News

“Animal Kingdoms,” a poem by Associate Professor Brian Stefans

August 4, 2020

Animal Kingdoms for David and Chelsea   I woke—and found my cats had taken a hike! David had discovered he was gorgeous, had attained his SAG card, was going on auditions for supporting roles on the Cartoon Network,   and Chelsea had bartered her remarkable girth for spots on fast food commercials, as one who, like us, disregards the pull of the earth on our passion: filling voids in the bowels.   Yes, I’m sure there are insects who’ve abandoned me for cameos on the science channels, such as the bedbug who found celebrity as the one true conqueror of bedtime flannels,   or the impecunious spider who had regaled my corners with devilish displays of artistry who is now the go-to arachnid for commentary about WatchESPN’s athletic fly hoarders.   And the lizards who once crept through the screen door are now actors’ doubles for the new Godzilla, and the water bug I, insultingly, thought a roach commands six figures for its visage,   and the mold that grew on my English muffins is speed-reading through HBO options, as who, among the mammals, doesn’t care about toxins, those Iago-antagonists of digestion?   But I’d like to say: I still have my bacteria, loyal manservants against the siege of the world upon my flesh, within labyrinthine viscera —what is indissolubly me, though in the end I’m sure   the bacteria will have signed their sexy contracts, billions of them, as the camera’s eye finds drama in these most minimal of actants, and spurns this precious lump—the human alibi. 

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“Daily Life in Early LA” A Self-Guided Tour of 19th Century Los Angeles from Marissa López

June 26, 2020

Professor Marissa López spent the 2019-20 academic year as an ACLS Scholars & Society Fellow working with the Los Angeles Public Library to develop projects showcasing the history and cultural production of 19th century, Mexican Los Angeles. The big goal of the project is a mobile app, currently in production, but there is also a cluster of smaller, digital projects including a recently released tour of DTLA. One such projects is “Daily Life in Early Los Angeles,” a self-guided bike tour through nineteenth-century Mexican LA. No bike? No problem! Most of this ride can be walked, and you can follow all of it on Google Maps using Street View. Download a PDF of the route at: www.laexplorersclub.com/self-guided-tours and find the audio by searching for “Picturing Mexican America” on SoundCloud and Spotify. The ride is a collaboration between Picturing Mexican America and the Los Angeles Explorers Club, designed to get you out and about, experiencing the city afresh. Los Angeles in the mid-nineteenth century was, as John Mack Faragher describes it in Eternity Street, a “violent place in a violent time,” (xi). Nevertheless, people still managed to have a lot of fun here. What did early Angelenos do to entertain themselves, and what do entertainment, popular culture, and daily life in the nineteenth-century reveal about the racial and ethnic tensions in Los Angeles today in 2020? Ride along to explore that very question and uncover the hidden histories of some DTLA landmarks. Stay safe; stay sane; and, enjoy the ride!

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UCLA PhD Recipient Kathryn Cai publishes new article, “Building A Society That Values Care”

June 4, 2020

Congratulations to Kathryn Cai on the publication of her new article, “Building A Society That Values Care,” in Public Books, an online magazine of ideas, scholarship, and the arts. In the article, Cai explores the urgent need to create a sustainable approach to care work. Read the article here. Kathryn Cai (UCLA PhD in English, 2019) is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Wake Forest University. You can learn more about Kathryn and her research here.

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