The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

2010 Isla Vista Research and Teaching Awards

The UC Institute for Research in the Arts, the UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and the UCSB Arts Research Initiative are pleased to announce the awardees for the Isla Vista Research Teaching Initiative competition. The Isla Vista Research and Teaching Initiative supports research projects and course proposals from UCSB faculty in the arts, humanities, and the humanistic social sciences.

Jeremy White, History of Art and Architecture
$4000 plus support from IHC to add Renee Chow to their guest speaker series, allowing her to come work with the course in Fall 2011 . The research project involves students in documenting the living conditions of residents of Isla Vista in a 2 bock area (tbd), teaching both architectural documentation styles and analytic strategies. Students will go door to door and create measured drawings of buildings, delineating their relationship to the street and neighboring buildings; documenting living arrangements and condition, including hand-drawn and photo documentation. Links will be made to larger urban systems (infrastructure, transportation and food systems, social patterns, etc.) Course is tentatively entitled: Deviant Domesticities: Studying the Architecture of Density.

Anne Torsiglieri, Theater and Dance
$5,000 for Playmaking (Theater 140A course), a collaboration between UCSB students and the 10 year-olds at Isla Vista Elementary School
In conjunction with the department’s emerging Theater and Community concentration, she will teach this course Winter 2011 and Winter 2012. The 20 undergraduates will work with 10 year-old schoolchildren from IV Elementary in an after-school class that explores theater games and playwriting. The course will culminate in public performances of short plays written by the children which will be stage-managed, performed and directed by the undergraduates.




Background: Isla Vista as a Setting for New Research and Teaching

UCSB’s significant role in shaping the 50-year development history of IV has been crucial to the town’s current identity. With a population of 20,000 living in a two square-mile space, IV is among the most densely-populated areas in the US west of the Mississippi. Its student-dominated population, with a median age of 21 years, contributes a youthful demographic twist to the community. Over time, Isla Vista has developed as a suburb with a public life that is equally as dynamic as most urban university towns.

Isla Vista’s non-owner rental base leaves the narrative of this town to be determined by its four-year transitory student population. IV’s unincorporated status and limited self-governance has made it vulnerable to the impact of UCSB’s expansion on housing, resources and livability, creating questions surrounding IV’s economic and social sustainability as an independent community. UCSB administration leaders, students, and local community members have worked in a variety of different ways to encourage IV’s development as an intellectual enclave and a healthy, productive environment for student life.

Most recently, faculty-student driven initiatives at UCSB have begun to engage Isla Vista as a new laboratory for teaching and research in order to explore and pilot opportunities for cultural programming that invest in Isla Vista’s development. These off-site community experiments have helped to transform the local setting into a fertile laboratory for hands-on research, serving as a unique environment for faculty and student engagement.

For more information on this Initiative and this competition, please click here.

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