UCSB Santa Barbara Department of History logo

History of Surfing course to be offered in Spring 2009.

History 103S will be crosslisted with ES 103S.

In Spring 2009, the UCSB Department of History and the Environmental Studies Program will again offer a course on the history of surfing (History 103S), supported by the History of Science, Technology, Medicine, and Environment field with the Associated Students Coastal Fund and taught by Peter Neushul and Peter Westwick.

UCSB first offered the course in spring 2008 and received an enthusiastic response. To meet high student demand, it is expanding the enrollment for spring 2009 from 75 to 250 students. Far from a superficial survey of popular culture from Gidget to Spicoli, the course delves into the many serious issues surrounding a sport now practiced by 20 million people worldwide and sustaining a $15 billion global industry.

The course highlights local issues, including the coastal engineering that produced the Sandspit surf spot, coastal armoring like that proposed for Goleta Beach, beach access and privatization at Hollister Ranch and Hope Ranch, environmental pollution, and the preservation of the Gaviota coast.

The course connects these local concerns with similar issues affecting coastal communities in widely different contexts and cultures worldwide.

The photo, taken by Frank Davey, shows a Hawaiian surfer at Waikiki, ca. 1897-1901.

jwil 10.ii.2009; hm 2/11/09