California Studies Association

The latest news, events, and perspectives from the CSA

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PEACE PRESS GRAPHICS 1967-1987: Art in the Pursuit of Social Change – Exhibition opening Sept. 10 at the University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach

The University Art Museum at CSU-Long Beach, in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG), will mount Peace Press Graphics 1967–1987: Art in the Pursuit of Social Change, a survey of the press’ work and their connections to artist collectives of the time. Founded in 1967 by a unique group of L.A. activist-artists who created an “alternate everything” printing and publishing business, the Peace Press (1967-1987) emerged from the tangle of progressive political and alternative groups that flourished during the decades between 1960 and 1990. The poster archive, now housed at the CSPG in Los Angeles, exemplifies an important element of visual and cultural history: art that reflects the desire and intention to create social and political change, as well as artists who attempt to affect change through both their work and their actions.

Opening reception: Sept. 10, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The University Art Museum is located on the campus of the California State University, Long Beach. Metered parking is available in Lot 17. UAM members may obtain a free parking permit by calling the museum 24 hours in advance Monday through Friday. The address is:

CSULB College of the Arts
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90840-0004

The exhibition is part of Pacific Standard Time, an unprecedented collaboration of more than fifty cultural institutions across Southern California, which are coming together to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. Initiated through grants from the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time will take place for six months beginning October 2011.

For more information, click here.

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“Effect of Co-op on Berkeley’s Culture and Politics” – Discussion at the Berkeley History Center, Sept. 4

On Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011, at 3:00 p.m., the Berkeley Historical Society will be presenting a panel discussion as one of their “Co-Op Lectures” on the “Effect of Co-op on Berkeley’s Culture and Politics”.

Speakers will be Bob Schildgen, former Co-op News editor, Chuck Wollenberg, author and history professor, Bruce Miller, former Co-op board president in the 80s, and Linda Rosen, co-curator of the exhibit and BHS past president. Question and answer period to follow.  Admission free. Donations accepted.

The event will take place at the Berkeley History Center, 1931 Center Street, Berkeley

For more information, click here.

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Announcement of the 2011-2012 Program of the L.A. History & Metro Studies Group

The Los Angeles History & Metro Studies Group has issued the following announcement regarding its program for 2011-2012:


The coordinators of the L.A. History & Metro Studies Group, are pleased to announce the schedule for the 2011-2012 academic year.

After twenty years as the premier intellectual forum for historical scholarship on Los Angeles, the L.A. History Group is broadening its focus to include innovative studies on urban/suburban development and metropolitan studies on Los Angeles and cities beyond.  An enthusiastic response to the group’s call for papers has generated a broad-ranging, exciting program for the coming academic year. Scholars from New York, London, Las Vegas, Portland, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles will be participating in sessions that reflect the group’s revamped format – which includes both roundtable sessions and workshops on individual papers.

In the fall, our roundtable session will focus on the “Bell Political Crisis,” with Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives, the Pulitzer Prizing winning reporters of the Los Angeles Times who first broke the story. After sharing their tale of how they uncovered rampant political corruption in the small working-class Latino town of Bell, they’ll enter into a conversation with two experts on Latina/o Los Angeles to help place this crisis in broader political and historical context. In the spring, our roundtable sessions will explore the significance of left-of-center grassroots organizing in narratives of metropolitan history from the 1930s through the 1970s.  Nine scholars from across the country and the UK will share their own work, and engage in a discussion with the audience in two consecutive sessions.  These sessions will bring together a range of thematic and geographic perspectives to an emerging, vibrant area of metropolitan history.

Our individual presenters will share scholarship on a rich array of topics, including the role of industrial suburbs in the problem of regional inequity, American Indian urbanization in Southern California, the place of palm trees in shaping Los Angeles, and the transnational significance of Asian-American suburbanization.

We look forward to a year of vibrant intellectual exchange, and hope you will join us.


October 7, 2011 – Friday 12 noon, Huntington Library

“Regional Equity and the Industrial Cities of Los Angeles County,” pre-circulated paper, Rebecca Overmyer-Velázquez, Associate Professor of Sociology, Whittier College.

November 4, 2011 – Friday 12 noon, Huntington Library

“The Bell Political Crisis” roundtable discussion

Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times; Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times; Jerry Gonzalez, Assistant Professor of History, University of Texas San Antonio; Gilda Ochoa, Professor of Sociology and Chicana/o Studies, Pomona College.

December 2, 2011 – Friday 12 noon, Huntington Library

“Professionalization and Influence: The Los Angeles Realty Board and the Growth of the Southland 1903-1923,” pre-circulated paper, Laura Redford, Ph.D. candidate, UCLA

January 17, 2012 – Tuesday 6:30 p.m., Autry National Center – Joint session with Autry Western History Workshop

“Metropolitan Fronds: Street Palms and the Fashioning of Los Angeles,” pre-circulated paper, Jared Farmer, Assistant Professor of History, SUNY Stony Brook

February 10, 2012 – Friday 12 noon, Huntington Library

“Liberals and the Left in Metropolitan History:  Part I,” roundtable discussion

Greg Hise, Professor of History, UNLV; David Levitus, Ph.D. candidate, USC; Alyssa Ribiero, Ph.D. candidate, University of Pittsburgh; Jess Rigelhaupt, Assistant Professor of History & American Studies, University of Mary Washington; Mark Wild, Associate Professor of History, Cal State LA.

February 16, 2012 – Thursday 7 p.m., USC

“Liberals and the Left in Metropolitan History:  Part II,” roundtable discussion.

Mark Clapson, Reader in History, University of Westminster, UK; Lily Geismer, Assistant Professor of History, Claremont McKenna; Becky Nicolaides, UCLA; Barbara Soliz, Ph.D. candidate, USC.

March 16, 2012 – Friday 12 noon, Huntington Library

“‘Seasoned Long Enough in Concentration’: Suburban Homeownership and Transnational Citizenship in the Inland South Bay,” pre-circulated paper, Hillary Jenks, Assistant Professor, Portland State University

April 20, 2012 – Friday 12 noon, Huntington Library – Clark Davis Memorial Lecture

“Re-imagining Indian Country: American Indians and Los Angeles” lecture, Nicholas Rosenthal, Loyola Marymount University


Huntington Library:     Sessions will be held in Seaver Classrooms 1 & 2 in the Munger Research Center. Parking is free.

USC: Sessions will be held at Doheny Library. Parking is available for $8 on campus, and for $1 at meters on adjacent streets.


If you would like to receive announcements and pre-circulated papers for these sessions, contact Carolyn Powell at the Huntington Library ( to get on the distribution list. Please RSVP through the online form provided in the email announcements of each session. A limited number of meals will be available to attendees on a first come, first served basis.

For more information or to propose a session for 2012-13, contact the co-coordinators:

Becky Nicolaides                                David Levitus          

The L.A. History & Metro Studies Group is generously sponsored by the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West (ICW)

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Patricia McBroom on Safeguarding Delta Levees

Patricia McBroom, in her blog, The California Spigot, has published an article (August 10) on new thinking about how to safeguard levees in the Sacramento River delta from earthquakes. State planners widely believe that delta levees cannot be built to withstand an earthquake without prohibitive cost.  However, McBroom finds an argument otherwise in the most recent draft of the Economic Sustainability Plan for the delta.  As she recounts in the article, in the recently released second draft of the plan, earthquake engineer Robert Pyke describes a fat levee with a low probability of breaching and a low cost, compared to other alternatives.  In McBroom’s opinion, if Pyke is right, the calculus driving decisions about water infrastructure in California, notably the “need” for a peripheral canal, needs to change.

From the article:

            “These levees are the poor stepchild – the one critical feature in California that is still being neglected (for seismic upgrades)” said Pyke, noting that Cal Trans and public utilities in the East Bay and San Francisco have spent billions to upgrade their infrastructure.  But levee repair is lagging, even though voters have twice voted for money to fix them.

            Many would argue that the delay can be traced to the state’s preoccupation with building a multi-billion dollar “isolated conveyance” (aka, peripheral canal). If the levees can be retrofitted for earthquakes, one good reason for building the canal would be lost, and wealthy interests in the state want the conveyance – actually a tunnel under the delta.

To read the whole article, click here.


Next California Studies Dinner Sept. 20: Rachel Brahinsky speaking about Race and Redevelopment Politics in San Francisco

The next California Studies dinner will take place Sept. 20, 2011 in Berkeley; the speaker will be Rachel Brahinsky, Ph.D. candidate in Geography at UC-Berkeley; the title of her talk is “Still Haunted by the 60s:  Remaking Race-Space Redevelopment politics in San Francisco”

7 :00 p.m. – 10 :00 p.m.
Director’s Room, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2521 Channing St.(just above Telegraph Ave).

The dinner is buffet style. Dinners are free, but a small donation is requested from those partaking of wine and beverages.

PLEASE RSVP by Friday, Sept. 16, 2011, to Delores Dillard, Department of Geography, 507 McCone Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA  94720-4740 phone (510)  642-3903 or FAX (510) 642-3370, or e-mail: