Humanities and Changing Conceptions of Work Conference + Workshop

May 8–May 9, 2018
David Brower Center

May 8, 2014


WELCOME by David Theo Goldberg and Kelly Anne Brown, UCHRI


This two-part conversation with Ralph Lewin, Director, Cal Humanities, Alison Mudditt, Director, University of California Press, and Katherine Zalewski, Chief Counsel, California Department of Industrial Relations, addresses the evolving nature of work in our contemporary moment and the transformation of the culture and environments of work. The panelists will also reflect upon their own paths from education to careers.




Ever wonder what happens to your resume after you hit SEND? WestEd’s Virginia Besser, Recruiting Manager, and Brian Williams, HR Manager, provide a look behind the HR curtain at who reads your resume and what they’re looking for.


What is an informational interview? And why is it important? What do you do in it, and who should you contact for one? Dr. Debra Behrens, PhD Career Counselor, UC Berkeley, presents the art of the informational interview and answers any questions you may have about the process and experience.



This interactive, hands-on workshop, geared towards Humanities graduate students, will be preceded by an online workshop to facilitate the creation of a resume that can be workshopped at the conference. Be prepared to walk away with a resume that looks quite different from your CV.


May 9, 2014


WELCOME by David Marshall, UCSB, and David Theo Goldberg, UCHRI


The panel interrogates the implications and the effects  of precarity under the current economic scenario. The focus will be on the social and affective costs of precarity as a new form of governmentality. If “flexible work,” as the most visible consequence of neoliberalism, must be resisted, could precarity become a tool for sparking critique, reclaiming the common, and rethinking life as autonomous?

Participants: Heather Berg, UCSB; Abigail Boggs, UCD; Maurizia Boscagli, UCSB, Moderator; Adam Hefty, UCSC; Alexandra Magearu, UCSB



This panel examines the danger and opportunity of work in the 21st century, with attention to new forms of inequality and insecurity (and the tension between deepening older patterns with new challenges), new opportunities in connecting with others beyond the workplace and also between work and other spheres of life, and next steps for linking intellectual work to social change.

Participants: Chris Benner, UCD, Moderator; Jesse Drew, UCD; Martin Garcia, UCSC; Regina Day Langhout, UCSC; Babak Rahimi, UCSD



University of California, Davis professors Glenda and Jesse Drew will share excerpts from their film OPEN COUNTRY and discuss their research. OPEN COUNTRY examines the social, political, and historical roots of California country-western music through archival footage, conversations with folklorists, historians, fans and the music itself. OPEN COUNTRY reconnects the roots of country and western to its traditions of resistance to capital, freedom from government interference, and defense of workers, poor farmers, and the dispossessed, presenting a new and provocative interpretation of the true legacy of country-western music.


This panel convenes members of three UC campuses for a free-ranging discussion of labor, art, and the humanities. Initial questions focus on defining work in the humanities and giving examples of their own forays into “working humanities,” with the panel’s focus then turning to discussions of an intersectional understanding of work and art.

Participants: Julia Bryan-Wilson, UCB; Amalia Cabezas, UCR; Glenda Drew, UCD; Joey Enos, UCB; Jan Goggans, UCM, Moderator



This panel examines the work of the Humanities, especially collaborative scholarship and program development and management from the perspective of faculty and university administrators. Panelists also examine what the future of humanities and work might look like in light of these recent experiences with, and experiments in, humanities collaborations.

Participants: David Theo Goldberg, UCHRI, Moderator; John Marx, UCD; Irena Polic, UCSC; Tobias Warner, UCD




Dr. Chris Benner is a Professor of Community and Regional Development, and Chair of the Geography Graduate Group at the University of California, Davis. His research focuses on the relationships between technological change, regional development, and the structure of economic opportunity, focusing on regional labor markets and the transformation of work and employment patterns. His applied policy work centers on workforce development policy, the structure, dynamics and evaluation of workforce intermediaries, and strategies for promoting regional equity. Dr. Benner’s recent book, co-authored with Manuel Pastor, is Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Regions, which helps uncover the subtle and detailed processes, policies and institutional arrangement that might help explain how certain regions around the country have been able to consistently link prosperity and inclusion. Other significant publications of his include three authored or co-authored books: This Could Be The Start of Something Big (2009) (with Manuel Pastor and Martha Matsuoka) which examines new regional movements around community development, policy initiatives, and social movement organizing, and their potential for promoting greater economic opportunity for disadvantaged residents in metropolitan areas; Staircases or Treadmills (2007) (with Laura Leete and Manuel Pastor), the first comprehensive study documenting the prevalence of all types of labor market intermediaries and investigating what intermediary approaches are most effective in helping workers to secure jobs with decent wages, benefits and long term employment opportunities; and Work in the New Economy (2002), an examination of the transformation of work and employment in the information economy, providing an original and insightful analysis of growing volatility in work demands and increasingly tenuous employment relations. He received his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.

Heather Berg is a doctoral candidate in feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research examines organizing and policy in sex industries and her current project explores labor politics in the adult film industry. Heather’s essay “Laboring Porn Studies” was recently published in Porn Studies and her work is forthcoming in Feminist Studies, WSQ, and Queer Sex Work.

Virginia Besser serves as WestEd’s Recruiting Manager. She has primary responsibility for recruitment and staffing, candidate sourcing and new employee onboarding, corporate relocations, reference checking, and responsive human resources expertise across WestEd’s 15 nationwide offices. Prior to joining WestEd in 1998, she worked in various industries, including law firms, advertising, nonprofits, and institutions of higher education. She received a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley and an MA in Human Resources Management from Golden Gate University. She earned her Professional in Human Resources Professional (PHR) Certification from the Society for Human Resources Management as well as her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Certification.

Abigail Boggs is currently a lecturer in American Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Davis where she received her PhD in Cultural Studies in June of 2013 after completing a dissertation that brings together the fields of transnational feminist studies, queer studies, critical ethnic studies, and the emerging field of critical university studies to explore what the education of international students at U.S. universities reveals about the history and current politics of U.S. higher education. She has an article on the emancipatory potential of higher education forthcoming in S&F Online and a chapter forthcoming in a collection entitled Mobile Desires: The Erotics and Politics of Mobility Justice. This fall she will begin a new position as the Associate Director of Graduate Studies for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Maurizia Boscagli is Professor of English, Comparative Literature and Feminist Studies at UC Santa Barbara, where she is also co-director of COMMA, the Center on Modern Literature, Materialism, and Aesthetics. Her new book Stuff Theory: Everyday Objects, Radical Materialism was just published this past March. She is the author of Eye on the Flesh: Fashions of Masculinity in the Early Twentieth Century, and the translator of Antonio Negri’s book Insurgencies. She also co-edited the collection Joyce, Benjamin and Magical Urbanism with Enda Duffy.

Kelly Anne Brown is the Research Programs Manager at the UC Humanities Research Institute. With a Ph.D. in Literature from UC Santa Cruz, Kelly’s training is in modernist and avant-garde literature and art from between the two world wars. She has taught a wide variety of interdisciplinary classes at the university on topics that range from modernism to dance to conceptions of justice. She has also taught pedagogy to Literature graduate students. In addition to a background in academia, Kelly has worked in public policy and program administration for children and family programs at the city, county, and state levels of California government. At UCHRI she manages several statewide programs including the Luce-funded Religions in Diaspora and Global Affairs Initiative, the Mellon-funded Humanities and Changing Conceptions of Work Initiative, and a program on California veterans and their families. She spends much of her free time thinking about how to effect systemwide culture change at the UC around the issue of “alt-ac.”

Julia Bryan-Wilson is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art in the History of Art Department at UC Berkeley. Her research interests include questions of artistic labor, feminism, queer theory, performance, photography, fabrication/production, and handicraft. She is the author of Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era (UC Press, 2009), and editor of OCTOBER Files: Robert Morris (MIT Press, 2013). A scholar and critic, Bryan-Wilson has written about artists such as Laylah Ali, Ida Applebroog, Sadie Benning, the Cockettes, Sharon Hayes, Harmony Hammond, Cristóbal Lehyt, Yoko Ono, Ana Mendieta, Yvonne Rainer, and Anne Wilson, in publications that include Art Bulletin, Artforum, differences, October, Oxford Art Journal, and many exhibition catalogs. Her article “Invisible Products” received the 2013 Art Journal award. She has held grants from the Getty, the Clark Art Institute, the Henry Moore Institute, and the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design. Bryan-Wilson’s current book project is entitled Craft Crisis: Handmade Art and Activism since 1970.

Glenda Drew makes media for social change. Her subjects include farm workers, food servers, truck drivers, young feminists and country musicians. Using time-based and interactive media, she seeks to engage in conversations that are less likely. From scratch and sniff trading cards to viewmaster reels, from visual databases to time-based portraits, she uses the language of media and technology to present a counternarrative. And, although she loves to collaborate with other artists, she almost entirely builds her own projects! She is currently an Associate Professor in Design at UC Davis.

Jesse Drew is Associate Professor of Cinema and Technocultural Studies whose research and practice centers on alternative and community media and their impact on democratic societies, with a particular emphasis on the global working class. His audio-visual work, represented by Video Data Bank, has been exhibited at festivals in galleries internationally, including ZKM (Germany), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF0, Museum of Contemporary Arts (Chicago), Barcelona Cultural Center (Spain), World Wide Video Festival (Amsterdam), and Dallas Film and Video Festival. Open Country is his current film project, a feature documentary on the politics of American Country music.

Joey Enos (b. Berkeley, California, 1981) is MFA candidate in sculpture at the University of California Berkeley, class of 2014. Enos grew up in Alameda, California and is the fifth generation of his family to call Oakland home. Enos studied painting and sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2005. For many years Enos has supported his family and artistic career as an art handler and as a museum proprietor at most of the Bay Area art exhibiting institutions. Along with being a graduate student, he is currently the Collections Manager at The National Pastime Museum. Enos’ sculptural works are informed by his work as a museum laborer with the use of the materials of styrofoam and polyurethane foam. Those materials are waste products from the process of shipping, handling, and moving art.

Martín García is a PhD candidate in the Department of Literature at UCSC. He is currently writing his dissertation on Latin American and Latina/o science fiction and drug war literature, with a special emphasis on theories of affect, decoloniality and precarity. Martín is also a member of the university-based group Santa Cruz Commons where he works towards bringing university and community activists together to pursue projects of common interest.

Jan Goggans is an associate professor at University of California Merced. Her book, California on the Breadlines: Dorothea Lange, Paul Taylor, and the Making of a New Deal Narrative, was published by UC Press in 2010. She has published two articles on John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, the latest, in the Steinbeck Review (2011) looking at the role of maternity in the novel. Also in 2011, she published “Everything But the Kitchen Sink: Popular Novels by Women in the 1930s” in Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture and Pink Skirts and Blue Collars: Female Office Workers in Early and Golden Age Cinema,” a chapter in Blue Collar Pop Culture (ABC-Clio). Her article “Working Class Women and Women Working Class: Literary Masquerades of the Interwar Years” appeared in Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty, and she has a chapter titled “Class Passing in the Fiction of the Great Depression: Breaking Boundaries Through Fashion” in Class and the Making of American Literature: Created Unequal, which came out this year.

Last September, as the culminating project of a UCHRI working group on changing conceptions of work, Dr. Goggans led an exhibit in Merced titled Central Valley Threads: Picking Out Strands of Life and Art in the Central Valley.

Her current project seeks to combine fashion theory, working class studies, and literature by exploring in fresh ways the visual nature of fiction that appears in the interwar years, a time when high modernism barred many women writers from positions of critical respect and the volatile economy set back many of the social changes the 19th amendment signified. Thus, fashion’s representative abilities allowed women to dress, and act, in ways mainstream society did not.

David Theo Goldberg, PhD, is the Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute, the University of California system-wide research facility for the human sciences and theoretical research in the arts. He also holds faculty appointments as Professor of Comparative Literature and Criminology, Law and Society at UC Irvine, and is a Fellow of the UCI Critical Theory Institute. Professor Goldberg’s work ranges over issues of political theory, race and racism, ethics, law and society, critical theory, cultural studies and, increasingly, digital humanities. Together with Cathy Davidson of Duke University, he founded the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) to promote partnerships between the human sciences, arts, social sciences and technology and supercomputing interests for advancing research, teaching and public outreach.

Adam Hefty graduated from UC Santa Cruz’s History of Consciousness program in 2013 and participated in the 2013-14 UCHRI working/research group on the Work of the Humanities / the Humanities as work. He is a longtime labor activist, as a former union organizer and a member-activist in the student-workers’ union, UAW Local 2865. His work theorizes a notion of contemporary affective, symbolic, reproductive, and direct bodily labor as subjective labor. He also writes about the changing dynamics of alienation under subjective labor, the relationship between the medicalization and treatment of mood disorders and work, and the genealogy of the relationship between depression and work.

Regina Day Langhout is an associate professor of psychology and co-director of Santa Cruz Commons at UC Santa Cruz. Her commitment to issues and concerns of social justice informs her study of empowerment, narrative, and art in educational and neighborhood settings. Her primary research takes place in an elementary school, where she directs an arts-centered youth Participatory Action Research program. So far, students in the program have created two community-based murals, a book on how to make a community-based mural, and a documentary film. Both murals have won best public art awards in Santa Cruz County. She has published approximately 30 articles in community psychology, education, international, and interdisciplinary journals, with some work being translated into Italian. She has given invited talks on empowerment, public art, and narrative internationally. She is also an active member of her local community.

Ralph Lewin serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cal Humanities. Active in several organizations, Mr. Lewin currently serves on the board of governors of the University of California Humanities Research Institute and is on the advisory board of the journal Boom (published by the University of California Press). He has served as co-chair for the Northern California Grantmakers Briefings Committee and as a member of the steering committee member of the National Humanities Conference. Mr. Lewin has acted as a consultant to the California Civil Liberties Education Fund and the California Trust for Cultural and Historic Preservation. He is also a three time recipient of the international “Idea Prize” from the Koerber Foundation of Germany for his work to foster understanding among people through cultural programming. His writings have appeared in the Western Humanities Review and he recently wrote the introduction for Calexico: True lives of the Borderlands (University of Arizona Press, 2011).

Mr. Lewin earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and another in Germanic Literature and Languages from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He also studied for a year at Georg August University in Goettingen, Germany and a semester at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He received a master’s degree from San Francisco State University in International Relations and was a guest scholar at the Institute for International Relations in Potsdam, Germany. Following his studies, Mr. Lewin lectured for a semester at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina.

Alexandra Magearu is a third year Ph.D. Candidate in the Comparative Literature program at UCSB with main interests in British and Anglophone and French and Francophone twentieth century and contemporary literature and film. She works at the intersection of feminist philosophy, new materialism, affect studies and eco-criticism. Her most recent project surveyed the relationship between female embodiment, nomadism and becoming in works by Agnès Varda, Leïla Sebbar, Assia Djebar, Olivia Rosenthal and others.

John Marx is Professor of English and a member of the Humanities Innovation Lab at the University of California, Davis. He is also an Editor of the journal Con- temporary Literature. He is at work on a solo book entitled “Mega: How Mass Media Make Contemporary Cities” and is collaborating with University of South Carolina film scholar and archivist Mark Garrett Cooper on a project called “Mass Media U” (instances of this work in progress can be found here: http:// To date, his publications have been largely de- voted to twentieth-century anglophone fiction, including his most recent book Geopolitics and the Anglophone Novel, 1890-2011 (Cambridge UP, 2012).

Alison Mudditt became Director of University of California Press in January 2011. Throughout its 100-year history UC Press has consistently nurtured and brought breakthrough scholarly voices and study into critical and emerging academic disciplines. With an uncompromising commitment to a set of core values rooted in the University of California’s inclusive public mission and commitment to academic excellence, Alison has reshaped the Press’s strategy and structure to enable it to meet the needs of its diverse audiences in the digital age. She has helped the Press to work in new ways that respond to changes in publishing while continuing to shape progressive discourse and to tap the power of technology to deliver work the way it can best be accessed and used by our diverse audiences.

Previously Alison was Executive Vice President at SAGE Publications, Inc., where she led the SAGE’s publishing programs across books, journals and digital during a period of tremendous growth at SAGE, including the acquisition of CQ Press and new publishing partnerships with major scholarly organizations such as the Association for Psychological Science and the American Sociological Association.

Alison has twenty-five years experience in academic publishing which began at Blackwell in Oxford, UK, where she rose to become Publisher for the Humanities Division. In 1997, Alison moved to Taylor & Francis Inc. in Philadelphia as Publishing Director of the Behavioral Sciences Division. She was responsible for the global growth and consolidation of this division, as well as the successful launch of Psychology Press in the USA. Alison joined SAGE in 2001 as Vice President and Editorial Director, and was appointed Executive Vice President in 2004.

Alison is a regular speaker at industry meetings and is currently a member of the Scientific Publications Committee and the Open Science Committee of the American Heart Association. She has also served on the boards of Women in Publishing, the Society of Young Publishers, the Executive Council of the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the American Association of Publishers, and was Co-chair of the Dean’s Leadership Council at California State University, Channel Islands.

Irena Polic is the Associate Director of the Institute for Humanities Research at UC Santa Cruz.

Babak Rahimi is Associate Professor of Communication, Culture and Religion at the Department of Literature, University of California, San Diego. He earned his PhD from the European University Institute, Florence, Italy, in October 2004. Rahimi has also studied at the University of Nottingham, where he obtained an M.A. in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (1997), and the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, 2000-2001. Rahimi’s research examines the relationship between culture, religion and politics. His book, Theater-State and Formation of the Early Modern Public Sphere in Iran: Studies on Safavid Muharram Rituals, 1590-1641 C.E. (Brill 2011), studies the relationship between ritual, public space and state power in early modern Iranian history. His work has appeared in Thesis Eleven: Critical Theory and Historical Sociology, International Political Science Review, The Communication Review, and the Journal of the International Society for Iranian Studies. Rahimi has been an expert guest on various media programs like The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, BBC and CNN, in addition to NPR and On the Media. Also, he has been a visiting scholar at the Internet Institute, University of Oxford, Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Freie Universität Berlin, and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Rahimi has also been the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Jean Monnet Fellowship at the European University Institute, and was a Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, Washington DC, 2005-2006. His current research project is on the relationship between culture, digital economy and religion.

Tobias Warner is Assistant Professor of French at UC Davis, where he teaches francophone literature. He is currently completing a manuscript that traces the emergence of the Senegalese literary field through a history of its friction with other cultures of textuality. The project examines how colonial- era literary study tried to cultivate “modern” practices of textuality, and explores how Senegalese authors working in both French and Wolof have reflected and contested this legacy. In summer 2013, in collaboration with Paap Sow (UC Berkeley), Warner administered a working group on Wolof literature and Neoliberalism funded through UCHRI’s initiative on the Humanities and Changing Conceptions of Work. The group brought together scholars from a variety of backgrounds and institutions to explore how Senegalese writers and filmmakers responded to the neoliberal restructuring of their economy that began in the 1980s. Warner’s work has appeared in the journal Traces, and in 2014-15 he will be a Faculty Research Fellow at the Davis Humanities Institute.

Raymond Winter is a scholar of Central California and environmental literature specializing in Muir and Steinbeck. He is currently a lecturer in literature at UC Merced. Recent projects include Central Valley hunger and homelessness, regional ecological preservation and advocacy via K-12 education, and working class voices of the Central Valley.

Katherine Zalewski is the Chief Counsel for the California Department of Industrial Relations, and was nominated on April 30th by Governor Brown to the California Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board. Immediately prior to her appointment as Chief Counsel, Ms. Zalewski was a Special Advisor in the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s Administrative Director’s office. Prior to that, she was a trial judge in the WCAB’s San Francisco District Office. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1983 and her J.D. from Hastings College of the Law in 1986.Prior to her appointment as a Workers’ Compensation Judge in 2009, Ms. Zalewski represented insurers and self-insured employers in workers’ compensation matters throughout Northern California.