Bernd Magnus, Center founding director, at a reception for faculty fellows, 1990.

Thirty years ago, the university had a radical idea: an interdisciplinary, collaborative research center at Riverside that would, in the words of the Center’s founder and first director, Bernd Magnus, “build bridges not only within…but also across the humanities and social sciences.”[2] Born in 1989 out of recommendations from a Chancellor’s Task Force, in partnership with the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and funded through campus commitments and the UC Office of the President’s Humanities Initiative, the Center for Ideas and Society’s founding purpose was to “promote and advance humanistic research and study at UC Riverside.”[1]

Though funding, personnel, programming and even location have changed over the years, the central mission of promoting and supporting intellectual community and scholarship at UCR remains a guiding motivation in all we do. Over the next year, we will celebrate our 30th anniversary with two new features: ‘From the Archives,’ monthly posts that highlight a program or project from our history, and ‘In Focus,’ a series of short and snappy interviews with affiliated researchers. We will also launch our new, multi-year faculty fellowship program and round out the year with a reception and symposium of past CIS resident faculty in Fall 2019.

We are grateful to all the scholars, participants and UCR community members who have invested time and energy in developing the Center over the past three decades.  We invite you to join with us this year as we celebrate the past and as we look forward to a bright future… and another 30 years at UC Riverside.

We would like to hear from you! Ask questions, give feedback, or share your stories about the Center.

1. Lloyd, Dick (February, 1991). Rethinking, Reshaping Society. UCR Magazine, pp.34-35.
2. Magnus, Bernd. 1991. The Center and its Mission: Background and Overview. Internal report, UCR Center for Ideas and Society. Unpublished.