Featured Events

For a full calendar listing

The 'Lasers' of Star Wars

Scinema promo

Feb. 17, 2017 — The first Scinema event at UC Davis will be Feb. 25 at 4 p.m. The event feature a showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and a talk by UC Davis chemistry professor and laser expert Kyle Crabtree. Come learn why blasters and lightsabers aren’t lasers, how a real laser works and the cool ways scientists use lasers in their research.

New Location, Bigger Lineup for Art Lecture Series


Jan. 19, 2017 - The long-running Art Studio Visiting Artist Lecture Series at UC Davis has a bigger lineup than usual along with a new, more public location for the new year. The series, featuring a wide range of artists and art scholars, will be held in the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art that opened in November. All the talks are free and open to the public.

Human Rights at UC Davis Starts Lecture Series

camp refugee

Jan. 10, 2017 - Human Rights Studies at UC Davis is presenting a four-lecture series of high-profile speakers addressing ongoing issues connected to war, indigenous rights, migration and refugees.

UC Davis Symphony Orchestra Kicks Off Challenging Season Nov. 19


Nov. 9. 2016 - The UC Davis Symphony Orchestra kicks off its season Nov. 19 with music by Johannes Brahms and two less familiar composers, Henri Dutilleux and Witold Lutosławski. The five additional concerts of the season likewise blend the older with the newer, the better known with the lesser known. “We like to invite people to come on a journey with us and find something new,” said Christian Baldini, orchestra music director and conductor and associate professor in the Department of Music.  “My passion is opening new doors as much for the orchestra as the audience.”

Past Events

Ko Lecture Series Focuses on Sustainability

Ko Lecture 2017

Jan. 26, 2017 — Chemist Daniel Nocera, a world leader in renewable energy research, will come to UC Davis on Feb. 9 for the second installment of The Winston Ko Public Lecture Series: Frontiers in Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

UC Davis Grads, Museum Directors Back to Speak On University Museums


Feb. 3, 2017 - They lead major museums, but the directors of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Yale University Art Gallery have another thing in common – both attended UC Davis. Yale University Art Gallery Director Jock Reynolds (M.F.A. ‘72) became director of the Yale Gallery in 1998. Neal Benezra (M.A, art history, ‘78) has headed the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco (SFMOMA) since 2002. The two will join Rachel Teagle, founding director of the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, in a roundtable discussion Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at the museum. It is free and open to the public.

MPS Day: Connect With Mathematical and Physical Sciences


Jan. 9, 2017MPS Day will provide an overview of the five departments of the Division of Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS): Chemistry, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics. The Feb. 11 event will also provide an introduction to graduate studies at UC Davis, information about applying from campus advisors, and an overview of the necessary steps to apply. 

LASER: Conversations in Art and Science Rebooted


Nov. 2, 2016 - A series at UC Davis that brings together art and science restarts with a new format, location, time and leadership. The Leonardo Art, Science, Evening Rendezvous (LASER) will be re-launched Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. The first event includes Manuelita Antonio Rangel-Sosa, a Venezuelan-American architect, designer and artist; Megan Dennis, assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Biochemistry; and Matthias Hess, assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Animal Science.

A Big Year for Creative Writing


Rae Armantrout

Sept. 12, 2016 - This is a special year for creative writing at UC Davis. The popular Opening Night reading of new work by creative writing program faculty (Oct. 5) is celebrating its 10th anniversary and the visiting writers reading series will have a new home in the Peter J. Shields Library. The visiting writers series kicks off Oct. 12 with Pulitzer Prize winner Rae Armantrout and continues with a wide range of writers throughout the academic year.

'India in the Artist's Eye' Series Offers Full Year of Events


Bickram Ghosh’s Drums of India

Sept. 12, 2016 - The UC Davis Department of Religious Studies and the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts have teamed up for a year-long celebration of the arts of India. “India in the Artist’s Eye” will include music, theatre and dance along with exhibitions, lectures and workshops. The series, starting Sept. 30 with a concert by Bickram Ghosh’s Drums of India, is a part of the department’s Religions of Indian Initiative.

Saxophone Quartet Premieres UC Davis Faculty and Student Compositions


Nov. 4, 2016 - The Mana Quartet, a San Francisco saxophone ensemble, will perform several new UC Davis works in concerts Nov. 10 and 11. The Nov. 11 concert will include the premiere of “Seagram Murals” by Mika Pelo, associate professor in the Department of Music. This and other works being performed are part of the “Sight and Sound” project through which the Mana Quartet and Chamber Music America commissioned music inspired by visual art works.

Political Scientists Give Bigger Picture of What Election Holds

Portrait photos of UC Davis Political Scientists Christopher Hare and Cheryl Boudreau

Christopher Hare and Cheryl Boudreau

Oct. 26, 2016 — Six days before the Nov. 8 general election, two UC Davis political scientists will give a talk about the hearts and minds of voters — both in California, where they face a dizzying array of ballot measures, and nationwide, where divisions run deep.

The panel discussion, “Election 2016: Polarization, Public Opinion and Policy Making,” will take place 12:10–1 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Community Center’s multipurpose room.

Associate Professor Cheryl Boudreau will discuss public opinion about the 17 propositions on the state ballot as well as types of information that might influence voters’ decisions. Among issues facing California voters are legalization of marijuana, raising tobacco taxes, abolishing or speeding up the death penalty, new regulations on gun ammunition sales and upholding or overturning the plastic bag ban.

Assistant Professor Christopher Hare will talk about what 2016 can tell us about polarization in American politics — just how divided are we, and what are the policymaking implications moving forward?

The event is part of the UC Davis Institute for Social Sciences Noon Lecture series. 

Next Creative Writing Program Series Features UC Davis Faculty

portrait photo of Jacinda Townsend

Oct. 25, 2016 UC Davis faculty members Maceo Montoya and Jacinda Townsend are featured in the Nov. 1 UC Davis Creative Writing Program Reading Series. The free event will take place at 7 p.m. in Peter J. Shields Library.  Montoya is a writer, artist and assistant professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and Townsend is a new creative writing assistant professor in the English department. 

Concert Celebrates ‘Cycles’ for Composer

Portrait photo of UC Davis composer Pablo Ortiz

Oct. 14, 2016 - During any given year, the music of composer and professor Pablo Ortiz can be heard across the globe — from his native Argentina to Switzerland to San Francisco. Just a few weeks ago, a piece he wrote to be played on a giant metal sculpture was performed in Athens, Greece. The UC Davis Department of Music professor’s 60th birthday will be celebrated with a concert of his music at the new Ann E. Pitzer Center recital hall Oct. 21.

New Center Will Enhance Music at UC Davis

Opening in September

Aug. 12, 2016 - The full range of music-making at the University of California, Davis, will get a big boost in September with the opening of the Ann E. Pitzer Center. The state-of-the-art building houses classrooms, practice rooms and an acoustically pristine 399-seat recital hall that will host dozens of concerts each year. The center’s grand opening Sept. 23-25 will include composer Philip Glass, the  Anderson & Roe Piano Duo; and concerts showcasing UC Davis faculty and students.

UC Davis Artists Will Make a Mark With Three Exhibitions


May 3, 2016 -  UC Davis master of fine art students will be a major presence in Sacramento during May and June. “Ruminant Ground,” at Beatnik Studios starting May 6 and “having happened” at Verge Center for the Arts opening June 3 will feature work by 16 MFA candidates in the nationally-acclaimed program. Second year students will also be showing in San Francisco. 

Conference and celebration honoring Eldridge Moores

Eldridge Moores

Eldridge Moores

April 21, 2016 — In his 50 years at UC Davis, geologist Eldridge Moores led a celebrated career spanning the birth of plate tectonics to assembling California. The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences will celebrate his golden anniversary at UC Davis during the weekend of June 3-5, 2016. There will be seminars and discussions on Friday afternoon and Saturday, social hours and a field trip on Sunday. Event details and links to a RSVP form are available at: geology.ucdavis.edu/events/moores50

A Rich Lineup of Cultural Offerings

Winter & Spring 2016 — A rich lineup of cultural offerings historic photographs and fashions — check.

Cutting edge dance — right here. Art critic from one of the best magazines in the world — yep. Brand new play about the 2015 Baltimore riots — we have that. Finalist for 2015 Man Booker Prize — she’ll be here. First performances of famous composer’s works in 400 years — that too.

Those are some of the cultural offerings at UC Davis in early 2016. If you like orchestral works by Beethoven you can find that along with genre-busting theatre, dance and visual arts, and a solid lineup of acclaimed writers.

UC Davis Faculty and Grads at Bay Area Book Fest


Naomi Williams

Three UC Davis faculty members and several graduates will be taking part in the Bay Area Book Festival, June 4 and 5, downtown Berkeley. Admission is free.

Angie Chou, a 2005 graduate of the creative writing program in the English department, “She Who Has No Master(s)” panel at 11:45 June 4.

Innosanto Nagara, who earned a biology degree from UC Davis in 1993, is a children’s book author and illustrator on the panel “Pictures for Words, Words for Pictures: Authors and Illustrators on Collaboration” at 11:45 a.m. June 4.

Poet and English professor Joshua Clover “Put Your Poems Upon the Gears: Poetry and Activism,” at 1:30 p.m. June 4.

Department of History chair Kathy Olmsted "Right Out of California: The 1930s and the Big Business Roots of Modern Conservatism" panel at 10 a.m. June 5.

Poet Katie Peterson, assistant professor of English, “Break, Blow, Burn: Poets on Desire” panel 3:15 p.m. June 5.

Naomi Williams, a 2007 graduate of the creative writing program and author of the historical novel Landfalls “Truer than Truth? The Historical Novel” panel at 3:15 p.m. June 5.


'Red Poppies' Author Alai to Give Talk, Reading

Photo of author Alai

Author Alai (阿来) — whose historical novel of Tibet, Red Poppies, won China's Mao Dun Prize for Literature — will give a talk and read from his work on campus on Wednesday, May 25.

His talk, "Ethnic Minority Literatures in China and My Own Work," begins at 4:30 p.m. in Memorial Union II. A reception will follow. 

When Alai, who is of Rgyalrong Tibetan descent, won the Mao Dun Prize in 2000, he was the youngest writer and one of the few ethnic minority writers in China to receive the country's top literary award. Red Poppies (尘埃落定) explores issues of Tibetan identity, language, and memory in the borderlands of the Himalayan plateau in the early 20th century.

His recent novel The Song of King Gesar (格 萨尔王) is based on a traditional oral epic from the Tibetan region of Kham. Both novels have been translated into English.

Alai's talk is sponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Confucius Institute at UC Davis. 

Black Holes, Strings and Other Things

Veronika Hubeny

Veronika Hubeny

April 21, 2016 — The first lecture in new Winston Ko Frontiers in Mathematical and Physical Sciences Public Lecture series will take place May 9. Veronika Hubeny will discuss modern understanding of black holes, and the remaining mysteries. Her talk, “Illuminating Black Holes,” begins at 5 p.m. on Monday, May 9, in the UC Davis Conference Center.

Veronika Hubeny, a professor of physics at UC Davis, is one of the experts probing the nature of black holes and gravity. Hubeny is a key member of the new Center for Quantum Mathematics and Physics, or QMAP, an initiative aimed at fostering a vibrant research environment exploring the forefront of modern theoretical physics and mathematics. QMAP researchers work in concert to tackle questions such as the origin of space and time, quantum gravity and string theory.

The Ko Lecture series was endowed by former dean Winston Ko upon his retirement from the UC Davis Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The gift is part of a challenge grant to establish a Professorship in Science Leadership to recognize an outstanding faculty member in the division. Fundraising for the Winston Ko Professorship in Science Leadership continues — we welcome contributions of any size toward this goal. Make a gift.

Free lecture. RSVPs encouraged at lsevents@ucdavis.edu

Design students in spotlight

Photo: detail of a student design with a miniature wall, chairs and 2-dimensional human figure

Designs by students at museum

Celebrating the bold concepts and creativity of UC Davis Department of Design students, the Design-by-Design exhibition is an annual juried undergraduate student competition, featuring graphic and textile designs, interior design, exhibition, model, form, fashion design and screen-based digital design projects such as websites and movies.  

Design-by-Design evolves out of the UC Davis Department of Design’s challenging curriculum which combines design history, theory, and studio courses. Faculty members mentor students through the complex practice of translating ideas into realities and the important process of shaping culture, form, and content. Students are trained in the areas of textiles and fashion, exhibition, visual communication, lighting and interior architecture. 

Sponsored by the Birgitta and Helge Olson Design Award, the work on exhibition will be evaluated by a panel of judges consisting of faculty and professional artists. Prizes will be awarded in six categories.

Museum Hours: Monday–Friday 12 p.m.–4 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.–4 p.m. Picnic Day Schedule, Saturday, April 16: 12 p.m. –4:00 p.m. 

Closed on Saturdays, holidays and holiday weekends, and during installations. For complete information on visiting the Design Museum, click here.