Read coverage in HFA News about Diane Winston's lecture "From the Reagan Revolution to the Trump Insurrection: The Role of the Religious Imaginary in American Politics."




The June 2024 issue of Santa Barbara Lawyer, a publication of the SB County Bar Association, features an article by Isabelle Brady, one of our McCune interns this year. Brady is an intern at the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County. The article (see page 9), "Access to Justice: A Tenant Right to Counsel," discusses housing and eviction defenses for tenants.   




Listen to coverage on KCSB radio about Lerone Martin's lecture on "The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism."




Read coverage in HFA News about Lerone Martin's lecture on "The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism."




Read coverage in The Current about our upcoming lecture by Lerone A. Martin on "The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism."




Read coverage in HFA News about Khiara M. Bridges' lecture on "Race and the Roberts Court: Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization." 




Read coverage in the Santa Barbara Independent about Khiara M. Bridges' lecture on "Race and the Roberts Court: Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization." 




Read coverage in The Current about Khiara M. Bridges' lecture on "Race and the Roberts Court: Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization." 




Read coverage in Noozhawk about Khiara M. Bridges' lecture on "Race and the Roberts Court: Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization."




Read about our recent panel "Remembering the Vietnam War Class" in HFA News. The panel was part of our two-day Celebration of the Legacy of Walter H. Capps




The Santa Barbara Independent published a wonderful article discussing our upcoming events for "Celebrating the Legacy of Walter H. Capps," held Nov. 10-11, 2023. We hope you'll join us!




Read about our upcoming Celebration of the Legacy of Walter H. Capps, held this Nov. 10-11 on campus and via livestream, in The Current




The Capps Center is pleased is share this press release with local media and community members about "Celebrating the Legacy of Walter H. Capps," held Nov. 10-11, 2023. We are presenting a special two-day series of events to celebrate and commemorate Walter Capps' legacy in scholarship, teaching, the humanities, and public service. All events held at UCSB and live-streamed are free and open to the pubilc.




The Capps Center is pleased to announce that we won a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to support a two-day workshop on "Asian American Religions and the State." A dozen scholars will present and discuss draft chapters for a book on race, law, and Asian American Religions, to be co-edited by Capps Center Associate Director Dusty Hoesly and Melissa Borja, Associate Professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan. During the workshop, there will be one panel presentation open to the public. The workshop will take place in May 2024 at UCSB.





Please click here to read our Fall 2023 Newsletter! It includes a note from the Center's director, Greg Johnson; information about our staff; a description of our programs; and information about our upcoming Celebration of the Legacy of Walter Capps. We hope to see you at our events! And we look forward to hearing from you!




Greg Johnson, Director of the Capps Center, recently won a National Science Foundation grant as part of a team researching how to connect Indigenous communities with key decision makers in wildfire management. This joint effort between UCSB and UC-Irvine aims to elevate the expertise and voices of Native Americans in debates about how to manage wildfires in the eastern Sierra region of California. 




Just about anybody in America can officiate a wedding by getting ordained online. Dusty Hoesly, Associate Director of the Capps Center, recently published an article in The Conversation about this phenomena and what it means for American religion today.




Read coverage of our co-sponsored panel on "American Muslim Comedy: A Serious Conversation" on Fann, a website for American Muslim Creative Projects.




Read coverage of our co-sponsored panel on "American Muslim Comedy: A Serious Conversation" in the Santa Barbara Independent.



Read coverage in HFA News of our recent panel on "Ending Sexual Violence on Campus: A Holistic Approach," highlighting the remendous work UCSB faculty, staff, and students are undertaking to improve our understanding of this topic and foster holistic, intersectional approaches to address it. 




A recent article in HFA News discusses how trauma influences student experiences of literature. The article features insights from Aili Pettersson Peeker, one of this year's Mendell Graduate Fellows and a PhD candidate in English.




Read The Daily Nexus' reporting about our AAPI activism events, including a panel on Asian American activism and a lecture on how to stop anti-Asian violence and bias




Read coverage of our panel on Asian American activism and lecture by Stop AAPI Hate co-founder Manjusha Kulkarni in HFA News.




Read the Santa Barbara Independent's coverage of our April 26 panel on Asian American activism, featuring local and national AAPI activists, and keynote lecture by Manjusha Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, the nation's leading organization tracking and responding to instances of bias, harassment, and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans. These were extraordinary events, and they can be viewed on our YouTube channel




The Capps Center's daylong series of events on Asian American activism and challenging anti-Asian hate was featured on KCLU, including an interview with Dusty Hoesly, Associate Director of the Capps Center. Read or listen to the radio report here




Read a preview about two of our upcoming events on April 26th in The Current: "Anti-Hate Event Draws Local and National AAPI Activists to Multicultural Center." These events include a panel, "Asian American Activism: Drawing on History, Inspiring the Future," and a lecture, "Challenging Hate: How to Stop Anti-AAPI Violence and Bias." Both events will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel.




This year, the investigative journalists at ProPublica have reported a series of stories for "The Repatriation Project: The Delayed Return of Native Remains." The series covers the failure of American institutions -- especially museums and universities -- to return human remains and sacred items to Native Americans, despite a decades-old federal law requiring them to do so. Several campuses of the University of California, including UCSB, as well as local historical and anthropological museums, such as the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, continue to hold Native American human remains and sacred items. Two lengthy articles -- "America's Biggest Museums Fail to Return Native American Human Remains" (1/11/23) and "A Top UC Berkeley Professor Taught with Remains That May Include Dozens of Native Americans" (3/5/23) -- discuss the University of California's significant holdings of human remains and sacred items that rightfully belong to the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, who have pressured UCB and UCSB for years to repatriate these ancestral remains. The Chumash people are the first human inhabitants of California's central coast and the Channel Islands, and they continue to thrive today. As part of the Capps Center's Initiatives, director Greg Johnson works with the Chumash and other Native Americans to repatriate ancestral remains held at UCSB.




Read coverage of our event "Let's Talk about Democracy" with Ellis Cose in an article by Lian Benasuly for the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts at UCSB. Ellis Cose is an author, commentator, and founder/director of Renewing American Democracy who has written 13 books about race, free speech, civil liberties, and American democracy. During his visit, Cose synthesized the history of American democracy and explored the role of race, class, and cultural conflict in the nation's evolution. 




Greg Johnson, Director of the Capps Center, and Gerardo Aldana, a member of our Faculty Advisory Board, are featured in an article in the Daily Nexus discussing their work on repatriating Native American ancestral remains that are currently housed at UCSB. Johnson serves on the UCSB Repatriation Review Committee, which is charged with implementation of federal and state repatriation laws and UC system policy, and Aldana is the Director of UCSB's Repository for Archaeological and Ethnographic Collections. Repatriation at UCSB and Beyond is one of the Capps Center's major initiatives and we are actively focusing on repatriation work through our programming and direct involvement with the campus and community on this important issue. We are eager to continue engaging Chumash and other Native nations in the effort to facilitate the timely return of their ancestors.




Read coverage in the Santa Barbara Independent of our co-sponsored event "Obstacle Illusion," a multimedia performance by Thollem & ACVilla. 




The Santa Barbara News-Press highlights upcoming Capps Center events for Winter 2023. Read their coverage here.




Read coverage of the UC Disaster Relief Network's (DRN) new online course "Confronting Cascading and Concurrent Crises" in The Current. The UC DRN is a multidisciplinary, UC-wide network dedicated to addressing climate diasters--including prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery--and to improving resilience outcomes. The Capps Center is part of the DRN's Campus-based Committee at UCSB. 




Contingent Magazine published an article by Mattie Webb about her visit to the Walter P. Reuther Library in Detroit, MI, where she conducted research on South African trade unionists and the anti-apartheid movement. Mattie is a 2022-2023 recipient of the Mendell Graduate Fellowship in Cultural Literacy, which is awarded annually by the Capps Center.




Read coverage of Erica Gies' upcoming talk about water resiliency and the slow water movement in The Current.




Please click here to read our Fall 2022 Newsletter! It includes a note from the Center's director, Greg Johnson; information about our staff; and a description of our programs. It also includes fliers for our upcoming events. And please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!




The latest episode of the Straight White American Jesus podcast, an official partner of the Capps Center, features an interview with Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA 2nd District). Huffman is the only member of the U.S. House of Representatives who identifies as religiously unaffiliated, and in 2018 he co-founded the Congressional Freethought Caucus. He is also an alumnus of UCSB.




Professor Greg Johnson, director of the Capps Center, discusses feedback he provided to the National Science Foundation about the Thirty Meter Telescope project proposed for construction on Mauna Kea (Hawai'i):




Capps Center works with the Native American Rights Fund and the University of Colorado Law School on Implementation of the UNDRIP




A recent publication from Advisory Board member Amrah Salomón, in collaboration with Ph.D. candidate Sage Gerson (English) and UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow Janin Guzman-Morales (Environmental Studies and Geography). Along with other contributors and the AI NOW Institute at New York University and the Center for Interdisciplinary Justice, they have published Water Justice and Technology: The Covid-19 Crisis, Computational Resource Control, and Water Relief Policy.

We hope that you will read and share!

Postdoc at AI Now Institute at NYU | Information Theory SocietyCIEJ - Home




Professor Johnson's recent update on Mauna Kea and the Thirty Meter Telescope project:




In case you missed Katya Armistead and Maeve Devoy on KTYD 99.9FM on Tuesday, November 9, tune in by clicking here. Drs. Armistead and Devoy discuss the Civic Engagement Scholars Program and our students’ efforts to affect positive change in the community. We hope you'll listen!




We would like to highlight the work being one by UCSB's Gaucho Underground Scholars program. Ryan Flaco Rising is part of the inaugural cohort of the Civic Engagement Scholars Program.





Read coverage of our new Civic Engagement Scholars Program in the Daily Nexus!




An article of Dr. Katya Armistead, who served as a panelist for the Capps Center's February discussion of the January 6th Insurrection, was recently published on ShoutOut LA




We would like to call your attention to an event taking place this Thursday (8/19) at 12:00pm PST. The UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement will host a workshop on "Beyond Skokie: Speech in the Age of Hate." Ryan Coonerty, who served as a panelist at the Capps Center's February discussion of the January 6th Insurrection, will present his work.




The Capps Center is delighted to announce that, in conjunction with the Dean of Students and the Offices of Civic Engagement and Student Engagement and Leadership, we will launch the Civic Engagement Scholars Program (CESP) this Fall Quarter. The program is funded by a VOICE grant from the UC Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement.

CESP fosters ideals of active citizenship among students, engaging the next generation of leaders on issues that are of import to our campus and to the surrounding communities of Isla Vista, Goleta, and Santa Barbara. We create alliances with leaders and organizations in those communities to provide students with opportunities to develop their leadership and organizing skills and to affect measurable, positive change.

Interested students may enroll in a three-quarter-long course, Seminar in Civic Engagement and Deliberative Democracy (RS 188ABC), beginning this Fall. During the first quarter, students will study the theoretical framework and historical background of civic engagement in the American university. While doing so, they will engage in leadership development, learn skills for deliberative discourse, and design workshops incorporating these issues and skills. In the Winter and Spring, students will deliver their designed workshops to the campus and to the Isla Vista, Goleta, Santa Barbara communities. 

The course will be taught by Drs. Katya Armistead (AVC and Dean of Student Life), Maeve Devoy (Associate Director, Walter H. Capps Center), and Viviana Marsano (Civic and Community Engagement Isla Vista Liaison and Senior Advisor to Campus Organizations). 




We are delighted to announce the recipients of the 2021-2022 Mendell Graduate Fellowship competition. Since 2006, the Steve and Barbara Mendell Graduate Fellowship in Cultural Literacy has supported outstanding UCSB graduate students whose research advances the goals of cultural literacy and ethics in public life. 

We congratulate the recipients and extend our gratitude to the Mendells for their generous and consistent support of our graduate students. 

This year’s awardees are:

Brett Aho (Department of Global Studies), Towards a More Ethical AI Capitalism: Data Governance in Germany

Nicole de Silva (Department of History), From Homemaking to Peacemaking: Women’s International Organizing and the Practice of Consumer Diplomacy, 1918-1945

Olga Faccani (Department of Classics), Rising from the Ashes of Troy: The Trojan Women Project

Amy Fallas (Department of History), The Gospel of Wealth: Charity and the Making of Modern Egypt, 1879-1939

Janna Haider and Emma John (Department of History), ‘Educating and Americanizing the Foreigner’: The Daughters of the American Revolution and Immigration Policy in the Early Twentieth Century

Benjamin Jameson-Ellsmore (Department of History of Art and Architecture), Hackerspace and Urban Life: Architecture, Infrastructure, and Citizenship in the Twenty-first Century

Julie Johnson (Department of History), Commodifying Contraception: A Political Economy of Sex in Interwar Britain

Mariah Miller (Department of Global Studies), Social Enterprises in Three Institutional Systems: Comparing China, Spain, and the USA

Kendall Ota (Department of Sociology), Relocating Risk: Cruising the Korean Spa in Los Angeles and South Korea

Cierra Sorin (Department of Sociology), Epistemologies of Consent in BDSM Communities

Morgane Thonnart (Department of Religious Studies), Community, Authority, and Identity through Halal Comedy: A Comic Imagery/Imaginary of American Islam

Anna Wald (Department of Feminist Studies), Digital Disidentifications: Affective Circuits of Meme Exchange, Viral Counterpublics, and Queer Ironic Consumption

Teng (Jason) Xu (Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies), Love the Nation, Love the People: Aesthetics of Chinese Nationalism in the Xi Jinping Era

Xiuhe Zhang (Department of Film and Media Studies), A Taste of Rust: Abandonment, Migration, and Competing Imaginations of the Northeast in Post-Reform China




If you missed our Hungry and Homeless event tune in to KCSB at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, June 9, (KCSB 91.9FM,



Read coverage of Nick Tilsen's visit to the Capps Center in Noozhawk.




Read coverage of Nick Tilsen's visit to the Capps Center in The Current.




Are you interested in public service? Curious about a career in the nonprofit sector?

We are looking for civic-minded, academically accomplished upper-division undergraduates with the passion and commitment to participate in a year-long service-learning program in 2021-2022.
Application deadline: Monday, May 10 at 12:00 pm (noon).
Applications for 2020-2021 can be found here.
Placements for this year's cohort 

Mina Nur Basmaci, Direct Relief 
Veronica Bruner, Just Communities
Almalina Gomes, Cottage Health (Population Health Program)
Betsabe Lopez Morales, Planned Parenthood California Central Coast
Lea Toubian, Community Environmental Council
Megan Yeager, Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County




Ethics & the College Experience (RG ST 156CE), Wall Street Ethics (RS 190WE), and Have Ethics Gone Awry? (RS 190GA) will be offered Spring Quarter. If you would like to find out more, reference the following flyers. 





We are grateful to receive a VOICE grant from the UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. We join our partners, AVC/DOS Katya Armistead and Student Engagement and Leadership's Viviana Marsano, in creating the new Civic Engagement Scholars Program.




Free Speech, White Supremacy, and Insurrection: Suggested Readings and Resources.




Trump's New Civil Religion

Brad Onishi (Skidmore College), host of the Straight White American Jesus podcast, has an opinon piece in the New York Times. Onishi places the January 6th insurrection at the United States Capitol within the longer trajectory of American religious political history and particularly the Confederacy.

Created by Professors Brad Onishi (Skidmore College) and Daniel Miller (Landmark College), Straight White American Jesus features conversations with scholars on a variety of issues related to religion and politics.




HFA covers Indigenous Communities and Intersectional Environmental Ethics.




The Daily Nexus covers our election event.




UC Santa Barbara's Division of Humanities and Fine Arts covers our election events. 




Tune in to KCSB at 4:00 pm on Thursday, October 29, for a broadcast of Presidential Election: What Students Want (KCSB 91.9FM,




Read coverage of the October 26th election event at the Santa Barbara News-Press.




Capps Center Director Greg Johnson recently contributed to a forum on Indigenous Peoples, Sacred Rights, and Religious Freedom (Georgetown University Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs). Read his piece on "Religious Freedom, Direct Action, and Rethinking Foundations."




On October 13th, Professor Kaleikoa Ka'eo (University of Hawai`i, Maui) gave the inaugural presentation of the Capps Annual Symposium. This year's theme is Ethics in Place: A Symposium on Indigenous Peoples and the Future of Principled Democracy. Read the Santa Barbara Independent's coverage




We are pleased to announce our affiliation with biweekly podcast Straight White American Jesus, hosted by Professors Bradley Onishi (Skidmore College) and Daniel Miller (Landmark College).