The Pacific Regional Humanities Center (PRHC) was an initiative funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2002 and overseen by the UC Davis Humanities Institute. Created to generate and broker humanities research and public programs for the Pacific United States and Territories--California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Marianas, the PRHC emphasized the study of "place" in its many dimensions, particularly alternative mappings of region that elude or defy conventional political or territorial boundaries. From 2003 through 2006, the PRHC worked primarily on oral history projects focused on Angel Island and Sutter Butte, producing the interviews archived here.
In 2007 the PRHC was reconceptualized as the California Cultures Initiative. Still coordinated by the UC Davis Humanities Institute, the California Cultures Initiative works to enhance the connection of humanities scholars at UC Davis to their surrounding region and to encourage engaged, place-based scholarship and public programs. The CCI provides funding for faculty research groups, individual speakers and events, and faculty collaborations on The Art of Regional Change, a yearly community-based multimedia documentary project. Key areas of interest include migration, immigration and transnational flows as well as the environment, community, ethnicity, gender, labor, economic change, sustainability and other issues of relevance to the region. In linking scholars to communities, the CCI aims to use the insights from these projects to reframe public conversations about how to develop, revitalize and sustain communities away from the technocratic and toward the human.
Questions about the California Cultures Initiative should be directed to Jennifer Langdon, the DHI's associate director, at jlangdon_at_ucdavis.edu or jesikah maria ross, the coordinator of the Art of Regional Change project, at jmross_at_ucdavis.edu.