What is Interdisciplinary Humanities at UC Merced?
The Interdisciplinary Humanities Graduate Group (IHGG) is an innovative M.A. and Ph.D. program that incorporates anthropology, the arts, history, and language and literature. An IHGG education may include disciplinary specialization along with training in concepts that enrich all cultural research. The program exposes students to many humanities professions and trains students to engage the public.
For more information, contact Graduate Group Chair Ruth Mostern.
About the Program
Interdisciplinarity is the hallmark of the IHGG. Our faculty and graduate students read work from every one of our disciplines, and all of us utilize each other’s frames of understanding. We share the task of explaining and expressing cultural complexity and contingency. IHGG students may work with social and cognitive scientists, natural scientists, and engineers as well as humanists. The IHGG succeeds the World Cultures Graduate Group.
We are committed to training specialists. Along with interdisciplinary coursework, students select courses from the cross-disciplinary areas of Past Worlds, Social and Spatial Dynamics, or Expressive and Imaginative Works. IHGG faculty are trained in disciplines and are equipped to prepare students for jobs in their fields. IHGG students work as teaching assistants for disciplinary undergraduate majors in Anthropology, English, Global Arts, History and Spanish.
The IHGG Program adopts the UC Merced guiding principle of “The World at Home/At Home in the World” as its signature focus. Our location in Merced inspires this programmatic concentration, which guides and structures the IHGG curriculum and mission in two ways.
- Merced is a global crossroads. This can inspire IHGG students to think about any entrepôts, battlefields, trade routes and other kinds of locales past and present that exemplify the crossroads destination. The crossroads concept educates students about how to approach questions at scales ranging from the global to the local, and how to move with facility among these spatial frames. Students may optionally specialize in the Multicultural Luso-Hispanic World or Transnational Americas Studies if they wish to explore the interaction of the global and the regional or specific through either of those lenses.
- We are committed to socially engaged education and research. We use The World At Home/At Home in the World to communicate the perspective that scholarship exists in and for the larger world, and thus, graduate education can lead to many career paths. Our curriculum includes a required Humanities in the World course in which students learn about socially engaged scholarship, and a Study Plan course that requires them to explore possible non-academic career paths.
IHGG benefits from a close relationship with the Center for the Humanities, which has recently received a $2 million gift to support graduate fellowships and other activities. IHGG students and faculty are also affiliates of numerous other programs on campus, including research centers such as the Spatial Analysis and Research Center, the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, and the Resource Center for Community Engaged Scholarship.
Applicants must demonstrate a B.A. with minimum 3.0 average in a humanities discipline or allied field, or other preparation commensurate with that accomplishment. They must demonstrate a level of English language proficiency adequate for success in graduate level coursework in English. While we evaluate applications holistically, we will generally prefer a GRE verbal score above the 85th percentile. Among qualified applicants, we are interested in those who demonstrate a commitment to the interdisciplinary humanities approach. We encourage potential applicants to contact IHGG faculty in their fields.