The Center hosts an array of programs that help develop humanities and humanities-related research and also help connect humanities scholars with the community.

Click the + links below for more information on these programs.

Hosted at the Center, CHASS Academic Book Clubs are comprised of 6-8 members (faculty, staff and/or students, ideally from two or more departments) who meet on campus at least four times over the quarter to read and discuss an academic title selected for its potential to engage multiple perspectives, disciplines and methods in critical inquiry.

Book Club Awards are made on a quarterly basis, as funds permit. Awards of up to $300 cover books (one for each confirmed participant). Coffee and meeting facilities are provided at the Center in College Building South.

Learning and using more than one language has many benefits, but there are also misconceptions about what it means to be bilingual. Some believe that exposing infants to more than one language will confuse them and harm their development or that it is impossible to fully learn a new language as an adult. The new research on language learning and bilingualism shows that these misconceptions are false. Bilingualism changes the minds and brains of babies in ways that produce greater cognitive flexibility and openness to new learning. Adults are also far more open to new language learning than we previously understood. New findings on older adults suggest that lifelong bilingualism may protect them against the cognitive declines that individuals experience normally as they age and also against the symptoms of dementia. How can we better communicate the excitement of these new findings?

Bilingualism Matters began as a public information service at the University of Edinburgh in 2008, in response to a lack of information about bilingualism in the community. In October, 2017, Bilingualism Matters at UCR launched a new branch to bring together researchers at UCR and elsewhere with the Southern California community. This region is a linguistically diverse environment and UCR, as one of a small number of research intensive HSI, is no exception. UCR is one of the most diverse of the UC campuses. A large percentage of our students are bilingual. Many are heritage speakers who grew up in homes with a language other than English and were only first exposed to English when they entered primary school. At the same time, within universities across the country and internationally, there has been an explosion of research on bilingualism, to understand what bilingualism means historically, politically, and linguistically in the context of immigration and border communities, to identify the patterns of learning that might promote the acquisition of more than one language, and to determine how a life in two languages might come to have positive consequences for social development and for the quality of the mind and brain. Bilingualism Matters brings together the lives that are lived in two languages and the research that uses bilingualism as a tool to illuminate issues of scholarship.

The program hosts speakers and events throughout the year. To learn more about Bilingualism Matters, visit their Facebook page or email bilingualismmattersucr@gmail.com.


Judith Kroll, Psychology
Cova Lamar-Prieto, Hispanic Studies
Christine Chiarello, Psychology
Hyejin Nah, Anthropology
Vrinda Chidambaram, Comparative Literature
Liz Davis, Psychology

2019 Series Theme: “Three Books/Films/Etc That Changed Things”

Deadline Extended: August 16, 2019

Certain publications, art works, or pop culture creations have an outsized and lingering impact. If you could choose three books, films, works of art or other creations accessible to a general audience that changed the world as we know it, what would they be? And why should more people know about them?

UCR faculty are invited to submit their selections for a chance to present at one of four lecture events in the annual Disciplines in Dialogue Series, sponsored by the Center for Ideas and Society and co-hosted by UCR Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and UCR Palm Desert Center.

This popular, four-part series, held January–April, pairs UCR faculty from different academic disciplines for a conversation on topics of interest to a public audience. Each conversation is hosted twice; on a Tuesday at University Extension in Riverside and again the following Thursday the UCR Palm Desert Center. The series reaches approximately 500 community members each year.

Either apply with a dialogue partner or apply on you own and we will pair you for a co-presentation on the following sets of dates in 2020:
January 28 & January 30
February 25 & February 27
March 24 & March 26
April 21 & April 23.

To help facilitate participation, presenters are reimbursed for mileage and a hotel stay in Palm Desert.

To apply, email the following to georgia.​warnke@​ucr.​edu:

  • Name and Department of applicant (s)
  • A list from each applicant of 3 works and short description of how they “changed the world” (or some aspect of the world). The works should be thematically linked, non-technical and accessible to a general audience.
  • Availability to present on at least one of the pairs of dates (above).

For questions or more information, contact katharine.​henshaw@​ucr.​edu.

Made possible by gifts from Emory’s family and friends, the Emory Elliott Book Award honors the book published by a CHASS faculty member during the previous academic year that, in the judgment of the selection committee, best exemplifies the values that characterized Professor Elliott and his contributions to life and letters.

Among these many contributions are the capacity to recognize complexity together with the passion to clarify, the ability to contribute to a conversation rather than to summarize agreements already established, and the intent to further a tradition of creative and scholarly munificence.

2019 Call for Applications

Annual submission deadline: October 15
(Earlier submissions appreciated to allow time for review.)

Submissions and self-nominations from CHASS faculty are accepted through October each year for books published in the preceding academic year. (Ex. A book published between July 2018 and June 2019 is eligible for the 2019 award if submitted by October 2019.) Email nominations to Georgia.Warnke@ucr.edu. Include Author, Book Title, Publisher, and Date of Publication.

Past Winners

  • 2019: Jade Sasser (Gender & Sexuality Studies) – On Infertile Ground: Population Control and Women’s Rights in the Era of Climate Change
    Steven Brint (Sociology) – Two Cheers for Higher Education: Why American Universities Are Stronger Than Ever―and How to Meet the Challenges They Face
  • 2018: Sang-Hee Lee (Anthropology) – Close Encounters with Humankind: A Paleoanthropologist Investigates Our Evolving Species
  • 2017: Charmaine Craig (Creative Writing) – Miss Burma
  • 2016: Anthea Kraut (Dance) – Choreographing Copyright: Race Gender, and Intellectual Property Rights in American Dance
  • 2015: Conrad Rudolph (Art History) – The Mystic Ark: Hugh of Saint Victor, Art, and Thought in the Twelfth Century
  • 2014: Amanda J. Lucia (Religious Studies) – Reflections of Amma: Devotees in a Global Embrace
  • 2013: Maudemarie Clark (Philosophy) – The Soul of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil
    Perry Link (Comparative Literature) – An Anatomy of Chinese: Rhythm, Metaphor, Politics
  • 2012: Priya Srinivasan (Dance) – Sweating Saris: Indian Dance as Transnational Labor
  • 2011: Michelle Raheja (English) – Reservation Reelism: Redfacing, Visual Sovereignty, and Representations of Native Americans in Film
The “Hot off the Presses” series features presentations by CHASS faculty on their recently published books. While their book is still “hot off the press”, the authors give an informal talk about the book, its themes and expected impact, and/or their experience of writing it. Each talk is followed by a question and answer session and a reception. The Center adds these new titles to its growing collection of CHASS publications. Eligible titles are also considered for the annual Emory Elliott Awards.


Please check our Events Calendar for upcoming book talks.

2018-19 Events

The Humanities Graduate Student Research Grants assist graduate students involved in original research or creative projects in the humanities. Awarded funds are primarily intended for research proposals related to dissertation or MFA work, though other projects are considered as funds permit.

The award process is competitive. Applications are collected each fall and announced the following spring. Projects are judged according to intellectual merit, faculty support and justification for the proposal as it relates to completion of the dissertation or MFA project.

The Humanities GSR Awards are sponsored by UCR Graduate Division, the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and the Center for Ideas and Society.

We congratulate the following award winners!

2019-20 Winners 2018-19 Winners
Kelly Bowker, Dance 
Jeremy Coltman, Anthropology 
Xiomara Forbez, Dance     
Engin Gokcek, History   
Owain Graham, Music     
Beyzanur Han Tuncez, Political Science                    
Madeline Holler, Creative Writing                
Hermann Hudde, Music     
Andrew Ivey, Political Science  
Karin Johnson, Sociology             
Christina Leyva, Dance     
Nelda Marengo, Anthropology      
Franklin Perez, Ethnic Studies 
Leslie Perkins, Anthropology     
Justin Phan, Ethnic Studies     
Camilla Querin, History of Art     
Patrick Rohrer, Anthropology      
Courtney Scuro, English  
Chelsea Silva, English   
Kurt Weber, History   
Trangđài Glassey-Trầnguyễn, Anthropology
Logan Marg, Sociology
Kevin Sliwoski, Music
Iris Blake, Ethnic Studies
Katrin Boniface, History
Kelly Bowker, Dance
Mayela Caro, History
Kellie Flint, Visual Art
Irvin Gonzalez, Dance
Bernard Gordillo, Music
Ayize Jama-Everett, Creative Writing
Elizabeth Kopacz, Ethnic Studies
Lynnee Bonner, Creative Writing
Jeremy Coltman, Anthropology
Rainy Demerson, Dance
Christina Gregory, Political Science
Theresa Heindel, Anthropology
Merideth Hillbrand, Visual Art
Eric Johns, Music
Alan Malfavon, History
Hannah Manshel, English
Elizabeth McDonald, Music
Ania Nikulina, Dance
Marlen Rios-Hernandez, Ethnic Studies
Santos Roman, History
Chelsea Silva, English
Maria Vidaurrazaga, Creative Writing

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) is a two-year program that provides financial support, research mentorship, and assistance with graduate school applications.

Visit UCR’s MMUF website for more information on eligibility and benefits.

The Mellon Mays program at UC Riverside is administered by the Center for Ideas and Society.

Program CoordinatorGeorgia Warnke
Administrative CoordinatorKatharine Henshaw