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January 23, 2006

2006 Distinguished Visiting Professor program under way

By Louise Donahue

The UCSC Alumni Association Distinguished Visiting Professor program is offering an eclectic mix of disciplines in 2006.

Photo: Richard WhiteRichard White

Photo: Johanna DruckerJohanna Drucker

Photo: Arielle SaiberArielle Saiber

Stanford historian Richard White will speak in February; Johanna Drucker, a renowned book artist and authority on typography and visual art, will visit this spring; and Arielle Saiber, who concentrates on the influence of mathematics on the literary imagination, just finished teaching a two-week course at UCSC.

White, who has received wide acclaim nationally and internationally for his work in the fields of the American West, environmental history, and Native American history, will give two lectures at the Stevenson Event Center. "Creative Misunderstandings," at 7 p.m. February 13, will consider the complexities of Indian-white relations during a crucial phase in American history.

The lecture is aimed at the campus community and the public, and is also part of the Stevenson College core course, Self and Society. White will also speak on "Failure and the Making of American Modernity: Railroad Corporations, the West, and How Things Don't Work Out as Well as they Might" at 4 p.m. February 15. Both lectures are being presented by Stevenson College.

White, Stanford's Margaret Byrne Professor of American History, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, and a UCSC alumnus (Cowell College, 1969). He was named a finalist for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for his book, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region 1650-1815. The book received five major history prizes, including the 1992 Albert J. Beveridge Award of the American Historical Association for the best book published in American history. He will present a faculty seminar and work with undergraduates while at Stevenson College.

White’s lectures follow a January visit to Cowell College by Arielle Saiber, whose research focuses on how mathematics influences the literary imagination. Saiber, an assistant professor of Italian at Bowdoin College, taught a two-week, two-credit course during winter quarter and delivered an "E-music" lecture, demonstration, and performance on January 13 at Cowell College. "A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From the Centre of the Ultraworld: The Polyphonic Discourse of Electronic Music," was the subject of her presentation.

During spring quarter, Johanna Drucker, who has published and lectured extensively on topics related to the history of typography, artists' books, and visual art, will visit the campus. Her lecture on the history of alphabetic writing will take place at 5 p.m. April 6 at in the Cowell College Conference Room. While at UCSC, she will be conducting a book arts workshop with Cowell Press students and discussing her most recent book, Art and Complicity, with graduate students.

Drucker exhibited her work at the Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery during fall quarter, and will be the principal juror for the spring Exemplary Contemporary juried show.

Drucker is the Robertson Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia and was the first director of the media studies program, which she created at the university on her arrival in 1999.

The Distinguished Visiting Professor program is designed to enrich undergraduate education at UCSC by providing financial support to enable the campus to bring a person of academic distinction for a quarter in each academic year. The Alumni Association endowed the UCSC Alumni Association Distinguished Visiting Professorship in 1982.

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