Special Projects

Isla Vista Reformists, Radicals & Revolutionaries: A Multimedia Series on the Local & Global Legacy of Student & Community Activism on the California Central Coast, 1965 - Present

The Global Latinidades Project supports cutting edge research with emphasis on ignored, under-examined, and under-theorized historical, cultural, and political eras, events, and issues. The current special project—Isla Vista Reformists, Radicals, and Revolutionaries: A Multimedia Series on the Local and Global Legacy of Student and Community Activism on the California Central Coast, 1965 - Present—includes planned research articles, journalism features, exhibits, and colloquia. Components of this special project are being undertaken by individual and joint researchers who are part of the broader editorial collective. They include undergraduate senior thesis writers, graduate student dissertation writers, community members, independent scholars, as well as research faculty at UCSB and elsewhere.

Bank of America burned

This series seeks to document the student activist and radical activist legacy of UCSB and surrounding areas, to include Isla Vista and municipalities and communities in the California Central Coast from 1960s to the present at UCSB. This legacy involves myriad activist interventions such as the student takeover of North Hall that led to the creation of the Black Studies Department, protests over the denial of tenure for leftist professor Bill Allen, burning of the Bank of America in Isla Vista, student hunger strikers militating for Chicanx Studies, anti-militarism protests, and wildcat labor strikes, which in some cases was met by police with arrests, beatings, and even the killing of one student. Several questions drive this project: What are the ideological contours of different forms of student and community activism and political organizing, and what lessons do they teach us today about the interrelation between local and global politics?

Volume 1—IV Imposters: Law Enforcement Infiltration, Criminality, and Youth Counter-Counterinsurgency in Isla Vista and UC Santa Barbara, 1967-1974

The history of law enforcement repression through open violence, surveillance, infiltration, and outright sabotage among youth activists in Isla Vista and surrounding areas of the California Central Coast remains understudied and poorly understood. Based on extensive archival study and oral historiography, this study examines how local, county, and state police agencies, in addition to the FBI, coordinated efforts against members of several groups including various leftists parties and formations. This study recovers and assesses this sordid and politically important history in Isla Vista in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with particular emphasis on the multiracial collectives containing both students and non-students.

Volume 2—Who Was Damián?: A Documentary Film on UCSB Undergraduate & Revolutionary Communist Damián Garcia

Damián Garcia was an undergraduate student at UCSB from 1967 to 1971, and graduated with a degree in Cultural Anthropology. Born into a working-class family, Damián spent his youth in San Bernardino. Driven by a commitment to serving the poor, Damián was involved in student and community organizing at UCSB and surrounding communities. Active in promoting social change, Damián served as Acting Executive Director of La Casa de La Raza after graduating from UCSB. This grassroots community center was founded in 1971 by a group of community activists, and Damian's activities and priorities included an individualized and bilingual approach to learning as well as an internationalist perspective.