Arts & Humanities 2.0

Re-Imagining Graduate Education and Study at UC Riverside and Beyond

Economic disruptions and sustained inequities at public universities in the first decades of the 21st century have seemingly reduced the function of higher education to a lowest common denominator: its utility in securing employment for graduates, regardless of whether that employment makes use of the intellectual skills developed by their university training, especially in the arts and humanities. Many graduate students question the utility of pursuing a degree in the arts or humanities when the costs of education often appear to outweigh the returns. Faculty in graduate programs are asking how they can preserve the integrity of advanced academic training amidst concerns that graduating students are unprepared for employment beyond academia.

The Arts & Humanities 2.0 series at the Center for Ideas and Society hosts a sequence of conversations that address pressing issues of graduate education in the UC system, and at UCR in particular. A platform for open discourse, Arts and Humanities 2.0 launches on March 10 with a presentation and discussion of “Stories from the Field,” a short publication that details narratives and numbers that speak of the conditions – and the possible futures – facing today’s UC humanities PhDs.

Submit proposals for events in this series to Jeanette Kohl and/or Dylan Rodríguez.

March 10, 2022 @ 1:00 PM | Virtual event

What can CHASS departments do to improve the experiences and professional prospects of graduate students? Join us for a discussion on Stories from the Field, a data booklet* that charts the economic outcomes and career trajectories for UC humanities PhDs against those of their peers in other disciplines. Presentation will provide an overview of the project, including key takeaways of the report that can inform and reshape how departments and university administrations approach graduate education in the humanities.  (*Limited number of printed copies available for UCR participants. Request a hard copy.)

Watch Video 

Presentation from Kelly Anne Brown, Associate Director, UCHRI

Followed by Q&A and roundtable conversation with CHASS faculty, including Sherryl Vint, Cathy Gudis, Adrián Félix and Aleca Le Blanc.

About Stories from the Field

The project, produced by UCHRI and Humanists@Work, was funded by a grant from the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) to the UC Career Pathways project. The grant supported two distinct, but related, data collection projects:

  • Doctoral Survey.UCOP and CGS conducted a broad survey of UC doctoral cohorts (representing years 2001-2, 2002-3, 2008-9, 2009-10, 2013-14, and 2014-15). This effort to survey alumni is part of a national effort to better understand PhD outcomes and the professional landscape for our alumni.
  • Alumni Focus Groups.Throughout 2019, UCHRI & Humanists@Workconducted 6 alumni focus groups and 3 in-depth interviews with UC PhD alumni working outside the professoriate.

About Humanists@Work

Humanists@Work is a systemwide graduate student professionalization initiative established by UCHRI in 2013. In addition to a wide variety of activities, such as a paid graduate student advisory committee, LinkedIn group with over 600 PhDs, and more, the project hosted 8 day-and-a-half long workshops in collaboration with 6 UC campuses. Alongside the Stories booklet, their website contains a Stories from the Field section that includes the booklet and a (hopefully) handy user’s guide. A new series, Alumni@Work, features innovative alumni profiles, with questions that go beyond the usual transferable skills conversations. Coming soon:  “Under Review,” a new podcast series led by two graduate students that embeds approaches to career diversity within larger discussions of contingency, educational reform, and racial and socioeconomic diversity.

Co-sponsored by the UCR Graduate Division and the Center for Ideas and Society.

Why the Arts? Lessons from the Pandemic

April 20, 2022 @ 2:00 pm

Hybrid / CHASS Interdisciplinary South, Room 1111


A roundtable discussion as we transition “back” to opening venues for the arts on campus, in the professional world, and in arts education. What does it mean to return to working in-person after such a long period of being away? What have we gained? What have we lost? How do hybrid modalities present opportunities for theatre spaces, museums, music, art and dance spaces to rethink how we make, share and educate in the arts?

Panelists include:

Barbara Fuchs (MLA President, 2021 & Department of English and Spanish and Portuguese, UCLA)
Kim Yasuda (Department of UCSB)
Susan Ossman (Anthropology and Global Studies, UCR)
Patricia Cardoso (TFDP, UCR)
Donatella Galella (TFDP, UCR)
Kimberly Guerrero (TFDP and CWPA, UCR)
Rickerby Hinds (TFDP, UCR)
Stuart Krieger (TFDP and CWPA, UCR)
Bella Merlin (TFDP, UCR)
Root Park (TFDP, UCR)
Robin Kello (English, UCLA)
Esther Banegas Gatica (CWPA, UCR)
Paige Goodman (CWPA, UCR)
Aaron Higareda (CWPA, UCR)
Karly Thomas (CWPA, UCR)

Moderated by Erith Jaffe-Berg (TFDP, UCR)

Sponsored by the Department of Theatre, Film and Digital Production, the Being Human project and the Arts and Humanities 2.0 initiative at the Center for Ideas and Society. Funding is provided by the University of California Office of the President Multi-campus Research Programs and Initiative Funding.

Organized by Erith Jaffe-Berg

Sponsored by the UCR Department of Theatre, Film and Digital Productions and the Center for Ideas and Society through a grant from the University of California Office of the President Multi-campus Research Programs and Initiative Funding.

The 2022/23 sequence will conclude with a roundtable on May 5, organized jointly with the Dean of Graduate Division, during which faculty and graduate students will have the opportunity to share their experiences at UCR and discuss strategies for the future.

Details forthcoming.

Faculty Workshop and Public Lecture
Event date/time forthcoming

Participants at the “Race, Neoliberalism and the University” workshop and public lecture will focus on the ongoing transformation of the university in the post-Cold-War decades and the impact of neoliberalism’s efforts to remake social and cultural institutions in the service of a new regime of capital accumulation and disciplinary regulation. Educational institutions, and in particular the university, have been targeted by neoliberal concepts of management, efficiency, auditing and assessment and face continual and increasing pressure to remake education as a commodity or as a resource for “R & D,” conducted with state funding but serving the goals of corporate profit. Students have become financial resources for a university system increasingly dependent on student fees and “customers” to be served education as a commodity. Since the 1960s, the countervailing force that has challenged the the university’s role in managing and segmenting the population has come primarily from faculty and students working in collaboration with social movements to challenge the racial segregation and anti-democratic ends of higher education. These tendencies have sought to promote democratization and desegregation of the university and to direct both its pedagogy and its research towards ends that serve the public good as part of a larger struggle for decolonization. They have been countered by the rollback of the work of desegregation and affirmative action and their replacement with a series of rubrics from Multiculturalism to “Excellence and Diversity” to “Inclusivity”, each of which has sought to limit the transformation of the university and contain the effects of desegregation to assimilative conformity to its existing protocols. How should we orient ourselves around current challenges and struggles in the university in the light of these longer historical tendencies?


David Lloyd, Distinguished Professor of English, author of Culture and the State and Under Representation: The Racial Regime of Aesthetics. [link to email]

Nick Mitchell (Feminist Studies and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, UCSC), author of Discipline and Surplus: Black Studies, Women’s Studies, and the Dawn of Neoliberalism and The University, in Theory: Essays on Institutional Knowledge.

Rei Terada (Department of Comparative Literature, UCI), author of recent articles on race and the history of philosophy and the forthcoming Metaracial Logic: Hegel, Antiblackness, and Political Identity

Sponsored by the Center for Ideas and Society through a grant from the University of California Office of the President Multi-campus Research Programs and Initiative Funding.