Working Groups & Research Clusters

The Affect Working Group brings together faculty and graduate students from across the University who are interested in the felt dimensions of social life. Themes that participants are currently addressing include: how race is lived now; the conditions of possibility for political hope and despair; and the affective dimensions of computer games.   

The Urban Studies Research Cluster formed in 2007 to provide a home for faculty and graduate students to explore the urban dimension of their research, engage with emerging approaches in the field of urban studies, and address pressing urban issues, both locally and globally.  In particular, we engage with three sub-areas that draw on research strengths at UCSC: urban cultural studies, urban environmental studies, and space and social justice. The cluster also aims to provide a fruitful space for urbanists of all stripes -faculty and students, artists and activists, planners, policy makers, and local residents- to come together, share ideas, and collaborate.  We do this through monthly meetings, a speaker series, and campus-wide events.

The Interdisciplinary Development Research Group (IDRG) provides a bi-weekly forum open to faculty and students from all disciplines for an in-depth discussion of issues in development theories and practices. Our sessions center around members’ own research, close readings of selected texts, and presentations from invited guests. As a transdisciplinary research group, we value the differing perspectives and experiences of development of our participant scholars who belong to various disciplines including economics, environmental studies, sociology, social psychology, engineering and anthropology. We envision the cluster as a space to workshop papers and presentations, collectively draft articles, share new readings and debate theories and practices of development.

The Working Group on Labor, Immigration, and Changing Conceptions of Work explores the relations between the changing economy, changing meanings of work, and the changing labor force by addressing a central animating question: how does WHO does the work affect conceptions of work itself? The working group examines this topic by focusing on a particular type of work - “immigrant" work - and on a particular group of laborers: immigrant workers. The working group explores immigrant work and workers across a broad range of historical periods and localities as well as from multiple disciplinary perspectives and methodologies. Most generally, the working group addresses the theme of the humanities and the changing conceptions of work by highlighting the roles work and the workplace play in the quest for human dignity.