Oral Archive Proposal

The Catalyst magazine (Catalyst photo)
UCSB happens to be known for their iconic newspapers, The Daily Nexus and The Bottom Line. However, what many people either don’t seem to realize, or even happen to forget, is that there are other literary publications on campus that deserve some attention as well. These publications express the creative and artistic side of our students and allow for a freedom of expression that can take the form of poetry, short stories, or life & style articles. Either way, they provide a platform for imaginative students to share their thoughts with the world. The two publications we plan to focus on are
The Catalyst, a literary arts magazine, and WORD magazine. The story we plan to tell is one that not many people may know. It will include comparison interviews with past and present contributors and the evolution of the magazines over time. With these thorough interviews, we will be able to create a new piece of Isla Vista and UCSB history that starts and ends with the most important aspect: the students.  WORD

Our target audience for this story includes current students and alumni of UCSB that may not have a complete grasp on the student run publications and their origins. Through our research and interviews, we hope to inform students at UCSB and residents of Isla Vista (past and present) of the current literary arts scene centered on WORD magazine and The Catalyst.  Students familiar with these publications will gain better insight from the historical context we provide as well. Our second target audience is those interested in Isla Vista and UCSB, but have no direct connection to these communities. By exploring these publications that encourage the emerging literary arts scene in Isla Vista, we provide these audiences with alternative narratives of our community. While some negative aspects of Isla Vista culture are more often projected, our research will expose this audience to a lesser known aspect of IV culture and help them see a more intellectual and artistic image of our community.  

In order to inform the audience about magazine culture at UCSB, we will focus on past and currently running magazines. The purpose of inception, goals of the magazines, and how they contribute to Isla Vista culture will be discussed through interviewing magazine editors, contributors, and general Isla Vista residents. For the discontinued magazines, most information and media will be derived from the materials in the UCSB Archives.  Editors from discontinued magazines will be contacted for interviews that may be conducted over Skype.  Similar to the current magazines, the topics discussed of discontinued magazines will be: the conception of the magazine, specific mission statement, and contributions to Isla Vista when the magazines were running.  Additionally, reasons behind discontinuation and how these magazines influence current magazine publications will be explored.  For each person interviewed, there will be a short introduction of their role related to the specific magazine publication, followed by the discussion of the interview topics.  The reasons for their involvement with the magazine will also be discussed.  Most of the content will be shared through podcasts, but pictures will also be included.

We will utilize material from the early development phases of the magazines to compare the material that the magazines are producing today and build a trusting relation with the audience based off the consistency of the magazines ideals and emphasis. We plan on conducting interviews with current writers of the magazine to establish a reliable source and demonstrate information straight from the magazine publishers. These interviews will add on to both the logos and ethos style of rhetorical appeal. The use of visual imagery and audio podcasts in our project will evoke emotional appeal from the audience since we will be representing Isla Vista and UCSB in a different light, which will allow them to gain a sense of pride as students here. The combination of these interviews, images and examples will influence the audience to embrace the Isla Vista community as an intellectual body that is commonly masked with the party culture.

There is so much going on at UCSB. There are hundreds of clubs for a variety of people and it’s difficult to keep track or be aware of what does exist. As students, we are tired of people shoving fliers into our face as we try to make it to class on time, and we don’t care to pay attention to what is outside of the groups we have already formed. So in one aspect, this story is about bringing attention to a part of UCSB not many are aware of but is an important part of the culture here. The story behind the two student run magazines expands awareness of a unique aspect that is part of UCSB and Isla Vista culture. What is unique and important about the existence of these student run magazines is in what they represent and how they play a role in the community. The Catalyst’s mission statement aims to bring students across majors and different backgrounds together to create and explore a multitude of artistic disciplines and cultures; it is an environment where “creativity and academics join”. And then there is WORD magazine, which covers Isla tumblr_niv71mUcXa1s2orgyo1_1280Vista culture in general—what is currently going on in the community? What is trending? They help community members become more aware of the place in which they live everyday. As students within this UCSB/Isla Vista community, it is nice to have a voice and have recognition. These magazines allow for the community members within and those outside, who maintain a certain perception of us, can appreciate the diverse culture and life in UCSB and Isla Vista community. There is so much more than just party culture and studying to pass a class. There are certain perceptions and misunderstandings with every community or culture, so exploring these groups of students that choose to express the uniqueness of the Isla Vista and USCB community are taking a few steps forward in bringing awareness to the rest of the world. These stories are relevant to both those living within this community and enlightening to those viewing it from the outside.

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