227 Voorhies Hall | One Shields Avenue | Davis, CA 95616
P: (530) 752-1254
F: (530) 752-4263

Humanities Institute


Core Staff

David Biale

tel: (530) 752-1615
email: dbiale

David Biale, the Emanuel Ringelblum Professor of Jewish History, is a leading scholar of Jewish intellectual and cultural life and the author and editor of 10 books and 74 articles over his 36-year career. He is a three-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award and has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His most recent book is titled Not in the Heavens: The Tradition of Secular Jewish Thought (Princeton University Press, 2011). A faculty member at UC Davis since 1999, Biale founded the Jewish Studies Program and most recently served as chair of the History Department. In 2011, he received the UC Davis Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Scholarly Achievement, the highest honor the university bestows on its faculty. In the last two decades, Biale has pioneered collaborative projects in the humanities. Currently, Biale is serving as Project Director of an international team of nine scholars writing A New History of Hasidism. The team meets every summer in Leipzig, Germany, and is experimenting with collective writing.

Molly McCarthy
Associate Director

tel: (530) 754-0331
email: molmccarthy
Curriculum Vitae

Molly McCarthy comes to the UC Davis Humanities Institute with experience in the academy and the world of journalism. As a teacher and working scholar, she has held faculty positions at Stanford, Wellesley College, and Queens College CUNY. Her teaching and research interests include U.S. women’s history, immigration, print culture and consumption. She is the author of The Accidental Diarist: A History of the Daily Planner in America. Before returning to Brandeis University to complete a Ph.D. in American History, McCarthy, a graduate of Columbia’s School of Journalism, worked as a daily reporter for Newsday where she shared in the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Reporting for coverage of the tragic crash of TWA Flight 800. In October 2010, the New York Times Week in Review editors selected her essay, published by the digital history journal Commonplace, comparing the early American almanac to the iPhone as a “must-read” of the week. As the DHI’s chief communicator and grant writer, McCarthy seeks to continue to advocate broadly for the importance and relevance of humanities research.

Amineh Helalianamineh
Program Manager

tel: (530) 754-4993
email: ahelalian

Amineh Helalian joined the UC Davis Humanities Institute with a background in program management, fellowship management, and curriculum development.  She received her B.A. in Theatre Arts from UC Santa Cruz and worked as a theatre director in San Francisco before coming to UC Davis.  Amineh serves as program manager for the Chancellor’s Colloquium Speaker Series, and manages many fellowship and programmatic opportunities within DHI.

Becky Wilson
Event Coordinator

email: rjwilson

Becky Wilson comes to the UC Davis Humanities Institute with a background in event planning and program management. She received her B.A. from UC Davis in Communications and Sociology. Becky serves as the DHI’s event coordinator, managing the logistics and planning for its Mellon Research Initiatives, research clusters, and stand-alone events. Please email Becky with requests to reserve the DHI conference room.

Amber Harden
Mellon Research Initiative Assistant

tel: (530)752-0518
email: adharden

Amber Harden arrived at the UC Davis Humanities Institute in February of 2014 with a background in event planning and program management, recruitment, payroll, and accounting. She is currently working on her Associates degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences. Amber serves as the Mellon Research Initiative Assistant managing logistics and coordinating events.

Rachel Reeves
Mellon Public Scholars Program Manager

email: rlreeves

Rachel Reeves joined the Humanities Institute as a Ph.D. Candidate in British History after having served in several public policy positions during her graduate program. She is universally interested in the ways social structures are actively maintained. Her dissertation asks how the eighteenth-century  Anglican clergy defended their authority after the Toleration Act. She has held research fellowships with Yale, UCLA, and the University of London’s Institute for Historical Research, as well as a Mellon fellowship through their UC Davis Research Initiative in Early Modern Studies. Her policy work includes writing  for the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research, consulting for Congressman John Garamendi’s rural Grants Initiative, and serving under State Senator Lois Wolk’s legislative consultant on her  End of Life Option Act, 2015. She also served briefly with the CIA (Culinary Institute of America).  As the Program Manager for the Mellon Public Scholars Program, Rachel is proud to bring diverse, engaged work opportunities to UC Davis humanities graduate students.

Elliott Pollard

elliott.jpgtel: (530)752-3099
email: eapollard

Before becoming a Californian, Elliott worked in Drury University’s web office, in Springfield, Missouri, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in math, computer science, and physics. Elliott divides his time between the DHI and the University Writing Program. At the DHI, he is responsible for website maintenance and production.

Stephanie Maroney
Graduate Student Researcher

email: srmaroney

Stephanie Maroney is a Ph.D. Candidate in Cultural Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research. She works at the intersection of food studies and food science to examine the cultural work of dietary health. Her dissertation project explores how the science of the human microbiome shapes advice about what to eat and the discourse of good health. Stephanie hones her public communication writing and website skills as a graduate student researcher with the UC Davis Humanities Institute – building on years of experience as a web content writer and editor. She considers herself a humanities generalist interested in collaborative and transdisciplinary inquiry into complex social problems.

Michael Accinno
Graduate Student Researcher

email: maccinno

Michael Accinno is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Music department. Before coming to Davis, he completed an M.A. in musicology at the University of Iowa. His current research explores the intersection of nineteenth-century American music and disability studies. His dissertation investigates the personal and institutional lives of blind musicians in the nineteenth-century United States. In addition to his work at the Humanities Institute, Michael currently serves as the Secretary of the UC Davis Graduate Student Association.

Meg Sparling
Graduate Student Researcher

email: msparling

Meg Sparling is a PhD candidate in English at UC Davis. Her dissertation explores how nineteeth-century American literature uses visual and sonic methods to represent slave labor. Before she came to UC Davis, Meg worked as a public relations coordinator at an urban agriculture nonprofit, a donations coordinator at a large national corporation, a writing instructor, a bookseller at six bookstores across the country, and a children’s swim instructor. Meg now brings her communication skills to the UC Davis Humanities Institute, where she will generate and edit web content, and connect UCD faculty and graduate students to funding and collaboration opportunities.

Kevin Bryant
Computer Support

tel: (530) 752-2716

The tech guru for the Voorhies unit, Kevin Bryant helps the DHI with programming, computer repair, and computer related purchasing.

This page was last updated: April 7, 2016



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