The Humanities and Changing Conceptions of Work

UCHRI | Initiatives

About The Humanities and the Changing Conceptions of Work

The Humanities and Changing Conceptions of Work (HCCW) is a three-year multicampus research initiative devoted to exploring and assessing the critical historical and contemporary transformations in the meaning and experience of work. Globalization has profoundly impacted not just what work is available but how and where we work, what we think of as work, and what skills the humanities and interpretative social sciences must teach to prepare students for work.

This three-year multicampus research initiative, funded by an $800,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, seeks to comprehend and illuminate the changing conceptions and experience of work in the face of recent global economic, technological, and social developments, and to address the implications for the Humanities. It also explored how humanities practitioners can prepare students for the work that awaits them in 21st-century global society.

The diverse projects of this initiative took place on campuses across the University of California, drawing on and promoting the networking and research strengths of faculty and graduate students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences across the system. It supports an ambitious UC-wide program of research activities including competitively selected multi-campus working groups, graduate seminars, webinars and conferences, a summer institute and a residential research group at UCHRI. Each brought together a diverse array of faculty and graduate students across the UC system to examine specific issues around the humanities and changing conceptions of work.

Partners

Mellon
UCHN

Globalization has profoundly impacted not just what work is available but how and where we work, what we think of as work, and what skills the humanities and interpretative social sciences must teach to prepare students for work.

Year in Review

In May 2014, UCHRI hosted a two-day culminating conference for The Humanities and Changing Conceptions of Work at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, California. Day one was an all-day workshop geared towards current and recent MAs/PhD students interested in careers outside/alongside the academy. Designed to address the practical aspects of finding and securing a job outside or alongside the academy, the workshop attempted to strike a balance between hearing about careers and opportunities outside the traditional academic position and acquiring skills or very particular knowledge that could be immediately applied in a potential job search. The day was structured to include panel presentations and workshops as well as significant time to informally network with panelists and fellow graduate students over coffee breaks and meals. This event was so successful that it led to the launch of UCHRI’s Humanists@Work initiative.

To mark the end of a rich and diverse initiative on humanities and the changing conceptions of work, we dedicated day two of the conference to a showcase of presentations from former and current HCCW participants. Conference sessions included panels on precarious labor, public humanities, cultural labor, and collaboration in the humanities.

“The cross-UC initiative is so wonderful; I really appreciate that. It’s only through opportunities like this that I get to meet UC students across disciplines.”
-Graduate Student Feedback on Day One of Conference

Projects

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.