California Studies Association

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Where Minds and Matters Meet: Technology in California and the West; Conference at the Huntington April 25

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The Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West will sponsor a conference April 25 at the Huntington Library entitled, “Where Minds and Matters Meet: Technology in California and the West.”  From the announcement:

ICW invites you to attend an All-Day Public Symposium:

Where Minds and Matters Meet: Technology in California and the West

April 25, 2009
Seaver Classroom #3
Munger Research Center
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino


Coffee and Welcoming Remarks (8:30-9:00am)

I. Engineering Culture  (9:00-10:45am)
Bruce Sinclair (Lehigh University) “Engineering Hetch-Hetchy: Nature and Civil Engineers in early 20th Century California”

Amy Bix (Iowa State University) “Millikan’s Monastery: Caltech and the Tensions of Women’s Technical Minds.”

Patrick McCray (UC Santa Barbara) “Of Futures and Fringes: California’s Technological Enthusiasts, 1975-1985”

Peter Neushul (UC Santa Barbara) and Peter Westwick (ICW) “Aerospace and Surfing: Connecting Two California Keynotes.”

Comment: Janet Brodie (Claremont Graduate University)

II. How Technology Made Place (11-12:30pm)
Matthew Roth (University of Southern California) “The Public Relations of Urban Form: The Major Traffic Street Plan of 1924 and the Origins of Los Angeles Car Culture”

Louise Nelson Dyble (University of Southern California) “Landmarks of Death: Institutions, Technology, and Golden Gate Bridge Suicides”

Aristotle Tympas (University of Athens, Greece) “A Deep Tradition of Computing Technology: Calculating Electrification in the American West”

Comment: Sue Thomas (De Montfort University, Leicester UK)

Lunch (12:30-1:30pm)

Remarks: Volker Janssen (Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West) (1:30-1:45pm)

III. How Place Made Technology (1:45-3:30pm)
Carlene Stephens (Smithsonian ) “Time in Place: Is there a California Style in Aerospace Timekeeping Technologies?”

Stephanie Young (UC Berkeley) “Would Your Answers Spoil My Questions: Art and Technology at the Rand Corporation, 1968-1971”

Jason Weems (UC Riverside) “Sight Off Scale: Exponential Space and the Lure of the Limitless in Charles and Ray Eames’s Powers of Ten”

Martin Krieger (University of Southern California) “Placing Sound: Accurate Aural Documentation of L.A.“

Comment: Dan Lewis (Huntington Library)

IV. Transcending the West (3:45-5:15pm)
L. Chase Smith (UC San Diego) “Technologies of Leisure in San Diego’s Transpacific Borderlands”

Michaela Hampf (John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universitaet Berlin) “Beacons of Modernity: Western Lighthouses and Transatlantic Engineering of the 19th Century”

Linda Nash (University of Washington, Seattle) “From the Columbia Basin to the Helmand Valley: American Engineers, ‘Global’ Technoscience, and U.S. Imperialism since World War II”

Comment: Gail Cooper (Lehigh University)

Limited seating available. Please RSVP by April 17 with the symposium organizer: Volker Janssen (

Sponsored by: The Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West / Additional Funding provided by The History Channel


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