Resident Faculty Fellowship Groups

Resident Faculty Fellowships support collaborative, multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary humanistic scholarship. Fellowship groups consist of four scholars from different disciplines who spend a quarter at the Center for Ideas and Society examining an area of common interest. Groups typically include at least some members from the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

These fellowships have been temporarily suspended and funds have been redirected to the Humanities Interdisciplinary Project (HIP) awards.

Winter 2015 | Examining the Nature of Narratives

Faculty Fellows:

William Dunlop (Psychology)

Marissa Brookes (Political Science)

Derek Burrill (Media & Cultural Studies)

Goldberry Long (Creative Writing)


Narratives exist everywhere, thick on the ground. Given this ubiquity, it is perhaps unsurprising that this topic has warranted study throughout the varied disciplines that occupy the social sciences and humanities. Despite the fact that narratives have been found to contain sufficient cross-discipline appeal, however, few research groups have considered narratives simultaneously from two or more of the (traditionally) watertight specialities permeating within the social sciences and humanities. This, we believe, is a problem worth addressing. This is due, in part, to our contention that, in all but the most extreme cases, a consideration of the conceptual and empirical approach to the study of narratives within each of the disciplines represented in the current proposal (creative writing, media and cultural studies, political science, and psychology), is informative for research across the additional disciplines spoken for.

In addition, and perhaps more to the point, we contend that the very definition of ‘narrative’ diverges in less than trivial ways across these disciplines. For this reason, cross-discipline talk of the nature proposed here is particularly important if we wish to become clearer of the similarities and differences of our respective disciplines’ ‘theories’ about narratives (as we do). As such, we propose an interdisciplinary research group poised to examine the manner in which narratives are constructed in literary and non-literary form, as well as the implications these narratives hold for persons and the social and cultural groups of which they are a part. Narratives transcend disciplinary boundaries and should be studied accordingly.

Spring 2015 | Broader Impacts: Value in Science and the Humanities

Faculty Fellows:

Juliet McMullin (Anthropology)

Chikako Takeshita (Gender Studies)

Sherryl Vint (English)

Dana Simmons (History)


In 2012 the National Science Foundation introduced a revised Merit Review Criteria for grant proposals, the first major revision in fifteen years. NSF reviewers evaluate and score a proposal’s “broader impacts,” a criterion designed to capture the research’s social significance and value. Our research collective suggests that the tools of humanities scholars, such as the speculative imagination of science fiction and the social production of health and illness, are essential to conceiving of social impact statements in research proposals. We envisage social impacts not as an afterthought regarding dissemination, but rather as a driving force shaping the research questions asked. We frame the social impact imperative as a critical question: what does social value mean in the field of science?

Our group has two related goals that explore models for imagining scientific values. First, we engage the question of value and science through a collaborative reading of texts in critical theories of value and social studies of science. Specifically we ask related questions around capital and power; what are the mechanisms by which some imaginaries become scientific values? Second, we will bring these tools into the field, inviting selected campus scientists to participate in our work and to build a common framework for understanding social impact. This material will inform the collaborative writing of two articles for publication focused on questions of particular concern to the sciences at UCR: biomedicine, and issues of fertility in agriculture and biology.