Mellon Advancing Intercultural Studies

In 2015, the Center launched the Advancing Intercultural Studies project, funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This 2-year series of four quarterly seminars examined the benefits of and issues surrounding identities and practices formed in the multi- ethnic, multicultural, and transnational spaces of UCR and Southern California.

The series began in Winter 2015 with “Beyond Diversity: Are We There Yet?” and continued in Spring 2015 with “The Public Practice of Immigrant and Minority Religions in Southern California,” followed by “Civic and Political Engagement” and “Migration, Displacement and Movement” in Fall 2015 and Winter 2016, respectively. (More information on individual seminars can be found by navigating the links to the right.)

Each seminar included four faculty, four graduate students (both groups released from teaching) and four upper-level undergraduate students enrolled in 190 series courses (capstone experiences etc.) In addition to on-going conversations, the members of each quarterly seminar met weekly on a formal basis to present and discuss their research as well as any changes in the curricula of their respective fields to which this research might lead.

Each quarter generated a set of course syllabi or revised course syllabi, as well as twelve research papers, one from each faculty member, graduate student and undergraduate. At the conclusion of each quarterly seminar, all four groups met to discuss the preliminary findings and scholarship of the most recent seminar group.

In the fifth quarter of the series, all four seminar groups convened for a two-day conference of short presentations and discussion. In addition, the undergraduate participants were invited to present their work at UCR’s annual Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Symposium.