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Interdisciplinary Research Groups

The Institute of Arts and Humanities provides financial and logistical support for faculty and graduate students to engage one another across departmental and divisional lines in research clusters oriented around a specific theme.

Please view the funding opportunities for application instructions. 

2019-20 Groups

Communicating Methods - Design in Healthcare

Conveners

Mayya Azarova (Anthropology)
Steven Rick (Computer Science and Engineering)
Jonathon Paden (Visual Arts)

Description

The Communicating Methods – Design in Healthcare group is working on problems in the area of healthcare from their distinct disciplinary perspectives. The purpose is to provide space for a dialogue between departments, sharing ideas and research methodologies in order to widen our views around how intersectional and multidisciplinary research can be done: How do different disciplines understand and perform research around communication? How does this translate into human healthcare? What does this mean for people-centered design in healthcare? The topic of human communication as it occurs in healthcare is an excellent focal point to bring together multiple stakeholders with UC San Diego and the San Diego community. 

Digital Humanities

Conveners

Linnea Zeiner (Communication)
Dr. Erin Glass (Library)
Viona Deconinck (Visual Arts)

Description

The Digital Humanities Research Group explores critical issues, methods, and tools relevant to the emerging field of digital humanities. Our group aims to develop a better familiarity with this rapidly evolving field while gaining technical skills useful for our individual research, teaching, and professional development. Thus far, we have accomplished these goals through regular meetings (where we discuss research articles and present on our work), technical training workshops, field trips to technical sites on campus, and guest speaker events.

We are a highly inclusive group and invite anyone to attend one of our meetings or events regardless of their departmental or organizational affiliation. In our three year existence, participants have come from Visual Arts, Literature, Political Science, Communication, Music, the Library, Library IT, Research IT, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, Calit2, and even Miramar College. 

Learn more about Digital Arts & Humanities or watch the KNIT - UC San Diego Digital Commons video. For more, see a sample of readings we explore.

Future of Mind Research

Conveners

Andrew Bollhagen (Philosophy)
Richard Vagnino (Philosophy)
Will McCarthy (Cognitive Science)
Arturs Semenuks (Cognitive Science)
Richard Gao (Cognitive Science)
Michael Allen (Cognitive Science)
James Michaelov (Cognitive Science)

Description

The Future of Mind Research Group plans to critically investigate the philosophical foundations of cognitive science. Second, we plan on looking closely at the particular research programs in which individual group members work on a day-to-day basis in order to understand how exactly those programs reflect the foundations of cognitive science more broadly. The purposes of this are to (i) distinguish problems that are local to particular research programs within cognitive science, and potentially resolvable using the standard tools and techniques internal to those programs, from those that derive from the conceptual foundations on which cognitive science more generally is built and (ii) develop solutions for the latter type of issues. Finding solutions to these problems requires a broader interdisciplinary effort and, perhaps, a significant reworking of cognitive science’s conceptual foundations.  

Global Changes in the 20th Century

Conveners

Juan Villa, Department of History
Steven Beardsley, Department of Literature

Description

The primary research question that we intend to explore: How is global connectivity, in facilitating cross-regional and transnational flows of information, goods and people, enabling the spread of shared cultural values globally while at the same time provoking much sharper and more intense forms of inequality and conflict in the world between different groups of people? In addressing this question, we aim to examine the networks of production, exchange, information, and migration that are shaping this world of shared culture and conflict.

Global Early Modern Studies

Conveners

Dr. Sal Nicolazzo (Literature)
Patrícia Martins Marcos (History)
Celine Khoury (Literature)

Description

Our central research question is two-fold:  how does thinking globally about our work in the early modern period help to inform, inspire and enliven our efforts at intellectual, interdisciplinary dialogue and help to define our research agendas?  How should we connect local texts, art works, histories, etc. to global, long-term processes that, in turn, might link the early modern to our own postmodern time of globalization? 

Through discussions of works-in-progress, Global Early Modern Studies (GEMS) brings together members of several departments–Philosophy, Literature, History and History of Science, Music, Visual Arts, Theater, and more–to provide constructive feedback at various stages of the writing process. 

For more information on GEMS, individual members, research projects, courses, events, and other announcements, please visit the Global Early Modern Studies blog or subscribe to the mailing list

Interdisciplinary Forum of Environmental Research

Conveners

Kendall Chancellor (Marine Biology)
Jordan Dinardo (Marine Biology) 
Natalia Erazo (Biological Oceanography) 
Adam Soliman (Economics) 
Luke Stroth (Anthropology) 

Description

The Interdisciplinary Forum of Environmental Research (IFER) is planning its sixth year of discussions and workshops between UC San Diego’s departments of literature, political science, anthropology, philosophy, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). Environmental research is interdisciplinary in nature and these issues need to be addressed with an interdisciplinary approach in order to be applicable. The goal of IFER is to facilitate conversations and collaboration between graduate students working on environmental issues from different disciplines. It is IFER’s mission to not only broaden our perspectives and incorporate new ideas into our own research but to create collaborations across disciplines to further understanding of the complexity of environmental issues and to examine potential solutions to environmental problems. 

Interdisciplinary Performance Group

Conveners

Adriana Tosun (Literature)
Kevin Schwenkler (Music)
Viona Deconinck (Visual Arts)

Description

This group aims to create collaborative projects across the arts and humanities departments, bringing together students to engage with critical theory through the creation of art presented publicly. Central research questions include: How are critical theories approached across disciplines? How can research be represented through artistic means? How can research in its full complexity still be accessible to a non-academic audience?

Interdisciplinary Study of Race and (Settler) Colonialism

Conveners

Bayan Abusneineh (Ethnic Studies)
Jorge Ramirez (History)

Description

The Interdisciplinary Study of Race and (Settler) Colonialism (ISRSC) centers race in studies of settler colonialism to expand analysis across different geographical, historical, and contemporary sites. As a group of scholars with different specialties, different regional studies, and different sets of methodological tools, our question is twofold: First, can the study of race and (settler) colonialism enable us to challenge the native/settler binary, often specific to the Americas and Australasia? Second, how can a global approach through the study of our specific regions enable us to make connections across racialized groups and their struggles for liberation?

Pacific Studies

Conveners

Mark Hanna (History)
Chris Costello (History)

Description

Pacific Studies investigates the long historical fetch and socio-political dimensions of maritime life and oceanic crossings, inclusive of San Diego, the Pacific Rim, and points outward.The group hosts weekly workshops for faculty and graduate students from different fields and disciplines to discuss Pacific and global histories. Workshops consider how including the Pacific challenges the conventional ways that we narrate the past. 

Workshops are held on Mondays at noon throughout the academic year in LIT 310. Please contact Pacific Studies Coordinator Chris Costello for details.

Post- and Decolonial Design Group

Conveners

Dr. Lilly Irani (Communication and Science Studies)
Akshita Sivakumar (Communication and Science Studies)
Veronica Uribe-del-aguila (Communication and Science Studies)
Patricia Martins Marcos (History and Science Studies)

Description

The Post-colonial and Decolonial Design Group asks: How might postcolonial and decolonial theory help us expose and analyze the politics of design, its potentials, and limitations? Postcolonial and decolonial studies attend to subaltern epistemologies can pay particular attention to the relationship of subjectivities and to property. The focus for this year will be on the following: 1. The need to chart out alternative histories which identify colonial power in terms of property and the fashioning of  subjectivities. 2. Representation must be understood both in terms of who represents and what is represented; this is an opportunity to revisit how various sub-fields of design have engaged with forms and processes of representation. 3. We must identify and understand marginalized contexts within which knowledge is made. This can take the form of centers/margins, core/periphery, metropole/(post)colony (learning from Kavita Philip), originals/copies and forms of expertise.

Race and Oral History in San Diego

Conveners

Dr. Luis Alvarez (History)
Dr. Yến Lê Espiritu (Ethnic Studies)
Dr. Simeon Man (History)

Description

This project links students, faculty, and the UC San Diego library with community organizations, institutions, and individuals in Chicana/o, Latina/o, African American and Asian American communities in San Diego to produce undergraduate courses, oral histories, and archives devoted to the racial and ethnic history of our campus, city and surrounding area.

Students will contribute to expanding archives on race and ethnic communities in San Diego with the primary goal of capturing stories of individuals who might not otherwise appear in the historical record. The digitized oral history collection will serve as a repository that safeguards the life stories of ordinary San Diegans, leaving an important legacy for future generations. The project aims to help establish and maintain strong connections between UC San Diego students and its surrounding communities while imparting important digital literacy skills to participating students.

To learn more, listen to the Soundcloud audio story of "Building an Archive of San Diego History," or read the print version. The oral histories and students' blog posts about their experiences are available on the Race and Oral History Project website

Revolutions and Rebellions

Conveners

Heather Paulson (Literature)
Amelia Glaser (Literature)
Martha Lampland (Sociology)
Patrick Patterson (History)

Description

This group's agenda focuses on theoretical explorations of revolutions and post-revolutionary societies that
represent the overturn of multiple political systems. Faculty and graduate students working in the Humanities, the Social Sciences, and technology, are concerned with the effects of revolution and protest on media, literature, historiography, politics, sports, art, and medicine, to name a few key areas. This workshop will convene around several important questions, across cultures and disciplines: How has the experience of political overturn affected the notions of freedom, transparency of government, and history? What can be gleaned from historical revolutionary regimes that will help us to better understand the role of revolutionary ideologies (including, but not limited to, Marxism) in society? How does the idea of popular protest shape the relationship between East and West, North and South? And, most relevant to recent events in the United States, how does the rhetoric of “riot,” “protest”, or “revolution” serve popular uprisings and the institutions that they threaten? Key revolutionary moments in history, in particular the twentieth century revolutions in Russia, China, and Cuba, will remain at the center or our discussion, but we are particularly interested in creating dialogue between scholars of area studies and scholars of political, literary, and cultural theory.

Semantics Babble

Conveners

Dr. Ivano Caponigro (Linguistics)
Dr. Jonathan Cohen (Philosophy)

Description

Philosophy of language and logic have played a major role in the study of natural language meaning and the development the fields of linguistics known as formal semantics and pragmatics in the past forty years. Philosophy and linguistics raise similar or complementary questions, and ones of interest for anthropologists, psychologists, cognitive and neuro scientists who investigate language: What’s meaning? What are the crucial aspects of meaning a theory of meaning should account for? How does human language convey meaning? How is meaning derived compositionally? Do human languages differ as far as meaning and its compositional derivation are concerned, and how? What kind of methodologies and techniques can we use to study meaning (experimental methodologies, corpora, logical tools, analytical techniques, etc.)? For more information visit our webpage that details group activities (including archived schedules of meetings from prior years): http://idiom.ucsd.edu/~ivano/SemBabble/

Technology and Labor Research Group

Conveners

Davide Carpano (Sociology and Science Studies)
Dr. Ari Larissa Heinrich (Literature)
Dorothy Howard (Communication)
Dr. Lilly Irani (Communication and Science Studies)
Dr. Wendy Matsumura (History)

Description

The Technology and Labor Research Group brings together PhD students and faculty from departments across the Social Science and Arts & Humanities Divisions to generate dialogue which applies the rich histories, ideas, and tactics of workers that have organized and challenged the impacts of rising automation in the late 20th century. To accomplish this we will probe literature that draws from the Autonomist Marxist framework to draw connections between past and present worker struggles as they have mobilized for better conditions in response to technology's role in the rapid transformation of the social relations of work.

Transdisciplinary Disability Studies

Conveners

Dr. David Serlin (Communication and Science Studies)
Dr. Brian Goldfarb (Communication and Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies)
Dr. Lisa Cartwright (Visual Arts)
Kim Clark (Communication)
Ricardo Dominguez (Visual Arts)
Rachel Fox (Communication and Science Studies)
Dr. Louise Hickman (Communication)
Jenni Marchisotto (Literature)
Haydee Smith (Literature)
Riley Taitingfong (Communication)

Description

The Transdisciplinary Disability Studies group provides a designated forum for intellectual exchange about critical transdisciplinary disability studies on the UC San Diego campus. The TDS group takes a critical, yet broad, approach to disability, a category that includes cognitive differences as well as physical, sensory, and intellectual or developmental impairments. We seek to examine and expand the possibilities for new inter- and transdisciplinary theoretical models for approaching disability while also assessing and critiquing conventional models for understanding disability. These include the medical model (focused on the body’s so-called pathology) as well as the social model, focused more on environmental and social limitations than on the body of the disabled individual. Understanding disability as an intersectional identity and cultural category opens important opportunities. For more information, visit our website: https://knit.ucsd.edu/disabilitystudies/