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RESEARCH CLUSTERS In 2013-2014, the Humanities Institute’s Research Cluster program sup-


ported exciting new and ongoing cross-disciplinary conversations across the humanities and social sciences. The clusters proved a fruitful breeding ground for new ideas and conversations around a variety of topics includ- ing global health, Turkish studies, medieval performance, rhetoric, and film. Activities ranged from small workshops to ambitious international conferences with impact on the work of faculty and graduate students at UC Davis and beyond. The outcomes included a special journal issue; newly forged faculty and student networks across divisions and colleges; new teaching resources around topics such as queer and feminist studies; and successful funding applications to Cal Humanities, the University Outreach and International Program’s seed grant, California Studies Consortium, among others. Here’s a brief snapshot of the achievements of our nine research clusters over the last academic year:


Performance and the Premodern Archive Faculty Coordinators: Noah Guynn, French, and Matthew Vernon, English


The cluster had two specific structural objectives for this year: one was to experiment with nontraditional event formats, moving away from the standard talk with Q&A; the other was to incorporate more non-Western perspectives into their examination of the me- dieval. One significant outcome of PPA’s activities was the increase in visibility and effective branding of the UC Davis medievalist community to audiences within the UC and beyond. PPA also created new mentorship networks for UC medievalists through the junior faculty workshop. As a testament to its success and utility, a couple of its faculty participants have volunteered to seek out fund- ing to repeat it on a different campus next year; it is our hope that this workshop can travel around the UC system and thus alleviate the cost burden to any one campus. The hope is that sustaining these conversations among UC medievalists will also allow them to refine their ideas for larger grant opportunities such as the Mellon Research Initiatives in the Humanities and the UC Multi-Campus Research Group program.


Queer Feminist Trans Studies Faculty Coordinator: Kathleen Frederickson, English This group mounted a spring conference, co-sponsored by the Cultural Studies of the Americas research cluster, entitled Trans Americans with guest speakers Felicity Amaya Schaeffer, Associate Professor of Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz, and Jennifer Dyle, Professor of English at UC Riverside. The cluster also took on a slightly different kind of project, in conjunction with the Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research, to create a short guide on developing curriculum and pedagogy that is queer-friendly and feminist. That work was seeded in the “Feminist Pedagogy Workshop” and will lead to the construction of a teaching resource for graduate students to guide them in their classes.


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Reception Studies Faculty Coordinator: Brenda Schildgen, Comparative Literature This group sought funding to continue an interdisciplinary research initiative (funded by an Academic Senate grant in 2012-2013) that mounted a national conference on the topic of Receptions Studies in fall 2013, as an instigator for exploring the establishment of a UC Davis Institute for Reception Studies. The cluster also produced a HIP proposal for a director of a Receptions Institute supported by several departments across the college (Philosophy, Spanish, EALC, Art History, Classics, and Comparative Literature). Also, the cluster hosted a series of talks by major international figures, who addressed the consequences of “reception” in their respective disciplines.


Cultural Studies in the Americas Faculty Coordinator: Michael Lazarra, Spanish and Portuguese A great part of this cluster’s energy and budget was dedicated to hosting a major international conference called “Performing the Archive: The Problem of Memory in Postdictatorial Latin America” which was held in October of 2013. The conference brought UC Davis into an alliance of scholars investigating the issue of memo- ries of political violence in democratizing Latin American societies. UC Davis acted as the host institution for the third international colloquium of this working group. The colloquium produced two publications: a special journal issue to be published online in fall and a co-edited volume of conference papers. In November 2014, UC Davis faculty will travel to Managua to participate in the fourth annual colloquium. The cluster is considering submitting a proposal for the new Mellon Research Initiatives in the Humanities on the topic of memory and trauma.


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