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The Humanities Institute sup- ported twenty research clusters in

2011-2012. From American Cultures and Politics to the History and Reli- gions of Late Antiquity, these initia- tives often serve as a starting point for faculty interested in exchang- ing ideas on emerging and evolving topics across the humanities. Each group consists of faculty and gradu- ate students who determine how to use their funding to best support members’ research. In recent years, cluster-supported activities have included graduate student travel fellowships, faculty and graduate student seminars on new research, guest speakers and workshop facili- tators, and conferences. For a com- plete listing of our research clusters, please visit In 2011-2012, thanks to a strategic investment from the UC Davis Of- fice of Research, our research clus- ters competed for funds to support more ambitious projects. The one- time grant from OR builds the ca- pacity of selected research clusters and prepares them for developing collaborations worthy of extramural funding. A review committee chose two proposals it determined con- tained the most exciting and innova- tive ideas and potential for external support. The first proposal, submit- ted by Associate Professor of Latin American Literature Michael Laz- zara on behalf of the Latin@ameri- can Cultural Studies Research Cluster, will build on an existing international collaboration among scholars at UC Davis and the Uni- versidad Javeriana in Bogota, Co- lombia. With its proposal entitled

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

“Performing the Archive: The Problem of Memory in Post-Tran- sitional Latin America,” the cluster was awarded $15,000 to host a ma- jor international conference at UC Davis in 2013 that will create a joint research alliance investigating how “archives” of memory are being de- fined and deployed in Latin Ameri- can societies in the turbulent de- cades following authoritarian rule.

‘‘In 2011-2012, thanks to a strategic investment from the UC Davis Office of Research, our research clusters competed for funds to support more ambitious projects.’’

The second proposal, entitled

“The Birth of the Liberal Arts: Education Networks and Cultural Change in Late Antiquity” and sub- mitted by Associate Professor of Religious Studies Catherine Chin,

seeks to lay the groundwork for a new collaboration on the origins of the liberal arts in late ancient tex- tual, economic, and urban networks. Chin and a cohort of participating faculty will receive $9,227 to hold a series of workshops in 2012-2013 to develop a new method for the study of knowledge structures and networks in the pre-modern world as well as a collaborative book proj- ect on the rise of the liberal arts. In addition to those short-term goals, the team hopes to use these regular meetings as a space to develop pro- posals for future stages of the con- tinuing project. As Chin put it in the proposal, the funding will allow the working group “to structure the be- ginning stages of a large multi-stage project in a truly collaborative man- ner, and will create the intellectual scaffolding for later stages of the project.”

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