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EVENTS cUltURes initiative california


The California Cultures Initiative (CCI) introduced “Thinking the Region,” an exciting new funding oppor-


tunity for collaborative research seminars. The inaugu- ral seminar California: The Great Exception?, convened by Julie Sze (American Studies) and Tom Beamish (So- ciology), explored the concept of California exception- alism through the state’s approaches to environmental and health risks. The seminar also hosted a public event series inviting local and international scholars to con- tribute to the conversation around these issues. Occurring weekly in May 2012, the series explored


California exceptionalism in attempts to manage cli- mate change and ensure democracy, and in issues of food and health, bodies and justice in an interdisciplin- ary and comparative context. Each of the public con- versations in the series featured brief presentations by social scientists and humanists concerning their own current work on topics relevant to the seminar topic, followed by an open forum discussion of the issues raised by those presentations. A keynote lecture in the series offered an international perspective on the is- sues. European sociologists Francis Chateauraynaud and Josquin Debaz of the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences were guests of the seminar, giving a public lecture in which they comparatively discussed their studies of both French and Californian contexts and exploring how each region has framed and pursued environmental and health risks.


18 d h i . u c d a v i s . e d u


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