News

Paper Explores Fusion of Biological and Digital Worlds

Paper Explores Fusion of Biological and Digital Worlds

With digital technologies proliferating, and our dependence on them growing ever more acute, a new paper co-authored by Assistant Professor of Communication Martin Hilbert suggests that understanding previous evolutionary transitions can help us get to grips with those that may be currently underway.

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Smith Reveals Limits of "Conflict Minerals" Concept

Smith Reveals Limits of "Conflict Minerals" Concept

By Loren Michael Mortimer - The proliferation of smartphones and other personal electronics has led to a booming demand for rare earth minerals. Yet recent legal and corporate interventions designed to eliminate “conflict minerals” from high tech supply chains have proven equally violent and destructive to people on the ground. In his ISS Noon Lecture on January 20, 2016, Associate Professor and Interim Chair in the UC Davis Department of Anthropology James Smith explored the intersection of technology, globalization, social justice and indigenous practices.

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Solving Food Problems with Design Thinking

Solving Food Problems with Design Thinking

By Tory Brykalski - In preparation for a new graduate-level course to be offered in Fall 2016, the UC Davis Food Science and Technology Department has launched a new speaker series. Intended to start a campus-wide conversation about the potential for using design thinking to solve challenges related to food systems, sustainability, and health, the series will feature both industry and academic experts. On Wednesday, January 13, Lauren Shimek, Ph.D., UC Davis alumna and senior portfolio director at IDEO, kicked off the series with a discussion of "human-centered design thinking."

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Gonzalez Traverses Human Terrain

Gonzalez Traverses Human Terrain

By Tory Brykalski - From British colonial projects to U.S. combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, social scientists have often provided armed forces with strategic guidance and intelligence. This controversial complicity reverberates through contemporary social science. On October 15, 2015, at the invitation of the UC Davis Militarization Research Group, Roberto Gonzalez outlined one recent example: the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System (HTS). A professor of anthropology at San Jose State University, Gonzalez explained that, though the program was shut down last year, its legacy persists.

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NEH Awards Fellowship to Hartigan-O'Connor

NEH Awards Fellowship to Hartigan-O'Connor

By Stephanie Maroney - The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded UC Davis Associate Professor of History Ellen Hartigan-O’Connor a fellowship for university teachers to pursue research and writing on what will be the first book-length history of auctions in early America.

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Legal Geography Colloquium Examines Power of Space

Legal Geography Colloquium Examines Power of Space

By Loren Michael Mortimer - Legal geography continues to emerge as a burgeoning interdisciplinary approach. On December 4, 2015, at International House Davis, a colloquium entitled "Giving Law Space" furthered that emergence by exploring environmental justice, racialization of space, and contested articulations of rurality.

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Symposium Explores Water Wars

Symposium Explores Water Wars

By Tory Brykalski - What is the relationship between hydrological sciences, agricultural development, and colonialism in the twenty-first century? On November 30, 2015, an interdisciplinary panel took up this question at a symposium entitled "Thirsting for Justice: Native Resistance to Colonization of Water & Land." Panelists examined the way social justice struggles over land and water in California and Palestine affect communities through the theft of water and destruction of indigenous agriculture.

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Sheffrin Lecture Sees Pettit Explore Legal Rights of Corporations

Sheffrin Lecture Sees Pettit Explore Legal Rights of Corporations

By Ben Hinshaw - Should corporate bodies enjoy the same legal rights as individuals? That was the question addressed by Philip Pettit on October 29, 2015 in the latest Sheffrin Lecture in Public Policy. Currently Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Politics and Human Values at Princeton University, Pettit was introduced by Interim Dean of Social Sciences Li Zhang and by David Copp, distinguished professor of philosophy. Pettit's lecture, entitled "Giving Corporate Bodies Their Due—and Only Their Due," shed light on the potential repercussions of granting corporations too much freedom.

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Gary King Delivers Inaugural ISS Distinguished Lecture

Gary King Delivers Inaugural ISS Distinguished Lecture

By Loren Michael Mortimer - On October 8, 2015, Gary King, Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University, presented his lecture “Explaining Systematic Bias and Nontransparency in US Social Security Administration Forecasts.” Addressing the lamentable state of the Social Security Trust Funds, he put forward his suggestions for fixing the situation before it worsens.

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Olmsted's Noon Lecture Reveals Californian Roots of "New Right"

Olmsted's Noon Lecture Reveals Californian Roots of "New Right"

By Loren Michael Mortimer - Kathy Olmsted, Chair of the History Department, kicked off this year’s ISS Noon Lecture series with a discussion of her newest book, Right Out of California. Speaking to a capacity audience, Olmsted argued that modern conservatism—the "New Right"—originated in New Deal-era California as a business-backed response to the farmworker unionization movement in the Central Valley.

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ISS Announces 2015-16 Faculty Funding Awards

ISS Announces 2015-16 Faculty Funding Awards

The Institute for Social Sciences is pleased to announce its 2015-16 faculty funding awards. Totaling almost $100,000 across twelve individual and three interdisciplinary projects, this support for new and groundbreaking research ranges throughout the Division of Social Sciences and beyond.

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Olmsted's Book on Conspiracies Adapted for the Stage

Olmsted's Book on Conspiracies Adapted for the Stage

By Loren Michael Mortimer - Most people experience academic history through books, seminars, or the occasional documentary. But Kathy Olmsted, professor and chair of the History Department, recently had the chance to see her book REAL ENEMIES transformed into multimedia performance art at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival.

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Ritter Reveals Power of Peruvian Music

Ritter Reveals Power of Peruvian Music

By Loren Michael Mortimer - In times of oppression, folk songs can be performed both in protest and in memorial. On November 17, 2015, as part of the UC Davis Hemispheric Institute on the Americas (HIA) Fall Memory Lecture Series, Jonathan Ritter explored this notion in a talk entitled "We Bear Witness with Our Song: The Politics of Music and Violence in the Peruvian Andes."

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Weighing the Costs of Welfare Removal

Weighing the Costs of Welfare Removal

By Ben Hinshaw - Welfare has long been the subject of heated debate. On November 6, 2015, Manasi Deshpande continued that debate at a seminar hosted by the Center for Poverty Research. Focusing on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Deshpande, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Chicago, presented her recent paper "Does Welfare Inhibit Success? The Long-Term Effects of Removing Low-Income Youth from Disability Insurance."

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Kaiser Bears Vicarious Witness for HIA

Kaiser Bears Vicarious Witness for HIA

By Loren Michael Mortimer - Once a prestigious naval academy, the Escuela Superior de Mecánica de la Armada (ESMA) in Buenos Aires became, during Argentina’s "Dirty War," a facility for torture and detention. A quarter century after democracy was restored, ESMA re-opened as a museum and site of public memory. On November 10, 2015, as part of the UC Davis Hemispheric Institute on the Americas (HIA) Memory Lecture series, Professor Susana Kaiser addressed this subject in a talk entitled "Vicarious Witness: The Case of ESMA’s Visitors and their Interactions with Memory and Human Rights."

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Often decried, polygyny may have some advantages

Often decried, polygyny may have some advantages

By Kathleen Holder - Much of the world frowns on the practice of polygamy. Most countries around the globe ban or restrict marriages to more than one spouse at a time. And polygyny—where one husband has more than one wife—is decried by the United Nations Human Rights Committee and women’s rights organizations as discriminatory to women. But a new study of polygyny in Tanzania finds that the practice of sharing a husband may, in some circumstances, lead to greater health and wealth for women and their children.

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Conference Showcases Statistical Social Science

Conference Showcases Statistical Social Science

By Tory Brykalski - On November 6, 2015 the Institute for Social Sciences hosted its inaugural "Statistical Methodology in the Social Sciences" conference. Led by Professor of Economics A. Colin Cameron, the day-long event featured presentations of quantitative research by scholars from eight different UC Davis departments. Faculty and graduate students from eighteen centers, departments and graduate groups took the opportunity to meet fellow statistical methodologists and establish interdisciplinary connections, as well as to hear about research topics ranging from Obamacare to gender dynamics in virtual worlds.

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CCWgH Celebrates 25 Years of Intellectual Adventures

CCWgH Celebrates 25 Years of Intellectual Adventures

By Loren Michael Mortimer - On October 26, 2015, the Cross-Cultural Women’s and gender History program (CCWgH) celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary with a panel discussion made up of faculty, graduate students, and alumni. Leading the panel was Corrie Decker, associate professor of history and ISS Executive Committee member, who currently serves as director of CCWgH. Panelists considered the ways in which the program has enhanced the field of gender history at UC Davis and far beyond by facilitating interdisciplinary and cross-cultural dialogue between scholars from diverse fields.

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CPR Conference Looks at Low-Wage Labor

CPR Conference Looks at Low-Wage Labor

By Tory Brykalski and Loren Michael Mortimer - On October 16, 2015 the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research hosted a conference entitled "Employment, Earnings and Inequality: Realities and Opportunities in Low-Wage Labor Markets." Presenters from across the U.S. convened to address questions related to low-wage labor markets, covering topics that included wage trends and shifts in occupations, policies that enhance wages, immigration, mobility, stigma and identity among low-skilled workers.

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In Memoriam: Professor Aldo Antonelli

In Memoriam: Professor Aldo Antonelli

The Institute for Social Sciences was deeply saddened to learn of Aldo Antonelli’s sudden passing on October 11, 2015.

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Center for Poverty Research Releases New Video Series

Center for Poverty Research Releases New Video Series

The UC Davis Center for Poverty Research has released a series of videos entitled 'A Brief Guide to Poverty in the U.S.' These short videos provide a basic foundation for understanding the causes and consequences of this complex problem, as well as possible solutions suggested by research today.

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Muehlegger Talks Fuel Tax for ITS

Muehlegger Talks Fuel Tax for ITS

By Loren Michael Mortimer - With the US Highway Trust Fund teetering on insolvency and lawmakers struggling to find a long-term fix, Assistant Professor of Economics Erich Muehlegger addressed the issue of fuel tax at a recent seminar hosted by the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies.

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Persian studies program receives $1.5 million from prominent Iranian-American philanthropist

Persian studies program receives $1.5 million from prominent Iranian-American philanthropist

Silicon Valley philanthropist and humanitarian Bita Daryabari has made a $1.5 million gift to UC Davis to broaden its Persian studies program.

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Three Division of Social Sciences Professors Named Hellman Fellows

Three Division of Social Sciences Professors Named Hellman Fellows

Academic Affairs Vice Provost Maureen Stanton has announced UC Davis’ ninth annual class of Hellman Fellows who were recognized for their potential to achieve great scholarly distinction. These include three faculty from the Division of Social Sciences.

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Language Symposium Builds Synergies across Researchers, Disciplines and Institutions

Language Symposium Builds Synergies across Researchers, Disciplines and Institutions

The UC Davis Cluster on Language Research symposium in May forged an important bridge between researchers from across distinct research traditions, goals, methods and California research institutions.

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History professor Chuck Walker named to MacArthur Chair

History professor Chuck Walker named to MacArthur Chair

History professor Charles “Chuck” Walker has been appointed to one of the UC system’s MacArthur Foundation Chairs. He’s been designated the holder of the MacArthur Foundation Endowed Chair in International Human Rights. Walker and another faculty member — to be announced at a later date — are the first MacArthur chair appointees at UC Davis.

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Baboon Study Reveals Surprises, Breaks Ground in Tracking Behavior

Baboon Study Reveals Surprises, Breaks Ground in Tracking Behavior

By Jeffrey Day - Baboons live in a strongly hierarchical society, but the big guys don't make all the decisions.

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Program on Pilgrimage Features Anthropologist Zoila Mendoza

Program on Pilgrimage Features Anthropologist Zoila Mendoza

On June 28, the special program "Sacred Travel: The Pilgrimage Experience" will feature Zoila Mendoza, a professor of native American studies and an affiliate of the anthropology graduate group at UC Davis and the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas. Those interested can also submit questions in writing or on video beforehand.

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Data Studies Program Will Give Liberal Arts Majors a Boost in Employment

Data Studies Program Will Give Liberal Arts Majors a Boost in Employment

By Jeffrey Day - A team from the University of California, Davis, traveled to Silicon Valley and throughout Northern California a few months ago, meeting with managers at more than 20 companies to gauge what they were looking for in employees.

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ISS Funding Supports UC Davis Graduate Students with Summer and Research Travel

ISS Funding Supports UC Davis Graduate Students with Summer and Research Travel

The UC Davis Institute for Social Sciences, in partnership with the Center for Regional Change, recently supported awards to select UC Davis graduate students in the social sciences for summer research and travel and support for thesis and disseration improvement.

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