About the Center

The Center for Cultural Studies at UC Santa Cruz was founded in the Spring of 1988 as a part of the University of California's President's Humanities Initiative. It is now approaching its thirtieth year. Through an ensemble of research clusters, conferences, workshops, visiting scholars, publications, film series, and a Resident Scholars Program, the Center has encouraged a broad range of research in the rapidly evolving field of cultural studies. An external review of the Center in 1993 confirmed the Center's reputation for innovation, a reputation that has grown steadily, on the campus, in the nation, and abroad.

The international field of cultural studies has emerged from the challenges posed to traditional humanistic and social scientific agendas by new research strategies in visual studies; anthropology, ethnography, and folklore; feminist studies; comparative sociology and politics; semiotics; social, cultural, literary, and political theory; science studies; colonial discourse analysis; ethnic studies; and the histories of sexualities. These challenges, and the new areas of scholarly activity they stimulate, compose the heart of cultural studies at UC Santa Cruz. Thus, the Center for Cultural Studies' concern is to foster research across divisional as well as disciplinary boundaries. While based in the humanities, it engages with the "interpretive" or "historical" social sciences, as well as with theoretically informed work in the arts. The membership of the Center's Advisory Board and faculty/graduate student participation in its events clearly reflect this cross-divisional agenda.

The Center's activities include lectures and colloquia, which can be accessed via our Events Archive.


Mayanthi Fernando & Marc Matera, co-Directors
Suraiya Jetha, Graduate Student Researcher

2017-2018 Advisory Board

Christopher Connery, Literature Department
Nathaniel Deutsch, History Department
Mayanthi Fernando, Anthropology Department
Carla Freccero, Literature, History of Consciousness, and Feminist Studies Departments
Deborah Gould, Sociology Department
Gail Hershatter , History Department
Warren Sack, Film + Digital Media Department
G. S. Sahota, Literature Department
Vanita Seth, Politics Department
Anna Tsing, Anthropology Department

Administrative support is provided by The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz.
The Humanities Institute is a hub for academic research, cross-discipline collaboration, and public engagement. We incubate ideas and foster innovation by funding projects, centers, and research clusters that enable faculty and students to work on some of the biggest problems of our day.