Society and Culture

UC Davis Expands Study of South Asian Religions With Jainism

February 18, 2021
Although Jainism is one of the world’s oldest religions and continues to have significant influence globally, it isn’t widely known. Thanks to a $1.5 million gift from longtime UC Davis supporter Mohini Jain and the recent hire of Assistant Professor Lynna Dhanani in the Department of Religious Studies, UC Davis is helping to increase the visibility of Jainism through research, academic and public programming, and course offerings.

Most Teen Bullying Occurs Among Peers Climbing the Social Ladder

February 17, 2021
Teens who bully, harass, or otherwise victimize their peers are not always lashing out in reaction to psychological problems or unhealthy home environments, but are often using aggression strategically to climb their school’s social hierarchy, a UC Davis study suggests. These findings point to the reasons why most anti-bullying programs don’t work and suggest possible strategies for the future.

People Are Driving Electric Vehicles Less Than Projected

February 08, 2021
New data indicates that electric vehicles may not be an easy future substitute for the gasoline-powered fleet, as EVs are currently being used half as much as conventional cars. That is according to a paper published from the University of Chicago, UC Davis and UC Berkeley.

A Third of Americans Say They Are Unlikely or Hesitant to Get COVID-19 Vaccine

February 02, 2021

News reports indicate COVID-19 vaccines are not getting out soon enough nor in adequate supplies to most regions, but there may be a larger underlying problem than shortages. A UC Davis study found that more than a third of people nationwide are either unlikely or at least hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them.

Graphic History Wins Award for Scholarly Excellence

February 01, 2021
Charles Walker, professor of history and director of the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas at UC Davis, has won a 2021 PROSE Award from the Association of American Publishers for his graphic history, Witness to the Age of Revolution: The Odyssey of Juan Bautista Tupac Amaru.

Middle East Historian Awarded NEH Fellowship

January 11, 2021
Arab textile workers in North and South America will be focus of new book.

UC Davis historian Stacy Fahrenthold — author of an award-winning book on the activism of Arab immigrants during World War I — has received a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to write a global history of the Syrian working class.

Mellon Public Scholars Adapt Projects During Pandemic

January 11, 2021

Each year, 12 UC Davis graduate students are selected as Mellon Public Scholars to take part in a year of community-engaged research. This has been a very different year for them due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the students, all but one from the College of Letters and Science, have had to switch gears, change projects and not be physically present in the communities they are working with. Despite this, the students have completed projects and created videos that document their work, and in some cases is their work.

Among the projects:

Vaccine Myths on Social Media Can Be Effectively Reduced With Credible Fact Checking

January 07, 2021
Study finds that simple tags can make a difference.

Social media misinformation can negatively influence people’s attitudes about vaccine safety and effectiveness, but credible organizations — such as research universities and health institutions — can play a pivotal role in debunking myths with simple tags that link to factual information, UC Davis researchers suggest in a new study.

Is It Better to Give Than Receive?

December 04, 2020
Young children who have experienced compassionate love and empathy from their mothers may be more willing to turn thoughts into action by being generous to others, a UC Davis study suggests.

Professor Engages Students in Research on Sacramento's African American Community

November 23, 2020

When Milmon Harrison, associate professor of African American and African studies, began writing a book about the Great Migration, he wondered if he could bring students into the research process as part of his teaching. Now he’s teaching students how to document the history of Sacramento’s African American community through interviews with residents and archival research, thanks to the Community Engaged Learning Faculty Fellows (CELFF) program.

Anthropologist Alan Klima Wins 2020 Bateson Prize

November 18, 2020
A book by UC Davis anthropology professor Alan Klima on Thai spiritual and financial practices is the winner of a 2020 Gregory Bateson Book Prize from the Society for Cultural Anthropology. "Ethnography #9" is one of three recipients of this year’s Bateson Prize, given for works deemed “interdisciplinary, experimental and innovative.” ​

Empathy May Be in the Eye of the Beholder

October 27, 2020
Do we always want people to show empathy? Not so, said researchers from the University of California, Davis. A recently published paper suggests that although empathy is often portrayed as a virtue, people who express empathy are not necessarily viewed favorably.

Rethinking Wildfire: Cultural Burning and the Art of Not Fighting Fire

October 19, 2020

Devastating wildfires raging across California this year have been perceived mostly as a destructive force. But prior to European arrival in California, Native Americans used fire as a restorative land management technique that cleared underbrush and encouraged new plant growth.

The practice of “cultural burning” is being explored at UC Davis by students and faculty in collaboration with tribes through the Native American studies course “Keepers of the Flame.”