Talk of the Bay
Talk of the Bay
UCSC Humanities connects using language, culture, and history
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The Humanities Division of UC Santa Cruz has been hard at work on projects that connect what is happening up on the Hill with our local community. Host Suki Wessling talks to UCSC scholars spearheading two different projects where interaction with local community members is key to their success.

In the first half of the show, linguistics professors and students at UCSC have been working with members of our local community who are speakers of indigenous languages of Oaxaca, Mexico. Together with local nonprofit Senderos, they sponsor events to promote awareness of their experiences and culture. Linguistics professor Maziar Toosarvandani became fascinated with the large number of local residents who speak understudied languages which contain in them the history and culture of their people. He guides students to study these languages, but found that in doing so he was motivated to help the speakers foster their own community. Fe Silva Robles, the Co-Founder and Director of Senderos, joins to speak about how the local nonprofit promotes celebration of culture and serves the needs of the local Spanish- and indigenous language-speaking residents.

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In the second half we discuss the Okinawa Memories Initiative, a public history project and experiential learning program. Inspired by a collection of photos taken in 1953 and donated to UCSC, the project encompasses the entire Pacific region. UCSC Professor Alan Christy and CSUMB Professor Dustin Wright discuss how the history of Okinawa, an archipelago deeply affected by the presence of US military bases, intertwines with American history and local residents in surprising ways.

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This conversation is one in a series of conversations about how UCSC faculty are integrating studies with our local community. Please listen to these related podcasts: