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Humanities Institute



Archive

Research Clusters


The UC Davis Humanities Institute currently sponsors eight research clusters. The research clusters provide a critical space for interdisciplinary research and collaboration not easily accomplished in a single department or program. Clusters are meant to facilitate exchange among faculty and graduate students in workshops, symposia, or mini-conferences, to encourage experimentation with new forms of collaboration within and beyond UC Davis, and to broaden the aims of faculty research in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Clusters are awarded up to $5,000 annually.

Year: 2014-2015

Indian Ocean Imaginaries: Place-Making, Practices, and Networks

Faculty Contact: Smriti Srinivas, Bettina Ng’weno
Student Contacts:

The Indian Ocean Imaginaries Research Cluster brings together 13 members from Anthropology, African American and African Studies, English, Geography, Human Ecology, and Religious Studies. It focuses visibility on faculty at UC Davis, who have separately approached Indian Ocean cultures and societies in several ways and puts UCD in conversation with emerging frontiers of scholarship that focus on the significance and necessity for collaborative, cross-regional theorizations.  Research projects of graduate students associated with this cluster engage with several cities, coastal ecologies, warscapes, asylums, and other sites in this region. The purpose of the cluster is to create an explicit community of scholars focused on the Indian Ocean world. The cluster will also provide a venue for mentorship of graduate students who work on parts of the Indian Ocean world and a site for professional development of established faculty and students to think about Indian Ocean imaginaries together in novel ways.

The Digital Premodern: Codex to Code

Faculty Contact: Matthew Vernon, Claire Waters
Student Contacts:

This cluster explores premodern materials and experiences—from the classical to the late-medieval—in light of their intersections with modern and postmodern modes of communication, cultural engagement, and learning. We will be exploring the multiple meanings and uses of mapping in both premodern culture and the digital realm; the role of medievalism and classical receptions in contemporary gaming culture; and the intersection of pre-print and post-print technologies in the digital study of manuscripts and performance.

Women and Gender in the World

Faculty Contact: Ellen Hartigan-O’Connor, Lisa G. Materson
Website: http://uswomenandgenderhistory.wordpress.com/

In the 2000s, transnational and global history transformed the field of women’s and gender history, challenging frameworks that had situated identities and institutions within national boundaries. The debates surrounding these challenges are still in their formative stages and have lively iterations in other disciplines beyond history. This research cluster brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to explore the implications of transnational perspectives for scholarship and teaching on women and gender. Events in 2014-2015 include a major conference November 8-9 that will include more than 20 speakers from around the country presenting papers, and a spring workshop on the subject of “Women’s and Gender Scholarship in Global Contexts: the State of the Campus, the Future of Collaboration.”

Temporality and its Limits: Reconsidering Time, Duration and the Event

Faculty Contact: Sudipta Sen

In this cluster we investigate how studies of temporality in disciplines across the humanities have broached new questions relating to individual perceptions and normative orders implicated in common forms of time- reckoning. We also query how the very perception of time as measurable or experientially derived quanta—in the form of cycles, revolutions, chronology, linearity, progress, velocity, probability, futurity, as well as in the fused concepts of time and space—has persisted in the humanities.

There are temporalities that seem to be “hard-wired” in relationship to gender, reproduction, diurnal routines, rhythms of dance and music, and life-cycles, including birth, aging and death. These forms provide the living tissue of almanacs and calendars, and also the building blocks of historic duration that keep in place normative ideas of immediacy and the future. There are also temporalities that seem to be embedded in the very matrix of human association. We also seek to inquire how the very idea of the Event is perched on the interstice of the circadian and the socio- temporal forms of time-reckoning, we explore the Event as a gesture and form of reckoning common to most humanity that has a place prior to myth, history and apocrypha, as an essential punctum that keeps the here/now and the there/then at once in play and in tension.

 

UC Davis Multidisciplinary Psychoanalytic Research Cluster

Faculty Contact: James Smith, Li Zhang
Student Contact: Matthew Nesvet

The UC Davis Multidisciplinary Psychoanalytic Research Cluster sponsors research, lectures, seminars, digital humanities projects and other activities that foster the exploration of psychoanalytic ideas and texts across the disciplines. In particular, this cluster supports research and events that engage with psychoanalysis in pluralistic and experimental ways. By putting psychoanalytic ideas and practices in conversation with emerging thinking on temporality, materiality, history, memory, bodies, care, economy, narrative, experimentally, improvisation, performance, law, and criminality, the cluster provides a space for faculty and graduate students to explore and develop work at the forefront of humanistic and critical social science engagements with psychoanalysis. The cluster’s lecture series, Freudian Sips, brings prominent and cutting-edge scholars to campus for public events; cluster faculty, postdoctoral associates, graduate students and undergraduates attend and organize a panel at the annual UC Interdisciplinary Psychoanalytic Consortium Retreat; and its postdoctoral scholar works with graduate and undergraduate students seeking to explore how psychoanalytic texts and ideas might contribute to their research. The cluster is administratively housed in Cultural Anthropology and includes faculty and graduate students from across the humanities and critical social sciences. Please contact Matthew Nesvet (nesvet@ucdavis.edu) with questions on the cluster, if you’d like to be added to its mailing list, or if you wish to get involved. The cluster will host a kickoff event and open house for all interested persons in early fall quarter (Oct 9).

Rhetoric @ Davis

Faculty Contact: Chris Thaiss

Rhetoric @ Davis promotes the idea of rhetoric as a field of study that touches upon every discipline that needs to communicate information or knowledge to an audience.  This research cluster will create a forum to meet, discuss, and share research related to rhetoric for scholars from an array of disciplines and departments at the University of California, Davis.  Each quarter, the cluster will invite an outside speaker on rhetoric whose visit will be followed by a panel discussion later in the quarter.

Cluster on Language Research

Faculty Contact: Robert Blake
Website: http://languageresearch.ucdavis.edu/

The Cluster on Language Research seeks to create a space where researchers can share their individual specialties and insights in pursuit of creating a more unified vision of language. Encompassing interests such as theoretical and applied linguistics, cognitive psychology, foreign language teaching and education, language policy, sociology of language, language preservation, and philosophy of language, this cluster supports investigation, exploration, and collaboration in the field of Language Research. The members of this interdisciplinary group use this space to meet and discuss relevant literature, present and develop their research, organize projects and colloquia, and put on the annual Symposium on Language Research.

Turkish Studies

Faculty Contact: Baki Tezcan

Turkish Studies aims to broaden scholarly understanding of contemporary events in Turkey by inciting intellectual engagement with new political forms.  This research cluster will furnish young UC Davis scholars with valuable professional development and will facilitate a community for scholars of Turkey at Davis.  Turkish studies begins a conversation between thinkers whose work ranges from queer theory to political economy to social movement theory in order to help the public situate recent uprisings in Turkey in the context of subaltern political struggles unfamiliar to many in the U.S.

Eighteenth-Century Studies Journal

Year: 2013-2014

Eighteenth-Century Studies

Faculty Contact: Alessa Johns
Student Contacts: Molly Ball, Peter Weise

This research cluster supports scholars working in a wide variety of fields during the long eighteenth century. The cluster hosts the annual Hopkins-McGuinness lecture as well as formal and informal presentations of work by faculty and graduate students. It is assisting to organize and host an upcoming conference of the Western Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, to be held at UC Davis from 14-16 February, 2014.

Estudios Culturales en las Américas

Faculty Contact: Robert Irwin, Michael Lazzara
Student Contacts: Diana Pardo Pedraza, David Tenorio González
Website: http://estudiosculturales.ucdavis.edu

This research cluster focuses on the interdisciplinary field of Latin@american Cultural Studies, and specifically on contemporary critical debates and new research by scholars working on Chican@/Latin@ and/or Latin American cultural studies in the humanities and social sciences. In the tradition of Latin@american cultural studies, this cluster focuses on issues of political expediency and on power relations within the cultural sphere, topics related to gender and race, and work by women and indigenous peoples. Other possible themes of analysis include migration, subaltern knowledges, cultural industries, globalization, bilingualism, iconography, memory, and cultural policy, among others. The cluster approaches its topic through a transamerican perspective in interdisciplinary cultural studies.

Performance and the Premodern Archive

Faculty Contact: Noah Guynn, Matthew Vernon

Performance and the Premodern Archive explores what it means to study the distant past in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.  This cluster brings new theoretical discourses into the study of premodernity and finds innovative ways to historicize it.  Through a unique combination of disciplines, historical periods, geographic specialization, and theoretical affiliations, Performance and the Premodern Archive examines Medieval performance culture and seeks new understanding of modernity’s ways of performing the past.

Queer, Feminist, and Transgender Studies

Faculty Contact: Kathleen Frederickson
Student Contacts: Elisa Oceguera, Isabel Porras

The Queer, Feminist, and Transgender Studies Research Custer (QFT), formerly known as the Queer Research Cluster (QRC), is a research group of faculty members and graduate students that has been active for the past eight years at Davis. The cluster has aimed to be an interdisciplinary project devoted to interrogating structures of gender, sexuality, desire, affect, and embodiment in the contexts of political institutions, economic processes, and theoretical discourses. Undergraduates interested in pursuing grad degrees in these fields are also invited. To receive information about events, join the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/QFTCluster or bookmark: http://qftcluster.ucdavis.edu

Reception Studies

Faculty Contact: Brenda Schildgen, Archana Venkatesan
Website: http://receptionstudies.ucdavis.edu/

Reception Studies is concerned with the reception, transmission, production and consumption of “cultural” forms, epistemologies, texts, and ideas temporally and spatially.  This cluster interrogates how new technologies shape the way texts and ideas are received.

Rhetoric @ Davis

Faculty Contact: Chris Thaiss

Rhetoric @ Davis promotes the idea of rhetoric as a field of study that touches upon every discipline that needs to communicate information or knowledge to an audience.  This research cluster will create a forum to meet, discuss, and share research related to rhetoric for scholars from an array of disciplines and departments at the University of California, Davis.  Each quarter, the cluster will invite an outside speaker on rhetoric whose visit will be followed by a panel discussion later in the quarter.

Studies in Performance and Practice

Faculty Contact: Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli

Studies in Performance and Practice will shift the focus of the performance studies cluster from the experience of embodiment to film and media aesthetics, particularly the politics of the moving image in the age of secularization. The focus will be on screening as a social and anti-social practice.

Turkish Studies

Faculty Contact: Baki Tezcan, Suad Joseph

Turkish Studies aims to broaden scholarly understanding of contemporary events in Turkey by inciting intellectual engagement with new political forms.  This research cluster will furnish young UC Davis scholars with valuable professional development and will facilitate a community for scholars of Turkey at Davis.  Turkish studies begins a conversation between thinkers whose work ranges from queer theory to political economy to social movement theory in order to help the public situate recent uprisings in Turkey in the context of subaltern political struggles unfamiliar to many in the U.S.

What Does Health Mean Today?

Faculty Contacts: Cristiana Giordano
Student Contact: Rima Praspaliauskiene

Cluster Profile: Research Cluster Questions the Meaning of Health in a Global Context

This interdisciplinary research cluster aims to explore the meanings of health in the context of a rapidly changing and increasingly connected world. We feel that it is imperative to explore how health has come to mean what it does today, and how our intellectual work can contribute to a more comprehensive approach to changing notions of embodiment, cure, and well-being. Our main objective is to understand the ways in which an emerging global medicine is articulated with diverse cultural beliefs and practices to shape diagnostic methods, healing models, therapeutic processes, health systems, and patient subjectivities. This research cluster will provide a space for faculty and students to develop richer and deeper analysis from the humanities and social sciences perspectives. At the same time we intend to link up with UC’s ambitious “One Health” project to broaden our discussion in order to reformulate how we think about health and medicine through an attention to large-scale human endeavors in dialogue with humanistic concerns of healthy cosmopolitan lives.

 

This page was last updated: July 7, 2015

 

 

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