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Initiatives Mellon Research


The environments and societies group hosted 15 scholars from across the U.S. and Canada in fields including English, comparative literature, geography, philosophy, urban studies, gender and women’s studies, environmental studies, American studies, and sociology. New work was presented on topics ranging from the environmental consequences of the manufacture and disposal of birth control devices, the implications of deep marine life for the field of animal studies, the politics of global warming and the environmental history of human corpses. Throughout, the history and culture of the anthropocene was a continuing theme.


Thanks to matching funds from the Office of Graduate Studies, the Mellon funding has gone twice as far as it might have in supporting the talented graduate students affiliated with the environments and societies and early modern studies initiatives. Over the course of three years, the Early Modern Studies Mellon Research Initiative supported 21 students across six different Ph.D. programs with recruitment fellowships, travel awards, and summer research stipends. The environments and societies collaboration has had an equally broad reach with various levels of funding in the form of graduate research and summer awards reaching more than two dozen students across diverse fields, including history, English, performance studies, anthropology, sociology, comparative literature, and cultural studies. In 2014-2015, the Environments & Societies initiative will continue to support two students as part of recruitment packages or dissertation writing awards. All of these students have played a central role in making the initiatives a success and in publicizing the work of the groups through blogs, websites, and social media.


Due to the success of the program, the Mellon Foundation award- ed UC Davis an additional $1.725 million to continue the work of the Mellon Research Initiatives. In the fall of 2014, the Humanities Institute will circulate a call for new groups and new ideas. We look forward to seeing what our faculty will dream up next.


Environments & Societies


Early Modern Studies


Social Justice Culture and (In)Security


Digital Cultures 13


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