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Arts and Culture

Featured Interdisciplinary Initiative

Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination

The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination advances understanding of the phenomenon of imagination and its practical applications. We research, enhance and enact the gift of human imagination by bringing together the inventive power of science and technology with the critical analysis of the humanities and the expressive insight of the arts. In addition, we work to develop more effective ways of using imagination to cultivate public engagement with the big questions of our time, improve education and learning and enhance the application of imagination in meeting humanity’s challenges.

Labs, Projects, Programs and Collaborations

Arts and Community Engagement: Community Connections Fellowship

The UC San Diego Arts and Community Engagement initiative offers an annual fellowship for graduate students to create meaningful partnerships with community organizations, with an eye toward education, engagement and divergent experiences with the visual and performing arts.

Featured Researchers and Professors

Elizabeth Cartwright

Professor, Department of Visual Arts

With Nan Renner of the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, Elizabeth Cartwright is leading a multiyear research and curatorial project on oceanography for the Getty Foundation's Pacific Standard Time 2024 Art + Science initiative called “Oceanographic Art and Science: Navigating the Pacific.”

Lei Liang

Professor, Department of Music

Lei Liang coleads “Hearing Seascapes,” an ongoing project that reimagines the life and sounds of varied aquatic locales such as the Arctic and tropical coral reefs.

Micah Muscolino

Professor, Department of History

Micah Muscolino specializes in the environmental history of modern China and researches the history of water and soil conservation in Northwest China’s Loess Plateau region from the 1940s to the present. His books include "Fishing Wars and Environmental Change in Late Imperial and Modern China" (2009) and "The Ecology of War in China: Henan Province, the Yellow River, and Beyond, 1938-1950" (2015).

Kathryn Schulmeister

Doctoral Student, Department of Music

Kathryn Schulmeister is a professional double bassist, interdisciplinary artist, educator and scholar with international performance experience. She is pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts at the UC San Diego Department of Music and is a 2021-22 Fellow in the Community Connections Fellowship program. Inspired by the San Diego Coastkeeper Six Cleanup Challenge, Kathryn will compose for and create "Sounds for Sustainability: A Live Creation Series" featuring public musical events in six different coastal, inland and urban environments in San Diego County. All live creation events will involve a neighborhood cleanup, removing litter and debris from the site and creating music out of the trash that undoubtedly takes a toll on the city and its natural habitats.

Shelley Streeby

Professor, Ethnic Studies

Shelly Streeby is the author of “Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World-Making through Science Fiction and Activism." The book highlights social movements led by Indigenous people and people of color at the forefront of challenging the fossil fuel industry's threat to our environment. Her recent research focuses on climate change and public education in the Octavia E. Butler Papers at the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif.

Matthew Vitz

Associate Professor, History

Matthew Vitz researches the urban and environmental history of Mexico and Latin America, energy history, the ecological and social impacts of beachfront tourism in 20th century Mexico and food history. In his book “A City on a Lake,” he tracks the environmental and political history of Mexico City. He explains its transformation from a forested, water-rich environment into a smog-infested megacity plagued by environmental problems and social inequality.

Pinar Yoldas

Associate Professor, Visual Arts

Pinar Yoldas created “Hollow Oceans,” a sculptural installation in six chapters included in the 2021 Venice Biennale. Her work is an experimental immersion in the near future of the oceans.

Videos

Featured Courses

Hearing Seascapes

Lei Liang, Department of Music, co-leads “Hearing Seascapes,” an ongoing project and graduate level course that reimagines the life and sounds of varied aquatic locales such as the Arctic and tropical coral reefs.

HILD 43. Anthropocene 4: The Great Acceleration, 1945–Present 

Explores the intensification of industrialization and urbanization and their environmental impact, including skyrocketing greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, soil depletion, and deforestation. Also, analyzes different environmentalisms and imagines futures distinct from climate catastrophe.