Is it possible to define music? What is its utility? What needs does it serve? Does it have survival value? Is it biologically necessary? Are humans inherently musical? Using audio & video examples from around the globe and drawing on historical, psychological, neurological & cultural research on music making, saxophonist and educator David Borgo explores why we make music, ultimately arguing that music is a universal human phenomenon but not a universal language.
James Kugel, director of the Institute for the History of the Jewish Bible at Bar Ilan University, argues that the Hebrew Bible was, from the beginning, the Interpreted Bible. In the third and second centuries B.C.E. well before the last books of the Bible were written groups of interpreters were puzzling over the stories of Abraham and Sarah, Jacob and Esau, and other ancient figures. Their interpretations were often fanciful, and sometimes wildly inventive, but their grasp of the very idea of the Bible is still with us and continues to influence today's readers.
Born in Jerusalem to parents who had fled Nazi Germany, Israeli journalist Tom Segev is a leading figure among the so-called New Historians, who have challenged many of Israel's traditional narratives or "founding myths." His books include, "The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust" (2000); "One Palestine Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate" (2000); "1967: Israel, the War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East" (2006); and "Simon Wiesenthal: The Life and Legends" (2010). Segev is presented by the Holocaust Living History Workshop, a joint program of the UC San Diego Library and the Jewish Studies Program.
Academy Award nominated screenwriter Josh Singer talks about Spotlight, the film about reporters delving into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church. Recorded on 02/05/2016.
Poet Nikki Giovanni reads a selection of her poems as part of the 2016 Writer's Symposium by the Sea at Point Loma Nazarene University.
Author Zohreh Ghahremani talks with Babak Rahimi, associate professor of Communication, Culture and Religion at UC San Diego about the novel, "Sky of Red Poppies," the 2012 selection for One Book, One San Diego.
Omer Bartov, the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History and German Studies at Brown University, explores the dynamics of the horrifying genocidal violence which took place in the East Galician town of Buczacz following the German conquest of the region in 1941 and its subsequent erasure from local memory. For centuries, Poles, Ukrainians, and Jews coexisted in the region, but tragically, by the time the town was liberated in 1944, the entire Jewish population had been murdered by the Nazis. They were assisted by local Ukrainians, who then ethnically cleansed the region of the Polish population. Bartov is presented as part of the Holocaust Living History Workshop at UC San Diego. Recorded on 02/13/2017.
Latino: The Changing Face of America is a new documentary by Los Angeles-born filmmaker and UCSB alumna Roxanne Frias. She discusses the film's glimpse into the future of the world's biggest economy, a future in which Latinos will form the largest demographic group. The discussion includes Chicano Studies & History Professor Mario Garcia and Cristina Venegas of UCSB Film and Media Studies. Recorded on 10/06/2016.
Director Ezra Edelman joins Jennifer Holt (Professor of Film and Media Studies at UCSB) and Steven Secular (PhD Student at the Department of Film and Media Studies at UCSB) for a discussion addressing the recent series placing the so-called "trial of the century" within the complex history of race, gender, class, news and entertainment media, policing, criminal justice, and the sports industry in the United States. Recorded on 10/10/2016.
Director Jay Roach (Austin Powers trilogy, Meet The Parents, and Trumbo) discusses his film "All the Way" which offers a behind-the-scenes look at President Lyndon B. Johnson's tumultuous first year in office after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Recorded on 11/02/2016.
Ann Swidler first inquires as to what makes institutions good before questioning how such institutions might be achieved given our current political, social, and economic conditions. Recorded on 11/15/2016.
Director Madhusree Dutta and UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies Professor Bhaskar Sarkar discuss the film "7 Islands and a Metro," a fascinating documentary on Bom Bahia / Bombay / Mumbai. Recorded on 11/16/2016.
The Last Aristocrats is a film based on a short story by Kenneth Pai, UCSB Professor Emeritus. It follows four young Chinese women from elite Shanghai families who become stranded in the US when the communists take over Shanghai in 1948. Professor Pai, is joined by Professor Michael Berry of UCLA's Contemporary Chinese Cultural Studies. Recorded on 01/17/2017.