Strategic Plan Magazine
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Photo: Maria Pantelia, professor of classics. Credit: Steve Zylius / UCI

I. Research

We aim to support our traditional strengths even as those fields undergo radical shifts in orientation and methodology, and to broaden our interdisciplinary scope and impact through the development of new programs both in the School and in collaboration with other UCI schools and with institutions beyond UCI. 

1. Support and enhance demonstrated strengths

Photo: Andromache Karanika, associate professor of classics. Credit: UCI School of Humanities 
  • Critical Theory: Preserve and enhance our preeminence in this area by encouraging new approaches through innovative collaboration and cooperation among researchers working out of different methodological traditions and subject areas1.
  • Writing, Language, and Literary studies: Develop more vibrant and visible interactions among our celebrated MFA programs, our Literary Journalism program, the International Center for Writing and Translation (ICWT), Rhetoric and Composition, Academic English, Applied Linguistics, the Forum for the Academy and the Public, and our tradition of strong research into all aspects of literature and language.
  • Transnational and World Cultures: Develop our strengths in World History, Global Cultures, and world languages and studies. Build upon and coordinate our developing strengths in Middle Eastern and Central/South Asian cultures. Develop our strengths in East and Southeast Asian cultures through existing and new centers and research groups. Develop further strengths in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Africa and African diaspora, as well as the transnational study of North America and Europe. Pursue other areas such as Mediterranean Worlds and their Receptions; Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean studies; and the comparative analysis of watersheds and waterways.
  • Cross-Cultural and Intersectional Analyses: Continue to build up existing programs in African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Religious Studies, and Culture and Theory; support development of Native American and Indigenous studies; establish stronger cross-school relations with Chicano/Latino studies.  Pursue discussions of an American studies program.
  • Visual, Spatial and Media Studies: Building on strengths in visual studies, develop interests in design and curatorship; the ever-changing media ecology; humans and technology; and the built environment, including architecture, urban, post-urban space and place-making.
  • Ethics and Knowledge: Building on new recruitments in philosophy, develop Center for Epistemology; develop strengths in moral philosophy (Melden chair), applied ethics (medicine, law, social existence, etc.), and "hinge" epistemology.

2. Expand existing and develop new interdepartmental as well as cross-school collaborations

Photo: Illuminations director Julia Lupton (center) is flanked by (from left) Georges Van Den Abbeele, dean of the School of Humanities; Stephen Barker, dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts; and Lorelei Tanji, university librarian. Van Den Abbeele and Barker co-chair Illuminations community council, while Tanji oversees the library sites where the Illuminations Authors Series book clubs will convene. Credit: Steve Zylius / UCI 
  • Medical Humanities: Implement minor degree program; develop joint MD/M.A. program; establish joint research center in medicine, humanities and the arts; establish endowed chair in medical humanities; support undergraduate and graduate scholarships for students pursuing work in medical humanities, demonstrate relevance of foreign languages and cross-cultural awareness for medical practitioners.
  • Humanities and Law: Expand current minor; explore joint degree possibilities with School of Law; pursue research/conference opportunities such as the Forum for the Academy and the Public and the Center for Jurisprudence.
  • International Language Programs: Seek campus partners to help broaden the scope of research into languages and their associated cultures, including area and diaspora studies.
  • Educational initiatives: Develop stronger ties with School of Education for research into teaching effectiveness and pedagogical creativity.
  • Arts collaborations: Explore stronger and mutually advantageous collaborations with CTSA such as digital filmmaking minor; curatorial certification and training (especially with regards to growing art collections and proposed campus art museum); theatrical partnerships such as New Swan Shakespeare Festival and UCI Shakespeare Center; joint opportunities through Illuminations; joint Arts/Humanities conferences.
  • Inter-institutional collaboration: Take advantage of opportunities to work with other universities and research institutes both regionally and internationally, such as the Huntington Library/Fletcher-Jones partnership.

3. Facilitate interdisciplinary work

Photo (left to right): Andromache Karanika, Kelli Sharp, James Kyung-Jin Lee, Douglas Haynes, and Johanna Shapiro. Credit: UCI School of Humanities
  • Develop opportunities for faculty and graduate students to work creatively across departmental boundaries.
  • Research communities: Develop new research clusters, school centers and campus centers that enable larger-scale scholarly collaborations and ongoing research support.
  • Collaborative teaching and research: Encourage and develop cooperative projects such as Humanities Core, Medical Humanities, and Critical Theory.
  • "Vertical integration" of teaching and research: encourage the development of students across their careers and the mutual enhancement of teaching and research through Hum Core and other Gen Ed courses. Enhance first-year instruction (lectures and sections) with pedagogical workshops for all instructors; convene faculty/graduate student seminars on research topics related to course themes; incubate research projects emerging from this broad set of interactions2
  • Humanities and other units: Seek opportunities to connect faculty and graduate student research in the humanities with other campus and systemwide initiatives (sustainability, water, data science, etc.).
  • Distinguished visitors: Bring prestigious thinkers to campus and engage them with SOH on an ongoing basis.
  • International partnerships: Develop scholarly programs with international perspectives and collaborations, including exchange programs with top foreign universities. Cultivate greater study/research abroad opportunities for faculty, graduate and undergraduate students. Promote development of joint international programs with other UCI schools, such as PIE.
1. According to the 2016 US News and World Report rankings, the UCI School of Humanities houses the number 1 ranked program in the United States for Literary Theory and Criticism.
2. Our model is the recent Mellon-Sawyer Seminar on "Documenting War," which developed out of a three-year Hum Core cycle on the theme of war and led to numerous exhibits, courses, and symposia.
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