strength to carry on.” Documents that are frayed at the edges, water-damaged, with nearly-indecipherable ink. Time-worn photographs of narrators and their loved ones, in front of old high

Photos of narrators collected by UCI student interviewers, from left: Binh Truong on his first day in the ARVN Air Force, 1968; Nicole Nguyen and her three older sisters in Malaysia, 1980; Ung Bui and friend in front of their high school, 1967.

schools, in refugee camps, looking dashing in military uniforms or shell-shocked in front of the authorities with the identifying sign held up like a frail piece of armor protecting them from an unknown future. My students, volunteers and I have gathered many of these documents and images from our narrators. These will become a part of the Southeast Asian Archive, the internationally-renown archive focused on refugees and immigrants from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. We also anticipate producing exhibitions to bring these stories back to the community from which they came. As we continue the work of building this archive of life stories, we rely on the guidance, effort, and support of the UC Irvine Libraries (Michelle Light, Christina Woo, Matthew McKinley) to ensure our collection is built with best preservation practices. The collection will be digitally disseminated and preserved at the Southeast Asian Archive and made widely available by this summer. In the interim, more information about the VAOHP can be found on the blog at sites.uci.edu/vaohp and through www.facebook.com/vaohp. Thuy Vo Dang is a Postdoctoral Fellow in UC Irvine’s Department of Asian American Studies. She earned her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego and was a Institute of American Cultures Postdoctoral Fellow in the UCLA Asian American Studies Center from 2009-2011.

FACULTY NOTES Double duty Humanities staff chats with history and film & media studies professor Allison Perlman

Allison Perlman joined the School of Humanities last summer with a dual appointment in the Departments of History and Film and Media Studies. Originally from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., Perlman lived entirely on the east coast until moving to Texas where she earned her Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Before coming to UC Irvine, she taught for a year at Penn State-Erie, where she essentially was the film and media program, and for two years at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. During the 2010-2011 Allison Perlman academic year she held the Verklin Fellowship in Media Ethics and Policy at the University of Virginia. Perlman’s current research interests -- broadcasting policy, media activism, and American social movements -- are pretty far afield from what she thought she would be studying when began graduate school. “I had become mildly obsessed with westerns when I was in college and imagined that they would play a big role in my research,” says Perlman. She thought she would be writing on the construction of the outlaw in American popular culture. However, Perlman became increasingly fascinated in how law and policy have structured possibilities for cultural expression, a theme that still fuels her research today. Perlman’s classes are split evenly between history and film and media studies. Her course topics range from

Continued on page 8...


Double duty continued... popular culture and U.S. history to censorship and the media, to television and social movements, and the culture wars. “One of the things I hope my students get out of my history courses is an expansive definition of what counts as history, and what kinds of texts matter as historical documents:” Perlman says. In my popular culture course, for example, I hope that my students both start to see popular culture as embedded within and in dialogue with concurrent intellectual, cultural, and political trends and events. In my media studies courses, I hope that my students will start seeing how the development of film, radio, television, and the Internet--as well as their cultural and social functions-are profoundly shaped by history and the law. In the future she would love to develop courses on broadcasting history, twentieth century U.S. history, reality television, the long civil rights movement, and the 1980s. Perlman is working on a book that provides a history of American social movements through the lens of television reform. As television became the locus of a shared public culture, activist communities have understood that their successes or failures would be tied to the narratives presented in, faces and voices appearing on, and values and perspectives circulating within the televisualpublic sphere. For many groups, changing these images and narratives has required challenging the legal and regulatory structures of broadcasting to be more inclusive. An East Coaster at heart, Perlman doesn’t miss the snow and cold weather, and is thrilled to live in a place as beautiful and warm as Southern California. The perks of the job aren’t bad either. “I am in two departments of exceptionally smart, interesting, and great colleagues,” Perlman says. “I am both amazed (and a bit overwhelmed) at what seems to me to be the ceaseless opportunities to attend fascinating speakers, events, and symposia on campus.”

American Academy of Arts & Sciences honors Dean Ruiz Vicki L. Ruiz, dean of the School of Humanities and professor of history and Chicano/Latino studies at the University of California, Irvine, has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Ruiz is among 220 new fellows and 17 new foreign honorary members elected to AAAS. Other 2012 class members include actor/director Clint Eastwood, philanthropist Melinda F. Gates, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos. The 232-year-old academy is one of the nation’s most select societies and includes scholars, scientists and business people. Fellows and foreign honorary members are nominated and elected by current members. Vicki L. Ruiz Ruiz helped establish the field of Chicano/Latino studies with her research on Mexican-American women in the U.S. Southwest. She’s a major contributor to study in the history of labor, women, immigration and the American West. A native of Florida, her past honors include a presidential nomination to the National Council on the Humanities and Latina magazine’s “Woman of the Year in Education” award in 2000. In 2006, she co-edited Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia. The three-volume set with more than 600 entries and 300 photographs documents contributions by women of Latin American birth or heritage to the economic and cultural development of the United States. It is the first comprehensive gathering of scholarship on Latinas.

Ruiz joined the UCI faculty in 2001 and was named dean of humanities in 2008. She is a fellow of the Society of American Historians and a member of the

Continued on page 9...


EVENTS Dates, times and locations subject to change. Please visit www.humanities.uci.edu for up-to-date information about Humanities events. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.

JUNE “Learning by Doing at the Farm”

June 7 - July 20, 2012 Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:00 - 8:00 p.m. UCI Contemporary Arts Center Outreach Gallery, Room 3100A An exhibit of photographs and documents from UCI Special Collections, “Learning by Doing at the Farm,” demonstrates the intimate proximity of “traditional” craft and countercultural communalism to the construction of the institutional structures of the new California university. Curated by Robbie Kett, Anthropology graduate student, and Anna Kryczka, Visual Studies graduate student, the exhibit illuminates a forgotten history of UCI and Orange County: one of utopian experimentation, ethnic and racial diversity, and experimental scientific and artisticpractice. For further information, please visit: http://sites.uci.edu/ thefarm or contact Robbie Kett, rkett@uci.edu. Co-sponsored by UCI Libraries, School of Social Sciences, School of Humanities, Department of Anthropology and Center for Ethnography

School of Humanities Commencement

Sunday, June 17, 2012 - 12:30 p.m. Bren Events Center, UC Irvine The featured speaker is Erin Gruwell ‘91 - author, educator and founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation. Tickets required for entry. Visit www.commencement.uci.edu for more information.

“Connected Revolutions: Armenians and the Russian, Ottoman, and Iranian Revolutions of the Early Twentieth Century”

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 7:00 p.m. Humanities Gateway 1010 Armenian Studies presents a lecture by Houri Berberian, professor in the Department of History and Director of Middle Eastern Studies at California State University, Long Beach.

Ruiz continued... national advisory board for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Since its founding in 1780, the academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Webster, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. The new class will be inducted at a ceremony October 6, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

Have You Ever Considered A Legacy Gift? Have you been considering making a gift to support the School of Humanities but rely on your assets to provide you with a source of income? Our Gift Annuity Program can provide you with that source of income while helping you make a personal statement about your commitment to our work. A charitable gift annuity allows you to make a gift in exchange for a dependable, fixed income stream for as long as you live. As charity is the end beneficiary, you will receive a charitable income tax deduction that will help you offset your taxes. Once the obligation to you has been fulfilled, whatever remains of your gift is used to support the School of Humanities. For more information about how you can benefit from a gift annuity, contact the Office of Planned Giving at (949) 824-6454 or visit www.plannedgiving.uci.edu. It’s nice to know you can make a difference in the lives of others while also making a difference in your own.


Three Questions for J.H. Everett Humanities staff talks to 2012 Lauds and Laurels honoree for Distinguished Alumni in the School of Humanities about the road from Ph.D. in history to children’s book illustrator to multimedia trailblazer. 1) You recently launched EverWitt Productions, an interactive entertainment media company, with film maker Rick DeWitt. What types of projects will EverWitt be producing? Everett: EverWitt Productions, LLC is a media production company focused on creating content and distribution pipelines for mobile platforms and cloud based multimedia. We are a small and nimble company that can jump paths quickly in order to maximize market visibility, production efficiency, and new product development. We see a very near future when audiences don’t really differentiate between types of media; rather, we see one where audiences are consuming information in different versions of the same stream depending on their desire or preference at the time that they are engaging the material. So, we create multiple products for use in several different markets from original source story material, be it from film, gaming, books, graphic novels, and episodic storytelling of any kind. We are currently involved in the total creation of two feature films, screenplays, several e-books, and some specialized animation projects that involve traditional animation, stop motion, and live-action, as well as a new revolutionary piece of software. We are partnered with the MMJ Foundation’s Candy Palace project to help with charity work here in Orange County. 2) Speaking of The Candy Palace project, your first children’s picture book, Izzy and The Candy Palace, was published in 2010 with proceeds benefitting the Orange County Food Bank’s Kids Café program. There are more “Candy Palace” books on the way and you’re currently co-creating a middle-grade nonfiction series, “Haunted Histories: Creepy Castles, Dark

Dungeons, and Powerful Palaces.” What inspired the evolution from the world of illustration and printed children’s literature to a technology driven production company? Everett: Yes! We are just J.H. Everett finishing the final work for the newest “Candy Palace” picture book for this upcoming fall, under the art direction of the amazingly talented Laurie Young. EverWitt Productions continues our wonderful relationship with MMJ Publishing on producing three e-books this summer for simultaneous release. Once again, all of the proceeds will benefit the Orange County Food Bank Kid’s Cafe program. We are also creating Izzy’s Corner; a new interactive learning center and volunteer area at the central OC Food Bank facility in Irvine’s Great Park. “Haunted Histories” arrives in stores July 15, 2012. Marilyn Scott-Waters and I have completed the initial draft of the second book, due out next year. My business partner, filmmaker Rick DeWitt, along with artist JR Johnson of EverWitt Productions are creating the animated book trailer for MacMillan to support the “Haunted Histories” release. We are hoping to sell the series as an animated children’s show. Why multimedia? It’s amazingly fun! It expands the audience for our creative efforts. EverWitt Productions is dedicated to a new media production model that creates multiple products for use in different markets, no matter what form the original story comes to us in. 3) You received your Ph.D. in history from UCI in 2009. How has your graduate work in early modern European and world history informed your current roles as writer, illustrator and multimedia creator extraordinaire?

Everett continued...


Everett: How hasn’t it? I think the skills I learned at UCI inform the way I look at life, the way I think, my discipline to successfully complete demanding tasks, my ability to speak in public, and my abilities to effectively communicate and organize people and projects that I deal with daily. I am very comfortable with unknown quantities in a situation - in fact, I continue to have an insatiable curiosity that UCI encouraged. Art was one of those curiosities that benefited from the discipline I learned at UCI. I am a world traveler who continues to make an excuse to visit as much of the planet as possible. I was trained as an observant and careful researcher, thinker, writer, and teacher, all of which has served me well in my career after UCI. I continue to work hard for social justice, the environment, and the defense of marginalized people and places in our world. I believe that my point of view on these issues stems directly from what I learned as a student.

IN MEMORIAM: Nuccia Malinverni Our colleague and friend Nuccia Malinverni passed away May 26, 2012. Nuccia earned her Ph.D. in comparative literature from UC Irvine in 1992 and joined the School of Humanities as a lecturer in the Humanities Core Course in 1994. Nuccia’s passion for a broad range of humanities disciplines (she held a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Milan) and her interest in the act of writing inspired her intellectual life and her teaching. Fluent in Italian, French, and Latin, and with a good knowledge of Ancient Greek, Nuccia was a translator with several published works of translation. She was known to her students in Humanities Core Course as Dr. N., and she derived much pleasure from teaching them. Her colleagues will fondly remember her for the mutual respect she engendered, her elegance, and the clear and original perspective she often brought to the course’s collaborative work. Nuccia had a zest for life that was evidenced by her love of family, music, Italian cooking and sporting activities—she was an avid swimmer and enjoyed a good soccer match. She also had a passion for photography, and her often-present camera bore witness to her love of art and life. Nuccia will be terribly missed by her family, friends, and colleagues. “She was one of our most dedicated and talented instructors, and a generation of Humanities Core students benefited immensely from her expertise and dedication in the classroom.” David Pan, director of the Humanities Core Course Program. On Thursday, June 14th the Humanities Core Course will celebrate its 30 year anniversary from 2-5pm in Humanities Gateway 1030, including a tribute to Nuccia Malinverni and her contributions to the program and to UCI.

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 eestone@uci.edu to be added to the mailing list or to update your e-mail address.

Between the Lines - Summer 2012  

Between the Lines Humanities Newsletter

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you