News

Warren Reinterprets Ghost Dance Religion

Warren Reinterprets Ghost Dance Religion

By Michael Haggerty – The Ghost Dance religion has long been associated with the decline and destruction of Native American populations. But as Louis S. Warren argued on April 12, 2017—in a lecture based on his new book “God’s Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion and the Making of Modern America”—that interpretation may need updating.

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ACLS Fellowship Awarded to Suzana M. Sawyer

ACLS Fellowship Awarded to Suzana M. Sawyer

By Alan Wong – Associate Professor of Anthropology Suzana M. Sawyer has been awarded a 2017 fellowship by the American Council of Learned Societies. The award will support a project entitled "Suing Chevron: Law, Science, and Contamination in Ecuador and Beyond."

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Balkin Reports on Regulation of Fake News

Balkin Reports on Regulation of Fake News

By Griselda Jarquin – Today, fake news is big news. At the 2017 Law in the Information Age Lecture on March 15, Jack M. Balkin of Yale Law School tackled the issue head-on. His talk was entitled “Soylent Green is the Right to Forget Your Robot is Spouting Fake News: Free Speech Theory in the 21st Century.”

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Tezcan Traces Modern Islam to 17th-Century Preacher

Tezcan Traces Modern Islam to 17th-Century Preacher

By Andrew McCullough – The emergence of a religion is a process—one involving changes in beliefs, social attitudes, and political structure. On March 15, 2017, Associate Professor of History Baki Tezcan explored that process in the context of Kadizade Mehmed, an Islamic preacher active in the 17th-century Ottoman Empire. Tezcan suggested that Kadizade’s influence inspired a populist reformation that ultimately led to the emergence of Islam as we know it today.

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Derby Sees Sorcery as History

Derby Sees Sorcery as History

By Griselda Jarquin – Is sorcery real? Or is it a metaphor for how people come to terms with political and socio-economic processes? How should historians interpret the supernatural? On February 27, 2017, at an event hosted by the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas, Robin Derby of UCLA addressed such questions. Her talk was entitled “Werewolves and Other Bêtes Noires: Sorcery as History in the Haitian-Dominican Borderlands.”

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Film Exposes Sterilization of Immigrant Mothers

Film Exposes Sterilization of Immigrant Mothers

By Diana Johnson - On February 7, 2017, the Women and Gender in the World research cluster hosted a screening of a documentary film entitled No Más Bebés (No More Babies). Following the screening, producer Virginia Espino and film consultant Elena Gutierrez shared their insights and fielded questions.

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O'Connor Spreads the Word About Frankenskeeters

O'Connor Spreads the Word About Frankenskeeters

By Andrew McCullough - In the Florida Keys, long-running debates about how to combat mosquito-borne diseases show no sign of abating. On February 21, 2017, Anne O’Connor, PhD student in cultural studies, described the complex web of scientific, environmental, social, and political issues surrounding the use of genetic engineering to control native mosquito populations.

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Symposium Seeks New Directions in Black Radical Thought

Symposium Seeks New Directions in Black Radical Thought

By Griselda Jarquin – On February 17, 2017, the New Directions in Black Radical Thought symposium promoted a critical dialogue on black radicalism across the African diaspora.

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ISS Conference Confronts U.S. Immigration Policy

ISS Conference Confronts U.S. Immigration Policy

By Ben Hinshaw – On January 27, 2017, as President Trump signed his executive order to halt immigration from several Muslim-majority countries, ISS hosted a conference entitled "Documenting the Immigrant: U.S. Immigration Policy Past, Present, and Future." Welcoming speakers and panelists from an array of disciplines and fields, the event represented a timely opportunity to tackle a critical and controversial issue.

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Can 19th-Century French Literature Help Us Fight Climate Change?

Can 19th-Century French Literature Help Us Fight Climate Change?

By Andrew McCullough - French literature’s Decadent movement emerged in the late 19th century, depicting societal decline caused by human excess and overindulgence. Benjamin Morgan, professor of English at the University of Chicago, visited the Environments and Societies colloquium series on February 8, 2017 to discuss the ways in which the movement can inform our thinking about the current climate crisis.

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Isenberg Injects New Insight into Indian Vaccination Act

Isenberg Injects New Insight into Indian Vaccination Act

By Griselda Jarquin – Why did the United States government vaccinate Native Americans while forcibly relocating them? How was the vaccination program used to justify U.S. expansion into the West? On February 1, 2017, at the first Environments & Societies colloquium of the quarter, Temple University’s Andrew Isenberg explained.

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Crofoot Wins Grant for Work on Complex Societies

Crofoot Wins Grant for Work on Complex Societies

By Ben Hinshaw - Margaret Crofoot, assistant professor of anthropology, has been awarded the Leakey Foundation’s 2016 Gordon P. Getty Grant for her project entitled “Dominance, Social Stability, and the Emergence of Collective Decisions in Complex Societies.”

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Sommer Uncovers Cross-Dressing in Eighteenth-Century China

Sommer Uncovers Cross-Dressing in Eighteenth-Century China

By Griselda Jarquin – During the Qing dynasty in China, cross-dressing was a crime punishable by death. Why? And how common was the practice? Matthew Sommer, professor of history at Stanford University, addressed such questions on January 25, 2017, in a talk entitled "Cross-Dressing and Gender Passing in 18th-Century China."

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Ramay Challenges Traditional Narratives of Chilean Oppression

Ramay Challenges Traditional Narratives of Chilean Oppression

By Griselda Jarquin – Referred to as the “Araucanians” by conquistadores, the Mapuche in south-central Chile was one of the few indigenous groups in South America to avoid Spanish colonization. But the Mapuche people went on to be oppressed by the Chilean state, as Allison Ramay explained on January 12, 2017.

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Chen Explores Ethics in Citizen Science

Chen Explores Ethics in Citizen Science

By Andrew McCullough - Involving the general public in the scientific process has many potential benefits, particularly when it comes to data collection and categorization. But "citizen science" also raises a number of ethical issues. Shun-Ling Chen explored those issues on January 24, 2017 in a lecture entitled "Beyond Efficiency: Ethics and Fairness Concerns in Citizen Science."

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Bennoune Urges Fight for Cultural Rights

Bennoune Urges Fight for Cultural Rights

By Andrew McCullough - The fundamental human right to culture is often overlooked. Cultural rights are frequently targeted by parties aiming to weaken or divide a culture or group. And cultural sites are often some of the earliest casualties of war. On January 19, 2017 at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, Karima Bennoune, professor of law at UC Davis, delivered a rallying cry for the preservation of cultural rights. Her lecture was entitled “Defending the Right to Culture.”

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Savinar Assesses Value of Recruiters for H1-B Visa Holders

Savinar Assesses Value of Recruiters for H1-B Visa Holders

By Griselda Jarquin – For H1-B visa holders, consulting firms are often crucial to securing employment in the U.S. But do the jobs offered by such firms lead to long-term integration and assimilation? And is the playing field level for immigrants of all nationalities? Robin Savinar, PhD candidate in sociology at UC Davis, addressed such questions in a talk entitled “The Labor Market Pathways of H-1B Workers,” hosted on January 19, 2017 by the Migration Research Cluster.

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Announcing Environments & Societies Winter Colloquium Series

Announcing Environments & Societies Winter Colloquium Series

The "Environments & Societies: History, Literature, and Justice" Research Initiative has announced its Winter Quarter 2017 colloquium series. Speakers from several different universities will address the human-nature interactions critical to meeting the environmental challenges of our era.

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Irzik Traces Memory and Protest in Turkish Novels

Irzik Traces Memory and Protest in Turkish Novels

By Phyllis Jeffrey – Literature can bear witness to political trauma. But what happens when that trauma exceeds narrative possibilities? On November 30, 2016, in a talk entitled "Mourning, Memory, and Articulations of the Political in Turkish Coup d'état Novels," Sibel Irzık explored the 'coup novels' that have become a prominent sub-genre in Turkish literature since 1980.

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Announcing 2016-17 ISS Junior Faculty Research Grants

Announcing 2016-17 ISS Junior Faculty Research Grants

The Institute for Social Sciences is pleased to announce its 2016-17 Junior Faculty Research Grants. This support for new and groundbreaking research ranges throughout the Division of Social Sciences.

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Crofoot Awarded Prestigious Packard Fellowship

Crofoot Awarded Prestigious Packard Fellowship

By Kathleen Holder - Margaret Crofoot, a University of California, Davis, anthropologist studying group decision-making in primates, has been awarded a 2016 Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

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Van Walt Illuminates Intrastate Peace Processes [Video]

Van Walt Illuminates Intrastate Peace Processes [Video]

On November 17, 2016, ISS Senior Research Fellow Michael van Walt van Praag delivered a Noon Lecture entitled "Addressing History in Intrastate Peace Processes."

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Atherton Compares Self-Control and Self-Esteem

Atherton Compares Self-Control and Self-Esteem

By Tanzeen R. Doha – Are self-control and self-esteem dependent on genetics, or on relative subjective experiences? Which of these two facets has a greater influence on individual success? PhD student Olivia Atherton tackled such questions at a Social-Personality Psychology brown bag talk on November 7, 2016.

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Mooreville Treats Eye Health in Mandatory Palestine

Mooreville Treats Eye Health in Mandatory Palestine

By Phyllis Jeffrey – A visit to Jerusalem’s Ticho House—once an optometry clinic—led Anat Mooreville to explore how eye health came to be linked with "visions" of the modern nation in British-mandate Palestine. On November 10, 2016, Mooreville, a postdoctoral fellow in Jewish Studies, delivered a talk entitled "Blind in Palestine: An Ocular History."

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Polarization and Policy on Eve of Election [Video]

Polarization and Policy on Eve of Election [Video]

On November 2, 2016—one week before Donald J. Trump emerged victorious in the U.S. presidential election—ISS hosted a Noon Lecture entitled "Election 2016: Polarization, Public Opinion and Policy Making." It was presented by Cheryl Boudreau and Christopher Hare, both of the Department of Political Science at UC Davis.

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Chumley Connects Wealth Management and Art in Postsocialist China

Chumley Connects Wealth Management and Art in Postsocialist China

By Tanzeen R. Doha – China’s postsocialist era has seen many fascinating cultural and economic shifts. Lily Chumley, an assistant professor of media, culture, and communication at New York University, discussed two such shifts—in artistic training and personal wealth management—on October 31, 2016 at the invitation of the Department of Anthropology.

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Border Studies Symposium Challenges Smuggling Stereotypes

Border Studies Symposium Challenges Smuggling Stereotypes

By Phyllis Jeffrey - What do we really know about human smugglers? Are our impressions based more on stereotypes than facts? On November 3, 2016, the Comparative Border Studies Mellon Research Initiative hosted a symposium entitled “On Containment and Coyotaje: Critical Approaches to Human Smuggling.” The speakers—Gabriella Sanchez of the University of Texas in El Paso and Luigi Achilli of the European University—both challenged dominant narratives surrounding the practice of human smuggling.

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Hue Raises Questions About Open Hands

Hue Raises Questions About Open Hands

By Phyllis Jeffrey - What does an open hand signify? Does it depend on to whom the hand belongs? On October 27, 2016, in a talk entitled "Hands and the Humanitarian Gesture: Buddhist Non-Violence and Black Lives Matter," Emily Hue of UC Riverside explored images of open-palm, up-raised hands in both activism and socially conscious art.

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Yaqub Probes U.S.-Arab Relations in the 1970s

Yaqub Probes U.S.-Arab Relations in the 1970s

By Tanzeen R. Doha - In the 1970s, the logic of the Cold War resulted in a particular kind of international relations between the U.S. and the Middle East. Those relations were explored on October 24, 2016 by Salim Yaqub, professor of history at UC Santa Barbara, at a colloquium hosted by the Department of History.

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Lerma Envisions Indigenous Sovereignty in the 21st Century [Video]

Lerma Envisions Indigenous Sovereignty in the 21st Century [Video]

On October 20, 2016, ISS invited Dr. Michael Lerma to present a lecture on the challenges faced by the contemporary movement for Indigenous sovereignty in the United States.

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