Society and Culture

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.” 

UC Davis Historians Receive National Parks Funding to Collect Women’s Stories

September 02, 2020

Two UC Davis historians have received funding from the National Park Service to address the educational gap in U.S. women’s history and role in the nation’s national parks. Professors Ellen Hartigan-O’Connor and Lisa Materson will craft 80 biographies of women involved in national parks in the western region of the United States, and, in a longer article, connect those women’s lives to the ongoing struggle for voting rights.

Faculty Bring Insight and Expertise to Today’s Pressing Issues

July 02, 2020
Many faculty members in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science have done extensive research, writing and teaching connected to the discourses currently running through our daily lives and news feeds — racism, protests, police violence, monuments, incarceration, slavery, genocide and colonialism.

What Is Lost in a World Where We Cannot Touch?

May 04, 2020
During this period of social distancing, what sort of void has been created? In our social lives, touches are often subtle and brief – a quick handshake or hug. Yet it seems as though these brief encounters contribute mightily to our emotional well-being.

Experts Recommend U.S. Food and Nutrition Data System for Future

March 19, 2020
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Economics Division should expand data holdings to step up its research on how and what Americans are eating, who struggles to put food on the table, and how well federal nutrition assistance programs are working, according to a panel of experts led by UC Davis economist Marianne Bitler.

English Major Wins Gates Award to Study Climate Fiction and Human Rights

March 04, 2020
English major Jumana Esau ’20 has won a prestigious Gates Cambridge scholarship that will fully fund her Master of Philosophy in Criticism and Culture at the University of Cambridge, where she will examine the intersection of climate fiction and human rights.

UC Davis Professor’s Landmark Encyclopedia of LGBTQ History Named Top 2019 Reference

January 31, 2020
The first encyclopedia to merge global history and LGBTQ history into one resource, edited by UC Davis historian Howard Chiang, was named the best reference source of 2019. The landmark "Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) History" won the 2020 Dartmouth Medal, presented by the American Library Association.