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Showing posts from February, 2012

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Ned Blackhawk and the Indigenous West of Mark Twain

Here's another, shorter paper I wrote last year in my Native American studies class at UCSC. I attended a lecture and wrote this for extra credit.

On Thursday, March 03, 2011, a room-full of students and professors gathered in Humanities Building 1, Room 201 to listen to Ned Blackhawk speak about famous American writer Mark Twain, his “overland narrative” Roughing It, and what his representations of the western United States during and after the Civil War have to do with Native peoples, imperialism and anthropology. Blackhawk is the author of Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West. His lecture was based on a section of his book about Mark Twain, whose real name was Samuel Clemens. Twain’s Roughing It tells the story of his journey west with his brother that began in 1861, right when the Civil War was beginning. The two traveled through what Blackhawk said is ethnographically called the American Great Basin between the Colorado Rockies and the Sierra …

Going to the woods is going home

Going to the woods is going home. ― John Muir Living at UCSC, this is certainly true. I'm unfortunately spending my day indoors today, writing a paper, but I just have to look out a window to remind myself that I'm in a forest. Perhaps later, I'll walk down to the Knoll to enjoy the sun and the view of the bay.


Happy Sunday!

Resurrection for Recognition: The Spanish Missions, Anthropology, and Muwekma Ohlone Federal Recognition

I'm currently writing a History of Art and Visual Culture essay on Native American photographic representations in the early twentieth century, so I've been reading through old essays and notes I have from various American Studies courses I took last year. As I was reading through this paper I wrote for a Native American studies class, I realized I hadn't posted it to my blog, so I figured I'd share it now.
When the Ohlone Native Americans of the Monterey and San Francisco bay areas first encountered Spanish explorers like Captain Pedro Fages and missionary Juan CrespĂ­ in the 1770s (Brown 1), they had never before seen such “light-skinned creatures” (Margolin Ohlone 158), nor their glass beads, metal or mules; they concluded that the Europeans were “children of the Mule—a…powerful animal-god” that “had blessed them with stupendous magical powers” (158). Years later, the Ohlone recounted this initial impression to missionaries. By then, they had for years been virtually …

Earth Day Planning and Sunny Skies!

It is a radiantly sunny day here in Santa Cruz, and I couldn't be happier that I live in this wonderful forest on the top of a hill.
I just enjoyed a nice, meandering walk through a redwood trail on my way to Kerr Hall from Oakes College. I was in Oakes for an Earth Day planning meeting this afternoon, enjoying the sun from the panoramic view at Oakes Lower Lawn. (If you go to UCSC and you've never been to Oakes Lower Lawn, you have not experienced the beauty of our campus in its entirety... I know many people never venture into Oakes, but it is worth it!) I'm so glad I've gotten involved with this year's Earth Day planning as a representative for Path to a Greener Stevenson and a co-representative for Friends of the Sustainability Office. It's fun and exciting to brainstorm and vision the UCSC Earth Day Festival 2012, especially since Earth Day is the same day as my birthday, April 22. So far, our plan for the day includes healthy food, live music, and workshop…

Van Jones at UCSC

Earlier this afternoon, UC Santa Cruz student leaders from a unique selection of campus groups gathered in the Stevenson Event Center to talk about sustainability, environmental and social justice, democracy, the green economy, and the future with a "globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean energy economy," Van Jones. There were students in the room with a variety of different interests, but all were drawn to the event by the promise that Van Jones would be an inspiration to hear from and speak with, and at least in my opinion, that promise was fulfilled. But before I go into what he said earlier today, let me share a little about Van Jones.

He is the best-selling author of The Green Collar Economy and served as the green jobs advisor to President Obama. He is currently a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress and a senior policy advisor at Green For All... Jones is the founder of Rebuild the Dream, an engine helping to drive the mov…

College Dorm Tip #1: Say No to Paper Towels

If you live in a college dorm, chances are that your bathroom has paper hand towels in it. This seems normal and acceptable, right? But wait--Does your bathroom have paper towels for you to dry your body off with after the shower? No, you're expected to bring your own.

Certainly convenience is a major factor, and expectation plays a role as well. In public restrooms, there are always either paper towels or hand dryers. But dorms aren't exactly public, and it isn't as though you can't simply walk back to your room and dry your hand off on a towel there... or better yet, bring your own hand towel into the bathroom.

Green Gal's College Dorm Tip #1 is to just say no to paper towels. Bring your own cloth towel, air dry your hands, dry your hands on your jeans, enjoy the coolness of the water--just don't pull one of those paper towels from the dispenser. It simply isn't worth it. At UCSC, 33-40% of the waste that goes into the landfills comes from paper towels (Sou…