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Human Rights and Neoliberalism:
Universal Standards, Local Practices, and the Role of Culture


Friday, March 2 - Saturday, March 3, 2007

UC Santa Barbara’s Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, HSSB 6020

Free and Open to the Public

Tariq Ali is a British Pakistani writer, historian, and filmmaker. He is an editor of the New Left Review, is the author of over a dozen books, and regularly contributes to The Guardian, Counterpunch, and the London Review of Books. In his latest book, Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope (Verso, 2006), "drawing on first-hand experience of Venezuela and meetings with Chávez, Tariq Ali shows how Chávez's views have polarized Latin America and examines the aggression directed against his administration. Ali discusses the enormous influence of Fidel Castro on both Chávez and Evo Morales, the newly elected President of Bolivia, and, reflecting on a recent trip to Havana, contrasts the Cuban and Venezuelan revolutionary processes." He is also the author of Conversations with Edward Said (Seagull, 2006), Bush in Babylon: The Recolonisation of Iraq (W. W. Norton, 2003), and The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity (Verso, 2002).

Click here for more info and links on Tariq Ali.

Conference Participants

Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval

Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval is a professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. His research and teaching interests include globalization, labor, political economy, social movements, Latin American studies ( Mexico and Central America), race relations, critical urban studies, and Marxism. His book on sweatshops and labor organizing in Central America and the US, Globalization and Cross-Border Labor Solidarity in the Americas (Routledge), appeared in 2004.

Arturo J. Aldama

Arturo J. Aldama is a professor of Ethnic Studies at University of Colorado at Boulder and the director of the Center for Studies in Ethnicity and Race in the Americas (CSERA). He is the author of Disrupting Savagism: Intersecting Chicana/o, Mexican Immigrant, and Native American Struggles for Self-Representation (Duke University Press, 2001). He also served as the senior subject editor and contributor for the Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture ( Greenwood, 2004), a 400,000-word, multi-volume project that is the first of its kind.

Sandra Angeleri

Sandra Angeleri is a professor of Anthropology at Universidad Central de Venezuela. Her work centers on Latin American women and the construction of the nation, defined as an imaginary community. She filed her dissertation, entitled “Women Weaving the Dream of the Revolution in the American Continent,” in 2006 in Ethnic Studies at University of California, San Diego.

Debra Castillo

Debra Castillo is chair and professor of Romance Studies and also professor of Comparative Literature at Cornell University. She specializes in contemporary narrative from the Spanish-speaking world, gender studies, cultural theory, and visual studies. She is author, editor, or translator of ten books, and her most recent book, Redreaming America: Toward a Bilingual American Culture (SUNY Press, 2004), focuses on Spanish-language US writers.

Rosa-Linda Fregoso

Rosa-Linda Fregoso is chair and professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research and teaching interests include theories of representation, cinema and media, cultural studies, and transnational feminist studies. She is the author of meXicana Encounters: The Making of Social Identities on the Borderlands ( University of California Press, 2003) and The Bronze Screen: Chicana and Chicano Film Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 1993).

Bishnupriya Ghosh

Bishnupriya Ghosh is a professor of English at University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research and teaching interests include global studies in the wake of postcolonial theory, Marxist cultural theory, twentieth-century global literatures in English, transnational film and popular culture studies, and gender and sexuality. Ghosh’s first monograph on globalization, literary markets, and the political imagination of South Asian writing in English, When Borne Across: Literary Cosmopolitics in the Contemporary Indian Novel (Rutgers University Press), appeared in 2004. She is working on a second manuscript entitled Corporeal Intimations: The Material Life of South Asian Female Icons and is beginning research on a third project on a spectral modernity evidenced in twentieth-century gothic and speculative fiction from South Asian postcolonial contexts.

Avery Gordon

Avery Gordon is a professor of Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara. Her teaching and research interests include social theory, race, gender, culture and art, radical theory and politics. She is the author of Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination (University of Minnesota Press, 1996) and Keeping Good Time: Reflections on Knowledge, Power, and People (Paradigm, 2004).

Giles Gunn

Giles Gunn is a professor of English and chair and professor of Global and International Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. His research and teaching interests include American literature; literary theory and criticism; American cultural and religious studies; global literature and culture; literature and religion; and literature and philosophy. He is the author of Beyond Solidarity: Pragmatism and Difference in a Globalized World ( University of Chicago Press, 2001) and the revised edition of his book The Interpretation of Otherness: Literature, Religion, and the American Imagination (Oxford University Press, 1979) appeared in 2001. He is currently at work on Historical Guide to Herman Mellville and a project in Globalization and Literature.

Carl Gutiérrez-Jones

Carl Gutiérrez-Jones is a professor of English and director of the Center for Chicano Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. His research and teaching interests include American studies, Chicano studies, contemporary fiction, Pan-American studies, and critical race studies. He is the author of Critical Race Narratives: A Study of Race, Rhetoric, and Injury (New York University Press, 2001) and Rethinking the Borderlands: Between Chicano Narrative and Legal Discourse (University of California Press, 1995). He is currently at work on a book that will treat questions of cultural literacy and humor.

Micheline Ishay

Micheline Ishay is a professor and the director of the International Human Rights Program at the Graduate School of International Studies at University of Denver. Her research and teaching interests include human rights, globalization, and contemporary political theory. She is the author of The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era ( University of California Press, 2004) and also the editor of The Human Rights Reader: Major Political Essays, Speeches, and Documents from the Bible to the Present (Routledge, 1997), which is being published as a second edition in 2007.

George Lipsitz

George Lipsitz is chair and professor of American Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. His research and teaching interests include race, culture, and social identities; twentieth-century US history; urban history and culture; and social movements. The revised and expanded edition of his book The Possessive Investment in Whiteness (Temple University Press, 1998) appeared in 2006. He is also the author of American Studies in a Moment of Danger ( University of Minnesota Press, 2001).

Curtis Marez

Curtis Marez is a professor of critical studies in the School of Cinema and Television at University of Southern California. His teaching and research centers on popular culture and media studies in and around the US, and especially among racial and ethnic minorities and immigrants, particularly Chicanos/as and other Latinos/as. His first book, Drug Wars: The Political Economy of Narcotics ( University of Minnesota Press, 2004), analyzes the history of representations of drug traffic and their significance for understandings of capitalism and state power in the US and the world. His second book, tentatively entitled Against Enclosure: Chicana/o Popular Culture and the Histories of U.S. Globalization, is under contract with Duke University Press.

Christopher Newfield

Christopher Newfield is a professor of English at University of California, Santa Barbara. His research and teaching interests include American culture after 1830, with particular attention to fiction since 1940; race; sexuality; affect; crime; California; and corporate culture. He is the author of Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880–1980 and is also currently at work on two projects: The Empowerment Wars, which explores the literature, management theory, and everyday life of cubicle dwellers in corporate America; and Starting Up, Starting Over, an eyewitness account of the underside of the “New Economy” in Southern California.

Kavita Philip

Kavita Philip is a professor of Women’s Studies at University of California, Irvine. Her research and teaching interests are in transnational studies of science and technology; feminist technocultures; gender, race, globalization and postcolonialism; environmental history; and new media theory. She is the author of Civilizing Natures: Race, Resources, and Modernity in Colonial South India (Rutgers University Press, 2003) and also the editor of Homeland Securities, a Radical History Review special issue (Duke University Press, 2005).

Rita Raley

Rita Raley is a professor of English at University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research and teaching interests include the digital humanities and twentieth-century literature in an “international” or “global” context. Her book, Tactical Media, a study of new media art in relation to neoliberal globalization, is under contract and forthcoming from University of Minnesota Press. She also continues work on Global English and the Academy, excerpts of which have been published in The Yale Journal of Criticism and Diaspora. Another book project, Reading Code, is underway, an excerpt of which is forthcoming under the title, “Code.surface || Code.depth.”

Russell Samolsky

Russell Samolsky is a professor of English at University of California, Santa Barbara. His research and teaching interests are situated at the convergence of South African literature, modernism, the global humanities, and Jewish studies. His "Acts of Mourning: Art and the Lives of Animals in J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace and Elizabeth Costello" is forthcoming, and he is currently working on a book entitled Apocalyptic Futures: Marked Bodies and the Violence of the Text in Modern Culture, which examines the relationship between an apocalyptic text and a future catastrophic event.

Elisabeth Weber

Elisabeth Weber is a professor of Germanic, Slavic, and Semitic Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research and teaching interests include French philosophy and theory, psychoanalysis and trauma studies, German Judaism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century German literature. Her book Verfolgung und Trauma: Zu Emmanuel Lévinas' Autrement qu'être ou au-delà de l'essence (Passagen, 1990) was awarded a prize by the Dr. Margrit Egnér Foundation. She is also the editor of Questioning Judaism: Interviews (Stanford University Press, 2004).

Clyde Woods

Clyde Woods is a professor of Black Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests include African American studies, public policy, urban studies, and music in African American cultures. The revised second edition of his book Development Arrested: Race, Power, and the Blues in the Mississippi Delta (Verso, 1998) is being published in 2007 as Development Arrested: From the Plantation Era to the Katrina Crisis in the Mississippi Delta. He also co-edited Black Geographies and the Politics of Place (South End Press, 2007).