Meet the

UCI Humanities

They introduce us to new ways of seeing the world and working through its challenges; they broaden the historical record to include cultures and identities that might otherwise be overlooked; they bring the past and present to life through stories, 3-D worlds and computer games; and they bridge disciplines to connect us to ideas that matter.

These are the #UCIHumanitiesinAction

Medicine with heart

“In medical humanities, students gain a broad understanding of health that incorporates social and cultural dimensions. If you’ve ever been sick, cared for a loved one, or are interested in working in medicine and health-related fields, you’ll appreciate learning how people actively shape their own approaches to health, healing, and well-being.”

- Adria Imada, associate professor of history

Math geek/lit prof

“Working in the humanities allows me to integrate my fascination with the history of mathematics into my study of Victorian literature.”


- Andrea Henderson, professor of English and author of Algebraic Art

Linguist & DNA pioneer

“In collaboration with geneticists, historians, and linguists, I reconstruct Latin America’s extensive African roots. Students in my courses gain insight into the origins of human language(s), and learn to appreciate the amazing diversity of our collective cultural and genetic histories.”

- Armin Schwegler, professor of Spanish and Portuguese

High-res Renaissance

“My team is designing vivid encounters with words, sounds, and objects from the Italian Renaissance. Powerful digital humanities tools are enabling new forms of analysis and bringing the men and women of history closer to us than ever before.”

- Deanna Shemek, professor of Italian and co-director of IDEA: Isabella d’Este Archive

Foodie & historian

“Food studies is an emerging discipline and studying it at UCI is a dream come true because of Professor Yong Chen. Not only is he grounded in the discipline of history, he’s also an expert in food and at the forefront of the food studies conversation.”

- Clare Bettencourt, Ph.D. candidate in history

Modern medievalist

“It’s important for students to be able to see their own gender identities, sexualities, racial diversity, and disabilities represented in history. In my courses, I shed light on the marginalized people of the Middle Ages who have often been ignored, overlooked, or denied.”

- Roland Betancourt, Chancellor’s Fellow and associate professor of art history and visual studies

Battling bias

“The field of gender and sexuality studies was created by people attempting to transform knowledge, the university, and the world. As injustice persists and takes new forms, gender and sexuality studies is there to ask the hard questions and build a better world in the process.”

- Catherine Sameh, assistant professor of gender and sexuality studies

Asia (hyphen) America

“My research and teaching, even the magazine I co-founded, Hyphen, all spring out of my fascination with how Asia and America have connected, collided, and identified with each other throughout history. Right now, there’s no better place to study these topics than UCI’s School of Humanities.”

- Chris Fan, assistant professor of English and Asian American studies

Historian & gamer

“My passion is finding innovative ways to engage students with the past. One example is my computer game, Sankofa, which transports students to 19th-century Ghana through a virtual reality experience. This is the power of history and imagination working together!”

- Patricia Seed, professor of history and co-creator of the computer game Sankofa

Mentor with a cause

“As a teacher and mentor, I strive to spark the curiosity and excitement of my students so that they become the makers of their own education. I particularly enjoy helping students become scholars and artists, individuals who discover their voice and passion through research and creativity.”

- Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, professor & chair of Asian American studies

Ethical fashionista

“UCI’s Literary Journalism program developed my skills in employing creativity; specifically challenging traditional forms of storytelling, which I’m able to do through my ethical fashion blog. UCI helped me to think of myself, and my work, as avant-garde.”

- Aditi Mayer, literary journalism major and founder of ADIMAY.com

Media innovator

“UCI is where I learned my sense of self, place and history in the world. With help from my professors, I learned how I can use media to shed light on the stories and the humanity of people who are just not being shown in the media.”

- Nida Chowdhry ’09 (B.A.s in English & film and media studies), co-creator of Youtube’s “Unfair & Ugly”

Environmental visionary

“In my courses on Japanese literature, students explore how novels tackle environmental issues and ecological disasters like the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns. We learn not only how fiction represents our cultural anxieties and beliefs, but also how it challenges us to understand that we are not separate from our environment.”

- Margherita Long, associate professor of East Asian studies

Humanities advocate

“The UCI School of Humanities is where future leaders, communicators, scholars, CEOs, storytellers, creatives, directors, writers, and entrepreneurs come to get their start. This is, without question, the most exciting time ever to be a scholar or a student in the humanities!”

- Tyrus Miller, dean of the School of Humanities and professor of English and art history