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FACULTY RESEARCH SEMINAR Trash tends to be a pejorative. As a term, trash crosses fields and usually refers to something that is marginalized, ignored or unwanted. In Spring 2013, a cohort of UC Davis scholars and artists saw beyond the negative connotations of trash, redeeming the concept in an era of sustainability in which trash is routinely recycled. Take, for instance, the mixed media sculpture pictured here by artist, professor and faculty research seminar participant Lucy Puls depicting a photograph mounted on aluminum that includes a recovered acrylic binder.


The group met weekly in the spring term as participants in the Institute’s Faculty Research Seminar series, one of the Institute’s longest running and most popular programs, to take up the topic of “Trash” across various disciplines, including art, design, com- parative literature, sociology and English. As a former participant put it: “How often do faculty have a chance to come together to just think?” Design Professor Susan Taber Avila, the seminar’s convener, marveled at how much she had learned in each weekly conversation, collecting insights and new ideas that would help her reconsider the concept of trash in her own work.


A call for topic proposals is released every fall, followed by a call for individual participants before winter break. Next year’s seminar is titled “Time-Reckoning,” a topic proposed by Sudipta Sen in the department of history. The seminars have supported interdisci- plinary engagement around a wide range of topics for more than 100 scholars since 1997. Past groups have taken up topics such as the history of patronage systems, digital surveillance, California cultures and health in a globalizing world. For a full list of past seminars, please visit the archives page on our web site.


2012-2013 Faculty Research Seminar Participants: Susan Taber Avila, Design (convener) Laura Grindstaff, Sociology Mark Kessler, Design Kari Lokke, Comparative Literature Lucy Puls, Art Angela hume Lewandowski, Ph.D. candidate in English


DISSERTATION YEAR FELLOWS The Humanities Institute awards two Disser- tation Year Fellowships each year to advanced doctoral candidates who receive a full academic year of funding to assist in complet- ing their dissertations. Made possible by the generous support from the UC Humanities Network, these awards come with the added distinction of including the recipients in the UC Society of Fellows in the Humanities, a network of outstanding graduate student and faculty fellows across the University of Cali- fornia. Every spring, a gathering of the Society of Fellows is held to showcase the work of the interdisciplinary network of scholars.


In 2012-2013, the University of California Los Angeles hosted the meeting around the theme “Humanities in Circulation” to convey the complexity of knowledge production and dissemination and the collision of ideas, fields, texts and media within and across the humanities and social sciences. Dissertation Year Fellow Jacob Culbertson, a Ph.D. candi- date in Anthropology, participated in a panel titled “Scenes of Cultural Exchange” and took five minutes in a lightning talk to sketch out his research on the emerging science of Maori architecture. In a panel on the “Literacies of Geographic Spaces,” Dissertation Year Fellow Sarah Klotz, a Ph.D. candidate in English, explained how literacy became one of the primary criteria for determining who among Native Americans qualified for both political and literary representation during the period of Native American removal and assimilation in nineteenth-century America.


Sarah Klotz (English) Sentimental Literacies: Grief, Writing & American Indigenous Rights, 1820-1920


Jacob Culbertson (Anthropology) Assembling Maori Architecture: Indigenous Knowledge and Expert Collaboration in an Emerging Science


Above: Lucy Puls, Geometria Concretus (12-47), 2012, photograph mounted on aluminum, steel powder, acrylic binder, iron oxide paint, cast polyurethane, hardware, panel: 22 x 17”, shelf: 3 x 11 x 3”


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Fellows


Trash


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