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UC MULTICAMPUS RESEARCH GROUPS UC Davis has enjoyed great success in the annual competition for UC Multicampus Research Groups (MRG) in the Humanities, a program funded by the UC Humanities Network and intended to support long-term collaborative humanities research at any stage of development by UC faculty and advanced graduate students. The UC Davis Humanities Institute provides communication and web support to the collaborations led by UC Davis faculty so that they can create engaging websites and build networks across the UCs and beyond. In 2012-2013, the California Architecture and Design MRG, directed by Associate Professor of Design Christina Cogdell, received a renewal grant that allowed the group to continue to investigate the influence of design on culture and the role of Cal- ifornia as a site of innovative design. Also, the UC Human Rights Collaboration, led by Professor Keith Watenpaugh, director of the UC Davis Human Rights Initiative, received funding to establish a UC-wide network that explores the intersection of humanitari- anism and humanity with human rights. Humanists, according to Watenpaugh, bring to the study of human rights an examination of deeper questions about suffering, justice and power that transcend established disciplines.

For more on the 2012-2013 UC Davis-based Multicampus Research Groups, please visit their websites:

In 2013-2014, UC Davis faculty will co-direct no fewer than four UC Multicampus Research Groups, including The Cloud and the Crowd; Urban Place-Making and Religiosity; Experimental Black Aesthetics: Performance, Politics and Representation; and Early Modern Patterns: Tracking Cultural Forms in the Digital Age. More details on each of these collaborations can be found at


RECEPTION STuDIES wORKING GROuP With seed funding from the Academic Senate’s Committee on Research, professors Brenda Schildgen (Comparative Literature) and Archana Venkatesan (Comparative Literature and Religious Studies) in 2012-2013 established a Reception Studies Working Group aimed at tracking receptions across time and space from the vantage point of different disciplines. The Working Group is concerned with the reception, transmission, production and consumption of cultural forms, epistemologies, texts and ideas. For example, how do new technologies—print culture, Skype, social media—shape the ways in which texts and ideas are received? How does the movement of people, both voluntary and involuntary, alter the cultures and worlds that they inhabit, such as in the reception of African music and art in the United States and Europe? As the scholars in the working group follow the receptions of texts and art across spacial and temporal divides, they learn more about how cultures have communicated with one another and how their receptions of these texts and art have affected the way the cultures developed.

Being in the business of fostering interdisciplinary research, the Humanities Institute provides communication and research development support to the growing Receptions initiative. To further their goals, the institute has assisted in building the group’s website and assisted them in identifying and applying for funding opportunities to continue their work. In fall 2013, the Receptions Working Group will host a conference at UC Davis titled “Receptions: Reading the Past Across Time and Space.” To visit their website, go to

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