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The Humanities Institute annually co-sponsors interdisciplinary conferences, workshops and events featuring and advancing the research of the humanities and humanistic social sciences. The institute is honored to partner with UC Davis faculty in bringing leading scholars, performers, artists and designers to our campus.

In 2014-2015, these co-sponsored awards supported more than two dozen events, including a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution titled IndiVisible: African Native Lives in the Americas, part of the conference: “Responding to IndiVisible: African Native Lives in the Americas,” which attended to the intersections between place-making, freedom, belonging, legal and scientific categorization, modernity and performance brought together and made visible by African-native lives across the Americas. Other highlights from the year’s events included the one-day conference “Samuel G. Armistead UC Davis Colloquium on Latin American & Peninsular Languages, Literatures, and Cultures” featuring two keynote speakers and a graduate student panel; the Templeton Lecture in the History of Art, with UC Berkeley Professor Padma Kaímal discussing her work “Change and Persistence: The Kailasanatha Temple at Kanchi from the 8th–21st Centuries”; and “Entr’acte: Performing Publics, Pervasive Media, and Architecture,” the “entr’acte” denoting the specific construction of both time and space between parts of a stage performance.

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PhD Unlimited offers a series of speakers, workshops and other events dedicated to the increasing need for career training for Ph.D. students that goes beyond the expectation of tenure-track academia. Programming focuses on “alternative-academic,” or “alt-ac” careers, from academic administrator positions, to writing and researching, to manage- ment positions at nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations. PhD Unlimited helps graduate students explore all of their options and provides them with resources for how to negotiate a life outside of the academy when they finish their degrees. In 2014–2015, PhD Unlimited included sessions on digital identity, mentoring, job searches and stories from the field.

Programs such as PhD Unlimited are essential for moving beyond, “yes, alt-ac!” to “what now?” After all, even for those graduate students who have gotten over the idea of a stigma attached to seeking alternative means of employment, the question remains—what does that look like? The interesting and problematic answer is that it looks like so many things. Exploring options and what it takes to land different kinds of jobs are the goals of PhD Unlimited’s programming.



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