California Studies Association

The latest news, events, and perspectives from the CSA


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UC Berkeley California Studies Dinner Seminar, February 20, 2019: Joe Blum, “Honoring Labor From the Union Iron Works to the Salesforce Tower: From Black and White Film to Digital Images”

San Francisco photographer Joe Blum was a boilermaker, ship fitter, and welder for more than twenty-five years.  He was also an activist in the Boilermakers Union.  Many of his photos are of iron workers and other craftspeople working on such big Bay Area projects as the Zampa Memorial Bridge over the Carquinez Straits, the new east span of the Bay Bridge, and the Salesforce Tower.  His work has been widely exhibited, including at the Berkeley Art Museum and San Francisco City Hall.  His photos are also included in the Bancroft Library collection.  Blum’s seminar presentation will combine historical images with his own contemporary photography.

The session will be on Wed. Feb. 20 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.

Please contact Christina McKay at christina.mckay@berkeley.edu for the RSVP form.

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UC Berkeley California Studies Dinner Seminar: Rachel Brahinsky and Alex Tarr, “A People’s Guide to the S.F. Bay Area” January 17, 2019

Most guidebooks to the Bay Area all but ignore the region’s role as the leading Left Coast metropolis.  In contrast, Rachel Brahinsky and Alex Tarr concentrate on the region’s heritage of progressive politics, social activism, and cultural rebellion in their forthcoming “People’s Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area,” to be published by UC Press. The book will be a resource for both visitors and Bay Area natives.  Rachel is Assistant Professor and Director of the Urban and Public Affairs program at University of San Francisco and Alex is Assistant Professor of Geography at Worcester State University.  Both received their PhD in geography at UC Berkeley.

The session will be on Thursday, January 17 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.

Please contact Christina McKay at christinamckay@berkeley.edu for RSVP form.

 


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UC Berkeley California Studies Seminar: Richard Walker, “Pictures of a Gone City: Tech and the Downside of Prosperity in the San Francisco Bay Area” November 15, 2018

The high tech boom has been a bust for many Bay Area residents.  Seminar co-convener Dick Walker discusses this and other contradictions of recent Bay Area economic history in his important new book, “Pictures of a Gone City.”   Professor emeritus and former Geography Department chair at UC Berkeley, Walker is the author of several ground-breaking works, including “The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area” and “Conquest of Bread: 150 Years of Agribusiness in California.”

The session will be on Thursday, November 15 from 7-9:15 p.m. at the UCB Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2521 Channing Way (one-half block east of Telegraph Ave.).  Free admission and dinner.

Contact Christina McKay at christina.mckay@berkeley.edu for RSVP form.

 


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UC Berkeley California Studies Seminar, Diane North: “California at War: the State and the People During World War I” October 16, 2018

Scholars have produced many works on the impact of World War II on California, but until now the state’s experience in World War I has been largely ignored.  Diane North fills this void with her new book, a comprehensive social history of the state during the Great War.  Dr. North, a former member of the Cal Studies seminar, is Professor of History at the University of Maryland University College.  She received her Ph.D. at UC Davis and has previously taught at San Francisco State.

The session will be at the UCB Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2521 Channing Way (just east of Telegraph Ave.) on Tuesday, October 16, from 7 to 9:15 p.m.  Free admission and dinner.

RSVP: https://goo.gl/forms/bM5AaoF8mGOXQeQm2


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UC Berkeley California Studies Seminar: Gray Brechin on the Cal Stadium, “A Monumental Memorial to Denial” September 12, 2018

In 1923 UC Berkeley built Memorial Stadium squarely on top of the Hayward Fault.  Nearly ninety years later, the university spent nearly a half billion dollars retrofitting the structure and adding a large athletic training facility.  On Wed. Sept. 12, Gray Brechin critically discusses these and other events in the stadium’s history.  Brechin is a research scholar in the UCB Geography Department and founder of the Living New Deal Project.  He is the author of several works, including the ground-breaking Imperial San Francisco.

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

RSVP to Christina McKay, christina.mckay@berkeley.edu


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UC Berkeley California Studies Dinner Seminar, 2018/2019 Schedule

For thirty years, the UCB California Studies Dinner Seminar has presented the work of authors, scholars, and observers of California history, society, and culture to knowledgeable university and community audiences.  Supported by grants from the university’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment and the Townsend Humanities Center, the seminar meets at the Labor Institute, 2521 Channing Ave. just east of Telegraph Ave. from 7-9:15 p.m.  Here is the 2018/2019 seminar schedule.

September 12  Gray Brechin, UC Berkeley, on the Cal Stadium, “A Monumental Memorial to Denial”

October 16  Diane North, University of Maryland, on her new book “California at War: the State and the People During World War I”

November 15  Dick Walker, UC Berkeley, on his new book, “Pictures of a Gone City: Tech and the Dark Side of Prosperity in the San Francisco Bay Area”

January 17  Rachel Brahinsky, University of San Francisco, on her forthcoming progressive/radical guidebook to San Francisco

February 20  Joe Blum, photographer and former iron worker, on photographing iron workers building San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower

March 19  Bob Cherny, San Francisco State, on “The Party’s Over: Former Communist Party Members in the Bay Area”

April 18  Tom Dalzell, lawyer and historian, on his forthcoming book on the history of Peoples Park, Berkeley

May 15  Susan Anderson, African American Museum and Library at Oakland, on her forthcoming history of African Americans in California


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1967 Peace Mural in Oakland Revealed

Artist Emily Lou Packard was a sly artist who coined the term “militasaurus” for a fictional primordial creature which would “become extinct because he is over-armed.” The Kaiser Industries world headquarters in Oakland featured her 1967 mural of the “Peaceable Kingdom.” But the glass eyeballs disturbed patrons.

This illustrated article tells the story about this fantastic 6’x26′ artwork that’s been in storage at the Oakland Museum of California since 1980.

Lincoln Cushing
Archivist and historian, Kaiser Permanente

Collection of the Oakland Museum of California