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IH Grad Con to Showcase Student Presentations, Speakers and Interactive Sessions

April 1, 2019

The Interdisciplinary Humanities (IH) Graduate Group and UC Merced Graduate Division are co-hosting the sixth annual Interdisciplinary Humanities Graduate Student Conference (IH Grad Con) from April 4-6 at UC Merced.

The event provides space for graduate-level networking, student presentations, keynote speakers and exploring the humanities as both academic scholarship and social advocacy.

The theme for this spring is "Contradicting Contradictions: Interrogating Humanities-based Scholar Activism in the Neoliberal University." While some student presentations on Saturday, April 6, will touch humanities topics across the board — such as the Venezuelan protests of 2017 and how media shapes culture and politics — this year’s conference encourages attendees to think about how scholar activism interacts with proverbial neoliberal university.

IH Grad Con kicks off with a reception at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 4, in the Social Sciences and Management (SSM) Art Gallery followed by evening networking at The Partisan in downtown Merced at 7 p.m.

Humanities Day on Friday, April 5, will offer speaker presentations, networking and panel discussions from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the California Room. The day is designed to showcase a variety of career paths available to Ph.D. students outside the academy in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Seasoned humanists from various professions will speak about their career path and share advice with attendees.

Featured speakers include:

  • Rina Filetti, Ph.D.– museum curator, art history and municipal projects
  • Justin Dunnavant, Ph.D. – PPFP Fellow, archeologist and underwater diver
  • Niel Tashima, Ph.D. and Ms. Cathleen Crain – health and human services consulting firm
  • Teresa Dillinger, Ph.D. – Graduate Pathways program director
  • Christina Lux, Ph.D. – Center for the Humanities associate director

Friday wraps up with Open Mic Night at 7 p.m. at Coffee Bandits in downtown Merced.

IH Grad Con is 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, April 6, in Granite Pass. Dina Gilio-Whitaker of Cal State San Marcos will be the keynote speaker, followed by lunch, four interactive afternoon sessions and an evening event.

Second-year graduate student Shiloh Green was elected conference chair by her IH Graduate Group peers and has put in a year-long effort to organize IH Grad Con. She has been laying a strong foundation for the young conference and hopes to ensure success for future chairs. Green credits previous chairs and the planning committee for their outstanding contributions.

“I’m excited about chairing this conference because I care deeply about radical scholarship. I’m also inspired by other people’s scholarship,” Green said. “Above all, I hope attendees will be inspired by all the radical work our speakers are doing and be encouraged to ask similar critical questions.”

For more information and to register, visit: or email