California Studies Association

The latest news, events, and perspectives from the CSA


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UC Berkeley California Studies Dinner Seminar, October 16, 2019: Peter Richardson, “Dream Interrupted: Kevin Starr at the San Francisco Examiner”

The late Kevin Starr was the most distinguished California historian of his generation.  In addition to writing a multi-volume history of the state, he served as state librarian and taught at USC.  On Wednesday, October 16, Peter Richardson discusses a lesser known chapter in Starr’s career, his role as a controversial, conservative columnist for the San Francisco Examiner during the late 1970s and early 1980s.  Richardson teaches at San Francisco State and is the coordinator of its California and American Studies program.  He is the author of several works, including “American Prophet, the Life and Work of Carey McWilliams” and “No Simple Highway, a Cultural History of the Grateful Dead.”

The session will be 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.

For information and rsvp form, contact Christina McKay at christina.mckay@berkeley.edu.

 

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UC Berkeley California Studies Dinner Seminar, September 11, 2019: Kimi Kodani Hill, “Chiura Obata, an American Modern”

The late Chiura Obata was a prominent California artist and Professor of Art at UC Berkeley.  A Japanese immigrant, he was particularly well known for his paintings of the Sierra Nevada and of the Topaz, Utah camp at which he was incarcerated during World War II.  Currently he is the subject of a major retrospective exhibit at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.  According to San Francisco Chronicle art critic Charles Desmarais, he left “a body of work exciting and fresh even today.”  Obata’s granddaughter, artist and writer Kimi Kodani Hill, is the family historian and the author of Topaz Moon: Chiura Obata’s Art of the Internment.

The seminar meets on Wednesday, September 11, 7-9:15 pm at the UCB Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2521 Channing Way (just east of Telegraph Ave.).

Free admission and dinner.

RSVP: https//irle.berkeley.edu/event/chiura-obata-an-american-modern/

Information: Christina McKay at christina.mckay@berkeley.edu


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UC Berkeley California Studies Dinner Seminar: Fall 2019 Schedule

For more than a decade, the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment and the Townsend Humanities Center have supported the California Studies Dinner Seminar.  The 2019 fall semester schedule:

Wednesday, September 11  Kimi Kodani Hill, author, on her artist grandfather,  “Chiura Obata: an American Modern”

Wednesday, October 16  Peter Richardson, San Francisco State, on the late California historian, “Dream Interrupted: Kevin Starr at the San Francisco Examiner, 1976-83”

Thursday, November 14  Julia Flynn Siler, author and journalist, on her new book “White Devil’s Daughter: the Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown”

 

The seminar meets 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.

Further information: contact Christina McKay at christina.mckay@berkeley.edu


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UC Berkeley California Studies Dinner Seminar, May 15, 2019: Susan Anderson “African Americans and the California Dream, A History”

The first African American residents came to California during the Spanish colonial era.  Since then, Black people have played a major, if often overlooked, role in California history.  Susan Anderson discusses this heritage in her forthcoming book, “African Americans and the California Dream, A History.”  Anderson is Director of Library Services, Collections, Exhibitions and Programs at the California Historical Society.  She previously worked at the special collections departments at the UCLA and USC libraries and served as interim director of the African American Museum and Library Oakland.

The session will be on Wednesday, May 15 from 7 to 9:15 pm at the UCB Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2521 Channing Way (just 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 Dinner Seminar, April 18, 2019: Tom Dalzell, “The Battle for People’s Park, Berkeley, 1969”

Fifty years ago, the creation of People’s Park produced one of the most dramatic confrontations of the 1960s, pitting young advocates of social and cultural revolution against the forces of “law and order,” led by Governor Ronald Reagan.  Tom Dalzell discusses these remarkable events in his new book, “The Battle for People’s Park, Berkeley, 1969,” published by Heyday.  Author of the “Quirky Berkeley” books and articles, Dalzell is also a labor lawyer and elected business agent of IBEW Local 1245, representing blue collar workers at P.G.&E.

The session will be on Thursday, April 18 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.

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


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UC Berkeley California Studies Dinner Seminar, March 19, 2019: Bob Cherny, “The Party’s Over: Former Communist Party Members in the San Francisco Bay Area”

Communist Party members were an important part of the Bay Area’s political left during the 1930s and early 1940s.  The eventual decline and fall of the party profoundly affected these individuals and the region’s leftwing politics.  Bob Cherny discusses these issues in his seminar appearance on Tuesday, March 19.  Now Professor emeritus, Cherny taught American History at San Francisco State for more than forty years.  Along with researching the life and times of labor leader Harry Bridges,  he has published several important works, including Victor Arnautoff and the Politics of Art (2017).

The session will be 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 Christina McKay at christina.mckay@berkeley.edu for rsvp form.

 


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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.