By Phyllis Jeffrey - How might exploring the Vietnam War through the experience of ordinary Vietnamese individuals complicate existing historical accounts? How can engagement with new sources, histories, and perspectives afford new opportunities to probe Vietnam’s past—and engage with its present, too? Such questions were at the heart of an event entitled "Revisiting Viet Nam War History: Understanding the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam," hosted by the New Viet Nam Studies Cluster on October 19, 2016.
By Tanzeen R. Doha – What does Turkey’s Peace Mothers movement mean for traditional humanitarian notions of non-violence? Can it ease tension between the Turkish state and the pro-Kurdish PKK? At a colloquium hosted by the Department of Anthropology on October 17, 2016, Kabir Tambar of Stanford University suggested that the Mothers’ declarations of friendship provide a potential pathway to peace.
By Tanzeen R. Doha - Unlike the enslavement of Africans, Native American slavery was historically illegal across much of North America. Yet, as Andrés Reséndez explained on October 12, 2016, at a colloquium held in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, it was practiced for centuries—sometimes by Indians themselves.
By Tanzeen R. Doha - On October 6, 2016, A. Naomi Paik, a professor of Asian American studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, gave a talk entitled “Rightlessness: Hunger Strikes, Force-feeding, and Testimony at Guantanamo.” In it, she sought theoretical and practical solutions to systematic prisoner oppression.
By Phyllis Jeffrey - Why do certain historical narratives become entrenched—and with what consequences? On October 10, 2016, in a talk entitled "The United States from the Inside Out and Southside North," Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor in American History at New York University Steven Hahn explored the consequences of shifting the vantage point from which we look upon processes of historical change.
By Phyllis Jeffrey – Can the emerging field of quantum gravity "save" the concept of time from Einstein's theory of general relativity? Seeking answers on October 7, 2016 was philosopher of science Craig Callender, in a talk hosted by the Philosophy and Physics of Space-Time cluster, entitled “A Tale of Two Times.”
By Tanzeen Doha - On September 30, 2016, Igor Popov, an economist trained at Stanford University, kicked off this year’s UC Davis Center for Poverty Research seminar series. Popov’s presentation drew on data related to homelessness, and explored social programs that aim to reduce poverty and social dependency.
By Phyllis Jeffrey - What ethical issues arise when the Holocaust is digitized—when experience is turned into interface, database, and algorithm? Professor Todd Presner, of the University of California Los Angeles, explored such questions on September 29, 2016, in a lecture entitled “The Ethics of the Algorithm: Probing the Shoah Foundation's Digital Archives of Holocaust and Genocide Testimony.”
By Phyllis Jeffrey - Is justice without anger possible? Are global movements for revolutionary justice and equality conceivable without the righteous rage of activists? At the Mondavi Center at UC Davis on September 21, 2016, renowned philosopher Martha Nussbaum questioned our core assumptions about such matters.
A UC Davis graduate student has been selected to join Health Policy Research Scholars, a new program led by Johns Hopkins University with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Roy Taggueg, a PhD student in the Department of Sociology, will collaborate with scholars from across the United States, advancing a culture of health and well-being for all.
By Jeffrey Day - Young people of South Asian, Afghan and Arab descent growing up in a post-9/11 world feel constantly under suspicion and surveillance. Their lives are the focus of the book THE 9/11 GENERATION: YOUTH, RIGHTS, AND SOLIDARITY IN THE WAR ON TERROR (New York University Press) by Sunaina Marr Maira, a professor in the UC Davis Department of Asian American Studies.
By Karen Nikos-Rose - As the National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary this summer, a University of California, Davis, professor has focused on an oft-forgotten part of U.S. history that our national parks are now helping the public to understand — the Reconstruction era.
By Ben Hinshaw - Alyssa Ney, an associate professor of philosophy at UC Davis, has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to carry out a philosophical interpretation of the wave function in quantum theories.
By Ben Hinshaw - In a new co-authored paper, Chris Smith, assistant professor of sociology and 2016-17 ISS fellow, brings network science to gangster-era Chicago. Combining the concept of multiplexity with deep archival research, the paper explores the overlapping of criminal, personal and legitimate networks in Al Capone's infamous world of gambling, prostitution, and bootleg booze.
Five teams have been awarded the inaugural Tech for Social Good seed grants at UC Davis. The winning proposals support development of UV-based water purification systems in refugee resettlements, youth entrepreneurship in South Sudan, women’s access to breastfeeding education, climate change awareness, and a quadriplegia-friendly tricycle for people with physical limitations.
By Nickolas Perrone – The Environments and Societies Spring 2016 Colloquium Series brought scholars from around the country to UC Davis to discuss the latest research on human-nature interactions. A wide array of topics included the Anthropocene in Victorian literature, Native American migration and adaptation to colonialism, capitalism and commodities, food systems in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, environmental justice and gentrification in San Francisco, and underwater art in an era of rising sea levels.
By Kathleen Holder - In the realm of fantasy video games, one epic monster stalks players both online and in the real world—the stereotype that men make better players than women. A new study led by a researcher at the University of California, Davis, slays that troll.
By Emily Kappenman - The ISS ASPIRE Undergraduate Research Program held its second annual Spring Research Symposium on June 3, 2016 at the Center for Mind & Brain. The event featured poster presentations by each of the eleven ASPIRE Scholars, detailing the research they completed during the 2015-2016 academic year.
By Phyllis Jeffrey - Amid debates over digital freedom and open access, the person-to-person networks of contemporary cassette circulation raise interesting questions about democracy and exclusivity. On May 26, 2016, David Novak, an associate professor of music at UC Santa Barbara, addressed the history and contemporary resurgence of cassette culture.
By Rebecca Egli – Facing high levels of risk, farmers in developing countries need good insurance. At a lecture hosted on May 26, 2016 by the Africa-California Research Innovations Cluster, Quentin Stoeffler, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis, presented his research on the quality of index insurance available to cotton farmers in Burkina Faso.
By Phyllis Jeffrey - On May 17 and 18, 2016 the UC Davis Department of Political Science, in collaboration with its counterpart at UC Merced, hosted the ninth annual Visions in Methodology conference. The event brought together researchers from across the nation with the goal of supporting women who study political methodology.
By Rebecca Egli – Can anthropologists listen? How important is sound for ethnographic research? On May 19, 2016 Alexandra Lippman, a cultural anthropologist and postdoctoral fellow with the Innovating Communication in Scholarship project, raised such questions when she presented her chapter from a forthcoming book that examines alternative ways researchers record and share knowledge about society.
What can the Great Depression and its aftermath teach us about “current unpleasantness” in the U.S. economy? On May 11, 2016, Professor of History Eric Rauchway offered some clues through a discussion of his latest book “The Money Makers.” Moderated by Professor of Economics Christopher M. Meissner, the event represented a combining of two series: ISS Noon Lectures and DHI Brown Bag Book Chats.
By Phyllis Jeffrey - On May 12, 2016, David Pellow of UC Santa Barbara delivered the Department of Sociology’s annual Lemert Lecture. Entitled "Critical Environmental Justice Studies: An Invitation and Challenge for the 21st Century," Pellow's talk explored (among other things) environmental privilege and disadvantage in Aspen and Silicon Valley.
By Rebecca Egli - On May 5 and 6, 2016 the Native American Studies program at UC Davis held its fifth annual graduate student symposium. Scholars presented new research on topics including female empowerment in urban Peru, hip-hop from the Mapuche, the revival of Indigenous tattoos, and the role of storytelling in cultural resilience.
By Phyllis Jeffrey - Does widening income inequality cause greater political polarization? Does it affect the Democratic and Republican parties in the same ways? On May 6, 2016 Nolan McCarty, Susan Dod Brown Professor of Politics and Public Affairs and chair of the Department of Politics at Princeton University, explored these issues in a talk entitled "Unequal Incomes, Ideology and Gridlock: How Rising Inequality Increases Political Polarization."
By Ben Hinshaw - As the debate regarding the so-called replication crisis in social science continues, the Making Social Science Transparent conference (hosted by ISS on April 22, 2016) provided a timely opportunity to tackle the issue head-on. Scholars from an array of institutions and fields convened to assess the extent of the problem, and to develop paths towards lasting solutions.
By Rebecca Egli - On April 19, 2016 Dr. Faisal Devji of the University of Oxford spoke about the relations between Hindus and Muslims within the context of twentieth century British colonialism in India. His presentation, "Fatal Attraction: Interest, Intimacy, and Violence in Indian Political Thought," examined the work of several prominent figures writing around the time of the partition that led, in 1947, to the creation of the nation of Pakistan as a separate sovereign nation from India.
By Rebecca Egli - "Carlo Ginzburg is the best historian of his generation." So declared Mario Biagioli, UC Davis professor of science and technology studies, as he introduced the 24th Annual Eugene Lunn Memorial Lecture on April 18, 2016. Ginzburg, professor emeritus of intellectual and cultural history at UCLA, gave a talk entitled "Unintentional Revelations: Reading History Against the Grain."
By Phyllis Jeffrey - Do borders simply keep outsiders out? Or do they reflect the tensions and insecurities that characterize citizenship and the nation-state system in the 21st century? On April 15, 2016 the Mellon Initiative in Comparative Border Studies tackled such questions at its Spring Symposium, entitled “Borders: What’s Up With That? Displacements, Belongings, Rights.”