Associated Research Centers

The following UC Santa Cruz centers, clusters, projects, and initiatives provide extra-departmental intellectual homes to History Department faculty and graduate students through sponsored fellowships, workshops, and seminars.


  • Center for Cultural Studies

    Center for Cultural Studies

    The Center for Cultural Studies encourages a broad range of research in the rapidly evolving field of cultural studies through an ensemble of research clusters, conferences, workshops, visiting scholars, publications, film series, and a Resident Scholars Program. The Center's concern is to foster research across divisional as well as disciplinary boundaries.

  • Center for Jewish Studies

    Center for Jewish Studies

    The Center for Jewish Studies illuminates the central role that Jewish creativity has played in helping to shape human civilization for over three thousand years. The center is dedicated to building bridges with other disciplines, thereby demonstrating the broad relevancy of Jewish Studies to the university and the wider community.
  • Center for the Middle East and North Africa (CMENA)

    Center for the Middle East and North Africa (CMENA)

    The Center for the Middle East and North Africa at the University of California, Santa Cruz is devoted to educating our communities about the histories, politics, and cultures of the peoples who live in North Africa and the Middle East. The faculty affiliated with the center research and publish on a remarkable range of topics that include politics, economics, law, the environment, art and film, literature, linguistics, archeology, the digital humanities, and the history of science.
  • Science and Justice Research Center

    Science and Justice Research Center

    The Science & Justice Research Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz is a globally unique endeavor that cultivates experimental spaces, collaborative practices, and novel alliances for exploring today’s most pressing challenges. Biomedical innovation, species extinction, toxic ecologies, healthcare reform, and many other contemporary matters of concern provoke questions that traverse multiple intellectual, institutional and ethico-political worlds. Science & Justice generates modes of inquiry and empirically rigorous research that address these enormous challenges to support livable worlds.
  •  Center for Southeast Asian Coastal Interactions

    Center for Southeast Asian Coastal Interactions

    The SEACoast Center draws a cluster of scholars to develop a more-than-human historical approach, in which collaborations across history, anthropology, biology, and ecology are central. The Center offers a program in which students and scholars have the chance to do the patient and creative work of field building for understanding the role of coastal interactions within social and environmental formations.
  • Center for South Asian Studies

    Center for South Asian Studies

    The UC Santa Cruz Center for South Asian Studies promotes and supports the study of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, the Maldives, and broader Indian Ocean worlds. Our focus is economic and social justice. Five core themes are key to our Center’s vision: (a) Caste, Gender and Sexuality (b) Development, Growth and Entrepreneurship (c) Technology (d) Culture, Creativity and Innovation and (e) Environment and Sustainability.
  • Center for the Study of Pacific War Memories

    Center for the Study of Pacific War Memories

    The Center for the Study of Pacific War Memories was founded to support a variety of projects, arising out of the History Department and engaging in strong collaborations with colleagues in other disciplines, other campuses and other countries. The premier goal of the center is to promote truly collaborative and truly transnational research into the legacies of the Asia Pacific War in the Pacific region across the 60 years since the end of the war.
  • Center for World History

    Center for World History

    The Center for World History fosters rich sets of lectures, conferences, pedagogical workshops, and scholarly conversations. This programming enhances the intellectual life of faculty and students at UCSC across numerous disciplines interested in the human past.
  • Digital Humanities at UCSC

    Digital Humanities at UCSC

    Digital Humanities at UCSC hosts regular and special events, including a lecture series, hands-on workshops, and reading groups. Through these events, Digital Humanities supports and encourages faculty, instructors, and students interest in: digital pedagogy, trends in digital humanities, project development and incubation, and critical approaches to technology and new media.

  • Research Clusters

  • Drug Histories and Futures

    Drug Histories and Futures

    This research cluster creates new points of connection between UC Santa Cruz faculty and graduate students. It draws on the Humanities Division’s existing strengths in science studies and environmental history and extends UC Santa Cruz’s tradition of exploring pressing social questions from an original, non-conformist, and interdisciplinary perspective.
  • Human and Environmental Networks in East and Southeast Asia

    Human and Environmental Networks in East and Southeast Asia

    The main intellectual objective of this cluster is to discuss the historical depth and regional connections of what we have conventionally called “East Asia” and “Southeast Asia.” The goal of the project is to foster a new spatial and temporal thinking regarding how human and environmental circuits and networks were built (or transformed) before and during the period when the eastern end of Eurasian landmass became modern.

  • The Problem of California: Landscapes, Infrastructures, Ecologies

    The Problem of California: Landscapes, Infrastructures, Ecologies

    The purpose of this research cluster is to advance scholarly research that approaches California as a complex problem. The rich diversity of the Golden State makes it an especially exciting site for studying the relations between divergent social, economic, cultural, political, and ecological forces. It is this cluster’s goal to instigate critical discussion and debate around California’s turbulent past, vital present, and uncertain future.
  • Mellon Sawyer Seminar on Race, Empire, and the Environments of Biomedicine (2022-2023)

    Mellon Sawyer Seminar on Race, Empire, and the Environments of Biomedicine (2022-2023)

    This Mellon Sawyer interrogates the intersections among race, empire, and the environment, and their significance in the theory, practice, and structure of American biomedicine through a series of public lectures, scholarly talks, and a regular interdisciplinary reading and discussion group. The seminar’s geographic frame is that of the American biomedical empire, a formation that includes the United States as well as those places formed by and encircled in the networks of American (biomedical) imperial influence. Within these geographies, race has functioned as a determinant of environmental exposures with deleterious impacts on human health. It also has been a central component of the environmental imaginaries that undergird the theory and practice of medicine and the provision of care. This seminar will approach the history and study of biomedicine from the vantage point of its racialized environments with an eye towards how these critical engagements might be marshaled to produce a more equitable practice of medicine. It is rooted in the proposition that to fully grasp the significance of race in medicine, we must probe how race is made material through environmental imaginaries, practices, and material entanglements, and how these in turn undergird and shape American biomedicine.

  • Projects

  • Final Passages Slave Trade Database

    Final Passages Slave Trade Database

    Final Passages: The Intra American Slave Trade Database aims to document and make publicly accessible evidence on slave voyages within the Americas through an online database. This project grew out of the successful seven-year operation of Voyages: The Transatlantic Slave Trade Database, which documents transatlantic slave voyages. The Final Passages project builds on Voyages by adding intra-American slave voyages (e.g. from Jamaica to South Carolina) to the existing Voyages website. This addition offers researchers a more complete picture of the slave trade to the Americas since many societies that exploited slave labor acquired captives indirectly rather than straight from Africa.
  • The Okinawa Memories Initiative (OMI)

    The Okinawa Memories Initiative (OMI)

    The Okinawa Memories Initiative is a collaborative, international public history project that explores the founding years of the American military occupation of Okinawa. The project is inspired by a collection of photos taken in Okinawa in 1952-53 by an American Army Captain: Charles Eugene Gail. The photos were generously donated to Special Collections at McHenry Library by Charles’ daughter, Geri Gail, and have since been made available for student research.
  • Watsonville is in the Heart

    Watsonville is in the Heart (WIITH)

    Watsonville is in the Heart is a community-driven public history initiative to preserve and uplift stories of Filipino migration and labor in the city of Watsonville and greater Pajaro Valley. Presently, the WIITH team is creating a new archive documenting the plight, struggles, vitality, and resilience of the manong generation of Filipino migrants who first settled in the Pajaro Valley in the early twentieth century. The archive features manong experiences and those of their families through oral history accounts, photos, personal records, and material culture objects.

  • Initiatives

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    Teaching and Learning in the Humanities Now

    The aims of this research cluster are twofold: to define the purpose and process of an education in a Humanities field, and to consider how to better use available tools—including both scholarship and technology—in order to teach current students, almost half of whom are first-generation college students. Rather than questioning the value of the Humanities, this cluster seeks to better define what an education in the Humanities should and can accomplish—and how—at the present time.

See Also