New Social Sciences Faculty (Part One)

Here, in the first of two features, we introduce some of the newest members of the social sciences faculty at UC Davis.

Anujit Chakraborty

Assistant Professor of Economics

Dr. Anujit Chakraborty joined UC Davis in July 2017, having earned his PhD at the University of British Columbia. His research interests include economic theory, behavioral economics, and experimental economics. Previously a student at the Indian Statistical Institute and Jadavpaur University, Dr. Chakraborty enjoys soccer, amateur programming, and reviewing restaurants on Yelp. His co-authored paper ‘External and Internal Consistency of Choices made in Convex Time Budgets’ is forthcoming in Experimental Economics.

Howard Chiang

Assistant Professor of History

Born in Taiwan and raised in Canada, Dr. Howard Chiang is interested in the cultural and global history of twentieth-century China, with a thematic focus on science, medicine, gender, and sexuality.  His first book, After Eunuchs: Science, Medicine, and the Transformation of Sex in Modern China (2018), analyzes the history of sex change in China from the demise of castration in the late Qing era to the emergence of transsexuality in postwar Taiwan.  He is currently working on two new projects: one on transgender theory in the Sinophone world and another on the history of psychoanalysis in global Chinese culture. 

Dr. Chiang earned his PhD at Princeton University in 2012.  Prior to joining UC Davis, he taught as an assistant professor at the University of Warwick, UK, and as a nominated Canada Research Chair at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Orly Clergé

Associate Professor of Sociology

Dr. Orly Clergé will join UC Davis in Fall 2018 from Tufts University, where she is currently an assistant professor of sociology and Africana studies. She received her PhD in Sociology and Social Demography from Brown University in 2013, after which she worked as a postdoctoral associate for the Yale Urban Ethnography Project.

Dr. Clergé's research analyzes the diasporic black middle class in New York suburbs. Her research engages how black diasporas navigates their socio-economic mobility and continued racial exclusion simultaneously, and its implications for the racial, ethnic and class identity work.

Dr. Clergé's book project examines the growing social and spatial heterogeneity of middle class black American, Haitian and Jamaican diasporas. As the black middle class and the black immigrant population have burgeoned since the 1960s, various types of allegiances to being and belonging to the local, regional and transnational black community have emerged. In a two-sited ethnography of suburbs in New York, Clerge's book analyzes how the encounters between overlapping diasporas leads to the renegotiation around race, nation and empire among the diasporic class moyenne. A second book project analyzes how middle class black millennials define their racial and class identities in the Age of Obama and #blacklivesmatter. These two texts come together to paint a timely picture of the heterogeneity of black political consciousness, diasporic cultures and class journeys to the American middle class.

Seth Frey

Assistant Professor of Communication

Seth Frey joined the UC Davis Computational Communication lab in July 2017. However, he is currently on leave as a fellow at Dartmouth College’s interdisciplinary Neukom Institute for Computational Science. Previously, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Disney Research, a part of Walt Disney Imagineering, where he applied his expertise to both theoretical and practical questions about engineered social systems. In 2013, he earned a PhD in Cognitive Science and Informatics at Indiana University, after two years at the New England Complex Systems Institute.

As a socially and computationally inflected cognitive scientist, Dr. Frey studies human decision behavior in complex social environments. In practice, he works back and forth between data science, behavioral experiments, and modeling to answer quantitative questions about human organizations, institutions, and communication.

Outside of research, he enjoys fixing bicycles, organizing for cooperative businesses, and writing for popular science venues. Hailing originally from the south Bay Area, he is drawn to California's Arts and Crafts era, and is eager to discover how far that heritage extended into the Central Valley.

Chris Hopwood

Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Chris Hopwood earned his PhD in Clinical Psychology at Texas A&M University in 2008. Most recently, he was an associate professor of psychology at Michigan State University. His co-authored papers have appeared or are forthcoming in Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, Journal of Personality Assessment, Journal of Abnormal Psychology and elsewhere. Dr. Hopwood’s current research foci include assessment and correlates of authentic behavior, assessment and correlates of personality dysfunction, integration of personality structure and dynamics, and assessment of healthy personality functioning.

Diana Moreira

Assistant Professor of Economics

Dr. Diana Moreira is a Lemann Fellow. She earned her PhD in Business Economics at Harvard University, with a thesis entitled On Government Effectiveness: Organizational and Governance Limitations on the Delivery of Education. Her primary areas of specialization are development economics and public economics. Before beginning her doctoral studies, Dr. Moreira served as a consultant at the World Bank’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. Her co-authored paper ‘Corrupting Learning: Evidence from Missing Federal Education Funds in Brazil’ was published in the Journal of Public Economics in 2012.

Diana Moreira is also a Brazilian citizen who loves eating well. She loves Indian, Peruvian and Ethiopian cuisine, and misses the Brazilian cuisine. Bike rides are another of her passions. She bikes to work and enjoys 50-mile rides on weekends. She is excited to live in Davis, the bike capital of the US, and looking forward to exploring all the biking routes in Northern California.

Emily Morgan

Assistant Professor of Linguistics 

Emily Morgan earned her PhD in Linguistics and Cognitive Science in 2016 at UC San Diego, with a dissertation entitled Generative and Item-Specific Knowledge of Language. Since then she has worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology at Tufts University, and will join the Department of Linguistics at UC Davis in summer 2018.

Dr. Morgan’s co-authored papers have appeared in Cognition and Cognitive Science. Her research asks how the language processing system integrates stored representations with incoming stimuli to form online expectations during language comprehension. For example, when one encounters a highly frequent phrase such as “bread and butter”, is this phrase represented and processed holistically as a single unit, or compositionally as a conjunction of nouns? To answer such questions, Dr. Morgan combines experimental psycho- and neurolinguistic methods, such as eye-tracking and ERPs, with probabilistic computational modeling.

In her spare time, Dr. Morgan enjoys running and swing dancing.

Santiago Pérez

Assistant Professor of Economics

Santiago Pérez earned his PhD at Stanford University and his MSc in Economics at the Universidad de San Andrés in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At UC Davis, he will be a faculty affiliate at the UC Davis Migration Research Cluster. His areas of specialization include economic history, development economics, and labor economics. His current work focuses on historical social mobility and on the labor market outcomes of international immigrants. His paper ‘The (South) American Dream: Mobility and Economic Outcomes of First- and Second-Generation Immigrants in 19th-Century Argentina’ is forthcoming in The Journal of Economic History. Santiago will teach an undergraduate course entitled ‘Economics of International Immigration’ in Fall Quarter 2017.

Lauren E. Young

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Lauren E. Young received her PhD in political science with distinction from Columbia University and was a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford and a Non-Resident Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD).

Her research aims to understand how individuals make decisions when faced with the threat of violence. Her book project investigates how citizens make decisions about participation in pro-democracy dissent in autocratic regimes. She argues that emotions shape perceptions of risks and risk aversion, and can therefore be used by elites to mobilize or demobilize civilians. She tests this theory in Zimbabwe using a mix of field experiments, lab-in-the-field experiments, quantitative analysis of historical trends, and in-depth qualitative interviews. In addition to her research on Zimbabwe, she has ongoing research projects in Eastern Europe, Haiti, Kenya, Mexico, and the US that explore how violence and other forms of coercion affect political and economic decision-making.

Dr. Young’s research has been funded by the National Science FoundationUnited States Institute for Peace, and CEPR-DfID’s Public Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) initiative, among others. It has been published in the Annual Review of Political Science and the Journal of Peace Research, and has been written up in the Washington Post Monkey Cage blog and the IPI Global Observatory.