California Studies Association

The latest news, events, and perspectives from the CSA


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UCB California Studies Dinner Seminar: Donna Graves, “Documenting and Preserving Landmarks of San Francisco LGBTQ History” September 13, 2016

Historian and cultural planner Donna Graves will kick off this year’s dinner seminars with a discussion of her project that seeks to identify, interpret, and protect landmarks of San Francisco’s LGBTQ history.  Donna has served as director of the Preserving California’s Japantown Project and is co-author of “Sento at Sixth and Main: Preserving Landmarks of Japanese American Heritage.”  She also has been project director of Richmond’s Rosie the Riveter Memorial and historical advisor to the Rosie the Riveter National Park.

The session is at the UCB Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley (just east of Telegraph Ave.) Tuesday, September 13 from 7-9:15 p.m.  Free admission and dinner.

Contact Margaret Olney at margaret_olney@berkeley.edu


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2,265 Rosies rocked Richmond

RosieEvent-medToday 2,265 people (yes, men were allowed!) dressed as the iconic “Rosie the Riveter” gathered in the giant Ford Assembly building craneway to beat the current Guinness world record for such an event. More than a gimmick, it was a testament to the impact of the World War II Home Front, and honored the women who participated in the war effort.

During WWII the Ford plant was surrounded by four Kaiser shipyards, which produced 747 ships to help win the war. The social programs that accompanied the war effort – such as efforts to integrate housing, provision of quality child care, acceptance of women in the industrial workforce, opportunities for women and people of color in trade unions, and the Kaiser health plan – were precursors of many subsequent social justice efforts, including the civil rights movement and second wave feminism.

The Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond is the only National Park to cover this important period in national (and California) history. It’s well worth a visit.

-Lincoln Cushing, CSA


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UC Berkeley California Studies Dinner Seminar Schedule, 2016-2017

Thanks to the generous support of the UCB Institute for Research on Labor and Employment and the Townsend Center for the Humanities, the seminar will present the following sessions for the 2016-2017 academic year:

September 13  Donna Graves on Documenting and Preserving Landmarks of San Francisco LGBTQ History

October 19  Fred Glass on his new book, “From Mission to Microchip: a History of the California Labor Movement”

November 17  Ivy Anderson and Devon Angus on their new book, “Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast  Prostitute”

January 19  Kathryn Olmsted on her new book, “Right Out of California: the 1930s and the Big Business Roots of Modern Conservatism”

February 16  David Ruanova and Ignacio Ornales on The Bracero Legacy Project

March 21  Mike Healy on his new book on the history of BART

May 17  Bill Issel on the 1968 San Francisco State Student Strike

All sessions will be at the IRLE Building, 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley from 7 to 9:15 pm.  Free admission and dinner.

Contact Margaret Olney at margaret_olney@berkeley.edu


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UCB California Studies Dinner Seminar, Wednesday, May 18: Chuck Wollenberg on “Rebel With a Cause: Wayne Collins and the Defense of Japanese American Rights”

The scheduled May 18 speaker, Donna Graves, had to cancel. With all due chutzpah, Chuck Wollenberg, the seminar convener, has scheduled himself as a replacement for the final session of this academic year. Wayne Collins was a San Francisco attorney who spent more than thirty years defending the victims of the World War II forced evacuation and incarceration. Among other cases, he was counsel for Fred Kortematsu and the 5000 Tule Lake prisoners who renounced their US citizenship. He also defended “Tokyo Rose.” In addition to his duties as seminar convener, Wollenberg teaches history at Berkeley City College and is an affiliated scholar at the California Studies Center at UCB. He is the author of several books and articles on California social history.

The session will be held from 7 to 9:15 p.m. at the UCB Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2521 Channing Way (just east of Telegraph Ave.).

Free admission and dinner. RSVP Margaret Olney at margaret_olney@berkeley.edu


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Call for Submissions: California Historical Society Book Award

CHS and Heyday Books sponsor the California Historical Society Book Award for a book-length manuscript that makes an important contribution both to scholarship and to the greater community by deepening public understanding of some aspect of California History. Prize: $5000 advance and publication in both print and e-book formats by CHS/Heyday.

More information: http://www.heydaybooks.com/chsbookaward or http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/publications/bookaward.hmtl


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UCB California Studies Dinner Seminar, April 19: Louise Mozingo “Between Power and Appearance: The Landscape of the Silicon Valley”

Professor Louise Mozingo, Chair of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning and Urban Design at UC Berkeley, will give an illustrated talk on the landscape of the world’s most important hub of capitalist technological and industrial development. The session will be on Tuesday, April 19 from 7-9:15 p.m. at the UCB Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2521 Channing Way, just east of Telegraph Ave. Free admission and dinner. Contact Margaret Olney at margaret_olney @berkeley.edu


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Chuck Wollenberg on “Rebel With a Cause: Wayne Collins and the Defense of Japanese American Rights” Wed. April 27, 6 p.m. Berkeley City Club

For thirty years, attorney Wayne M. Collins waged legal battles on behalf of Japanese Americans victimized by government repression during World War II. Wollenberg will discuss Collins’s career in the context of today’s anti-Muslim prejudice and rhetoric.

Club members $5, nonmembers $10. Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant St. http://www.berkeleycityclub.com

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