What UCHRI Was Reading This Year

Published on June 5, 2018


Perpetually in search of new means for facilitating open, critical discourse, in February 2018 UCHRI staff began exploring the reaches of the open source, online annotation tool, Hypothes.is. Using a simple url, online readers can highlight and comment on web material, post remarks for the public or for private use, and engage colleagues and the like in healthy debate.   

Experimentation

Ann Lauterbach “Use This Word in a Sentence: ‘Experimental’”

Poet and essayist Ann Lauterbach combs through the many implications and dimensions of the word “experimental.” From sociological and political catastrophes to the brazen bursts of poetic energy, “the experimental” has steered the course of human progress. Lauterbach both asks and answers: in what context does an experiment succeed and/or fail, and how might society progress heeding the lessons of experimentation? In conjunction with our May 2018 Exploratory Workshop on Experimentation, UCHRI staff takes stock of the experimental within the humanities as a mode for braving, barefaced, academia’s uncharted waters.

Other readings on Experimentation:

Bruno Latour, “The Force and Reason of Experiment”

Michelle Murphy, The Economization of Life

Mikhail Epstein, “Towards the Techno-Humanities: A Manifesto”  

Humanists at Work

Erin Bartram “The Sublimated Grief of the Left Behind”

When Visiting Assistant Professor of History and blogger, Erin Bartram, gave voice to academia’s “sublimated” broken heart, UCHRI’s HumWork staff, many of whom are former doctoral students, were eager to respond. Our discussion orbits key questions relating to academia outside the academy: Are there applications—practical and non—for the skills amassed during graduate school? When you become a non-affiliate, where does your work go and who is your work for? Or, more abstractly, where does the intellect live? Is it tethered umbilically to discipline, practice, and institution, or might it have breathing rights outside of these traditional loci?  

Other readings on Humanists at Work:

David Graeber, “Punching the Clock”

Amy Olberding, “The Outsider”

Bruce Robbins, “Reading Bad”

Social Heterogeneity

Chris Lebron, “Who first showed us that Black Lives Matter”

Professor Chris Lebron’s piece traces the historical arc that leads society once again to fight fiercely against racial injustice. The Black Lives Matter movement, Lebron stresses, is one among many moments in an unforgiving American trajectory that continually, without abatement, circles back to racial discrimination and aggression. His piece demonstrates that while nothing in fact has changed—bigotry might experience light ebbs and flows, but has never once disappeared—there is a rich intellectual history upon which the Black Lives Matter Movement can both lean, and from which it can draw inspiration. Prompted by the UC-wide Diversity Working Group and “The Racial Calculus: Thinking Through Race Today,” a Los Angeles-based public humanities event, UCHRI staff takes part in this contemporary discourse and with it stresses the significance of keeping Black Lives Matter continuously in the spotlight.

Other readings on Social Heterogeneity:

Clare Mullaney, “The Social Advantage of Pockets”

William H. Frey, “Will Millennials Make America Whole?”

Safiya Noble & Willow Bay, 2018 MAKERS Conference

Future of the University

Ron Srigley “Whose University is it Anyway”

Administration, argues Srigley, is taking over the university system in an act of aggression that includes, most grievously, the usurpation of the university mind. More than ever, he writes, students and professors are encouraged to think and perform as administrators: having been “broken by [administrative] cynicism,” they become outcome oriented, fixated on market value, and are pushed to produce. In simple terms, they become quantifiers over qualifiers. As part of our ongoing discussion around the Future of the University, UCHRI staff debates the impact of the shifting tide in education towards an economizing model that eschews the pleasure of process in favor of product, result, and outcome.

Other readings on the Future of the University:

Vincent Del Casino, Jr., “Machine Learning, Big Data and the Future of Higher Ed”

Eric Johnson, “Is ‘Uber Meets Harvard’ the Future of Learning?”

Colleen Flaherty, “A Different Kind of University”

Civilities at War

Justin Stover, “There is No Case for the Humanities”

If, by some horrible catastrophe, every university was destroyed beyond repair—the labs, the sports fields, the libraries, the tech classrooms all came tumbling down—the humanities would remain untouched among the rubble. While the university may need the humanities to exist—it is its (bleeding) heart—the opposite is simply not true. Why then must we defend them? For Stover, we cannot; we should not. There is no case for the humanities because “the justification for the humanities only makes sense within a humanistic framework.” Self-referential (“self-contained” and “self-serving”), the humanities truly speak for themselves—they can and will endure, despite infrastructure; they were born before the university and will get on without it. Along with Stover, UCHRI staff contemplates why, in this moment, the humanities are relegated to the periphery, yet also how they can rise again.

Other readings on Civilities at War:

Erika Hayasaki, “Is AI Sexist”

The Chronicle, Multiple Authors, “The Awakening”

Jonny Thakkar, “On Being an Arsehole”

Categories: Blog |

Transnational Feminisms Interdisciplinary Bibliography

Published on May 30, 2018


Residential Research Groups (RRGs) are the longest-standing grant program at UCHRI, and these groups remain the cornerstone of our grantmaking activities. RRGs are in essence teams of researchers—often unknown to one another before residency—who convene at UCHRI for one quarter to accomplish a commonly-defined research agenda. In Fall 2017, UCHRI hosted a residential research group that collectively examined the heterogeneous field of transnational feminism.

Traditionally, collaboration in RRGs may take many forms. Cooperation across disciplines elicits challenges of language, terminology, and methodology for all RRGs. The organizing premise of the residential research program is that when those challenges are surmounted, breakthroughs in knowledge are possible. Listen to a podcast with the RRG conveners to hear how this collaboration worked in practice: 

To further represent this interdisciplinary knowledge sharing, we have asked the RRG to craft an interdisciplinary bibliography that represents each individual member’s research and perspective on critical refugee studies. Taken separately, these materials represent key materials selected by scholars of an emerging field of study; when combined, the sources highlight the rich landscape of transnational feminisms.

Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, American Studies, UC Irvine

Judy Tzu-Chun Wu is a professor and chair of the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She authored Dr. Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards: the Life of a Wartime Celebrity (University of California Press, 2005)  and Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era (Cornell University Press, 2013). Her current book project, a collaboration with political scientist Gwendolyn Mink, explores the political career of Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color US congressional representative and the co-sponsor of Title IX.  Wu also co-edited Women’s America: Refocusing the Past, 8th Edition (Oxford 2015), Gendering the Trans-Pacific World (Brill 2017), and Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies (2012-2017). She is the incoming co-editor of Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 (Alexander Street Press).

Source name/link:

Leila J. Rupp, Worlds of Women: The Making of an International Women’s Movement (Princeton University Press, 1997).  

Joane Nagel, Race, Ethnicity and Sexuality: Intimate Intersections and Forbidden Frontiers (Oxford University Press, 2005).

Jocelyn Olcott, International Women’s Year: The Greatest Consciousness-Raising Event in History (Oxford University Press, 2017).

How the source reflects your research:

I could include many books and articles, but I do tend to return to Rupp and Nagel and also admire the recently published study by Olcott.  Rupp and Olcott, both historians, help us think about how women activists become invested in and engaged in internationalist politics that cross North/South divides.  They examine the complex connections and divisions between women as they attempt to build political ties across national borders. Nagel, a sociologist, foregrounds the intersectional nature of cross-border contact, whether through colonization, war, or interracial relationships internal to the nation.  I frequently cite her concept of the “military-sexual complex” to highlight the sexual politics of militarism.

Maylei Blackwell, Chicana and Chicano Studies, UCLA

Maylei Blackwell is the author of the landmark ¡Chicana Power!  Contested Histories of Feminism in the Chicano Movement (2011) as well as a co-editor of ¡Chicana Movidas! New Narratives of Activism and Feminism in the Movement Era (University of Texas Press, 2018). Her forthcoming book, Scales of Resistance:  The Practice of Indigenous Autonomy in the Age of Neoliberalism (Duke University Press), draws on twenty years of research accompanying indigenous women’s organizing in Mexico and its diaspora. Her research on women’s social movements in the US and Latin America, transborder activism, and indigenous politics and migration have appeared in the US, Mexico, and Brazil in journals such as Meridians, Signs, Aztlán, Journal of Latin American Studies, Desacatos and Revista Estudos Feministas. She teaches Chicana and Chicano studies and gender studies and is affiliated faculty in American Indian studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has served as the chair of the Abya Yala Working Group of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) and co-directs the digital story platform Mapping Indigenous Los Angeles (mila.ssc.ucla.edu).

Source name/link:

The Kino-nda-niimi Collective, The Winter We Danced:  Voices from the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement (Arbeiter Ring Publishing, 2014)

Bianet Castellanos, Lourdes Gutiérrez Nájera, Arturo J. Aldama, eds. Comparative Indigeneities of the Américas: Toward a Hemispheric Approach (University of Arizona, 2012)

Blackwell, F. Boj-López, L. Urrieta, 2017.   Introduction: Critical Latinx Indigeneities. Latino Studies 15 (2):  126-137. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41276-017-0064-0

How the source reflects your research:

What if we reimagined transnational feminism via Indigenous feminist practices that are community-based transborder political formations that negotiate the complexities of both indigenous nations and settler states?  I use the political vision of Abya Yala elaborated by indigenous women activists to recenter a transnational feminist ethic of relation and responsibility to each other, the land and other beings. Bridging these knowledge practices to the academic scholarship on hemispheric frameworks and comparative indigeneity in the Américas helps me center the multiscaled resistance of indigenous women’s organizing in Mexico and the US.  Further, in thinking collectively with other scholars and activists of indigenous migration, I am exploring the complex relationships indigenous migrants have to settler colonial logics and processes.

Rachel Fabian, PhD Candidate, Film and Media Studies, UC Santa Barbara  

Rachel Fabian is a PhD candidate in the Department of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the recipient of the 2016 SCMS Women’s Caucus Graduate Student Writing Prize, which she was awarded for her essay “Reconsidering the Work of Claire Johnston” (forthcoming in Feminist Media Histories). She is former managing editor of Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies and also served as the issue editor for the Media Fields Journal special issue titled “Access/Trespass.” Her dissertation, “Collectivity and Its Discontents: Transnational Figurations of 1970–80s Collective Media-Making and Activist Affects,” examines the interrelations among independent and activist film and video collectives that proliferated in the US, UK, India, Latin America, and elsewhere during the 1970s–80s from a transnational feminist perspective. Her research interests include: feminist film and media studies, production culture studies, film and media history, affect studies, and transnational feminist thought.

Source name/link:

Trinh T. Minh-ha, “‘Who Is Speaking?’ Of Nation, Community, and First-Person Interviews,” in Feminisms in the Cinema, edited by Laura Pietropaolo and Ada Testaferri (University of Indiana Press, 1995).

Monisha Das Gupta, Women’s Studies and Ethnic Studies, University of Hawaii 

Monisha Das Gupta is professor in the Departments of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She specializes in cross-border migration and migrant-led social justice movements to which she brings a critical and feminist transnational perspective. She is currently working on a book about anti-deportation organizing in Los Angeles, Long Beach and New York City.  The book aims at bringing migration studies in dialog with feminist theories of sovereignty emerging from Indigenous Studies. Das Gupta’s first prize-winning book, Unruly Immigrants: Rights, Activism, and Transnational South Asian Politics in the United States (Duke University Press 2006), dealt with feminist, queer and labor organizing in South Asian communities on the East Coast. She has published in Gender & Society, Cultural Dynamics, Journal of Historical Sociology, and Latino Studies.  She has contributed essays to several edited volumes.

Source name/link:

Trask, Haunani-Kay. From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai’i.  (University of Hawai’i Press, 1999).

Simpson, Audra. Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States. (Duke University Press, 2014).

How the source reflects your research:

The chapter in Trask’s book on which I have drawn extensively for the framework of my book project is entitled, “Hawaiians and Human Rights.” The chapter explicates the ways in which racial minorities are drawn into a settler compact through civil rights discourses, which suppress the distinct sovereignty claims of Indigenous peoples and convert self-determination struggles into those for racial equality.

I use Simpson’s Mohawk Interruptus as a provocation to think about the United States itself as transnational — a constellation of sovereign indigenous nations which exist within the geopolitical formation over which the US settler state tries to stabilize its sovereignty claims.

Grace Hong, Gender Studies and Asian American Studies, UC Los Angeles

Grace Kyungwon Hong is professor of Asian American studies and gender studies at UCLA. Her research focuses on women of color feminism as an epistemological critique of and alternative to Western liberal humanism and capital, particularly as they manifest as contemporary neoliberalism. Most recently, she has been working on a project on situating Asian and Asian diasporic feminism both a genealogy of Third World feminism.  She is the author of Death Beyond Disavowal: The Impossible Politics of Difference (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) and The Ruptures of American Capital: Women of Color Feminism and the Cultures of Immigrant Labor(University of Minnesota Press, 2006) and the co-editor (with Roderick Ferguson) of Strange Affinities: The Gender and Sexual Politics of Comparative Racialization(Duke University Press, 2011).

Source name/link:

Yoneyama, Lisa. Cold War Ruins: Transpacific Critique of American Justice and Japanese War Crimes. (Duke University Press, 2016).

How the source reflects your research:

In Cold War Ruins, Lisa Yoneyama argues that in the post-World War II era, the very idea that it might be possible to remedy incidences of historical injustice and violence through reparations or redress legitimizes US militarism by erasing the tracks of contemporary US empire. She observes that the narrative of the US occupation of Japan in the wake of WWII as a benevolent process of tutelage that ostensibly reshaped Japan’s atavistic, militaristic, and violent society to be fit for capitalist liberal democracy, in large part through the adjudication of Japanese war crimes, hides the conjoined complicity of both states as they work together to suppress anti-imperialist movements across the Asia-Pacific region. In this context, she theorizes what she calls the “redress cultures” of the 1990s to the present, for which her paradigmatic example is the transnational feminist movement for reparations for Japanese sexual slavery during the war (what’s more popularly known as the “comfort women” movement), as movements that both seek to be legible within the confines of the juridical and undermines the language of the juridical as means for justice. In so doing, Yoneyama posits such movements as the “return” of the decolonization movements of the 20th century repressed by the Pax Americana.

Yoneyama’s contextualization of such trans-Pacific Asian/Asian diasporic feminist movements is crucial to my current project, which seeks to situate Asian diasporic/Asian American feminism within U.S. Third World and women of color feminisms. Because of specific immigration histories, Asian American feminism’s development does not always correspond to  the more familiar trajectories of Chicana or Black feminism. Rather than require commensuration between these different histories, in this project, I seek instead to trace the discontinuous trajectories and multiple temporalities of feminist of color engagements with what Yoneyama calls the “unfinished project of decolonization.”

Rana Jaleel, Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies, UC Davis

Rana Jaleel is an assistant professor of gender, sexuality, and women’s studies at the University of California, Davis.  Trained in law, US political and cultural history, and queer feminist and critical ethnic studies, her work uses an interdisciplinary methodology to analyze the relationships between law, legal processes, and transnational feminist efforts to combat wartime sexual violence.  A longtime member of the American Association of University Professors, she presently serves on the Committee for Women in the Profession. Her work has been published in Cultural Studies, Social Text: Periscope, and The Brooklyn Law Review, among other venues.

Source name/link:

Reddy, Chandan.  Freedom with Violence: Race, Sexuality, and the US State.  (Duke University Press, 2011).

How the source reflects your research:

In Freedom with Violence, Chandan Reddy explores how neoliberal societies’ notions of freedom, rights, and citizenship depend upon the legitimization of state violence.  In the book’s introduction, for example, Reddy analyzes President Obama’s 2010 signing of the National Defense Authorization Act. The Act authorized a troop surge in Afghanistan while simultaneously enshrining new civil rights through its rider amendments, which included the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Reddy’s critique of liberal modernity as authorizing and requiring state violence enables my analysis of transnational feminist organizing efforts to enshrine rape within international human rights, humanitarian, and criminal law. Far from a straightforward story of gender progress, my project shows how the purchase certain feminisms have gained within international and national institutions are predicated on Women of Color and indigenous feminist activisms and justice forums—not merely through a parasitic or oppressive relation, but rather through misapprehension and failed commensurability required by structures of law.

Zeynep Korkman, Gender Studies, UC Los Angeles

Zeynep K. Korkman is an assistant professor of gender studies at the University of California Los Angeles. Her teaching and research interests include transnational feminisms; cultural politics; gender, labor, and affect; and religion, secularism, and the public sphere, with a regional focus on Turkey and the larger Middle East. Her work has appeared on Gender & Society, the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, European Journal of Cultural Studies, and Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association.

Source name/link:

Mohanty, C.T. 1988. “Under Western eyes: Feminist scholarship and colonial discourses.” Feminist review 30:61-88.

Mohanty, C.T. 2003. “‘Under western eyes’ revisited: feminist solidarity through anticapitalist struggles.” Signs: Journal of Women in culture and Society 28(2):499-535.

Abu‐Lughod, L., 2002. “Do Muslim women really need saving? Anthropological reflections on cultural relativism and its others.” American anthropologist 104(3):783-790.

How the source reflects your research:

Mohanty’s foundational essay and her later reflections tackles with the ways in which “third world women” have been represented in Western feminist scholarship and seeks to intervene in these representations by articulating a(nother) transnational feminist politics and ethics of representation and solidarity, while Abu-Lughod focuses on the pseudo-feminist representations of “Muslim women” as legitimizing contemporary forms of imperialism and militarism. As gender and sexual minorities in the Muslim Middle East continue to constitute prime objects of neoimperialist and anti-immigrant discourses in the United States and Europe, these works remain essential to my research and larger academic and public engagements as a transnational feminist scholar.

Karen Leong, Women and Gender Studies, Asian Pacific American Studies, Arizona State University

Karen J. Leong is associate professor of women and gender studies and Asian Pacific American studies in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University, where she also is graduate faculty of history.  She is the author of The China Mystique: Pearl S. Buck, Mayling Soong Chiang, and Anna May Wong and American Orlentalism (UC Press, 2005) and co-edited special issues of Frontiers, “Transnational Feminisms Summer Institute” (2015); and Amerasia,  “Carceral States” (2016).  Leong’s research interests engage the intersections of settler colonialism, transnational feminisms, Asian American history, and relational ethnic studies.  She is writing a manuscript about Japanese Americans in Arizona, and is co-authoring with Dr. Myla Vicenti Carpio (American Indian Studies ASU) a book manuscript about the ideological and institutional motivations behind the U.S. government’s relocations of Japanese Americans and American Indians from the 1940s-70s.  

Source name/link:

Maile Arvin, Eve Tuck, and Angie Morrill, 2013. “Decolonizing Feminism: Challenging Connections between Settler Colonialism and Hetero-patriarchy.” Feminist Formations 25(1): 8-34.

How the source reflects your research:

Arvin, Tuck, and Morrill, “exhort ethnic studies and Indigenous studies, as well as gender and women’s studies, to address the erasure of Indigenous women and Native feminist theories in ways that are not simply token inclusion of seemingly secondary (or beyond) issues.”  I am seeking to respond to their challenge by centering settler colonialism and indigeneity in how I engage transnational feminist analyses of Japanese immigration and Japanese American settlement in Arizona in my own work. Japanese migration to the United States was gendered, as were the restrictive policies imposed by the United States upon Asian migration. How do Native epistemologies and the impact of colonization and settlement on Indigenous women further inform this process of Japanese American settlement?  My research addresses the effect of immigration to Arizona (as a territory and state) upon the Indigenous peoples of the region, and explores how the context of colonized lands and water managed by the settler state informed the opportunities and limitations that confronted Japanese Americans in Arizona. I also attend to how Japanese empire-building and settler colonialism, in response to U.S. and European imperial interests in Asia and the Pacific, informed the outmigration of Japanese to places including Hawai’i and the United States in the early 20th century.

Jessica Millward, History, UC Irvine

Jessica Millward is an associate professor in the Department of History at UC Irvine.  Her research focuses on slavery in early America, African American history as well as women and gender.  Dr. Millward’s first book, Finding Charity’s Folk: Enslaved and Free Black women in Maryland was published as part of the Race in the Atlantic World series, Athens: University of Georgia Press (2015).   An award winning scholar, she has published in the Journal of African American History, the Journal of Women’s History, Frontiers, Souls and the Women’s History Review as well as Op-eds in Chronicle of Higher Education, The Feministwire.com and The Conversation.com. Millward is currently working on a book length project that discusses African American women’s legal and extra-legal responses to sexual assault and intimate partner violence in the fifty years following the abolition of slavery in the American South; the first time that the formerly enslaved possessed legal rights to their bodies.

Sources:

Gross, Kali N., 2015. “African American Women, Mass Incarceration, and the Politics of Protection,” Journal of American History 102(1): 25-33.

Haley, Sarah. No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity. (University of North Carolina Press, 2016.)

Talitha L. LeFlouria, Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South (University of North Carolina Press, 2015).

Hannah Rosen, Terror in the Heart of Freedom: Citizenship, Sexual Violence, and the Meaning of Race in the Post-emancipation South (University of North Carolina Press, 2009).

Williams, Kidada E. They Left Great Marks on Me: African American Testimonies of Racial Violence from Emancipation to World War I.  (New York University Press, 2012.)

How the source reflects your research:

I chose these sources as they represent a body of scholarship illuminating the experiences of African American women with intimate and state sanctioned violence in the years following the American Civil War. Prior to this turn in the literature, studies of emancipation focused almost exclusively on violence against African American men in the form of lynchings.  This project does not equate these two systems of terror. Rather, this project is focused on the interiority of black women’s lives as they transitioned from property to person in the eyes of the law. Turning the lens of violence inward to African American domestic spaces will not be popular; nor will it be easy to trace. However, in this moment when scholars, law enforcement, and every day people argue if and when Black Lives Matter, it is important to focus on the legal actions of African American women as they worked out the meanings of citizenship and rights to their bodies.  Furthermore, this inquiry is necessary if we are to understand violence against women transnationally. If it is true that we can learn from the past to inform the future, this project holds implications for our shared humanity.

Categories: Blog |

University of California President’s Faculty Research Fellowships 2018–19

Published on May 23, 2018


 

In April, a committee composed of humanities faculty representing six UC campuses met to select the eight recipients of the prestigious University of California President’s Faculty Research Fellowship for 2018–19. The fellows will receive paid leave from their regular teaching requirements to pursue their own research projects.

Outer Spaces: Imagining the Ends of the Earth

Elizabeth DeLoughrey, English, UC Los Angeles

The Smell of Risk: Atmospheric Disparities and the Olfactory Arts

Hsuan Hsu, English, UC Davis

Unsettling Citizenship: African-Asian Lives and the Politics of Racialized Insecurity in Postcolonial Uganda

Anneeth Kaur Hundle, Anthropology, UC Merced

Structure:  A Counterhistory of Twentieth-Century French Philosophy

Eleanor Kaufman, Comparative Literature, UC Los Angeles

Broken Black Bodies: African American Women and Intimate Partner violence in the post Civil War South

Jessica Millward, History, UC Irvine

Reconstructing the Law: Slavery in Post-Emancipation Southern Courtrooms, 1865-1877

Giuliana Perrone, History, UC Santa Barbara

From Baltimore to Beirut: On the Question of Palestine

Sherene Seikaly, History, UC Santa Barbara

Queer Remains: Race, Trans Resistance, and the Aesthetics of Violence

Eric Stanley, Gender & Sexuality Studies, UC Riverside

Categories: Blog |

UCHRI Spring 2018 Awards Announcement

Published on May 18, 2018


UCHRI has just completed our spring grants cycle, awarding nearly 50 grants to faculty and staff across the UC system. Grantees will receive support for interdisciplinary collaborative and individual research during the 2018–19 academic year. Awards support public and engaged humanities projects, multicampus working groups that bring together faculty and graduate students around shared intellectual concerns, workshops for junior faculty to develop book manuscripts, and graduate student dissertation research and writing.

The awards, which were determined in collaboration with UCHRI’s Advisory Committee, feature projects that represent groundbreaking ideas and methods and that draw upon the diverse perspectives and expertise of UC scholars. “The spring competition was extremely competitive, with over 130 applications across five categories of funding,” states UCHRI director David Theo Goldberg. “We’re inspired by the way that these projects engage different publics, incorporate experimental methodologies, and involve graduate students in substantive research.”

Junior Faculty Manuscript Workshops

Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics, 1960–1980

Jacob Gaboury, Film & Media, UC Berkeley

Peopling for Profit: Colonization and the Brazilian Empire, 1808–1878

José Juan Pérez Meléndez, History, UC Davis

Conflicts and Repetition: The Politics of Poetic Reiteration in Hebrew and Arabic Literatures

Liron Mor, Comparative Literature, UC Irvine

Unbound Books: Voice, Image, and Cultures of Reading Drama in Seventeenth-Century China

Yinghui Wu, Asian Languages and Cultures, UC Los Angeles

The Texture of Change: Cloth, Commerce and History in Western Africa, 1700–1850

Jody Benjamin, History, UC Riverside

Radical Roads Not Taken: Moroccan Jewish Trajectories, 1925–1975

Alma Heckman, History, UC Santa Cruz

Recruiting Sweetness: Translating Race and Risk in Type 2 Diabetes Research

James Doucet-Battle, Sociology, UC Santa Cruz

Multicampus Faculty Working Groups

Arts of Critique

Natalia Brizuela, Film & Media and Spanish & Portuguese, UC Berkeley

*includes Supplemental Graduate Student Funding

Sounding Space and Place

Sheryl-Ann Simpson, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design and Human Ecology, UC Davis

Anna Brand, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, UC Berkeley

New Directions in the Study of Black Atlantic Religions

Robin Derby, History, UC Los Angeles

Cybernetic Algorithms and Biometric Processes – An Inquiry into the Contemporary Modes of Government of the Living Systems

Babak Rahimi, Literature, UC San Diego

Davide Panagia, Political Science, UC Los Angeles

The Maghrib Workshop: Sovereignty, Crisis, and Narratives of Belonging

Juan Camilo Gomez-Rivas, Literature, UC Santa Cruz

*includes Supplemental Graduate Student Funding

Sanctuary Practices

Massimiliano Tomba, History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz

Banu Bargu, History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz

Engaging Humanities Grants

Humanizing Deportation: A Digital Storytelling Archive

Robert Irwin, Spanish and Portuguese, UC Davis

*includes Supplemental Graduate Student Funding

Social Media Literacy Workshop

Lynette Hunter, Theatre and Dance, UC Davis

*includes Supplemental Graduate Student Funding

Music and the Archive at Sinai Temple

Mark Kligman, Musicology, UC Los Angeles

Skid Row History Museum and Archives

Catherine Gudis, History, UC Riverside

Extending Mi Familia, Mi Historia: Humanities, the Arts, and Communities in Dialogue

Luis Alvarez, History and Institute for the Arts and Humanities, UC San Diego

Ethics Bowl as a Platform for Educational Advancement

Jonathan Ellis, Philosophy, UC Santa Cruz

Thomas Holden, Philosophy, UC Santa Barbara

*includes Supplemental Graduate Student Funding

Multicampus Graduate Student Working Groups

Science/Fiction, Science/Media: Re-theorizing STS’s Cultural Landscape

Katherine Buse, English, UC Davis

Ranjodh Dhaliwal, English, UC Davis

Archaeology of the Future: Chinese Oral History in the Digital Age

Qiyu Lu, Asian Languages and Cultures, UC Los Angeles

Elizabeth Carter, Asian Languages and Cultures, UC Los Angeles

Yiyang Hou, Asian Languages and Cultures, UC Los Angeles

Lin Du, Asian Languages and Cultures, UC Los Angeles

Seeds at the Table: Centering the Black Legacy in Academic Creativity

Zachary Mondesire, Anthropology, UC Los Angeles

Julien Joelle, Anthropology, UC Los Angeles

Thinking From Oakland: Urban Study in the Town

Erin McElroy, Feminist Studies, UC Santa Cruz

Trisha Barua, Cultural Studies, UC Davis

Alex Werth, Geography, UC Berkeley

Transgender Studies Working Group

Eli Erlick, Feminist Studies, UC Santa Cruz

Graduate Student Dissertation Support Grants

Among the Divinities: Law and Literature in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Trinh Luu, Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley

From Gold Rush to Green Rush: Illegal Marijuana Cultivation on Yurok Tribal Lands

Kaitlin Reed, Native American Studies, UC Davis

Book and Boudoir: Women’s Literacy and “Social Space” in Late Imperial China

Xu Ma, East Asian Languages and Literatures, UC Irvine

A Lethal Education: Institutionalized Negligence, Epidemiology, and Death in United States American Indian Boarding Schools, 1879-1934

Preston McBride, History, UC Los Angeles

Long Live the Arab Worker: A Transnational History of Labor Activism in the Yemeni Diaspora

Neama Alamri, Interdisciplinary Humanities, UC Merced

Plagues that Fascinate: Literary Leprosy and Queer Affect in the Victorian Fin de Siècle

Mackenzie Gregg, English, UC Riverside

The Freedom of a Broken Law

Hannah Manshel, English, UC Riverside

Biennial Places: Solidarity, Authenticity, and the Expansion of the Contemporary Art Industry: Cuba, the U.S./Mexico Border, and the European Union

Paloma Checa-Gismero, Visual Arts, UC San Diego

At Home in Pieces: Adaptive Encounters in Caribbean and Jewish Diasporic Literatures

Dalia Bolotnikov, English, UC Santa Barbara

Intimate Labor, Gendered Fandom, and Media Industry in the Transnational Circulation of Korean Popular Music

Stephanie Choi, Music, UC Santa Barbara

Reproducing the Crisis: Blackness, Violence, and Visual Culture in the Postwar American City

Wayne Coffey, History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz

Short Term Collaborative Research Residency

Elements: matters, analytics, worlds

Mei Zhan, Anthropology, UC Irvine

Daniel Fisher, Anthropology, UC Berkeley

Categories: Blog |

In Memoriam: Saba Mahmood (1962–2018)

Published on March 12, 2018


Saba Mahmood, Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, passed away this weekend. Professor Mahmood’s work engaged the relationship between religion and secularism in postcolonial societies, paying special attention to issues of sovereignty, subject formation, law, and gender/sexuality. She authored numerous books, including Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, a landmark text in anthropology and social theory, which interrogated liberal assumptions about the proper boundary between ethics and politics, freedom and unfreedom, the religious and the secular, and agency and submission.

Mahmood was a key participant in a number of UCHRI programs. In 2007, together with Charles Hirschkind, she convened at UCHRI the important two-week summer Seminar in Critical Theory on “Cartographies of the Theological-Political.” With Mayanthi Fernando, Mahmood led a studio, “Regulating Sex/Religion: Secular Citizenship and the Politics of Diasporic Difference,” for UCHRI’s Religions in Diaspora and Global Affairs initiative. In March 2017, UCHRI organized an event in her honor at Berkeley that brought together scholars indebted to and influenced by her work.

“Saba has been a thought partner for UCHRI programming across a broad range of areas and activities,” states UCHRI director David Theo Goldberg. “Our much valued friend, always deeply insightful and incisive, she has opened up for us compelling objects of analysis, ways of thinking and doing. Leaving all of us with enormous impact and influence, I will miss Saba terribly”

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UCHRI Fall Awards

Published on February 21, 2018


UCHRI is pleased to announce our fall awards, which will fund humanities projects in the 2018–19 academic year. This funding will support UC faculty and graduate students conducting interdisciplinary work in the humanities, including conferences, digital humanities projects, and short-term residencies. UCHRI also awarded dissertation grants to graduate students.

The awards were determined in conjunction with UCHRI’s 10-member Advisory Committee, which met in January and will hold a second selection meeting in April to award UCHRI’s spring grant offerings. A separate advisory committee will also meet in April to select the eight faculty recipients of the UC President’s Faculty Research Fellowship, a grant that supports compelling humanities research for individual UC faculty members.

The full list of awardees is available below. For open calls, please see our grants page.

Digital Humanities Grant

Digital Archive of Colonial Latin America
Juan Cobo Betancourt, History, UC Santa Barbara

Conference Grants

Exploring Catalan Identity
Antonio Cortijo, Spanish and Portuguese, UC Santa Barbara

Contemporary Asian American Activism and Intergenerational Perspectives
Diane Fujino, Asian American Studies, UC Santa Barbara
*Includes Supplemental Grad Student Funding

Translating America/America Translated: A UC Faculty-Graduate Symposium
Susan Gillman, Literature, UC Santa Cruz
*Includes Supplemental Graduate Student Funding

Elements and Ecologies of Everyday Militarism
Caren Kaplan, American Studies, UC Davis

Graduate Student Dissertation Support Grants

New Orleans’ Girl Problems: The House of the Good Shepherd and the Origins of Juvenile Justice
Jessica Calvanico, Feminist Studies, UC Santa Cruz

Persian Literary Journals
Aria Fani, Near Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley

Nothing Censored, Nothing Gained: The Queer Circulation and Policing of Exploitation Films in California, 1960 to 1979
Finley Freibert, Visual Studies, UC Irvine

Exchange in Performance: A study of intercultural collaborations between Mexico City and Quebec
Martha Herrera-Lasso Gonzalez, Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, UC Berkeley

Making Accommodations and Staking Globalization: Black Women’s Home Enterprise in South Africa
Annie Hikido, Sociology, UC Santa Barbara

At the Edge of Abolition: Violence and Imagination in the History of California Lynch Law
Linette Park, Culture and Theory PhD Program, UC Irvine

Combined and Uneven Modernism: Futurist Poetry in Colonial Korea and the Global Avant-Garde
Kevin Smith, Comparative Literature, UC Davis

En Búsqueda de Posada: Militarism and the Laotian Refugee Resettlement Program in Misiones, Argentina, 1980-Present
Jael Vizcarra, Ethnic Studies, UC San Diego

Models of Growth: Imagining Complexity in Sustaining the Urban
May Ee Wong, Cultural Studies Graduate Group, UC Davis

Short-term Residential Research Groups

Words of Wild Survival: Wombs, Wounds, Wastelands, and Water
Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, Department of African American Studies, UC Irvine

Categories: Blog |

David Theo Goldberg Appointed to AAC&U Board of Directors

Published on February 14, 2018


At their recent meeting in Washington, DC, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) elected David Theo Goldberg, UCHRI director, to serve on their board of directors. Goldberg joins seven additional education leaders from a wide array of positions and institutions:

  • Brooke Barnett, Associate Provost for Academic and Inclusive Excellence, Elon University
  • Katherine Bergeron, President, Connecticut College
  • Amy E. Ferrer, Executive Director, American Philosophical Association
  • Mary Dana Hinton, President, College of Saint Benedict
  • Paul G. Lannon, Partner, Holland & Knight
  • Ralph Wilcox, Provost and Executive Vice President, University of South Florida
  • Kathleen Woodward, Lockwood Professor in the Humanities and Professor of English, University of Washington

“AAC&U is honored to have such a talented group of higher education leaders on our board of directors,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “Their diversity of perspectives and commitment to excellence is more critical than ever in advancing our mission of promoting liberal learning and equity in undergraduate education in service to democracy.”

For Goldberg, the appointment is an opportunity to advance the important work of AAC&U. “I am thrilled to serve on such a prestigious board,” he states, “We are in a pivotal moment for higher education, and I look forward to addressing critical interventions with my colleagues at AAC&U.”

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association dedicated to advancing the vitality and public standing of liberal education by making quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education in service to democracy. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises 1,400 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, faculty, and staff engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Through a broad range of activities, AAC&U reinforces the collective commitment to liberal education at the national, local, and global levels. Its high-quality programs, publications, research, meetings, institutes, public outreach efforts, and campus-based projects help individual institutions ensure that the quality of student learning is central to their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges. Information about AAC&U can be found at www.aacu.org.

Categories: Blog |

2017–18 Grantees Share Their Experiences

Published on February 6, 2018


We asked several 2017–18 grantees to share their experience with UCHRI grant programs—what stood out to them, what they might do differently, and what advice they had for those interested in the grant. Here are their responses. Interested in applying? See our grants page for more information. 

Gina Bloom, UC Davis | Digital Humanities Grant, Play the Knave

What appealed to you about the digital humanities grant and why did you apply?

I appreciated the flexibility of the grant—that it could be used to help us both develop our digital project and also to distribute and study it via installations. It was also a pleasure to have a chance to collaborate with faculty at other UCs to bring the game to students at their institutions. 

Can you discuss the process of planning and implementing the grant?

I approached two faculty members I knew from professional circles and asked whether they might like to collaborate on bringing Play the Knave to their campuses. Both were enthusiastic and swiftly secured funds from their own institutions to offset the costs. This was very useful because we wanted to use most of the grant to pay graduate students to complete the programming tasks necessary for the project to get finished and, thus, for the installations to work. The “buy-in” from other institutions was valuable on other ways, too. Because collaborators could make the event their own, the installations were better able to serve each institution’s needs/student populations. Implementing this part of the grant involved lots of emails about logistics as well as some higher level “visioning” about who we wanted to reach, what would be most useful to the project, and how best to do that. My collaborators were fantastic partners at every stage!

From the initial planning phase through the end of the grant period, what stands out to you as the most beneficial element?

Play the Knave event at UC Irvine

Two highlights: One, we made tremendous progress on the development of the platform and launched a campaign to have the game “green-lighted” on Steam, a well-established software-distribution site that distributes projects only after they received votes of confidence from the site’s community. We achieved green-lighting in June, at the end of the grant period and right before Steam pulled this program—so we are especially pleased by the grant’s timing.   Two, my research on the game was advanced significantly. Perhaps most useful was a pedagogy workshop that I participated in along with one of my collaborators, Katherine Brokaw (UC Merced) at University of the Pacific. The workshop was so informative that it is at the center of a paper I will be sharing with a research group at a theater conference this fall and delivering as a keynote lecture in Australia in February. The installation at Merced itself was very useful, as Brokaw’s students provided useful feedback. At Irvine, Julia Lupton organized a roundtable presentation in which I presented my game alongside other Irvine faculty working on educational or arts games—this was very productive for my thinking about the project and helped to draw a huge crowd to the installation itself. 

Julia Lupton and Amanda Swain, UC Irvine | Humanities Center Grant, Speaking of the Humanities: Communications Development for UC Humanities Center

Dr. Barbara Osborn, communications consultant

Can you discuss the process of planning and implementing the grant?

We wanted to increase the capacity of humanities centers to communicate the work that humanities centers, faculty, and graduate students do.  How can we make humanities research more visible? What tools can we use to develop a communications plan?  Who are our audiences? How do we select the best medium to reach each audience?

First, we had to find a communications trainer who could really meet us where we are as academic organizations and who had a familiarity with the humanities terrain.  We wanted someone to help us evaluate our current communications tools and habits and help us become more effective. Fortunately, UCLA’s Center for Digital Humanities had worked with Barbara Osborn and highly recommended her.  Barbara has extensive experience doing capacity-building work with nonprofits and educational institutions. She also has a PhD in Communications and teaches at USC, so she understands how to engage faculty and our own institutions in communications practices.

From the initial planning phase through the end of the grant period, what stands out to you as the most beneficial element? 

Each center worked with Barbara individually by phone to discuss the ecology of their organization and identify a meaningful communications project. When we came together as a group, we were already on our way to accomplishing something substantive for the year while also building new skills through the two-day workshop.

How did you incorporate grad students into your project and what did they contribute to the grant?

As the lead humanities center for the project, we hired a graduate student to help organize the workshops and develop our communications project.  Ryan Gurney, a Visual Studies PhD candidate who has real aptitude and interest for this kind of work, contributed greatly. Each of the participating UC humanities centers also received funding to include a graduate student in their communications project.  The graduate students attended the two-day communications workshop as part of the campus team and worked with humanities center faculty and staff to develop and implement a communications project to meet the specific needs of their center.

What advice would you have for people who wanted to implement a similar program?

Communications are for everyone! Whether you run a humanities center or are a faculty member or graduate student involved in research that you want to share with others, having a clear picture of the communications tools and strategies available to you and making smart decisions about which ones to use will save you time and enhance your work. In the end, it’s about intentionality and mindfulness (why are you doing what you’re doing?), coupled with some basic planning skills.

Jessica Perea, UC Davis | Junior Faculty Manuscript Workshop, Sound Relations: Frontiers of Indigenous Modernity and American Music in Alaska

What appealed to you about the junior faculty manuscript grant and why did you apply? 

For me, the junior faculty manuscript grant presented a unique opportunity and vital resources to invite senior scholars to engage with my work-in-progress manuscript. I also found the emphasis on inviting faculty from other UC campuses appealing, as it could help me expand my network of colleagues in the system.

Can you discuss the process of planning and implementing the grant?

At the time of the grant, my book manuscript was at a developmental stage. My primary goal for the workshop was to gain insight from my expert readers on which chapters were most compelling as a book project and which chapters could be set aside as journal articles. Once I confirmed travel itineraries for each of the expert readers, I began researching manuscript workshop agendas to find a work flow that I felt would best suit the material I hoped to get through. In retrospect, I am especially thankful that I budgeted time and funds to host a welcome dinner the evening prior to the workshop, because it turned out that none of the scholars had met each other in person! So rather than starting cold, the welcome dinner helped to break a little ice between participants.

From the initial planning phase through the end of the grant period, what stands out to you as the most beneficial element?

I felt that the most beneficial element of the grant was definitely the workshop itself. I chose to bring together an interdisciplinary group of five senior scholars whose work deeply influenced my own. Once I realized that these scholars were meeting for the first time at this workshop, I gained a greater appreciation for the individual perspectives they each brought to the table which, in the process, allowed me to mentally transition from the standpoint of participating in a seminar to conducting a workshop with senior colleagues.

What do you wish you had known before starting the grant, and is there anything you would have done differently?

One thing I would have done differently would have been to ask a graduate student to attend the workshop to take notes. I found out after the fact that this is a common practice at other manuscript workshops, and although I did audio record the sessions and took my own notes, I can imagine that additional notes from a grad student who works with me would have been that much more helpful.

What advice do you have for applicants and recipients of the junior faculty manuscript grant?

Take your time narrowing down your list of 4-6 expert readers. Ask around to find out which scholars have a reputation for critical and constructive feedback. It is very important that an event like this does not revert to a dissertation defense—the manuscript workshop requires a different kind of buy-in from all involved. Also, ask around for different workshop agenda ideas and choose a flow that works best for the time you have and personalities convened!

Juan Camilo Gomez-Rivas, UC Santa Cruz | Faculty Working Group, The Maghrib Workshop: Law and Movement: Historical Roots and Contexts, Contemporary Questions

What appealed to you about the faculty working group grant and why did you apply? 

It appealed to me as a relatively simple grant application for a reasonable amount of funds to pursue the project I had in mind, which was to create a network of scholars working on North Africa in California and the West Coast. It was a way for me to get to know them and interact with them in a meaningful way. As I realized how rich the network was and had a few preliminary conversations about trying to bring us together, we all got excited about the potential. 

Can you discuss the process of planning and implementing the grant?

I arrived in California in 2014. I attended two conferences funded by UCHRI at UC campuses during my first year. There were a couple of scholars of North Africa in attendance, and I started an informal conversation with them about the need, desirability, and possibility of bringing scholars of North Africa together in a meaningful way. I assembled a list, created an email list, and wrote group and individual messages inviting an interdisciplinary group. I formulated the proposal with a theme that speaks clearly to my own project but was flexible enough to bring others under the same umbrella. Then I met with our IHR office and meticulously planned the events. They were instrumental in the smooth running of the event.

From the initial planning phase through the end of the grant period, what stands out to you as the most beneficial element?

This project was developed around holding two meetings in which we workshopped four pre-circulated papers per meeting. Meetings were most certainly the highlight. It’s very rare to have six to eight hours of concentrated conversation and highest-quality feedback on the subject of your research. Outside of the meeting time, it was mostly preparation. 

What do you wish you had known before starting the grant, and is there anything you would have done differently?

Not really. I was a bit slow in wrapping up post-meeting reports, but the year was extraordinarily busy. I’m not sure how I could have stream-lined the process better. 

What advice do you have for applicants and recipients of the faculty working group grant?

To communicate clear expectations of what kind of participation and collaboration you expect from the members of the group. And to make these expectations realistic given members’ work demands. 

Categories: Blog |

UCHRI Welcomes Alison Annunziata and Shana Melnysyn

Published on January 31, 2018


UCHRI is excited to welcome two new staff members—Alison Annunziata, research programs manager, and Shana Melnysyn, competitive grants officer. 

Alison Annunziata
 
Since receiving my PhD in 2013, I have dedicated my career to pursuing connections across disciplinary lines. With a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities at USC, I built courses around literature and activism, focusing on the avant-garde as an expression of civil disobedience; at ArtCenter College of Design, I co-created a class with a mathematician which explored visual cultures, modernism, and math.  Via these various cross-sections, I seek collaborations that challenge conventions, inspire new interpretations, and create new intellectual fantasies.  With an eye always on humanities’s reach beyond the academy, I have also organized programming around these very themes of interdisciplinary scholarship and collaborative thinking, and was at one time a fervent docent for Los Angeles Public Library. 
 
In light of my interests, joining UCHRI was an intellectual homecoming. I believe strongly in the Institute’s mission to forge new alliances between disciplines and to tread new avenues of thought; to generate dialogue around the global implications of the humanities and to isolate where the humanities can make the most direct impact. I am delighted to join the Institute as research programs manager and look forward to helping give life to these core values and ideas.
 
When I am not at work, you can find me in the mountains, on the rocks, upside-down in a hand stand. I am positively addicted to editing any and all reading surfaces. And I very rarely refuse a conversation—good or bad—in English, French, or Russian. 
 
You can find links to my work on my website
 
Shana Melnysyn

I received my doctorate in Anthropology and History from the University of Michigan in August 2017. During the last year of my PhD program, I began to branch out into public humanities and higher education administration. I worked as an intern and later as a contractor with the Michigan Humanities Council, where I helped to bolster the digital presence of cultural projects funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Kellogg Foundation around the state. I also worked in the Dean’s Office at Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan, where I assisted with a Mellon-funded project on the 21st century humanities PhD. In addition to leading focus groups with graduate students on professionalization and assisting with campus events, I managed a website that provides resources and opportunities for humanities graduate students interested in pursuing careers beyond the tenure track.

I am thrilled to join the team at the University of California Humanities Research Institute, and look forward to getting to know the entire UC Humanities Network. I share the Institute’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of traditional humanities scholarship through collaboration, innovation, experimentation, and public dialogue. You can find more information about me and my work on my website

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UC Receives $10 million Mellon Foundation Grant to Support Advanced Humanities Research

Published on January 24, 2018


Gift provides initial endowment funding to sustain core activities on all UC campuses.

The University of California has received a $10 million matching grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to advance collaborative, interdisciplinary humanities research and education throughout the UC system. This is the largest UC grant from the Mellon Foundation, which provides initial funding for a $30 million permanent endowment to sustain the core activities of UCHRI and the UC Humanities Network. A collaborative campaign across all 10 UC campuses will be launched to raise $20 million in matching funds over four years.

The UC Humanities Network is a multi-campus research program centered in the nationally-renowned UCHRI, an institute for advanced study housed at UC Irvine. UCHRI hosts residential fellows and projects and sponsors a system-wide consortium of interconnected campus humanities centers and multi-campus research groups that fosters interdisciplinary and collaborative research. There is also a multi-tiered program of competitively-awarded research fellowships for faculty and graduate students. The Network engages all ten UC campuses in a wide variety of ambitious and innovative programs and projects that range from competitively-awarded research projects undertaken by individual scholars to collaborative research groups that bring together scholars from every campus.

“As the world’s premier public university system, the University of California is a leader in shaping humanities research worldwide,” said UC president Janet Napolitano. “UCHRI has made this possible by linking the system’s campuses around shared humanistic research goals. The Mellon Foundation has been a critical long-term partner of UCHRI in this important work.”

Widely recognized as the world’s leading foundation supporting the humanities, the Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse democratic societies. “Together the UC Humanities Research Institute and the UC Humanities Network constitute one of the most collaborative and generative ecosystems for humanities research among public universities in the world,” said Mellon Foundation Executive Vice President Mariët Westermann. “In a time of relentless challenges for higher education, UC’s steely financial commitment to the humanities is admirable, and makes the system a crucial partner for the Foundation.”

“Leadership at all UC campuses worked together to advance the proposal to the Mellon Foundation and to establish a $30 million goal for the endowment,” said Enrique Lavernia, UCI provost and executive vice chancellor. “The endowment will help fund research, fellowship opportunities, graduate student stipends, conferences, and working groups that will advance scholarship in the humanities and related fields.”

Recognized nationally and internationally as a premier location for humanities research, UCHRI bridges the gap between disciplines and seeks to overcome the intellectual and institutional barriers across humanities as well as with the social and natural sciences, technology, art, and medicine through public and digital projects as well as traditional scholarship.

“The value of Mellon’s investment in the Humanities at UC and the concomitant endowment campaign cannot be overestimated,” said Georges Van Den Abbeele, dean of UCI School of Humanities and principal investigator for the UC Humanities Network. “Together, they fulfill former UC President David Gardner’s vision of supporting and coordinating innovative humanities research on every UC campus and in system-wide collaborations over 30 years ago. The Mellon endowment will ensure the vibrancy and sustainability of this network in the future.”

In addition to humanistic research and programming, multi-campus collaborative projects bring together faculty and graduate students, and also promote vital public partnerships with cultural institutions and public humanities programs that contribute to both the university and society.

“This is an enormous honor for the institute,” said David Theo Goldberg, director of UCHRI and a UCI professor of comparative literature and anthropology. “We are thrilled to receive this support for our ambitious programming.  We look forward to fulfilling the potential and the promise of this generative gift both at UCHRI and on every UC campus.”

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