University of California, Santa Barbara

Torture and the Future

Perspectives from the Humanities

Critical Issues in America, January 2007 - June 2007

Signing Statement Law or An Alternate Set of Procedures
by John Nava, from the series "Neo-Icons", 2006
Courtesy of the artist and Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery

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This series of events addresses the critical issues surrounding the use of torture by the most powerful democracy in the world. The series will focus on four areas: the devastating effects of torture conducted by democratic societies on the concept and practice of democracy; the consequences of state-sanctioned torture on the principles and practices of scholarship and education; the role of mass media in the increasing acceptability of the use of torture; and the relationship between torture used in US-run prisons abroad, and human rights violations on American soil. The series features scholars whose work on torture and human rights effectively crosses the disciplinary gap between the humanities and social sciences, as well as artists, activists and lawyers whose work is committed to an ethics and politics of response and resistance.

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Principal investigators:

Elisabeth Weber (Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies / Comparative Literature)
Lisa Hajjar (Law and Society)
Richard Falk (Global and International Studies)
Giles Gunn (Global and International Studies / English)
Peter Bloom (Film and Media Studies)
Nancy Kawalek (Film and Media Studies / Media Arts and Technology)
Susan Derwin (Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies / Comparative Literature)
Roman Baratiak (Arts & Lectures)

Associated faculty:

Julie Carlson (English / Women’s Studies)
Avery Gordon (Sociology)
Carl Gutiérrez-Jones (English / Chicano and Chicana Studies)
George Lipsitz (Black Studies)



The series Torture and the Future is made possible by a grant from the “Critical Issues in America” series, awarded annually by the College Council of Deans.

We are grateful for the generous co-sponsorship from the following UCSB departments and units:

Arts & Lectures
Black Studies
Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life
Center for Black Studies Research
Center for Middle East Studies
College of Letters and Science
College of Letters and Science, Division of Humanities and Fine Arts
College of Letters and Science, Division of Social Sciences
Comparative Literature
Consortium for Literature, Theory and Culture
Film and Media Studies
French and Italian
Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies
Global and International Studies
History of Art and Architecture
Law and Society
MultiCultural Center
New Racial Studies Project
Office of the Chancellor
Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor
Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies
Religious Studies
Spanish and Portuguese
Women’s Studies
and the media sponsorship of the

Our heartfelt gratitude also goes to Phyllis de Picciotto and Stan Roden for their generous support, and to John Nava.

Main Page | Project Description | Events/Lectures | Coordinators | Links | Giving | Contact