For 2023-2024, we are continuing our Sustainable Futures theme - see below for description.
Re-Invention: Re-Building; Re-Imagining, Re-Conceptualizing through the Arts and Humanities
In the face of the pandemic, many of our systems, our political, social, and personal values, our ideas of self, and our sense of community has been challenged. How do we look toward a re-imagination of who we are and what we value in a post-pandemic world through the arts and humanities? How can we understand ourselves, and build ourselves back better, through this focus on Re-Invention that touches ourselves, our families, our communities, and our political and social structures? We invite faculty to consider works of art, speakers, and other community events and activities that allow us to re-conceptualize our 21st century lives to re-make, re-build, and re-invigorate.
2021-2022 Artistic Excellence Programming Grant awards have been selected. Check out our descriptions of upcoming programming and events to integrate into your courses (see Teaching Resources) and watch our Current Events for dates, times, and locations. Also, check out the Office of Sustainability for their Curriculum Development and events around this topic as well as the Environmental Resource Center hosted by the Department of Environmental Studies. See also King Library's extensive Lib Guide on Sustainability.
Given the last year in both the nation and the state of California (2020), the question of what a sustainable future looks like is one we all must face, and that the arts, design, and humanities are some of the best avenues to explore. Programming options could include, but are not limited to, performances of plays, music, art exhibitions, literary readings, or workshops that will consider climate threats, climate change, environmental practices, ecology, pandemics (such as extension of our "Pandemic Pandemonium" program), community health, climate change induced population movement, environmental justice, linguistic and cultural preservation, amongst other engagements with this broadly defined theme. While engagement of this theme might consider models and solutions for sustainable futures, it might also present the consequences of not considering these future challenges, such as speculative fiction or other representations of dystopic futures.
Check for events coming soon!
Given the racial reckoning facing our country after the murder of George Floyd, the issues of racial equality and social justice must feature centrally within our College's pursuit of the ameliorating effects of practicing the arts, studying the humanities, and designing for equality. This College theme will support investigations of racial equality, the exposure of racial inequality, and the consequences to social justice. Programming options could include, but are not limited to, performances of plays, music, art exhibitions, literary readings, or workshops that explore police violence, 1619 and the European/American slave trade, colonialism, immigration, language rights of indigenous and immigrant communities, the undercutting of democracy through attacks on the voting rights of Black and minority communities, or the civil rights movement, and design solutions for accessibility to life for all. Performance of work by and about BIPOC artists is also encouraged.
Check for events coming soon!
With this widely successful theme, our goal in the college was to interrogate, investigate, and illuminate on-going debates about immigration and migration through the perspective and insights of the arts and the letters. An inescapable issue right now in the U.S. and across the world, this is a topic that continues to resonate for our students personally as well as for the State of California and the country. The opportunities to engage this issue through arts and cultural programming are both vast and crucial.
Read more about the wider Borderlands Initiative here.
Our Deep Humanities & Arts theme began with the premise that the values in the humanities and arts must be formative in the design of technology to ensure ethical practices, human-centered design, and values such as privacy and diversity. This theme built on the larger Deep Humanities and Arts Initiative, which you can read more about here.
Programming and events addressed a wide array of questions: Is technology the answer to humanity’s problems or a threat to humanity as we know it? Who gets to define technology or determine its role in the world? Are social media and e-commerce enriching or impoverishing us? Will automation spread the pleasure of leisure to all or will robots take our jobs? How are AI and other emerging technologies redefining what and how it means to be human in the digital age? Are the tech titans promoting empathy, diversity, and inclusion or embracing a radical libertarian individualism hostile to women and other minorities? Is the tech industry optimizing for profit and disrupting for dominance at the expense of our humanity, environment, democracy, decency, and morality? What role can the Humanities & Arts play in these turbulent times?