Humanities


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The Moment in Time documents the uncertain days of the beginning of World War II when it was feared the Nazis were developing the atomic bomb. The history of the bomb's development is traced through recollections of those who worked on what was known as "the gadget."

Byron Smith, a 2014 Emmy Nominee for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series, discusses his work on the series House of Cards.

Go behind the scenes with cameraman/editor, Mark Romanov, who specializes in hard-to-get shots which is apparent in his work on Rick Rosenthal's documentary, The Dark Side of the Ocean.
Recorded on 07/22/2015.

Lynne Kirby, Executive Producer of the National Geographic documentary "Water & Power: A California Heist," discusses the film and the state of water in California with Constance Penley, UCSB Professor of Film & Media Studies. Recorded on 07/13/2017.

In The Lion Seeker and The Mandela Plot, two powerful novels full of raw, vividly-drawn characters, Kenneth Bonert has explored the unique and fascinating story of the Jews of South Africa. In this talk he explains why he became a novelist and the inspiration that he drew from growing up in Johannesburg. He talks about the history of his family and of the Jewish community in South Africa and reflect on his literary goals such as capturing the authentic voices of his characters and examining their moral and political struggles. Recorded on 01/27/2019.

The film Blade Runner was set in a dystopian 2019 Los Angeles. A timely gathering is in order. Three futurists sit down for a conversation on the film's legacy and its relevance to Southern California. The guest speakers are David Brin, Paul Sammon and Mike Davis. They discuss the film's influence and compare its vision with today's 2019. Blade Runner initially underperformed in theaters when it was first released in 1982; some praised its thematic complexity and visuals, while others were displeased with its slow-paced narrative and unconventional plot. However, by 1992 it had become a cult classic and was re-released in newly edited versions. Why did it take a decade to find — or create — its audience?

As an increasingly polarized America fights over the legacy of racism, Susan Neiman, author of the contemporary philosophical classic Evil in Modern Thought, asks what we can learn from the Germans about confronting the evils of the past. In the wake of white nationalist attacks, the ongoing debate over reparations, and the controversy surrounding Confederate monuments and the contested memories they evoke, Susan Neiman's Learning from the Germans delivers an urgently needed perspective on how a country can come to terms with its historical wrongdoings. She combines philosophical reflection, personal stories, and interviews with both Americans and Germans who are grappling with the evils of their own national histories.

Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, created paintings and sketches for his own enjoyment. Some of these pieces were on loan from the Geisel estate and exhibited at the UC San Diego Library for the 16th annual Dinner in the Library gala. Join a panel of distinguished speakers as they explore broad themes woven throughout Geisel's works and its literary and artistic impact. Panelists Mary Beebe, Stuart Collection, Seth Lerer, Professor of Literature, and Rob Sidner, Mingei International Museum, each bring a unique perspective.
Recorded on 09/20/2019.

Opera News has called UC San Diego Music Professor Anthony Davis A National Treasure, for his pioneering work in opera. His six operas include works centered on recent historical figures & events, including Malcolm X and Patty Hearst. Davis' latest opera The Central Park Five, an exploration of the wrongful conviction of five teenagers of color in NYC in the 1980s, premiered at Long Beach Opera in 2019 to international acclaim. In this conversation with UC San Diego Music Professor Emeritus Cecil Lytle, Davis explains the genesis of The Central Park Five, and the challenges that ensue when art collides with current events. Recorded on 12/7/2019.

By virtually any measure, prisons have not worked. They are sites of cruelty, dehumanization, and violence, as well as subordination by race, class, and gender. Prisons traumatize virtually all who come into contact with them. Abolition of prison could be the ultimate reform. Georgetown Law Professor Paul Bulter explores what would replace prisons, how people who cause harm could be dealt with in the absence of incarceration, and why abolition would make everyone safer and our society more just.

Contextualizing the fight for healthcare reform, honoring the connection between nurses and patients, and personalizing the struggles with the US healthcare system all arise in this conversation between activist Ady Barkan, Uncovered: Healthcare Conversations with Ady Barkan series creator Liz Jaff, director Nick Bruckman, and Carsey-Wolf Center Associate Director Emily Zinn. This powerful discussion explores the complex challenges of navigating healthcare in the US and the urgency of political reform. Recorded on 10/29/2019.

America's pre-WWII anxieties, Depression-era economic disparity, and the potential for positive social movements arise in this conversation about Frank Capra (director) and Robert Riskin's (screenwriter) film Meet John Doe (1941) between author Victoria Riskin (Robert Riskin and Fay Wray: A Hollywood Memoir) and film scholar Charles Wolfe. Riskin and Wolfe discuss the multiple endings shot for the film, and Riskin reads passages from her father's England-based radio broadcasts amidst the Battle of Britain. Recorded on 11/07/2019.
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