Society and Culture

Professor Promotes Good Writing With Class, Philanthropy and Scholarship

February 08, 2019

Peter Hays, English professor emeritus, retired nearly 15 years ago, but the Hemingway scholar is anything but retiring. During the last few years he has written several books and many articles, and each fall teaches a freshman seminar on Ernest Hemingway’s short stories.

“The actual subject of the seminar is reading and writing,” Hays said. “So often students don’t really read, they skim, and they can’t do that with Hemingway. They need to read beyond the surface. Whether they remember anything about Hemingway is inconsequential — it’s all about reading and writing.”

Alumni-Directed Movie About Prisoner and Activist Screening at UC Davis

January 29, 2019

“Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story,” an award-winning documentary about a teenager tried as an adult who served 20 years in prison, will be shown at UC Davis on Jan. 31. Director Ben Wang, who earned a degree in Asian American studies from UC Davis in 2004, and Zheng will attend and take part in a discussion.

Four Aggies Participate In Capital Fellows Programs

January 22, 2019
Four recent graduates of the UC Davis College of Letters and Science are getting close-up views of California government in action this academic year as Capital Fellows.

Women Tell Women’s History in Oxford Handbook

December 20, 2018
Ellen Hartigan-O’Connor and Lisa Materson, collaborators in research and teaching of women’s and gender history at UC Davis for 10 years, were keenly aware of many fascinating stories about women in history, as uncovered by female historians. But getting those stories into the big narratives of history was more than one or two people could accomplish. Then Oxford University Press asked the scholars, both associate professors of history in the College of Letters and Science, to create a women’s history handbook.

Book about Mining’s Effect on Literature Garners Support from NEH

December 14, 2018
The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a fellowship this week to English professor Liz Miller to support her work on a book about industrial mining and its effects on 19th- and early 20th-century literature. The $60,000 award, announced Dec. 12, will enable Miller to spend the 2019 calendar year writing Extraction Ecologies and the Literature of the Long Exhaustion, 1830s-1930s.

What Gives a Word Its Meaning?

December 12, 2018
Dictionaries provide us with descriptions of word meanings, helping us to answer the question: “What does this word mean?” Adam Sennet, a professor of philosophy, seeks to answer a different question: “What gives this word or utterance meaning?”

Rapid Genetic Evolution Linked to Lighter Skin Pigmentation in a Southern African Population

December 11, 2018
Study finds that a gene for lighter skin spread rapidly among people in southern Africa in the last 2,000 years. University of California, Davis, researchers and colleagues report that the gene was introduced from eastern Africa to southern African populations. Strong positive selection caused this gene to rise in frequency among some KhoeSan populations.

Access to Food Stamps Improves Children’s Health and Reduces Medical Spending

December 05, 2018
In a new policy brief, Chloe N. East (Ph.D., economics, ’16), an assistant professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver, examines how parental eligibility for the Food Stamp Program affects children's well-being and healthcare expenses, with a particular focus on U.S.-born children of immigrants.

Do You Have a Healthy Personality? Researchers Think They Can Tell You

November 27, 2018
What are the most psychologically healthy personality traits? Scholars have been interested in characterizing the healthy personality as long as they have been trying to understand how people differ from one another. Researchers from UC Davis have identified a healthy personality prototype in a recent study using a contemporary trait perspective.

Katia Vega: Creating the Interactive Body

November 26, 2018

Katia Vega, an assistant professor of design, is breaking ground in creating the “interactive body.” Her recent research has included bio-sensitive tattoos that give information about body chemistry, conductive makeup that allows one to turn lights on and off with the blink of an eye, and paying for purchases though microchips attached to fingernails.

“I’m interested in creating seamless technology; the goal is to make it indistinguishable from our body,” she says.