History

  • The UCSC History curriculum and research ask essential questions about how humans have interacted with the nonhuman world, and how human activity has produced change over time.  Students are guided to appreciate the record of the past, and how it is preserved in texts, objects, oral narratives, monuments, and memory, how to examine experiences that have not been preserved, and ask why the accounts of some events and peoples have been recorded, while others have disappeared from view.   Click here to give to History.


  • History of Consciousness

  • For nearly forty years, The History of Consciousness Department has operated at the intersection of established and emergent disciplines and fields.  It is a leadership training ground for students and scholars who utilize their advanced knowledge of the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences to develop original viewpoints about race and ethnicity, politics, economics and society.  Topics of study include rethinking capitalism, states, war, and capitalism, theories of religion, cultural and historical studies of race, queer theory, philosophy of law, science as culture and practice.

    History of Consciousness scholars work in international diplomacy, public policy, law, politics and education where they integrate, translate, develop and influence the economic and social policies of governments, cultural and religious institutions and international commerce. Click here to give to the History of Consciousness department.


  • Feminist Studies

  • At UCSC, Feminist Studies is an interdisciplinary field of analysis that investigates how relationships of gender are embedded in historical, literary, cultural, social, and political formations. The curriculum and research explore viewpoints and collective strategies for reframing and resolving social and economic assumptions such as economic equity, crime, imprisonment, imperialism, religious fundamentalism and narrow secularism.

    Questions and assumptions about the comparative ethics, biology, justice and public policies of gender and sexuality are emerging as a contemporary field of study that is attracting a new generation of UCSC students and international scholars to the department.  Click here to donate to Feminist Studies.


  • Literature

  • From the beginnings of UCSC, the Department of Literature has differed from comparable units at most American universities in both organization and approach to the study of literature.  Rather than dividing the field of literary studies along national and cultural traditions, curriculum and research are organized around the model of a forum where study and knowledge intersect across linguistic, disciplinary, and geopolitical lines. 

    The department now has particularly strong English/Anglophone, Classical, Europeanist, Hispanic, Francophone, Literature of the Americas, and Asia-Pacific faculty clusters, as well as World Literature and Cultural Studies, Pre- and Early Modern Studies, and Modern Literary Studies. Today at UCSC, “literature” is understood to encompass a wide range of cultural modes and products: film and electronic media, popular and material culture, as well as more traditional forms of oral and printed textual production. Please click here to give to Literature.


  • Languages and Applied Linguistics

  • Via the Languages and Applied Linguistics Department, UCSC fosters multiple viewpoints of the human experience through regular instruction in ten modern languages: Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.  Donor support has enabled us to offer courses in Yiddish and Punjabi as well.  Instruction in Ancient Greek, Latin, and most recently Egyptian hieroglyphics open perspectives on the literature and cultures of the distant past.  

    UCSC is distinctive in graduating students who function with highly developed productive and receptive language skills and the interdisciplinary understanding of the cultural values, history, literature, art, politics, economics and other related fields which each language reflects and communicates. Click here to give to the Languages and Applied Linguistics department.


  • Linguistics

  • The internationally prominent UCSC Linguistics Department offers undergraduate programs in Linguistics and Language Studies as well as graduate (MA and PhD) programs in theoretical and experimental linguistics.

    Our faculty has research specializations in phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and psycholinguistics. Our work is theoretical as well as experimental (the department has three experimental labs), and many of our faculty specialize in particular languages, including Chamorro (Austronesian), German, Hungarian, Irish, Japanese, Nez Perce, Persian, Romanian, Russian, Tzotzil, and Turkish. Click here to give to Linguistics.  


  • Philosophy¬†

  • From its inception as a founding core discipline at UCSC, the Philosophy Department has trained students and fostered research in fundamental, historical and contemporary ideas about the logic, methods, analytics and sets of perspectives that frame a philosophical view of the human world. A world now engaged in transformative questions about ethics in science, medicine, business, environmental stewardship and human rights.  

    UCSC’s studies in Philosophy train today’s students to understand, present and advocate a position about topics such as euthanasia or world hunger, environmental or human rights through multiple historical, literary, and economic views that shape human ethics and social policies.  Successful Philosophy student teams from UCSC, regularly place in the top three spots among major universities, for national competition in debate-based ethics forums, and go on to careers in public policy research or law. Click here to donate to Philosophy.


  • Writing Program

  • In collaboration with UCSC’s ten undergraduate residential colleges, the Writing Program ensures that all entering students develop competence and confidence as writers, ready for the critical reading and analysis expected of university discourse.  Donor support enhances tutoring and mentoring opportunities and supports outreach and collaboration with local schools to help prepare high school students for the rigor of college and career work through analytical reading and writing. Click here to give to the Writing program.


  • Institute for Humanities Research

  • The Institute for Humanities Research has perfected a cross-disciplinary approach that launches clusters of scholars and students from multiple disciplines including the Humanities, Arts, Physical and Social Sciences. It is a crucial training ground for gifted graduate students to help them become productive researchers and educators through mentorship programs, fellowships, and internship opportunities.  

     The Institute has matured into a forum where traditional scholarship and research is fostered and connected to undergraduate curriculum, and communicated to a public eager engage in a discussion of what it means to be human in today’s world.  

    Recent programs include a symposium targeting migrants and ethnic study about Arizona’s SB 1070. Topics include language, labor, indigeneity, nativist populism, violence, trauma, displacement, culture wars, and education. Taken together, the works presented shed light on the nexus of migration and Latino studies, assessed the state of this field, and explored the possibilities for its future. Click here to give to the Institue for Humanities Research.


  • The Dickens Project

  • The Project creates opportunities for collaborative research on Dickens and the Victorian age, and disseminates research findings through annual conferences, institutes, and publications. It supports the professional development of graduate students and produces curricular material for teaching Victorian literature at both secondary and post-secondary levels.

    The Dickens Project is a Multi-campus Research Unit (MRU) of the University of California. Its research activities have been supported by extra-mural grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Department of Education, the California Council for the Humanities, the California Arts Council, the Exxon Education Foundation, dues from member schools, and private gifts. Activities for the general public are supported in part by contributions to a private, non-profit organization, The Friends of the Dickens Project. Click here to give to the Dickens Project.


  • Center for Jewish Studies

  • When a $1.5M endowment for the Helen Diller Family Endowment for Jewish Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz was established in 1997, Jewish Studies at UCSC was a visionary effort by a small group of dedicated faculty scholars.

    That effort evolved into what is now a sophisticated combination of scholarship and learning which boasts the largest number of enrolled undergraduates in Jewish Studies at any Northern California post-secondary institution.  That enrollment reflects the dedication to a transformative student experience, which has always been a characteristic of Jewish Studies at UCSC.

    Classes are among the most sought after by undergraduates, both Jewish and non Jewish, who study the history, music, theater, film, literature, languages, philosophy, impact and contributions of the Jewish people.  Non-Jewish student enrollments in classes are increasing in part because of how class content is presented and discussed.  For example, students of Latino American and Asian backgrounds have commented that the Jewish experience resonates with their own challenges of identity and culture in contemporary society.

    Curriculum is continually customized as faculty responds to new research or student inquiry fueled by access to digital archives and global events.  While academic and program content is responsive to the present, instruction remains grounded in the process of critical reading and writing, question and answer, give and take, forming, expressing and advocating conclusions, and a respect for freedom of thought, that are the distinguishing characteristics of a Humanities based education at UCSC. Click here to give to the Center for Jewish Studies