Humanities


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One of the most distinctive filmmakers of our time, Werner Herzog has been called the "romantic visionary" of the New German Cinema movement. His edgy, larger-than-life films fuse the epic with the intimate, redefining the scale and scope of filmmaking to include more than 60 works shot on every continent. He appears in conversation with acclaimed author and essayist, Pico Iyer at UC Santa Barbara.

American poet Billy Collins reads a selection of humorous poems for appreciative audience in this keynote event of the 2013 Writer's Symposium by the Sea, sponsored by Point Loma Nazarene University.

Yusef Komunyakaa, an internationally renowned poet who won the Pulitzer Prize for "Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems," reads and discusses his work while writer-in-residence at UC Santa Barbara. Recorded on 03/01/2017.

Deborah Tannen draws on her interviews with eighty women, ranging in age from 9 to 97, and on years of research examining how ways of talking affect relationships, to explore the role of talk among friends, with particular focus on women's friendships, how they compare to men's, and the consequences of such differences. Tannen is on the faculty of Georgetown University's Department of Linguistics

Beth Shapiro, Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz, explains her work on using ancient DNA to infer evolutionary history and processes. She is the MacArthur Award-winning author of "How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction," which considers the feasibility and desirability of bringing back passenger pigeons, steppe bison, mammoth and other currently extinct species. This program is presented by the Institute for Practical Ethics in the Division of Arts and Humanities at UC San Diego.

The events of the Russian Revolution in 1917 exerted strong influences on immigrant Jews in the United States, who, over the previous three decades, had cultivated ties with various Russian-Jewish and Russian political parties. Tony Michels, Professor of American Jewish History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explores their attitudes towards Bolshevism. Recorded on 02/12/2018.

Behavioral economist Elizabeth Linos talks about how to implement good public policy by focusing on needs of the people who serve in government. In this conversation with Henry E. Brady, Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, Linos argues that diversity in recruitment leads to better outcomes, particularly in law enforcement, and that burnout can be avoided if staffers are appropriately supported in their work environments.

Emmanuel Jal, an internationally recognized hip-hop musician, former child soldier turned activist and entrepreneur, shares his story and music. Jal was born into the life of a child solider in the early 1980s in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan. He calls upon all of us to engage with our world and become global citizens through scholarship, leadership and service. Recorded on 04/12/2018.

The consumer neuroscience industry is entering its second decade and continuing to grow thanks to increased acceptance by advertisers looking to better understand consumers' preferences and decision making. However, more questions and concerns are being raised as advertising techniques challenge social and ethical boundaries. Dr. Carl Marci, Chief Neuroscientist at Nielsen, will address the ethical concerns related to consumer neuroscience including issues around privacy, informed consent, and consumer autonomy in decision making.

Communicating through the Internet is different than face-to-face interaction. No matter how familiar people are with email, chat, and the web, differences in the availability of nonverbal cues lead people to underestimate the interpersonal and emotional impact of online interaction. Joe Walther (UCSB Communication) explores the hyperpersonal model of communication and explains how people actually create more intense impressions and relationships as they influence each other online, often more positive than those occurring face-to-face. The results of studies from several online settings show how we and our communication partners sometimes unwittingly affect our perceptions of others and ourselves through computer-mediated interaction. Recorded on 07/11/2018.

Most people are part-Neanderthal, the closest extinct human relative. Svante Pääbo explores human genetic evolution by analyzing preserved genetic material from the remains of ancient organisms, including Neanderthals. What can we learn from the genomes of our closest evolutionary relatives? Pääbo is an evolutionary anthropologist and pioneer of paleogenetics and the director of the Max Plank Institute of Evolutionary Genetics. He was awarded the 2018 Nierenberg Award for Science in the Public Interest. Recorded on 10/03/2018.

What does it means to be literate in the age of Google?  At a time when you can search billions of texts in milliseconds, scan over trillions of online images, and look deeply into planet-wide maps, we need to rethink what it means to be literate, and to be a learner. Dan Russell, the ber Tech Lead for Search Quality and User Happiness at Google, reviews what literacy means today and shows how some very surprising and unexpected skills will turn out to be critical in the years ahead. Recorded on 10/18/2018.
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