Join our Faculty Members and Travel the World

Inspired Expeditions explores the far-reaching corners of the globe and showcases UCSC's extraordinary faculty, celebrating the expertise and research they conduct on and off campus. Two History faculty memebers have trips planned for 2020 and invite you to join them!

Okinawa: March 2020


Join this exciting adventure to Okinawa, Japan with Professor Christy. We will explore the history, tradition, and culture of this unique and significant island. Over ten days, we will visit caves that were once forts in the heart of battle, winding markets with all of the tastes, smells, and colors you can imagine, shrines that will fill you with peace, and artisans who will immerse you into their craft. We will overlook military bases as we think about the American Occupation and the impacts of that relationship. We will eat Okinawan soba (noodles with pork), sample Goya (bitter melon), learn the intricate steps that create the dyed cloth known as Bingata, and dance to traditional Okinawan music. Immerse yourself in the intertwined history of Ryukyuan, Japanese, and American peoples.

The Gail Project is a collaborative, international public history project that explores the founding years of the American military occupation of Okinawa. The project is inspired by a collection of photos taken in Okinawa in 1952-53 by an American Army Captain: Charles Eugene Gail. The photos were generously donated to Special Collections at McHenry Library by Charles’ daughter, Geri Gail, and have since been made available for student research.

Study Leader: Associate Professor Alan Christy

Alan Christy. Photo courtesy Tosh Tanaka

Alan Christy is an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His publications include Ethnographies of the Self: Japanese Native Ethnology,1910-1945 (forthcoming), a translation of Amino Yoshihiko’s Rethinking Japanese History (forthcoming) and essays on modern Okinawan history and war memory in Japan.

He teaches courses on Japanese and East Asian history, Okinawa, and historiography and memory. He is currently researching transnational memories of World War II in the Pacific between 1945 and 2005, as well as continuing his work on the history of ethnography in Japan.


Egypt: October 20 - 31, 2020

Join Inspired Expeditions and UC Santa Cruz on a unique, small group tour of Egypt where monumental pyramids rise out of the desert and the River Nile weaves through the country providing the country with its extraordinary history. Shifting sands and arid conditions have preserved thousands of years of a remarkable civilization in fascinating detail.

Our trip begins with three nights in Cairo, exploring the Giza plateau where the Great Pyramids and Sphinx have stood for thousands of years and the newly opened Egyptian Grand Museum. Fly to Luxor for two nights discovering the world’s largest open-air museum before boarding your ship for a four-night cruise “up” the Nile to Aswan stopping at isolated temples en route. Fly to Abu Simbel and marvel at its gradeur and architecture. Return home from Cairo.

Study Leader: Assistant Professor Elaine Sullivan

Elaine Sullivan earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. She is an Egyptologist and a Digital Humanist whose work focuses on applying new technologies to ancient cultural materials. Her archaeological work in Egypt includes five seasons of excavation with Johns Hopkins University at the temple of the goddess Mut (Luxor), as well as four seasons in the field with a joint UCLA-Rijksuniversiteit Groningen project in the Egyptian Fayum, at the Greco-Roman town of Karanis.

Her upcoming born-digital publication, Reconstructing the Sacred (Stanford University Press 2019), utilizes a geo-temporal 3D model of the necropolis of Saqqara (near modern Cairo) to investigate questions of ritual landscape at the site. In 2007-2008, she served as project coordinator for the Digital Karnak Project, creating a multi-phased 3D virtual reality model of the famous ancient Egyptian temple complex of Karnak. Sullivan has published extensively on the use of digital technologies for research and scholarship, including recent articles in the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and the Bulletin for the Institute of Classical Studies.

 See the Inspired Expeditions webpage for more information.

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