International Instrument Collection Gains Rare Additions
The South Coast Beacon
UCSB’s Eichheim instrument collection recently added five new instruments to its ranks, including two made by famous international musicians.
The instruments, originally produced in Turkey, Japan and West Africa, will now be used at UCSB for ethnomusicologists – musicians studying music history – to research. In addition, they will be available for visiting guests to play.
“You really understand a people and their music much better if you understand what the instruments were, how they were used, how they play in the social history of a people,” Eichheim Collection Director Dolores Hsu said.
Hsu said she acquired the 80-year-old kora, a harp-lute, from Papa Susso, “one of the greatest kora players from West Africa,” last spring when he came to play at UCSB. Susso’s father, Alhadji Papa Susso, a Mandinka griot (“epic singer-historian”) made the kora.
The next piece is a baglama, which Hsu described as “the quintessential instrument of Turkish folk music.” A celebrated musician, Ramazan Gungor, made this instrument in 1980 and recently donated it to the UCSB collection.
Claremont biology professor emeritus Sherwin Carlquist donated the three Japanese instruments, which Hsu described as “absolutely splendid” and “prohibitively expensive.” They include a sho (mouth organ), a hichiriki (similar to an oboe), and a kotsuzumi (hourglass drum). Hsu said they are of museum quality and will therefore not be played.
Started by violinist Henry Eichheim around 1917, the over 900-piece collection is “not yet a museum,” Hsu said, “although we are moving in that direction.”
Writing for Film and TV Dominated by Young White Males
A new study by two UCSB professors says that, when it comes to the age, gender and ethnicity of those responsible for dreaming up the stories we see in movies and television, it’s still the same old story.
Seventeen years after first examining the issue, sociology Professors Denise and Bill Bielby assert that no improvement has been made since 1985. Their latest study, “Hollywood Dreams, Harsh Realities: Writing for Film and Television,” says that the situation has worsened, with white men under 40 receiving most jobs, while women, minorities and senior white males are passed over. The study appears in the Fall/Winter 2002 edition of Contexts, the magazine of the American Sociological Association.
“Over the past two decades, women and minorities have made advances in almost every profession,” Denise Bielby said. “Writing for film and television is a stark exception, where white males continue to dominate the telling of Hollywood’s stories.”
The hiring inequalities are not only unfair in that quality writers are passed over for jobs, the Bielbys said, but also because stories about minorities are told less frequently and often from the perspective of a white male writer.
Following the publication of the Bielbys’ first study in 1987, the Writers Guild of America – the union that represents film and television writers – and civil rights organizations made efforts to fight discrimination.
The Bielbys’ study includes theories on why these efforts failed, including: foreign investors who believe that minority themes and performers do not sell overseas, a lack of a system of equal opportunity accountability in Hollywood, and the “typecasting” of writers – the idea that an African-American writer would be hired for a program with African-American themes but nowhere else.
“The stakes are high,” the Bielbys wrote, “not just for fairness in employment, but also for whose stories get told to a global audience.”
Feinstein Wants Answers From FBI on Berkeley
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Sen. Dianne Feinstein says the FBI may have used unlawful methods of obtaining information from UC Berkeley in the 1950s and ’60s, and she wants a congressional hearing to find out for sure.
Feinstein asked the bureau for a response following a June 9 article in the San Francisco Chronicle that, in her opinion, pointed to “significant misuses of FBI power.” Upon receiving a five-page response letter from the bureau last week, Feinstein said it was “disappointing in its inadequacy.”
A ranking member of the U.S. Judiciary Committee, which oversees the FBI, Feinstein has drawn support for the inquiry from both Congress and those on the Berkeley campus.
The Chronicle reported that the FBI worked to have then-UC President Clark Kerr fired, worked with the CIA to pressure the board of regents to get rid of legal faculty and gave then-Gov. Ronald Reagan’s administration information that could be used against campus protesters. The report was released following a 17-year legal battle involving Freedom of Information Act requests.
A spokesman for FBI Director Robert Mueller declined to comment.
UC Employees Get Additional Retirement Funds
UC Press Release
University of California Regents approved a special retirement account for eligible UC employees in a move to assuage disappointment regarding small 2002-03 salary increases Nov. 14.
The recent economic downturn and resulting decline in state revenues led to funding cuts so large that the UC could only provide administrative employees with 1.5 percent raises. “We wanted to try to find additional forms of rewarding people,” said Judy Boyette, associate vice president for human resources and benefits. “Even though [the new system] doesn’t increase employees’ incomes immediately, it does give them a financial boost later on.”
The special account, called a Capital Accumulation Provision, will put the equivalent of 5 percent of the employee’s salary into a separate retirement account, where it will earn a specified rate of interest, currently set at 7.5 percent.
“All of our faculty and staff work very hard to maintain UC as a premier educational institution, and they deserve to be recognized accordingly,” Boyette said.
– Compiled by Travis Hunter and Diana Ray