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Humanities Perspectives University of California, Santa Cruz

Winter 2014

Welcome to the UCSC A letter from our Dean: William Ladusaw Dear Colleagues: As usual, the winter is the busiest quarter, with the visits to campus by candidates for new faculty positions added on top of the regular activities of our departments and the Institute for Humanities Research (IHR). The stories herein give you a taste of what’s happening in Humanities at UCSC these days. This week we received wonderful news that our IHR has been selected to participate in a $1.35 million grant awarded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI). The IHR will collaborate with centers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, and the Australian National University in Canberra. Congratulations are due to Tyrus Miller (Prof. of Literature and Graduate Dean) and Nathaniel Deutsch (Prof. of History & Jewish Studies and Director of the IHR) and Irena Polić (Associate Director of the IHR) for their vision and collaboration in developing the pilot and achieving this goal. The CHCI collaboration and the Mellon grant mark an important milestone in the development of the IHR, which has achieved national and now international visibility as an innovative Humanities Center. Having built an outstanding reputation for supporting faculty projects and stimulating new campus research clusters, the Mellon project is the first project to be framed and implemented by the IHR itself. This is the fourth year of my five-year term as dean of Humanities. Time flies when you’re having fun! I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to lead the division during this pivotal period of shifting from budget crisis to steady renewal focused on the future for the Humanities. I have, however, decided that I would like to have a sabbatical leave (my first in 15 years) and so early in the year asked the EVC to begin a search for my successor. That search is now underway and you can follow it at: index.html, with the aim of having a transition in the deanship sometime during the 201415 academic year. More details in the spring newsletter.


C Humanities Division A letter from our Assistant Dean: David Symonik Significantly increasing the number of graduate students at UCSC has long been a campus goal. The Humanities Division supports this goal and is doing its part to attract academic talent. One of the major tools we employ to achieve this goal are fellowships. During the early part of every Winter Quarter (when graduate student recruitment is in full swing) our faculty graduate program directors offer these fellowships to those graduate student applicants considered to have the best potential for success. Among the six graduate programs in Humanities (Feminist Studies, History, History of Consciousness, Linguistics, Literature and Philosophy) there are nine Humanities graduate fellowships, and eighteen campus-funded fellowships, offered to potential Humanities applicants, ranging from stipends and fee remissions to global outreach fellowships that cover non-resident tuition. These twenty-seven fellowships (total value is over $700,000) represent an investment in their (and our) future. The applicant pool is strong and the competition is intense. All have high GRE’s, some are Fulbright scholars. Many speak multiple languages, have received notable awards, have more than one degree and/or have outstanding or significant work experiences (this year included working directly with Ambassadors and intelligence agencies). There were over four hundred applicants during this year’s cycle, from which some forty will probably be admitted, based on the numbers from prior years. These outstanding scholars, some of whom overcame severe economic disadvantages, represent the best and brightest the world has to offer. Their ingenuity and accomplishments bring intellectual distinction to our campus, and we hope, will contribute solutions to our rapidly changing world. I would like to thank all of our faculty graduate program directors and staff for their hard work, and to welcome our new graduate students for whom we have high expectations. Carpe Diem!



Ethics Bowl is a team competition that combines the excitement and fun of a competitive tournament with an innovative approach to education in practical and professional ethics. Recognized widely by educators, the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (IEB) has received special commendation for excellence and innovation from the American Philosophical Association, and received the 2006 American Philosophical Association/Philosophy Documentation Center’s 2006 prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs. The format, rules, and procedures of the IEB all have been developed to model widely acknowledged best methods of reasoning in practical and professional ethics. In the IEB, each team receives a set of cases which raise issues in practical and professional ethics in advance of the competition and prepare an analysis of each case. At the competition, a moderator poses questions, based on a case taken from that set, to teams of three to five students. Questions may concern ethical problems on wide ranging topics, such as the classroom (e.g. cheating or plagiarism), personal relationships (e.g. dating or friendship), professional ethics (e.g. engineering, law, medicine), or social and political ethics (e.g. free speech, gun control, etc.) A panel of judges may probe the teams for further justifications and evaluates answers. Rating criteria are intelligibility, focus on ethically relevant considerations, avoidance of ethical irrelevance, and deliberative thoughtfulness.


2012-2013 Ethics Bowl Team at Nationals

What is the ethics bowl?

UCSC’s Ethics Bowl team placed third at the Regional Ethics Bowl Tournament hosted by National Hispanic University on Saturday, qualifying the campus to compete at the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Competition. Students at this year’s regional competition discussed topics such as whether it is morally inconsistent for pet owners to eat meat, ethical for consumers to purchase products made in sweat shops, or morally acceptable to pay bone marrow donors. The national championship competition will take place at the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics annual meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, on February 27. “Participating on the Ethics Bowl debate team is a unique opportunity for students to critically reflect upon and present their own moral values by examining real-world ethics cases,” said UCSC coach Sandra Dreisbach. “Students not only need to develop their own moral argument using major ethical theories, but they also need to be able to quickly respond to any moral question about their case, as well as opposing views from other schools that challenge their moral stance,” she added. Dreisbach—a graduate of UCSC with a Ph.D in philosophy and now a lecturer in UCSC’s biomolecular engineering department—co-founded the campus team in 2005 with fellow philosophy grad student Carmen Zinn. She noted that even though UCSC encourages critical reflection throughout the university, the Ethics Bowl experience is invaluable for students--not only because there are relatively few opportunities on campus for students to work on their public speaking skills, but also because it specifically addresses students moral views and challenges them to confront their own personal values. “The students can’t just hide behind a paper where they write down what they believe--they must talk about what they stand for with their teammates and defend what they believe in,” said Dreisbach. “Over the years I’ve seen time and time and again, being a part of Ethics Bowl changes students lives.” “Being a part of our Ethics Bowl team is hard work both academically and personally, but it truly is a labor of love,” she added. “Our students will tell you that they work harder for our class than any of their other classes, but to them it’s worth it.” UCSC faced 18 teams from 13 different schools across the state in the regional competition, including San Jose State University, Cal Poly Pomona, UC Santa Barbara, Azusa Pacific, and Santa Clara University. The top scoring 32 teams in similar regional Ethics Bowl contests across the country will compete in February’s national competition.


Three months ago, a new book by Tsering Wangmo Dhompa—a graduate student in literature at UC Santa Cruz—was launched in Dharamsala, India, by the prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile. Titled A Home in Tibet, the book is a lyrical homage to her mother--a former member of Parliament in the exiled government, who died in a car crash in India when Dhompa was 23—and to Tibet. Following readings in Delhi and Katmandu, the book has since been garnering acclaim from major press in India. “Tsering is one of the few Tibetan writers who are trying to create a body of literature that seeks to find the Tibetan voice, bereft of the Western romanticizing,” the Hindustan Times noted. “In A Home in Tibet, she tries to weave a powerful tale of personal history and loss without sentimentality. In her moving narrative laced with occasional nostalgic detours, Tibet is also a main character, a land and its people who remain under subjugation.” The Times of India observed that the author “carries a heavy tag on her shoulders—she is the first Tibetan poetess to be published in English. Having grown up in India and Nepal, she brings a rich cultural texture to her writings, evident in her first full-length book, A Home in Tibet.” “Celebrating homecoming, it’s as much a tribute to her mother, who raised her after fleeing Tibet in 1959, as to the homeland that has never been her home.” Born in 1969 in India, Dhompa was raised by her mother in Tibetan communities in Dharamsala, as well as in Kathmandu, Nepal. After her mother’s death, she moved to the United States, where she earned an MA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in professional writing, and an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. Although she is fluent in several languages and dialects—including Tibetan, Hindi, and Nepali— Dhompa writes in English. In 1998, she became the first female Tibetan poet published in English. Her first book of poems, Rules of the House in 2002 was a finalist for the Asian American Literary Awards in 2003. She is also the author of the poetry collection My Rice Tastes Like the Lake (2011), which was a finalist for the Northern California Independent Bookseller’s “Book of the Year Award” for 2012. She additionally spent 10 years working for the American Himalaya Foundation, based in San Francisco, raising funds and overseeing a wide range of Tibetan humanitarian projects involving schools, medical care, and cultural restoration in Nepal, India, and Tibet. Dhompa came to UC Santa Cruz in 2011 to pursue a Ph.D in Literature. In the midst of writing her book, she felt like she needed more training, and began looking around for different programs. “I researched on the web,” Dhompa recalled. “I looked up ‘diaspora’ and found UCSC’s History of Consciousness program and read works by (emeritus humanities professor) James Clifford and others. UCSC allowed freedom, but was also interdisciplinary, and many people recommended it,” she added. “The professors are very generous,” said Dhompa. “I am able to work one-on-one with the faculty, studying exile and diaspora. I have a reading list of books and we meet once a week. That’s an excellent way of doing it—sitting with books and issues.” “It’s also been great being with students half my age,” she added. “It would be difficult to do so in India. None of my friends would think of going back to school.”



Moves to Kresge College and helps plan the Dickens Project with colleagues Murray Baumgarten and Edwin Eigner (UC Riverside).


Jordan joins Literature faculty from Stanford with a PhD In English and Comparative Literature; is a founding member of Merrill College.




Friends of Dickens established by Herbert Furse. The Friends eventually grow to be one of the most active friends groups on campus.

First Dickens Universe is held. Scholars and graduate students from different UC campuses, joined by members of the public, come to Santa Cruz for the conference.


Dickens Project Director Murr hands title over to J

DECADES OF DICKENS: John Jordan and the Dickens Project

The Dickens Project is a Multi-campus Research Unit (MRU) of the University of California, devoted to creating opportunities for collaborative research on Dickens and the Victorian age. The Project disseminates research findings through annual conferences, institutes, and publications. It supports the professional development of graduate students and produces curricular materials for teaching Victorian literature at both secondary and postsecondary levels. Founded in 1981, the Project consists of faculty and graduate students from over 40 major American and international universities. Its major event is the annual “Dickens Universe” gathering, held every summer on the Santa Cruz campus and focused each year on a single Dickens novel. The week-long Universe program includes formal lectures by internationally distinguished scholars, seminars, small discussion groups, films, performances, Victorian dancing, and a variety of informal events. The Universe is open to members of the general public and provides a relaxed and supportive environment in which to pursue serious intellectual inquiry. The Project’s Founding Director Murray Baumgarten was succeeded in 1986 by John Jordan (see the accompanying photograph, which captures the precise moment of this transition in leadership). Since then the Project has grown steadily in size and scope. Its member institutions include universities in Israel, Britain, Canada, and Australia. The Project is financially self-supporting. In addition to extramural grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Department of Education, the California Council for the Humanities, the California Arts Council, and the Exxon Education Foundation, Project activities are supported by Dickens Universe registrations, dues from member institutions, and private gifts to the Friends of the Dickens Project, a support group composed of loyal Universe attendees.


Graduate Center, City University of New York, becomes the first non-UC university to join the consortium.

ray Baumgarten Jordan.



Dickens Project becomes a Multi-campus Research Unit

Project co-sponsors international Dickens conferences in France and South Africa.


Jordan retires from UCSC, but continues to direct the Project. Announces plan to grow Friends endowment to $1,000,000.


Bicentenary of Dickens’s birth. Jordan gives keynote address at international conference in London. Record enrollment, over 300 people, at Dickens Universe.



The Institiute for Humanities Research Established in 1999, the IHR has grown dramatically since its inception and now serves as an umbrella for a multitude of research centers, research clusters, and multi-campus research projects. With these and other initiatives, the IHR serves as an incubator for new ideas and provides crucial support to faculty and students at every stage of the research process. One of the IHR’s key functions is to identify promising graduate students and to help them become productive researchers through mentorship programs, fellowships, and internship opportunities. As the designated University of California, Santa Cruz Humanities Center, the IHR is part of the University of California systemwide Humanities Network and is able to leverage the human and intellectual resources of the finest public university system in the world.

MARCH Rebecca Jo Plant: “Child Soldiers: Militarism and American Youth” Study of Children Working Group Research Cluster March 4

Karen Bassi: “Fading into the Future: Visibility and Legibility in Thucydides History” Center for Cultural Studies Naftali Rothenberg: “Jewish Identity in Contemporary Isreal: Between Separatism and Cohesion” Center for Jewish Studies March 5

Brian Catlos: “Islamic Spain and the Culture of the West: From al-Andalus to Bob Dylan and Bill Gates” UCSC Affiliates, co-sponsored by the IHR Michael Perelman: “Primitive Accumulation: From Adam Smith to Angela Merkel” Crisis in the Cultures of Capitalism Research Cluster March 6

Minorities in the Mediterranean, A Symposium and Workshop UC Multi-campus Research Project in Mediterranean Studies March 7-8



Rebecca Hester: “Those against whom society must be defended: Mexican migrants, swine flu, and bioterrorism” BIOS (Bodies Imag(in)ed to be Obstacles to Security) Research Cluster, cosponsored by the IHR April 8

“Genomics and the Philosophy of Race” Conference Philosophy in a Multicultural Context Research Cluster April 12 - 13

Ancient Studies presents Marjorie Venit, Professor of Ancient Mediterranean Art History & Archaeology UC Presidential Chair in Ancient Studies

“Crisis in the Cultures of Capitalism” Conference Crisis in the Cultures of Capitalism Research Cluster April 18 - 19

“Legacy of Sent-down Youth in Contemporary China” Conference UC Fudan Center on Contemporary Chinese Studies April 28-29

Additional information about these events can be found on the IHR’s events page at:


POWERFUL PHILANTHROPY: Helen Diller gives $500,000

The University of California, Santa Cruz, has announced a major new gift to support the campus’s Jewish Studies Program. The Helen Diller Family will contribute $500,000 toward the establishment of a new Baumgarten Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies. A previous gift from the Dillers in 1997 established the Helen Diller Family Endowment for Jewish Studies at UCSC. That initial seed funding helped to create UCSC’s Center for Jewish Studies—which has evolved over the past 16 years into a sophisticated center of research and learning, serving the largest number of enrolled undergraduates in Jewish Studies at any Northern California post-secondary institution. A $1 million fundraising effort is currently underway to establish the Baumgarten Endowed Chair. The Chair will be held by a senior level faculty scholar who will guide a mature and expanding Center for Jewish Studies.The Dillers’ latest gift now raises the total of designated funds to $700,000. “We are delighted to receive this generous gift from the Dillers to support our expanding Jewish Studies program,” said UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal. “Their new gift celebrates the legacy they helped to create and assures the future vitality of our Center for Jewish Studies.” “I believe that their lead gift will motivate others to step forward and help us fully fund the chair,” he added. The Baumgarten Chair will honor the accomplishments of Jewish Studies scholar and teacher Murray Baumgarten, whose interdisciplinary vision of Jewish Studies has guided the program at UCSC for nearly three decades. Baumgarten, along with UCSC history professor Peter Kenez, still teaches the annual upper division course The Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry that was created in the mid-1980s and is now also an online class reaching nearly 18,000 people in 58 countries, and he had an essential role in developing UCSC’s new B.A. degree in Jewish Studies which the university began offering in 2010. “Murray Baumgarten’s unique leadership made the establishment of a premier Jewish Studies program at UC Santa Cruz a reality,” the Dillers noted. “We are pleased to be able to honor his vision.”


HUMANITIES ADVISORY COUNCIL:Linda Peterson Dean Ladusaw formed a new advisory council in November 2012 to provide insight, advocacy, and support for the purpose, delivery and impact of a humanities-based, Liberal Arts education and degree from UC Santa Cruz. Council members provide leadership as donors, and are informed advocates on behalf of the Humanities Division. Five members make up the Dean’s Advisory Council. In this newsletter, we profile the third member to join the Council: Linda Peterson, Associate General Counsel for Occidental Petroleum, and a UC Santa Cruz Foundation Trustee where she serves as Vice President of Development and Chair of the Campaign Steering Committee.

Linda Peterson Education: UCSC, B.A., History, 1970; Boston University School of Law, J.D., Law, 1976 Career: Linda was formerly a corporate associate at Webster & Sheffield in New York City and prior to that was in-house at the Liggett Group and Alleghany Energy. She is a director and past President of the Mary Magdalene Project, a program that gives women who have been victimized by street prostitution the opportunity to turn their lives around.

How did you make the leap from History to Law? I knew I wanted to be a lawyer before I knew I would major in History. For my high school government class, I read Gideon’s Trumpet by Anthony Lewis as part of my research for a paper on the application of the Bill of Rights to the States. The book tells the story of Gideon vs. Wainwright, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, that held the right to counsel applied to the Federal courts under the Fifth and Sixth Amendmentsapplies in state felony proceedings. Until I worked on that paper, I assumed that the Bill of Rights always applied. When I learned it didn’t, I wanted to be one of the people who helped remedy that. What aspects of your History degree helped prepare you for your career in law? History prepared me for the volume of reading and writing I would do as a law student and later as a lawyer . The History classes that I took always required at least two or three papers a quarter as well as essay exams. Faculty would comment on the analysis, its presentation as well as grammar, spelling and typos, which are the things I now comment on when I am reviewing the work of legal interns. What is your secret to balancing the many competing demands in your life? I am fairly certain that I do not balance them. I just don’t worry about it as much as I did when I was in my thirties and forties. Who is your favorite historical figure and why? Elizabeth I of England because she survived to rule for almost 45 years. In the Spring 2013 issue of Humanities Perspectives, we will profile the fourth member to join the Dean’s Advisory Council: Larry Moskowitz.


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Winter '14 Humanities Perspectives