The Universality of Song: Humans Can Recognize a Song’s Intent Regardless of Language

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that there is an association between how songs sound and their place in our emotional lives. Sourcing songs from across the globe, Manvir Singh, an assistant professor of anthropology in the College of Letters and Science at UC Davis, and his fellow researchers found that people from different types of societies can successfully identify a song’s type by how it sounds, regardless of the language of its words.

'CULTIVATION' Celebrates Asian and South Asian Cultural Contributions to the Region

As the fruit trees bloom, seeds sprout and gardens fill with flowers, the UC Davis Humanities Institute will delve into the rich cultural landscape of California in the next few months with its year-long public initiative, “CULTIVATION: Food, Farming, and Heritage in the Sacramento Valley and Beyond.” The upcoming events are focused on Asian and South Asian contributions.

How a South African Community’s Request for Its Genetic Data Raises Questions About Ethical and Equitable Research

For the past decade, genetic researchers from the Henn Lab have worked among the Khoe-San and self-identified “Coloured” communities in South Africa, requesting DNA and generating genetic data to help unravel the history and prehistory of southern Africans and their relationship to populations around the world. However, the researchers have been unable to fulfill a common request: providing them their individual genetic ancestry results. What they found is that there is no easy answer.

Critic Maya Phillips to Give Talk on Stories of Alternate Realities

The multiverse, long a topic of science fiction and fantasy, seems to be popping up in narratives everywhere, notes Maya Phillips, cultural critic for The New York Times. Phillips will explore “Storytelling in the Multiverse of Madness” in a talk on May 5 at 4:10 p.m. at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis — one day before “Dr. Strange” opens in theaters nationwide.

A Tree Reborn, a Commitment Renewed

A 40-foot-tall buckeye — among the first trees to be planted in the UC Davis Arboretum 85 years ago — broke apart. Juan Ávila Hernandez, a member of the Committee to Honor the Patwin and Native Americans, noticed and set in motion a replacement project culminating in a tree-planting ceremony on March 4, 2022. Three saplings will vie to be the buckeye that takes over the spot overlooking the Native American Contemplative Garden.

American Studies at UC Davis: Breaking Down Walls for 50 Years

With the United States taking its place as a global power after World War I, scholars began exploring questions that would develop into a discipline known as American studies in the 1930s. Over the next several decades, American studies programs were created across the United States, including in 1969 at UC Davis. The program, a department in the College of Letters and Science since 2016, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It is the only Department of American Studies in the University of California system.