UC Society of Fellows Announces Spring Meeting

The UC Society of Fellows in the Humanities will hold its second annual gathering on Saturday, April 21, 2012 at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. Hosted by the UC Santa Cruz Institute of Humanities Research, this forum will showcase the exceptional research of 2011-12 Faculty and Graduate Fellows.

The President’s Faculty Research Fellowships in the Humanities were begun in 1986 as part of UC President David Gardner’s Humanities Initiative. Now a core program of the UC Humanities Network, these competitively selected fellowships support the most compelling research projects of faculty and graduate humanities scholars across the UC system.

Two UC Davis faculty members have been named President’s Faculty Fellows in the Humanities: Anna Maria Busse Berger of the music department and Beth Rose Middleton of the Native American studies department. Berger’s fellowship will support a project investigating the music tradition of the eighteenth-century Moravians in Germany, while Middleton will pursue ongoing humanistic-cartographic work on spatial representation of mountain Maidu allotments. The full list of President’s Faculty Fellows and their projects can be found on the UC Humanities Network website.

Aside from including the President’s Faculty Research Fellows, the UC President’s Society of Fellows, administered by the UC Humanities Research Institute and the campus humanities centers such as the Davis Humanities Institute, includes graduate fellows selected in a competitive process at each of the 10 UC campuses.

Vivian Choi and Matt Russell, Davis Humanities Institute Dissertation Year Fellows, have been selected as Graduate Fellows in the Humanities. Choi, a PhD candidate in sociocultural anthropology, will spend her fellowship year working on her dissertation “After Disasters: The Persistence of Insecurity and Violence in Sri Lanka,” which creates a critical ethnography of natural and man-made disasters such as the devastating tsunami and the decades-long civil war. Russell will continue to work on his dissertation project for the department of Spanish and Portuguese. In it, he examines how contemporary Spanish writers and artists use the moral trope of the Holocaust to reconstruct Spain’s own history of violence. For the full list of Graduate Fellows’ profiles, see the UC Humanities network website.

Campus humanities centers play a crucial role in helping to connect dissertation fellows to each other, to multicampus research groups, and to other center activities, as well as offering mentoring and professional development programs to help these outstanding students realize their full potential as doctoral researchers.

At the annual meeting held at a different UC campus each year, fellows report on the research undertaken during their fellowship year and participate in a public forum around key issues and trends in humanities research and the impact of this work for the University and beyond.

The meeting does more than provide a venue for fellows to present their work; it creates the possibility for truly interdisciplinary connections. Last spring’s meeting at UC Irvine sparked surprising conversations and collaborations among 2010-2011 fellows, and exchanges will continue beyond the fellowship year as faculty and graduate fellows post short essays on the Network’s online forum, http://uchumanitiesforum.org.

For a report on last year’s meeting, see: http://dhi.ucdavis.edu/?page_id=7500