Three UC Santa Cruz faculty honored with Dickson Emeriti Professorships

Leta Miller
Leta Miller
Diane Gifford-Gonzalez
Diane Gifford-Gonzalez
 Linda Burman-Hall
Linda Burman-Hall

Three UC Santa Cruz faculty members have been honored with emeriti professorships for the 2019–20 academic year.

Leta Miller, professor emeritus of music, Linda Burman-Hall, research professor in cultural musicology and Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, distinguished research professor of anthropology, were each awarded Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professorships in recognition of their outstanding achievements in scholarship and teaching.

The awards are given annually and funded by an endowment from the estate of former UC Regent Edward A. Dickson. The professorships make it possible for the university to retain the invaluable services of highly accomplished, retired faculty members for the benefit of its students.

Miller joined the UC Santa Cruz faculty in 1980 and retired in 2016. She has published widely on music in the 20th century, including her 2011 book, Music and Politics in San Francisco: From the 1906 Quake to the Second World  War. She previously co-authored two books on composer Lou Harrison and has published a critical edition of his works.

Miller’s article on Henry Cowell and John Cage in the Journal of the American Musicological Society won the Lowens award from the Society for American Music. Her biography of Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis appeared in 2014, and she is currently completing a book with J Michele Edwards on Chinese American composer Chen Yi.

The Dickson emerti award will help Miller support travel for research on a new book about racial segregation in the American Federation of Musicians from 1896 through the 1960s. The project expands on an article she published in 2007 dealing with the racial struggles in the San Francisco union, extending that research for a book that will now cover the entire country.

Linda Burman-Hall is a specialist in music theory and performance with advanced degrees from UCLA and Princeton University. She is active not only as a recitalist and ensemble director, but also is well known as a research musicologist. After post-doctoral research at the University of Amsterdam, she joined the faculty at UCLA and then UC Santa Cruz, where she taught music theory, harpsichord, chamber music, and world music courses for 35 years before being appointed as a research professor in 2014.

Burman-Hall is founder and artistic director of the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, which has presented hundreds of early music concerts over the past 46 years. She also founded and directed the nationally recognized American early music ensemble Lux Musica. Her festival appearances include the Carmel Bach Festival, E. Nakamichi Baroque Festival, Berkeley Early Music Festival, and the American Musicological Society. She has also been featured in concerts at the Getty, de Young, Huntington, and Smithsonian Museums, and has played throughout the United States and in Canada, The Netherlands, Germany, and Indonesia, with broadcasts on NPR.

The Dickson award will enable Burman-Hall to honor the 350th birthday of Ireland’s national composer, Turlough O’Carolan by researching, producing and directing a full concert of O’Carolan’s music for the Santa Cruz campus and community through collaboration with performers who specialize in both Baroque and vernacular Irish music styles. A direct contemporary of J.S. Bach, O’Carolan was Ireland’s most famous harpist and continues to be one of the most highly regarded and best known of all Celtic composers today. The concert will take place in fall 2020.

Diane Gifford-Gonzalez is a distinguished research professor of anthropology and a leading practitioner of zooarchaeology, a science she helped pioneer, that analyzes animal remains to better understand human behavior. It is not "just stuff you dig up," she has said. "It is how we imagine these past worlds to push the scientific envelope." Her interests include African archaeology, pastoralism, and Holocene Monterey Bay historical ecology. She has done field work in California, Nevada, and New Mexico, as well as the Netherlands, Kenya, and Tanzania.

Gifford-Gonzalez, who joined the faculty in 1976 and retired in 2015, is the author of An Introduction to Zooarchaeology. She has served as president of the Society for American Archaeology, as well as a member of the Committee of Honor of the International Conference of Archaeozoology. She also served as the curator for the Monterey Bay Archaeology Archives.

Widely recognized for the quality of her teaching, Gifford-Gonzalez also received the Martin M. Chemers Award for Outstanding Research in the Social Sciences from the Social Sciences Division in 2014. As an advocate for diversity in archaeology, Gifford-Gonzalez helped create a scholarship program to bring more young practitioners from historically underrepresented ethnic groups into the field; the Society for American Archaeology recognized her efforts in 2013, when she received the President's Recognition Award.

Gifford-Gonzalez will use the Dickson award to support archaeological research and information sharing on Monterey Bay Native foodways prior to Spanish colonization, and on the historical ecology of marine and terrestrial animals upon which their livelihoods rested.