UC Davis Faculty Awards 2011-2012

For most UC Davis faculty, the opening of fall quarter is a time to reconnect with colleagues and returning students, but this year some of those reunions will have to wait. A handful of Davis faculty will spend all or part of the academic year away from the buzz of campus life, fulfilling prestigious fellowship and grant opportunities to write and research in home offices or points beyond UC Davis.

Suad Joseph, professor of anthropology and women and gender studies, will lead a team of international scholars from six countries in a two-year project in Cairo and Beirut to train young Middle Eastern graduate students in how to advocate for change through research and public policy. The project continues the work of sixteen interdisciplinary scholars from six countries who make up the Arab Families Working Group, which focuses on expanding knowledge and research of the Arab world by working with families and youth. The project is funded by a $150,000 grant from the Ford Foundation, as well as grants from other institutions.

Margie Ferguson, professor of English, is one of nineteen American Council of Learned Societies fellows for 2011-2012. This year-long fellowship supports the writing of her book “Missing the Maidenhead: Cultural Debates about the Hymen in the Early Modern Period.” Ferguson is focusing on debates about the meaning of female virginity during the Reformation era in England because those debates — inspired in part by the long reign of a queen who refused to marry at all, Elizabeth I — offer an interesting lens through which to reassess modern debates about female virginity. For more information, see http://ls.ucdavis.edu/harcs/news-and-research/ferguson-acls.html.

English Professor Frances Dolan will take up temporary residence at the Huntington Library in the coming year as the 2011-2012 Fletcher Jones Foundation Distinguished Fellow. While there, she will be completing her book “True Relations:  Reading, Literature, and Evidence in Seventeenth-Century England” and beginning work on a new project, placing practitioners and writers in Northern California today into dialogue with seventeenth-century English texts on the topics of bees, herbs, wine, food, and water. For more information, see English News.

Adela de la Torre, professor and chair of Chicana/o studies and director of the UC Davis Center for Transnational Health, has won a five-year, $4.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Agriculture to combat childhood obesity in the Central Valley of California. Her study “Niños Sanos, Familia Sana” or “Healthy Children, Healthy Family” will focus on children in the small, impoverished farming towns of Firebaugh and San Joaquin and will aim to develop innovative ways for children to maintain healthy weight and avoid future health risks associated with obesity. For more information, see UC Davis News.

Louis Warren, W. Turrentine Jackson Professor of Western U.S. History, has a Guggenheim fellowship this year for his outstanding research on the history of the American West. Professor Warren will use the fellowship to complete his book “A Hole in the Dream: the Ghost Dance and the Making of Modern America.” The book follows the lives of two men who met only once: Jack Wilson, the Nevada Paiute prophet of the “Ghost Dance” movement that swept Native American communities across the West in 1890; and James Mooney, sent by the U.S. Bureau of Ethnology to interview Wilson in 1892 in the aftermath of the Wounded Knee massacre. For more information, see UC Davis News.


These above awards are just a selection of the many exciting grants and fellowships won by UC Davis faculty for the coming year. Other notable awards include:

  • Anna Maria Busse Berger, professor of music, has received a Lise-Meitner Fellowship from the Austrian Science Fund as well as a UC President’s Research Fellowship.
  • Christina Cogdell, associate professor of design and art history, has been awarded a Mellon New Directions Fellowship.
  • Marisol de la Cadena, professor of anthropology, won an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar grant to conduct a year-long seminar in 2012-2013 that will bring together international scholars across academic disciplines to explore the ways in which indigenous social movements and recent developments in the philosophy of science blur the division between nature and culture.
  • Alessa Johns, associate professor of English, has been awarded a fellowship at Lichtenberg-Kolleg at the University of Goettingen.
  • Bill McCarthy, professor of sociology, was awarded a $656,545 grant by NIH Psychosocial Development, Risk and Prevention Study Section.
  • Elizabeth Middleton, assistant professor of Native American studies, has been awarded a UC President’s Research Fellowship.
  • Dina Okamoto, associate professor of sociology, will be a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University in 2011-12.
  • Kurt Rohde, assistant professor of music, has been awarded a Radcliffe Fellowship from Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies for 2012-2013.

For a more extensive list of faculty achievements, please visit the Faculty Notes pages at the College of Letters and Science Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies and Division of Social Sciences.