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Research Groups

We sponsor collaborative working groups throughout the year, such as the Open Studios Art Day.  Our faculty may also participate in the UC Humanities Network's Multicampus Research Groups. To apply for funding to support a new collaborative work group at UC Merced, go here.

Current Working Groups:
Asia & Asian Diaspora
“Utilizing interdisciplinary theoretical paradigms that emerge from various fields in humanities and social sciences, this working group focuses upon social questions that are central to Asian communities all over the world, including maintenance of cultural heritage, cultural and national citizenship, immigration policy, and transnational labor, among many others.“
Pre-Modern Studies
“The Pre-Modern Studies group has been formed to bring together faculty whose research focuses on pre-industrial societies, and to bring attention to the contribution the study of pre-industrial societies can make to the humanities.“
"Affront S.": An Annual Interdisciplinary Journal (Queer Studies Emphasis)
“This working group collaboration proposes to accomplish the following: 1) provide mentorship and interactive learning space 2) engage in collaborative research and scholarship 3) the outcome of which will be a published journal for and by the Universities of California and University of California, Merced.“
Research and Preservation at the Cueva del Rey Kong-oy (Condoy), Oaxaca, Mexico
“This proposal seeks to study and record rare ancient Mesoamerican mud sculptures discovered in the ritual cave site, Cueva del Rey Kong-oy (Condoy) located in the village of San Isidro Huayapan in the Sierra Mixe region of state of Oaxaca, Mexico. This research contributes highly to cultural heritage and site preservation, it is also important for research on ancient Mesoamerican caves.“
Creative Writing Pedagogy
Hemispheric Indigeneities
Previous Working Groups:

African and African Diaspora Studies

“The African and Diaspora Studies working group brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to foster visibility, support, and critical inquiry on Africa and its Diaspora at the UC Merced campus [....] Our inaugural aims are two-fold: 1) to support research efforts through scholarly exchange; 2) to promote community through collaboration and campus outreach.”
Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
“The central questions of the field are deceptively simple: What has it/does it mean to be male or female in society? How is gender expressed in language, thought, culture, politics, and social organization? How do ideas of gender act as either metaphors for or avenues for systems of power? How is sexual identity and behavior defined and policed? How has it been expressed?”
Digital Humanities
“The UCM Digital Humanities Working Group is intended to enhance faculty, staff and students’ capacity to use digital methods to analyze, combine and remix humanistic content, and to represent knowledge in the humanities. The primary activity of the Working Group will be hosting workshops to introduce specific technologies or skills, along with project-based demonstrations.“
Academic Literacy in Spanish
“ [Our events] promote further awareness of the language situation of heritage speakers in California among students, faculty and staff. For students, it is conducive to their academic preparation to consider diverse perspectives and approaches pertaining to Spanish language literacy.” 
Settler Colonialism & Apartheid
“Inspired by the call of the Critical Ethnic Studies Association to ‘structure inquiry around the logics of white supremacy, settler colonialism, capitalism, and heteropatriarchy in order to expand the scope of ethnic studies,’ this interdisciplinary working group proposes to mobilize scholars at UCM to critically examine systems of domintion and occupation in an international context.”
Writing Video Narratives
“The primary purpose of this workgroup is to explore writing narrative for video production in ways that can be immediately useful for teaching. Ideally, this means examining the means of video production and examining how our current composition pedagogy can be successfully leveraged for our students.“
“This workgroup will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars committed to understanding social inequalities across a variety of intersections, such as race, class, gender, and sexuality.“
Water and the Humanities
“This work group is an interdisciplinary, water-focused collaboration centered on topics and methodologies for scholarly humanistic water study and its public dissemination. We believe establishing a long-term plan for humanities contributions to water questions will enhance water studies and public outreach as the university grows into a center of study and discussion of water and related issues for Merced, the Central Valley, California and the West, the Americas, and the globe.“