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Writers: Annabel Adams and Pat Harriman Designer and editor: Annabel Adams





Major innovation


Grad student internships


The UCI School of Humanities quarterly magazine is produced by the SOH Department of Advancement. School Leadership Georges Van Den Abbeele, Dean Andrzej Warminski, Associate Dean for Academic Personnel James D. Herbert, Associate Dean for Curriculum and Student Services Julia R. Lupton, Associate Dean for Research Penny Portillo, Assistant Dean





Advancement Nicole Balsamo, Executive Director Marijana Lekousis, Director of Development Annabel Adams, Director of Marketing and Communications JoAnn Jamora, Development Coordinator

Donor support


Feedback and requests can be sent to:

2017 events


WELCOME It’s been an exciting and productive year for the UCI School of Humanities, as we hope you will see in the pages that follow. The underlying theme of our annual report is global and institutional impact and this couldn’t be a more important time to discuss what this means. I recently traveled to Brussels where news of America’s election took center stage. It became ever more clear to me how important our work is in creating global citizens, who by virtue of their humanities education approach difference with empathy and nuance with comfort rather than fear. Inside, you will see how the UCI School of Humanities is leading a global exchange of ideas. We have had faculty receive several prestigious international awards and fellowships; we’ve offered our students new programs, courses, and opportunities in regional studies, specifically in the global Middle East; our alumni have received international recognition; and more. In the realm of institutional impact, the School of Humanities has diligently focused on leading the conversation on, and actively pursuing improvements around, graduate education in the humanities. In an effort to best serve our current and future students, our new combined B.A./M.A. programs in the Departments of Art History and Asian American Studies give undergraduate students the ability to start coursework towards a master’s degree in their fourth year and complete the graduate degree in one additional year. In the same vein, our humanities center, Humanities Commons, received a $25,000 Next Generation Ph.D. planning grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to create a strategic plan that will broaden career preparation for UCI’s humanities doctoral students beyond careers solely in the academy. This is the first year the NEH has provided Next Generation Ph.D. grants as part of its commitment to transform the culture of graduate education, and we are paving the way as one of the first recipients. As we move forward into 2017, the UCI School of Humanities will continue to lead the charge in both institutional improvement and the global exchange of ideas. I extend my deepest gratitude to my colleagues in the humanities—our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and supporters—who continuously carry the torch of the humanities in their day-to-day lives, thus brightening the world wherever they go. Wishing you all the best in the new year,

Georges Van Den Abbeele Dean, School of Humanities




Undergraduate student awards

Graduate student awards

New minor in Medical Humanities

New major & minor in Global Middle East Studies

New 4+1 B.A./M.A. in Asian American Studies and Art History



Awarded to undergraduate students

New Latin American Studies graduate emphasis

$25k Planning grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities will allow the School of Humanities to

Awarded to graduate students

strategize on integrating career preparation into graduate curriculum and build pathways for careers outside of academia






First-generation college students

From low-income families

From underrepresented minorities (Hispanic, Black, American Indian/Alaskan native)

LEADING DIVERSITY & INCLUSION "Under the dean’s leadership, the school continues to play a key role in advancing the campus’s aspiration to be a national model and global leader of inclusive excellence. Just last February, the U.S. Department of Education designated UCI an Asian American Native American and Pacific Islander Serving Institution. The campus is also poised to be a Hispanic Serving Institution in 2017. These milestones and others emphatically demonstrate that UCI is proudly serving the residents of California while serving as an elevator of social mobility for our talented students who reflect a broad cross-section of the state’s diversity." - Douglas Haynes, professor of history and vice provost for academic equity, diversity & inclusion 4

RETHINKING GRADUATE EDUCATION Our new combined B.A./M.A. programs ("4+1") in the Departments of Art History and Asian American Studies allow students to begin coursework towards a master’s degree in their final year of undergraduate study. The 4+1 in Art History is designed to provide students with advanced skills and broad knowledge in the discipline of art history, thus preparing them for careers in museums, galleries, and educational institutions, and providing them with the academic competence to continue their graduate study at the Ph.D. level, should they wish to do so. The 4+1 in Asian American Studies is the only such degree program in Asian American Studies in the country. The program emphasizes research on, and direct engagement with, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities through course work, internships, and an M.A. project designed by students in consultation with faculty advisors.

“Donor support has helped us pursue graduate studies in a field we love and believe in.” Kylie Ching and Jasmin Pannier are the first recipients of the Virginia H. Laddey Endowed Fellowship in Art History, which has provided funding towards their graduate studies. Ching’s research is on artist Shigeko Kubota and Pannier’s is on the influence costume books had on the composition of photographs of ethnic types in the 19th century. Both students are in the Department of Art History’s new 4+1 joint B.A./M.A. program and pursuing their first year of graduate study.




Total faculty






Books published 2015 & 2016

News features

New centers

INTERNATIONAL AWARD SPOTLIGHT Sven Bernecker, professor of philosophy, received the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, Germany's most prestigious prize for international researchers. The professorship brings Bernecker to the University of Cologne to found and lead a Centre for Contemporary Epistemology and Kantian Tradition.

HIGHLIGHTS This year, humanities faculty received prestigious and coveted internationally-recognized awards, including a FULBRIGHT (Matthias Lehmann, Teller Family Chair in Jewish History and professor of history); a GUGGENHEIM (Heidi Tinsman, professor of history and affiliated faculty in the Department of Gender and Sexuality

Jane O. Newman, professor of comparative literature and European languages and studies, received the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin to complete her book on literary theorist Erich Auerbach. The Berlin Prize is awarded annually to scholars, writers, composers, and artists from America who represent the highest standards of excellence in their fields.

Studies); and induction into the AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES (Margaret P. Gilbert, Abraham I. Melden Chair in Moral Philosophy and professor of philosophy). Our faculty also received School of Humanities teaching awards: Roland Betancourt, assistant professor of art history and visual studies,

Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Distinguished Professor of English and comparative literature, has been named the winner of the sixth Pak Kyong-ni Prize, South Korea’s first international literary award. Thiong’o was recognized by the review committee for work that “distinctly reveals different angles of the lives of people undergoing the process of globalization.” 6


MAJOR INNOVATION by Pat Harriman, UCI communications officer

This fall, the University of California, Irvine began offering a novel – and timely – degree field: global Middle East studies. The interdisciplinary major and minor, which took almost a decade of planning to develop, are UCI’s first to require that students take a core course series across several schools. We asked history professor Mark LeVine, director of global Middle East studies, about the new program. Q: “Almost a decade of planning” is quite a commitment to making this happen. Why is GMES so important to you? Pictured: Mark LeVine. Credit: Steven Zylius / University Communications

A: We want to give students the opportunity to follow the most

can support advanced language and graduate study and research.

creative and personalized path toward knowledge possible, to

I’m happy to say that after all this work, not only do we have the

fully prepare them for graduate school or work and, equally

most innovative major in the country, but we are moving quickly

important, to help them engage the complex issues related to the

to establish several chairs that will expand our coverage and

Middle East with reason and civility, to speak freely and honestly

deepen our understanding of the Middle East and surrounding

about very difficult subjects in a spirit of open discourse.


UCI is one of the top research universities in the United States,

Q: What impact do you hope this degree program will have?

and the Middle East is inherently global, including some of the most important regions and religions in the world, from Morocco

A: I think that in time it will reshape the way the Middle East

to Indonesia, Judaism to various small and tragically disappearing

and other areas are studied and researched, not just at UCI, but

Christian sects, all within the broader tapestry of what the

at universities globally. This program is the result of years of

seminal historian of Islam Marshall Hodgson termed “Islamicate”

consultations with colleagues from around the world, and its

civilization. The U.S. has been involved in continuous wars with

reach has the potential to reflect the many voices that went into

numerous Muslim countries for more than 15 years, more than

it. At the same time, the program was designed specifically with

double the length of World War II, and trillions of dollars have

UCI in mind, with the desire expressed over the years by so many

been spent, yet Americans and their leaders know woefully little

students and faculty alike to move more freely and frequently

about the many societies and faiths of this area.

across the various “quads” – from engineering to arts – in the course of their studies and research. GMES is, in fact, the first

UCI has chairs in Persian studies & culture, as well as Jewish

truly interdisciplinary and interschool major at UCI, so our hope

studies, and some amazing professors with extensive knowledge

is that it breaks ground for similarly eclectic and broad majors to

of the Middle East and larger Muslim world. But we don’t have a

be developed that bring together the humanities, social sciences,

coordinated curriculum of research, study and public outreach.

hard sciences and arts and, in the process, shatter the isolation

I and my colleagues who developed the GMES major believed

that still inhibits collaboration by colleagues across the campus.

that the best way to encourage that kind of focus was to create an undergraduate major that would maximize and synergize the

Full story available at

strengths we do have while building the base for a program that


“Donor support helps us access and preserve the ancient past.” TOURAJ DARYAEE Maseeh Chair in Persian Studies and Culture & director of the Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture, UCI Daryaee conducts research on the history of ancient Iran, Zoroastrianism and Old and Middle Iranian languages. Under his leadership, the UCI Persian Center has hosted numerous conferences and community events on the Iranian world, established research clusters uniting scholars on the study of the Tehran Project, alternative music, the Digital Archive of Middle Persian Inscriptions, and Sasanika (Late Antique Iran Project), and established an online peer-reviewed Journal, DABIR, dedicated to the study of Iran and related material. With Persian studies being international and interdisciplinary by definition, Daryaee’s passion for the ancient past allows us to better understand our collective roots. Endowed chairs make it possible for universities to recruit, retain and show their support for faculty like Daryaee who are making a difference in our world.

GRAD STUDENTS INTERN ACROSS OC To establish broad career pathways for humanities Ph.D. students, the University of California, Irvine School of Humanities launched a pilot program that pairs Ph.D. students in the humanities with paid internships at nonprofit cultural organizations in Orange County, Calif. Under the umbrella of Humanities Out There, the internship program will expand this year with a $50,000 grant from the Luce Foundation. As a pilot program funded by individual donations to the Humanities Out There program, six Ph.D. students called “Humanities Out There Public Fellows” recently completed 20-week internships, spending one afternoon a week at cultural Pictured: Chris Dearner

institutions including the Laguna Art Museum, Orange County Parks, PBS SoCal, South Coast Repertory, and the Vietnamese

materials, writing and annotating – rather than subject

American Arts and Letters Association.


With the Luce Foundation’s funding, the Humanities Out There

The Ph.D. students who recently participated as Humanities

Public Fellows program is providing two paid academic-quarter

Out There Public Fellows came from four different departments

internships in winter 2016 and two paid ten-week internships

within the School of Humanities. They reported that the

in summer 2017. These intensive 20-hour-per-week internships

experience helped them better understand how their academic

will enable graduate students to work on larger projects and to

expertise could translate into applicable skillsets for alternative-

engage more fully in the activities of the partner organizations.

academic careers.

The program will continue to offer the one-afternoon-per-week internships in winter/spring 2017.

Chris Dearner, Ph.D. student in English at UCI, interned at the South Coast Repertory where he worked with the public affairs

“Our primary goal for this program is to demonstrate the

director to create a public document detailing the history of the

benefits of a humanities Ph.D. skillset to a broad range of


careers,” said Georges Van Den Abbeele, dean of the UCI School of Humanities. “Pairing students with cultural institutions

“My work at the South Coast Repertory has made me more

in Orange County is also an excellent way for us to create

aware of the sheer amount of work that goes into producing the

pathways of employment for our students in a mutually-

plays that I am used to encountering only on the page, and has

beneficial arrangement.”

provided a physical and spatial context that enriches my more textually-oriented understanding of drama,” said Dearner. “But

“Rather than just having students complete a project—which

more than that, it has given me an opportunity to observe and

is purely transactional—we wanted students to experience

participate in a nonprofit organization that is deeply tied to

working at a cultural institution and all that it entails,” said

its community and forms a part of the artistic life of a county

Julia Reinhard Lupton, director of Humanities Commons and

with over three million inhabitants. Now I have a much better

professor of English at UCI. “We deliberately worked with the

understanding of how my particular humanistic skills translate

host organizations to develop positions and projects that would

into meaningful work outside of the academy.”

utilize skills – research, analysis, interpretation, synthesizing To learn more, please visit


OUR ALUMNI 19,000+ Total humanities alumni

David Benioff ’99, UCI M.F.A.-Fiction alumnus, is co-creator of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” which brought home three


Emmys in 2016, giving GoT a total of 38 Emmys overall—the highest number of

Countries outside of the U.S. alumni currently call home

Emmy Awards won by any fictional series.



Cherry Grace Cayabyab ’01 B.A. Asian American Studies Named in Seattle Globalist’s “Smartest Global Women” list

Christopher Elliott ’90 B.A. Humanities

As an international consumer advocate, Elliott was recently named Money Magazine’s Reader Advocate

• •

Misha Euceph ’15 (B.A. Philosophy) received a $5,000 grant from the WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ ASSOCIATION. Euceph is a Chicago-based radio broadcast journalist and graduate student at Medill where she specializes in social justice, political and investigative reporting Angela Kho ’00 (B.A. English) received the PLEIADES PRESS EDITOR’S PRIZE for her book of poems, A Lesser Love, which will be released next year Yusef Komunyakaa ’80 (M.F.A.-Poetry) was inducted into the AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES Jes dela Merced ’09 (B.A. Film & Media Studies) was named in FILMMAKER MAGAZINE’S “25 New Faces of Film 2016” list MFA-Fiction alumni have published 10 BOOKS in 2015-2016 Six recent graduates from the Department of Film & Media Studies served as production assistants for HBO’s reality television show “HARD KNOCKS,” which followed the Rams while they were training at UCI

Keith Rosten ’78 (B.A.s in Russian and Social Ecology) received the 2016 “Distinguished Alumni” award from the UCI Alumni Association during its annual Lauds & Laurels event. The Distinguished Alumni award recognizes UCI alumni whose personal or professional achievements bring honor and distinction 10

to a particular school or discipline, UCI and/or the UCI Alumni Association.

ERIN GRUWELL ’91 Founder, Freedom Writers Foundation B.A. in English

“The lessons I learned at UCI encouraged me to pursue a profession that was more about possibility than a paycheck. My passion for literature led me to a classroom, where my once struggling students were able to use words instead of weapons to leave a legacy. Like the classics from the canon I read as an undergrad, my students penned their own harrowing tale in the best-selling book, The Freedom Writers Diary, and I would be portrayed by an Academy Awardwinning actress, Hillary Swank, in the film ‘Freedom Writers.’ I credit my experience as an educator to my enlightening education at UCI.” Like Gruwell, UCI School of Humanities alumni are not only visionaries, but also activists. From writers, business leaders, lawyers, and more, our alumni use their humanities education to envision and create a better world.

“The TH!NK program is a wonderful addition to Canyon View and our fifthgrade classrooms! The professors and graduate students are professional, thoughtful, and collaborative. During the TH!NK sessions, classroom teachers have opportunities to observe and expand their repertoire of questioning strategies. Students are engaged in critical thinking, open-ended discussions, and become stronger listeners and speakers. We are fortunate to have developed this mutually-beneficial partnership.� - Mrs. Christina Giguiere, principal, Canyon View Elementary School Through public-engagement and outreach programs like TH!NK, the UCI School of Humanities enables its students and faculty to work together in bringing the humanities to the local community. This meaningful exchange of ideas and skills helps to build a more engaged and thoughtful relationship between the university and Orange County.

COMMUNITY The UCI School of Humanities is a bridge between disciplines as well as between the university and the community at large. Through the public humanities, we learn about where we came from, who our community is, and how we might best go into the future together.

Humanities Out There

The History Project



The UCI Shakespeare Center Through performance,

Community events

research and teaching across

$23.5 M

the UCI Shakespeare Center

Philanthropic support

the university and community, builds spaces to discover and reimagine what it means to be human today. This past school year, the center hosted 15 Shakespeare workshops, seminars, and field trips for the community.

H.O.T. promotes student-based service learning & public engagement through partnerships with Bowers Museum; Cal Humanities; Laguna Art Museum; Orange County Parks, Heritage Division; the Orange County Public Library; PBS SoCal; Santa Ana Public Library; South Coast Repertory; and the Vietnamese American Arts & Letter Association/Viet Film Festival. The UC Irvine History Project provides an institutional framework for collaboration between the UCI History Department and K-12 history/social science teachers in Orange County.

60+ Daily community participants

1,041 Teachers trained


Led by the UCI Department of Philosophy, TH!NK familiarizes grade-school students with philosophical thought and discourse through interactive training and discussion. Student

Humanities Commons supports School of Humanities faculty and graduate student scholarship, administers several inter-school centers, and provides pathways for collaboration and public-community partnerships.



Extramural grants to the UCI School of Humanities

Grants to graduate students



Extramural grants to faculty

Partner schools & institutions


Event Highlights The Forum for the Academy & the Public welcomed Edward Snowden via Google hangout during its “Freedom of Expression� conference.

In conjunction with OC Parks, Viet Stories: The Vietnamese American Oral History Project organized an 8-month-long exhibition that commemorated the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and the influx of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants into the U.S. and Orange County.


DONOR HONOR ROLL This list represents generous gifts made between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 at $500 and above. Ramineh, Fani, Nowakhtar & Rashidi,

Leigh Abramson

Hassan, Mahvash, & Farzad Milani Trust

Heidi Aharonian

Roland Ho

Hamid Khamneipur and Nastaran Akhavan

Margaret Battin and Roger Hopkins

Ali C. Razi

Richard D. Alexander

Hosan Foundation

Frank and Rosalind Reinhard Foundation

Arader Galleries

IBM International Foundation

Julia R. Lupton and Kenneth M.

Charles and Peggy Barsam

Sulekh and Ravi Jain

George and Linda Bauer

Jain Temple of Los Angeles

Keith and Tatiana Rosten

Catherine Glynn Benkaim

Frank and Catherine Jao and the Jao

Harvinder and Asha Sahota

Luci Berkowitz Shahram Emadi and Houri Borjian Justin McCrary and Emily Bruce

Foundation Joan Irvine Smith & Athalie Clarke Foundation



Avani and Aakash Shah and Family Bijal Girish Shah Farhad Shah-Hosseini and Fariba Taghavi

Nicholas P. Bruno

John Randolph & Dora Haynes Foundation

Rajesh and Neeta Shah and Family

Lewis Cabrera

George and Bron Kalis

Ashley Marie Shapiro

Community Foundation of Jewish Federation

Audrey Beth Kavka

Amritpal Singh

Assad and Feri Kazeminy

Brian and LaVonne Smith

Salvador Dali Society

Fred and Diana Kong

Joan Irvine Smith

Kirk Davis, Jr.

James Kim

Louis and Ginette Smith

Jeanne Marie Doig

Jason Bok Lee

Thomas and Marilyn Sutton

Roy and Christine Dormaier

The Henry Luce Foundation

James and Madeline Swinden

Paul DuNard

Vahe and Armine Meghrouni

Arek and Hanriette Tatevossian

Paul Beck and Huong Thi Thu Duong

Viken and Arpi Melkonian

Rei Terada

Helly Gisselle Duran

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Garo and Sylvie Tertzakian

Kevin Maynard Dyer

Hassan Babak Movahedi and Marjohn

The Tomassian Family

of OC

Albert and Anne Encinias Ghobad Fakhimi Farhang Foundation

Meshkinpour Hooshang Meshkinpour and Farzan Meshkinpour Naeim

Gitty and Mansoor Vakili Alan and Ann Vollmann Mary Watson-Bruce

Friends of Persian Humanities

Hassan and Mahvash Milani

Wells Fargo Foundation

GE Foundation

Jasvant and Meera Modi and Family

William Gillespie Foundation

Gloria Gellman

Michael and Kathy Mouron

Soosan P. Yeganegi

The J. Paul Getty Trust

Pellegrino Pictures, Inc.

David Barry Israelsky and Jan Zahn

William Joseph Gillespie

Kamran A. Peyman

Zarrinkelk, Kashefipour & Co.

Mark and Colleen Hall-Patton

Charles and Ann Quilter

Majid and Sohaila Zarrinkelk

William and Jinx Hansen

Careese Raquel Quon

Puzant and Talar Zorayan



Ian Bogost, Book Talk 01.23 | 3 p.m. | Humanities Gateway 1030

A conversation with Viet Thanh Nguyen 01.25 | 6 p.m. | Crystal Cove

The Future of the Truth

2.3 & 2.4 | Times TBA | EDU1111, Berkeley Place, UCI School of Law

The Kirk Davis Jr. Public Shakespeare Lecture 2.23 | 6 p.m. | Winifred Smith Hall

Far from Vietnam 2.27 | 3 p.m. | Humanities Gateway 1030

Pop Art Design 3.3 | 5 p.m. | Orange County Museum of Art

Ian Bogost, Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology, will talk about his new book, Play Anything: The Pleasures of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games. Viet Thanh Nguyen teaches English and American Studies and Ethnicity at USC and is the author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, The Sympathizer. Truth is the first casualty in war, and also in politics. This conference will look at how America views honesty and truth today, in light of the recent election and of ongoing trends in literature, law, and journalism. Presented by the UCI Forum for the Academy and the Public. “Shakespeare goes to the opera” - Lecture by William Germano, The Cooper Union; scenes directed by Robin Buck, UCI.

This panel event will feature discussions titled, "Something Like a War," "Refugee Returns," "TV Buddhas: Video, Vietnam, Human Weapons," and "Welcome to the Suck: Blackout as Negation in North American Art of the Late Vietnam War Era." Professor Cécile Whiting will lead a tour of the first comprehensive exhibition examining the inspirations and cross references between art and design, featuring Warhol, Lichtenstein, Eames and more.

For a full list of School of Humanities events, visit


This report recognizes the remarkable research, teaching, and outreach done by our talented faculty and students as well as the generosity of our community and alumni. We hope that during this season of giving, you will consider a gift to support the School of Humanities and the mission of UCI. For information on giving to the UCI School of Humanities, please contact Nicole Balsamo, executive director of advancement, at or 949.824.2923. Thank you for your continued support and friendship.

Advancement 4100 Humanities Gateway Building Irvine, CA 92696-3376

Connect with us School of Humanities University of California, Irvine 4100 Humanities Gateway Building Irvine, CA 92697-3376 UCI.Humanities


2016 Annual Report  
2016 Annual Report