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The 2017 Graduate Studies Conference is being planned and coordinated by four doctoral students in Religious Studies: Caleb McCarthy, Steph Wright, Kolby Knight, and Margaret McMurtrey, with financial support from the Cordano Endowment in Catholic Studies. The conference will explore the relationship between Christian “missions” — Catholic and Protestant — and the conversion of spaces in the context of European global and colonial expansion from the sixteenth century onwards, focusing on how these spaces both converted and were converted by different contexts, people, and environments.
Click on this link to open the Call for Papers. Paper proposals are due on February 17, 2017.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Liam Brockey, Professor of HIstory at Michigan State University. Brockey is a historian of Early Modern Europe. His primary area of interest is the history of Southern Europe, with a focus on Portugal, its overseas empire, and Catholicism. His most recent book is The Visitor: André Palmeiro and the Jesuits in Asia (Harvard, 2014), a study of the challenges faced by missionaries in Africa, South Asia, and East Asia in the early seventeenth century. His first monograph, titled Journey to the East: The Jesuit Mission to China, 1579-1724 (Harvard, 2007), was awarded the John Gilmary Shea Prize by the American Catholic Historical Association and the First Book Prize by Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society.
In this talk, Joshua Dubler takes stock of the current critical discourses around mass incarceration, and argues that if you are not yet a prison abolitionist, there is a good chance that you will be one soon. In assessing the current impossibility of prison abolition, and by looking back to the movement that abolished slavery, Dubler argues that if prison abolition is to win, it must in significant ways “get religion.” Simultaneously, Dubler argues, it is incumbent upon religious Americans to resurrect their own traditions’ abolitionist spirit.
Joshua Dubler is a critically engaged scholar whose teaching and writing takes place where American religious history and ethnography intersects with critical theory, and with the theory of religion. Among other topics he teaches classes on Religion in America, Islam in America, Theories of Religion, Guilt, Genealogy, and Pilgrimage. He is author of Down in the Chapel: Religious Life in an American Prison (FSG, 2013). With Andrea Sun-Mee Jones, he is the co-author of Bang! Thud: World Spirit from a Texas School Book Depository (Autraumaton, 2007). With Vincent Lloyd, he is currently writing a book entitled “Break Every Yoke: Religion, Power, and the End of Mass Incarceration,” which looks to marshal religious resources toward prison abolition. He is also working on a cultural history of the concept of guilt in America.
Sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies and the IHC’s Community Matters series.
• Learn more about the IHC series Community Matters
Art, Design and Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara, September 16th – December 8th, 2017
Santa Barbara Historical Museum, September 14th, 2017 – January 1st, 2018
This exhibition will bring together for the first time a diverse array of 70 objects from Santa Barbara area collections, many of which have never been displayed, with the goal of providing a comprehensive study of the relationship between art and religion in both Chumash and Spanish Catholic traditions. Highlighting themes of devotion, sacred space, language and materiality, our exhibition investigates the mutually transformative interaction among these traditions, and will draw implications for the ways in which we can understand the cultural dynamics of Santa Barbara County today.
Interwoven throughout Sacred Art are the concepts of persistence and resistance, which shaped the works created by Chumash artists and craftspeople in the Mission era. For instance, through the theme of sacred space, we will investigate the ways in which Chumash artists used imagery to create spiritual environments during the colonial period, both through the continuation of traditional practice, such as the creation of petroglyphs, and through the decoration of new types of spaces, like the interior of mission churches. The rich variety of the exhibition’s objects also reveals the complex importance of materials for Chumash craftspeople in a sacred context, such as inclusion of abalone shell in the creation of devotional Catholic images. Twentieth-century and contemporary Chumash visual production will be exhibited alongside these sacred objects, demonstrating the continuity of the culture’s rich artistic practices. Sacred Art will provide an unprecedented point of entry into the artistic and cultural production of Chumash artists working within and alongside the Mission system—a story that has not yet been told on this scale in Santa Barbara County.
Sacred Art is an official participant of the larger Getty initiative, Pacific Standard Time LA/LA (Los Angeles/Latin America). This initiative is a collaboration of numerous arts institutions in California, and explores the historical relationship between Latin America and the greater Los Angeles area through a series of thematically linked exhibitions. Under this initiative, The Santa Barbara Historical Museum will host Sacred Art in partnership with the Art, Architecture and Design Museum at UC Santa Barbara. This collaboration will allow for a beneficial exchange between the Historical Museum, which contains unique and comprehensive collections pertaining to local history, and the AD&A Museum, whose exhibitions are grounded in the educational opportunities available through the University. The Historical Museum also hopes that this exhibition will lead to extensive collaboration with the Chumash Indians Education Department to develop rich programming that will enhance knowledge of historical and contemporary Chumash artistic production throughout Santa Barbara County. Through Sacred Art and its related programming, we anticipate that new connections will be drawn between the communities of UC Santa Barbara and the Historical Museum, as well as among the local collections that it will exhibit, which include Missions Santa Barbara, La Purisima, and Ines, as well as the Natural History Museum of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, the AD&A Museum, and the Department of Anthropology at UC Santa Barbara.
Sacred Art in the Age of Contact is curated by Maggie Bell and Diva Zumaya, Ph.D. Candidates in the History of Art and Architecture at UC Santa Barbara. In the development of the exhibition, they have worked with graduate students from the AIIC (American Indian and Indigenous Collective) on campus, Chumash community members, and faculty from diverse disciplines and institutions through regular meetings. Key members of this group, Prof. Ann Taves (Religious Studies, UCSB) and Prof. Lisbeth Haas (History and Feminist Studies, UC Santa Cruz), as well as Chumash sociologist Prof. Jonathan Cordero (Sociology, Cal Lutheran University) will contribute to the exhibition’s catalogue, alongside five thematic essays by graduate students from the History of Art. In addition, Prof. Candace Wade (English, UCSB) and Prof. Ines Talamantez (Religious Studies, UCSB), scholars specializing in indigenous literature and ritual practices, have advised the exhibition’s research.
Prof. Ann Taves and the exhibition’s co-curator, Diva Zumaya, with assistance from Margaret McMurtrey, a graduate student in Religious Studies and student leader of the AIIC, will team-teach a course built around the study of objects in the exhibition in Fall Quarter 2017. The course will approach the objects from multiple disciplinary perspectives drawing upon the expertise of contributors to the exhibit catalogue. The goal will be to help students understand the objects as material, devotional, and (exhibited) art objects created for and embedded in different practices and settings over time from the colonial era to the present. The course will thus include not only historical perspectives on the colonial era, but also contemporary indigenous, Catholic, and curatorial perspectives.