Building Linguistic Knowledge: What You Can Pick Up Just by Listening

What does it mean to know a language? Knowing a language is a continuum. On one end, there’s explicit knowledge – knowing what words and phrases mean and using the language to communicate and talk to one another. On the other end, there’s implicit knowledge, which is typically where children begin and involves understanding what words look and sound like in a language. An example of this is when we recognize a word as “English,” but have no idea what it means.

Dr. Simon Todd, assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics at UC Santa Barbara, talks about what you can learn simply by listening. His research focuses on the incredible power of passive listening for developing and accessing knowledge about language varieties and the people that speak them.

Watch Building Linguistic Knowledge: The Surprising Amount You Can Pick Up by Listening.

Script to Screen: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Don’t miss this episode of Script to Screen where Destin Daniel Cretton, director and co-writer of Marvel’s Shang-Chi, answered questions about the film from moderator Matt Ryan.

Cretton discussed a wide range of topics, including the casting of legendary actors Tony Leung and Michelle Yeoh, as well as the intense physical training and emotionally complex performances required of cast members Simu Liu and Meng’er Zhang. He also talked about some of his favorite elements of the film, including the rich familial themes that drive the story. Cretton elaborated on the influences behind his decisions to incorporate complex ideas such as grief and the family dynamics of Asian households, and how these allowed for an unconventional relationship between the film’s hero and villain. He also commented on the importance of Asian representation in the film, and how important it was to portray realistic Asian and Asian American perspectives through its characters.

Watch Script to Screen: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Global TV

Television has traditionally been understood through national frameworks, corresponding to national networks of television distribution. The Carsey-Wolf Center series “Global TV” explores the way some contemporary television programs and formats have become unmoored from their national contexts of production and distribution. The series spotlights a number of recent shows that showcase this phenomenon, including a French heist caper, a South African vigilante thriller, and a crime drama set at the epicenter of political and social change in twenties Berlin; each of these shows both transcends and is rooted in its national context and culture. The conversations in the series examine how and why a particular program might travel and take hold with an international audience, addresses questions about the role of contemporary streaming services and global flows of creative labor.

Programs include:

The Hollow Crown
Ben Power discusses his adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III for the BBC series, The Hollow Crown. Power discusses various elements of the series, including the challenges of adapting from Shakespeare, the casting choices, and political context.

Moderator Wendy Eley Jackson speaks with Gareth Crocker about his South African television show, Shadow. Crocker discusses various elements of the series, and the bandwidth issues faced by some parts of the country.

Babylon Berlin
Scott Frank explores the influence of the German series Babylon Berlin on his own series, The Queen’s Gambit. Scott discusses multiple aspects of Babylon Berlin that contributed to his appreciation of German history and television.

UCSB’s Lisa Parks, Jean Beaman, and France Winddance Twine discuss the sociological impacts of Netflix’s Lupin. They dive into the show’s political relevance and nuanced portrayal of Paris, and what makes the show an effective critique of state power.

Explore these programs and more from the Carsey-Wolf Center.

How Mass Persuasion Works

The UC San Diego Library presents a fascinating talk by Dr. Joel Dimsdale, distinguished professor emeritus in the UC San Diego Department of Psychiatry.

Dimsdale discusses his latest book “Dark Persuasion: A History of Brainwashing from Pavlov to Social Media,” which traces the evolution of brainwashing from its beginnings in torture and religious conversion into the age of neuroscience and social media.

When Pavlov introduced scientific approaches, his research was enthusiastically supported by Lenin and Stalin, setting the stage for major breakthroughs in tools for social, political and religious control. Tracing these developments through many of the past century’s major conflagrations, Dimsdale explores the history of different methods of interrogation and how Nobel laureates, university academics, intelligence operatives, criminals and clerics all populate this shattering and dark story—one that hasn’t yet ended.

Joel E. Dimsdale is distinguished professor emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry at UC San Diego. He consults widely to government agencies and is the author of numerous other works, including “Anatomy of Malice: The Enigma of the Nazi War Criminals.”

Watch Dark Persuasion – The History of Brainwashing from Pavlov to Social Media with Joel Dimsdale .

Daughter of the Holocaust

In the summer of 1942, 22-year-old Franci Rabinek began a three-year journey that would take her from Terezin, the Nazis’ “model ghetto,” to the Czech family camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau, to slave labor camps in Hamburg and finally to Bergen Belsen. Trained as a dress designer, Franci survived the war and would go on to establish a fashion salon in New York.

“Franci’s War” is her memoir of life in Nazi-occupied Europe. Rabinek’s daughter, Helen Epstein, a prolific journalist and author, introduces and discusses the memoir and explores her childhood and her relationship with her mother.

Besides contributing to major dailies such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, Epstein has published several books, including her highly acclaimed Holocaust trilogy that begins with the volume “Children of the Holocaust.” Her work has been published in numerous languages.

Watch Franci’s War – with Helen Epstein – Holocaust Living History Workshop.