ONE CULINARY DAREDEVIL, ONE RELUCTANT HISTORIAN: UCSB Arts & Lectures brings two pop-culture luminaries to S.B. this week, neither of whom need much in the way of introduction: roughed-edged, straight-talking chef and television host Anthony Bourdain at the Arlington on Friday, February 2, and wisecracking history buff and public radio personality Sarah Vowell on Sunday, March 3. Bourdain’s talk begins at 8 p.m., Vowell’s at 7 p.m. Call 893-3535 or visit artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu for details.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU SPEAK: Examining just four of the countless variations on his own city’s primary tongue, King’s College London professor of socio-linguistics Ben Rampton presents his research on the content and context of “posh,” Cockney, Creole, and Asian English on Thursday, February 26. These particular stylizations of the language carry their own unique sets of baggage: posh and Cockney bear obvious class connotations, while the Creole and Asian varieties of speech denote certain traits of ethnicity and migration. Rampton’s research contrasts modern-day British adolescents’ use of these speech stylizations with their own economic, social, and familial experiences. His talk, Style Contrasts, Migration and Social Class, takes place in UCSB’s McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB, at 3:30 p.m.
Also on offer from UCSB’s Interdisciplinary Humanities Center is a lecture from dramaturge, artist, writer, and Maine College of Art adjunct professor of art history Eda Cufer. As the founder of the Slovenian artist collective NSK and a participant in both the En-Knap dance company and the IRWIN group, Cufer has cultivated art experiences all over Europe and written widely on a variety of subjects artistic and political. Her talk takes place in the McCune Room as well, on Tuesday, March 3 at 4 p.m. Call 893-3907 or visit ihc.ucsb.edu for details.
TAO TE CHING, THE SEQUEL: Poet, translator and all-around man of letters Stephen Mitchell pays a visit to the Lobero on Monday, March 2 to talk about his new release, The Second Book of the Tao. Following the surprise success of his version of Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching and building on a reputation already established with translations of such pillars of literature as the epic of Gilgamesh and the Bhagavad Gita, Mitchell has assembled the Second Book from the ancient wisdom to be found in the writings of two lesser-known scholars: Chuang-tzu, Lao-tzu’s student, and Tzussu, Confucius’s grandson. He also provides a healthy dose of his own 21st-century perspective as explicator and augmenter. Mitchell’s on-stage discussion with Scott London, journalist, photographer, and former host of KCBX’s Insight & Outlook, begins at 7:30 p.m. The event is just one installment of the larger “Mind and Supermind” lecture series from SBCC Adult Education, which brings speakers dedicated to exploring “broad areas of human potential, conquering challenges, communication and relationships, and the mysteries of life.” Call 963-0761 or visit lobero.com for details.
TWENTY YEARS, MULTIPLE CULTURES: UCBS’s MultiCultural Center has long been host to a vibrant set of some of the most diverse, unconventional (and sometimes controversial) performances, screenings, and lectures in the area. The MCC tops off its 20th-anniversary festivities with a panel discussion about the context in which the Center was founded and developed, and its struggles to rise from a single room to a custom-built, 4,500-square-foot space used for countless meetings and events. The panel, featuring former student activists Michelle Banks, H.L.T. Quan, Suran Thrift, Kevin Cartwright, and Jamie Edwards-Acton, will verbally take it back to the early 1980s, when the MCC had its genesis as one of several demands presented to university administrators by frustrated students of color. The talk starts Saturday, February 28 at 2 p.m. Call 893-8411 or visit mcc.sa.ucsb.edu for details.