California Studies Association

The latest news, events, and perspectives from the CSA


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Jeff Lustig on why Repair California didn’t

In an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee on Feb. 19, 2010, Cal State – Sacramento professor (and longtime Steering Committee member of the California Studies Association) Jeff Lustig discusses why the demise of Repair California, the group that last year was pushing for a constitutional convention to rewrite (much of) California’s constitution, was predictable, given that it was only an approximation of a popular, as in “peoples’”, movement.

From the article:

The Bay Area Council is to be commended for taking the lead in the call for a new constitution. We have outgrown the old one. And the BAC was right to conclude that if the problems are systemic, the solution needs to be systemic. But one suspects that the neglect of popular involvement that marked their delegate-selection plan also marked their capital-intensive and virtual movement.

There will be new calls for a constitutional convention. California governance is becoming more dysfunctional, and the victims of its failures are multiplying by the day. Californians can use the time until a real convention proposal emerges to good effect. They can use it to build the popular movements needed for a real convention, as in 1879, and to educate themselves better about state politics than they have done for key initiative votes over the last 30 years.

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Judy Malloy on New Media and the Arts, Feb 11, Berkeley Center for New Media

Berkeley Center for New Media
New Media RoundTable

Judy Malloy: Paths of Memory and Painting
– Authoring New Media Narrative Poetry on the Web,

Thu, February 11, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
340 Moffitt, UC Berkeley

For details visit:  http://bcnm.berkeley.edu/events/upcoming

Created between 2008-2010, Paths of Memory and Painting
http://www.well.com/user/jmalloy/luminous_landscape/paths.html
is a three part work of new media narrative poetry. Set in Berkeley,
it is told by Bay Area artist, Dorothy Abrona McCrae, who recollects
the development of her work — from landscape painter to the Bay Area
Figurative style for which she is known.

Paths through the work that might normally be somewhat concealed in hypertext
interfaces (where the reader makes link choices and moves between unseen
narrative structures) are simultaneously visible in this work.
This talk documents the creation of the contrapuntal arrays that
comprise this work and discusses how these arrays were varied in the
three different parts. It looks at the role of the “lexia” as a
molecular unit in the creation of hypernarrative. And it also
sets forth how color, design and time dependent display contribute
to the reading experience.

Judy Malloy is a new media poet and information artist whose work has
been exhibited and published internationally. A pioneer on the Internet
and in electronic literature, in 1986 she wrote and programmed the seminal
hyperfiction “Uncle Roger,” and in the ensuing years she created a series
of innovative hypernarratives, including “l0ve0ne,” the first selection
in the Eastgate Web Workshop. In 1993, she was invited to Xerox PARC,
where she worked in the Computer Science Laboratory as the
first artist in their artist-in-residence program. In 1994, she created
one of the first arts websites, “Making Art Online”. (currently hosted
on the website of the Walker Art Center) Her recent work includes
“where every luminous landscape” that was short listed for the 2009
Prix poesie-media, France, and featured at The Future of Writing,
UC Irvine, on Cover to Cover on KPFA radio, and at the 2009 E-Poetry
Festival in Barcelona.

She is the editor of “Women, Art & Technology” (MIT Press, 2003)
and the host of the Authoring Software project. She is also the host
of the Art California Web Project, in partnership with the
California Studies Association.

Judy Malloy has a mobility disability and has walked on crutches/cane for
over fourteen years.

For details visit:  http://bcnm.berkeley.edu/events/upcoming


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Iain Boal on Reinventing the Commons, Feb. 17 San Francisco

The Studio for Urban Projects

3579 17th Street, San Francisco 94110

Wednesday February 17th 7:00 pm

for a conversation withIain Boal on Reinventing the Commons

Space is limited. Please RSVP to <rsvp@studioforurbanprojects.org>

Suggested donation $5-$15

Iain Boal will introduce for discussion the major themes – enclosure and common – that inform two forthcoming books. The Long Theft: Episodes in the History of Enclosure (Faber and Faber) traces key episodes in the history of ‘enclosure’ – the fencing off, literally and figuratively, of the world’s commoners from their means of livelihood. The dispossession of commoners worldwide continues under the banner of neoliberalism’s “structural adjustments”, justified as a necessary measure to avoid the “tragedy of the commons”, even though the result is a planet of slums. The enclosures of late modernity take unexpected and protean forms – for example, the criminalization of street life in favor of traffic circulation, the privatizing of the airwaves and the electromagnetic spectrum, brazen claims of ownership under new regimes of intellectual property, the sequestration and poisoning of immense tracts of land by the world’s military and nuclear powers (creating a global geography of sacrifice), the barcoding and expropriation of germplasm via the technologies of transfection, the trading of the atmosphere in an attempt to combat ecocide. The Long Theft is ultimately an argument for the restauration of the commons and an end to the commodity’s unhappy reign.

The Green Machine (Notting Hill Editions) offers a new history of the bicycle adequate to the 21st century. It traces its heterogeneous origins (busting some Eurocentric myths along the way), celebrates its freewheeling sociability and the part that human powered mobility must play in the settlements of the future, but refuses to disavow the bicycle’s entanglement with capitalist modernity’s brutal labor process and its complicity with the automobilism that has paved the planet, rendered cities unconvivial, and now threatens the biosphere itself.


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A New Issue of Southern California Quarterly has been published

The Historical Society of Southern California has published a new issue of Southern California Quarterly (Winter 2009-2010, Vol. 91, No. 4).  The contents include the following three articles, as well as an introduction by Merry Ovnick, editor of the Quarterly:

Todd Gish, “Bungalow Court Housing in Los Angeles, 1900-1930: Top-Down Innovation? Or Bottom-Up Reform?”

Ann Scheid, “Pasadena’s Civic Center: A Grand Vision Realized, Despoiled, and Revived.”

Lauren Weiss Bricker, “Western Pragmatists and the Modern American House.”

The following books are reviewed:

McDonnell, Juana Briones of 19th-Century California, reviewed by Christina Gold.

Chiang, Shading the Shoreline: Fisheries and Tourism on the Monterey Coast, reviewed by William E. Schrank.

Varzally, Making a Non-White America: Californians Coloring Outside Ethnic Lines, 1925-1955, reviewed by Luis Alvarez.

Luhr, Witnessing Suburbia: Conservatives and Christian Youth Culture, by reviewed Kevin M. Kruse.

Hernandez-Leon, Metropolitan Migrants: The Migration of Urban Mexicans to the United States, reviewed by Larry Hashima.

Latorre, Walls of Empowerment: Chicana/o Indigenist Murals of California, reviewed by Nick Bravo.

This issue also contains the annual contents and index to Volume 90.