UCHRI | Initiatives
About Religions in Diaspora and Global Affairs
The UC Humanities Research Institute, funded by a grant from the Henry R. Luce Foundation, embarked on a three-year research initiative exploring the complex cultural and political relations between diasporic religious communities and their self-identified homelands. The initiative is funded by the Luce Foundation’s Initiative on Religion and International Affairs, a grant program that seeks to deepen understanding of religion as a critical but often neglected dimension of national and international policies and politics. RIDAGA has supported the work of four humanities Studios, each of which supports research-driven collaboration across multiple disciplines, UC campuses, global partners, and media professionals. The four Studios include:
- Regulating Sex/Religion
- Shari’a Revoiced
- Humanitarian Ethics, Religious Affinities, and the Politics of Dissent
- Global Religious Festivals in Secular Cityscapes: Immigration, Politics, and Religious Performance in California
What is a Humanities Studio?
Inspired by both the laboratory model in the hard sciences and the studio model in the arts and architecture, UCHRI developed the Humanities Studio: a collaborative experiment designed to encourage creativity, innovation, and collective research across disciplines and among a variety of researchers and practitioners. Two of the four RIDAGA Humanities Studios were formed at the UCHRI Humanities Studio Jam Session in February 2013 at UC Irvine. Part networking event, part proposal development workshop, the Jam brought together scholars, journalists, community-based activists, and digital media scholars from across the state to engage in conversations around diasporic religion and to cultivate collaboration.
Each studio began with an overarching theme and a set of central questions or problematics, of interest to a community of researchers—a multidisciplinary mix of scholars, artists, and journalists. While each Studio worked independently, the initiative included multiple opportunities for intellectual cross-fertilization and networking among the projects, through two in-person residency intensives. The Humanities Studios produced a wide range of research outcomes, including research workshops for graduate students, websites, public-facing publications, curated art exhibits, documentary films, a UC-wide curriculum tool, and more traditional academic publications.
Inspired by both the laboratory model in the hard sciences and the studio model in the arts and architecture, UCHRI developed the Humanities Studio: a collaborative experiment designed to encourage creativity, innovation, and collective research across disciplines and among a variety of researchers and practitioners.
Year in Review
During the 2014-15 academic year, UCHRI built upon the success of its first residency intensive to host a second, shorter second residency in September 2014. Studios found the intensive meetings helpful; for three days, the Studios participated in short presentations of their work to one another and worked “in Studio” on upcoming grant activities. Participants stated that this second residency was especially productive because it created a space for to present Studio-specific challenges to the larger RIDAGA group and receive advice and creative suggestions in response.
Studios also prepared for the October 2014 Global Symposium in Los Angeles and continued producing studio-specific publications and events based on the research they conducted.
Participants stated that the 2014 residency intensive was especially productive because it created a space to present Studio-specific challenges to the larger RIDAGA group and receive advice and creative suggestions in response.
Shown here are the projects associated with this initiative (if necessary, use the left and right arrows to scroll). Click on an individual project to learn more.