The Future of the Academy, One Student at Time

“The Center for Ideas and Society has created, and sustains, an environment for critical inquiry, collaboration, and scholarship. Their research funding, and support of graduate student working groups fosters stronger interdisciplinary and multi-campus collaboration…. The Center created an environment of inquiry, learning, and collaboration during my graduate studies at UCR.” ~Dr. Daisy Vargas (UCR History graduate, 2018) From its earliest days, the Center for Ideas and Society has designed programs and opportunities that incorporate graduate students as scholars in their own right. As future [...]

2019-05-20T13:46:41-07:00May 9, 2019|Categories: 30th Anniversary|

Leading the Way

Over the course of 30 years, the Center’s faculty directors have inspired new initiatives and opportunities for research through their vision, intellectual generosity and commitment to service. In the late 1980’s, Bernd Magnus envisioned a Humanities Center with what was at the time a new and innovative approach to research: interdisciplinarity. Under his leadership, residential programs with high-profile faculty guests helped launch the Center’s reputation for scholarship and service to the intellectual life of the university. -- Following this auspicious beginning, Emory Elliott helped [...]

2019-03-26T11:19:41-07:00March 26, 2019|Categories: 30th Anniversary|

A Spirited Exchange of Ideas

In 1990, the Center’s Resident Faculty Program sponsored three, quarter-long faculty groups the members of which, relieved of teaching for the quarter, met each week with an ambitious plan: to pursue their own research alongside a collective, interdisciplinary agenda. The first year, eighteen scholars attempted to do just that. At first, results were mixed. Contrasting methods and research ‘languages’ forced the group members to set aside the first few weeks simply to listen. From this deep listening grew a rich, interdisciplinary conversation—a “spirited exchange”—in [...]

2019-03-06T14:20:52-08:00March 6, 2019|Categories: 30th Anniversary|

A very good year for conferences

Image credit: Frank La Pena, Deer Dance Spirit Whether you love them - or love to avoid them - conferences are a time-proven way to bring academics, activists, artists and the public into conversation about research. In the last 30 years, the Center has hosted or supported over 100 conferences, in addition to many hundreds more talks and symposia. A look back at the conferences in 1991 - our first full year of public programming: Oct 1990 | Sixth Annual California Indian [...]

2021-01-07T15:28:31-08:00February 11, 2019|Categories: 30th Anniversary|

Distinguished Guests

From its founding in 1989 through 2008, the Center hosted an all-star academic lineup of humanist scholars in its flagship program: the Distinguished Visiting Faculty Fellowships. For almost 20 years, the program invited eminent professors to host quarter-long faculty seminars on a topic of their choosing. Faculty guests and research agendas included Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak on institutional humanities pedagogy, Marxism and de-colonialism; Stanley Fish, on "Foundations Without Deity: The Structure and Dilemma of Liberal Thought"; Martha Nussbaum on the emotions; Toby Miller on "Cultural Citizenship"; [...]

2019-01-24T10:27:07-08:00January 23, 2019|Categories: 30th Anniversary|

How it All Began

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 [...]

2018-12-19T09:43:14-08:00December 19, 2018|Categories: 30th Anniversary|