William Saroyan Centennial Celebration – Reception, Concert, New Heyday Book, and Huge, Year-Long Fresno Celebrations, Stanford, Fresno (Fri., Sept. 5, Stanford; Ongoing, Fresno)

Below I first pasted the Stanford Announcement.Below that is the Heyday book description and announcement. In addition to this event, there’s a slew of events in Fresno here.

William Saroyan Centennial Celebration – Reception & Concert

2008 marks the 100th anniversary of William Saroyan’s birth, and Stanford is celebrating. In an afternoon reception in Green Library, we will simultaneously celebrate the launch of Heyday Books’ compilation “He Flies Through the Air with the Greatest of Ease: A William Saroyan Reader”, and recognize the winners of the 2008 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Malcolm Margolin and Herbert Gold will speak at the event.

Following the reception, an evening performance showcasing Saroyan’s musical talents and collaborations will be held in Kresge Auditorium. Gregory Wait, Senior Lecturer and Director of Vocal Studies at Stanford University, and Music Director of Schola Cantorum, will direct the program, which will feature a world premier of Girakgi Picnic, a piece by William Saroyan and Alan Hovhaness that was recently discovered in Stanford’s William Saroyan archive.

Friday, September 5, 2008.  3:00 PM.

Approximate duration of 3.5 hour(s).

Stanford University, Green Library East (3:00-4:30) Kresge Auditorium (5:30-6:30)


Stanford University Libraries Contact:



Free to the public


He Flies through the Air with the Greatest of Ease: A William Saroyan Reader

Edited by William E. Justice
Foreword by Herbert Gold

Hardcover, ISBN: 978-1-59714-089-8, $35.00
Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-090-4, $24.95
632 pages (6 x 9)

A Great Valley Book

In celebration of one of America’s literary greats

Through the air on the flying trapeze, his mind hummed. Amusing it was, astoundingly funny. A trapeze to God, or to nothing, a flying trapeze to some sort of eternity; he prayed objectively for strength to make the flight with grace.”—From “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze”

Published for the centennial celebration of the iconic author’s birth, this collection of William Saroyan’s writings overflows with exuberance, explodes with flashes of pure brilliance and literary daring, and brings to life an Armenian American voice unique and unforgettable. A careful selection of known and loved short stories along with plays, novels, letters, essays, and previously unpublished works, this volume allows readers to discover afresh the many aspects of a complex, engaging, and sophisticated writer.

For more information on the William Saroyan Centennial, visit these websites:

Peter Richardson on Organic Farming, Gonzo, and the Fake Angelino


Peter Richardson, author of American Prophet: The Life & Work of Carety McWilliams, and CSA steering committee member, has a few blog posts some CSAers will want to catch up on. He is currently at work researching a book on Ramparts magazine.

Here, Richardson writes about his interviews with Robert Sheer on Ramparts and Sheer’s new book.

He plugged a new blog, the Fake Angelino.

Here and Here he commented on the new Hunter S. Thompson documentary.

Here he writes a brief on Rick Wartzman’s Obscene in the Extreme about “the furor following the publication of The Grapes of Wrath.

He also wrote on an event called Outstanding in the Field that took place
at an organic farm in Wadell Creek.

Finally, he reviewed a book about Eugene Debs for the LA Times.

2009 Association of American Geographers (Deadline Oct. 16, 2008; Conference Mar. 22-27, 2009)

The 2009 Annual Meeting will be held at the Riviera Hotel, March 22-27, in Las Vegas, Nevada–a U.S. city with a unique economic and social history. Las Vegas was originally established as a stopover for pioneers and later founded as a railroad town in 1905. Today, Las Vegas is a thriving, fast-growing metropolis.

Call for Papers

The AAG is now accepting abstracts for the 2009 Annual Meeting. Read the Call for Papersto learn more.

Register and submit your abstract online
by October 16, 2008

Riviera Hotel Now Accepting Reservations

This year’s annual meeting will be headquartered in the Riviera Hotel on the famous Las Vegas strip. Learn more about the hotel, rates, and availability»

Reserve Your Room Online!

About the Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers attracts geographers and related professionals from around the world. Our meeting forum stimulates discussion about research, education, accomplishments, and developments in geography.

Join your colleagues, friends, and other professionals in related disciplines for:

  • The Latest Research
    Featuring panels of distinguished researchers, and over 4,000 papers and presentations.
  • Special Guest Speakers 
    Including professionals in geography and related disciplines.
  • Exposition Hall
    Learn about geographic technologies, books, posters, special displays, and more.
  • Field Trips
    Explore the rich cultural and physical geographies of Las Vegas and the surrounding region!
  • Many Other Events
    Jobs in Geography, International Reception, World Geography Bowl, Las Vegas Film Series, and more.

El Teatro Campesino Presents “La Carpe de los Rasquachis”; San Juan Bautista (July 31 to Sept. 21)

El Teatro Campesino revives ‘La Carpa de los Rasquachis’

El Teatro Campesino presents the world renowned ‘La Carpa de los Rasquachis,’ written by
Luis Valdez.
‘La Carpa de los Rasquachis’ will open July 31 and run for eight weeks at the company’s
playhouse in San Juan Bautista.

Luis Valdez’ ‘La Carpa de los Rasquachis’ is essentially an immigrant’s story—the epic tale
of the Chicano farm worker in the United States.

‘La Carpa’ unfolds with the struggles, frustrations and ultimate victory of Jesus Pelado
Rasquachi in a rich saga is brought to life with Mexican ballads known as corridos. Corridos
are earthy narratives often sung to celebrate life’s triumphs and tribulations—usually with
ironic humor and a rollicking Tex-Mex beat.

This production of El Teatro Campesino’s seminal classic is directed by Kinan Valdez and
features ETC veteran performer, Noe Montoya.

‘La Carpa de los Rasquachis’ features Alejandro Nuño as Jesus Pelado Rasquachi. The
audience travels with Pelado on his journey after he decides to leave his mother in Mexico
with hopes of “getting rich” as a bracero in the United States.

Misfortune and fate stalks Pelado in the guise of El Diablo–the Devil, portrayed by Adrian
Torres and La Calavera–Death, portrayed by Christy Sandoval. Continually tricked and
betrayed, Pelado becomes a pathetic and comical figurine in the hands of manipulative
growers, contractors, social workers and finally, the undertaker.

‘La Carpa de los Rasquachis’ invokes the Carpa or tent shows—popular in the 1930s-40s—
which would travel and perform in the areas around the U.S.–Mexico borderlands. Drawing on
this tradition, El Teatro Campesino has brought ‘La Carpa’ back to many of these border
towns with a mission to entertain, inspire and organize audiences to social action. It is a
mission that the new generation of El Teatro Campesino hopes to continue.

‘La Carpa de los Rasquachis’ opens July 31 and runs through Sept. 21. Opening night
admission is free. Shows times are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sunday
matinees at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and $8 for
children 12 and under. All seats on Thursday nights are only $5. Group rates are available.

El Teatro Campesino playhouse is at 705 4th St. in San Juan Bautista. The box office hours
are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Buy Tickets

California Imagined: The Arts of the Golden State, Sacramento (Sept. 18-19)

FROM: Judy Malloy, Art California

20th Annual Envisioning California Conference

California Imagined: The Arts of the Golden State

Envisioning California Conference
Thursday, September 18 – Friday, September 19, 2008
Sacramento Convention Center
Sacramento, California

Schedule of Events

Thursday, September 18
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Welcome Reception

7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Dinner and Keynote Address
A Place Called California: The Arts & California’s Identity

Friday, September 19
Concurrent Panel Sessions

8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
1A- Art in a Deficit Era
1B- Teatro California: The Legacy of Latino/Chicano Playwrights, Theatres & Performance Groups
1C- Beyond the Paintbrush (but still holding it…)

10:15 – 11:45 a.m.
2A- California Built: Architectural Styles and Influence of the Golden State
2B- Walls2Canvas: Youth Street Art and the MOSAIC Program
2C- Arts and Social Policy: Tools to Strengthen California Communities

Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch Plenary: The State of the Arts

1:45 – 3:15 p.m.
3A- The Written Word: California’s 500 Year Perspective
3B- Art as a Learning Engine: Creative Ideas for Fostering Art in the Schools
3C- California Beat: Music of the Golden State

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Closing Plenary
California in the Global Imagination: Film as Art & Art as Film
plus film montage: California in the Movies

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Reception for Conference Attendees

Evening Event

7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Sacramento Public Art Tour


Andrew Anker, Professor, California State University, Sacramento, Department of Design

Stephen Blumberg, Professor, California State University, Sacramento, Department of Music

Leni Boorstin, Director of Community Affairs, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

Wayne Cook, Arts Program Specialist, California Arts Council

Nicholas Docous, Principal, Lionakis Beaumont Design Group

Joyce Donaldson, Associate to the Executive Director for Strategic Projects and Arts Education, Mondavi Center for Performing Arts, UC Davis

Carolyn Gibbs, Professor and Program Coordinator, California State University, Sacramento, Department of Design

Jason Gieger, Professor, California State University, Sacramento, Department of English

Daniel Goldmark, Professor, Case Western Reserve University, Department of Music

Dean Gorby, Administrator for Visual and Performing Arts, Stockton Unified School District

Roberto Gutierrez Varea, Professor and Chair, University of San Francisco, Department of Performing Arts

Bryan Ha, Consultant, Office of Senator Jack Scott, Joint Committee on the Arts

Rhyena Halpern, Executive Director, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission

Jack Hicks, Professor, UC Davis, Department of English

Jorge Huerta, Chancellor’s Associate’s Professor of Theatre, UC San Diego, Department of Theatre and Dance

Muriel Johnson, Director, California Arts Council

Loren Kajikawa, Graduate Student, University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Musicology

Honorable Betty Karnette, (D-Long Beach), California State Assembly

Ralph Lewin, Executive Director, California Council for the Humanities

Vi Ly, Dean, East Los Angeles College, Academic Affairs

Kenneth Marcus, Associate Professor, University of La Verne, International Studies Institute

Doe Mayer, Professor, USC, School of Cinematic Arts

Carlos Morton, Professor, UC Santa Barbara, Department of Theater & Dance

Crystal Olson, Professor, California State University, Sacramento, Department of Teacher Education

Roberto Pomo, Director and Professor, Honors Program, Department of Theatre and Dance, California State Univeristy, Sacramento

Karen Rapp, Director, Vincent Price Museum, East Los Angeles College

Laurie Schell, Executive Director, California Alliance for Arts Education

Mark Slavkin, Vice President for Education, Music Center, Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County

Sponsored by

  • Center for California Studies /California State University, Sacramento
  • The Center for Southern California Studies/California State University, Northridge

Cultural Studies Association, Kansas City (Deadline Sept. 15; Conference April 16-18)


Seventh Annual Cultural Studies Association (U.S.)
Marriott (at the Plaza), Kansas City
April 16-18, 2009

Expected plenary speakers include:
Michael Bérubé, Pennsylvania State University
Marc Bousquet, Santa Clara University
Orit Halpern, New School for Social Research
Michele Janette, Kansas State University
E. Patrick Johnson, Northwestern University
Karim Murji, Open University (U.K.)
Cary Nelson, University of Illinois
Amit Rai, Florida State University
Sangeeta Ray, University of Maryland
Maria Josefina Saldaña-Porillo, New York University
Jeff Williams, Carnegie Mellon University

Also, the popular Journal Salon feature will continue.  Journals expected
Cultural Critique
Cultural Studies/ Critical Methodologies
Dialectical Anthropology

Deadline for Proposals: September 15, 2008.

This conference, which uses Open Conference Systems developed by the Public
Knowledge Project <http://www.pkp.ubc.ca/> , enables participants to submit
abstracts online at http://www.csaus.pitt.edu/conf/submit.php?cf=5.  The
website for submissions will open August 15, 2008.

Call for Papers and Sessions

The Cultural Studies Association (U.S.) invites participation in its Seventh
Annual Meeting from all areas and on all topics of relevance to Cultural
Studies, including but not limited to literature, history, sociology,
geography, anthropology, communications, popular culture, cultural theory,
queer studies, critical race studies, feminist studies, postcolonial
studies, media and film studies, material culture studies, performance and
visual arts studies.

All participants in the Sixth Annual meeting must pay registration fees by
March 16, 2009, to be listed and participate in the program. See the
registration page of this website for details about fees.

If you have any questions about procedures for submission or other concerns,
please e-mail us at: csaus@pitt.edu. We welcome proposals in the following
four categories:

Proposals for individual papers are due September 15, 2008.

Successful papers will reach several constituencies of the organization and
will connect analysis to social, political, economic, or ethical questions.

They should be submitted online on the conference website. Successful
submission will be acknowledged. If you do not receive an acknowledgment
within 24 hours, please resubmit. The acknowledgment will say that your
proposal has been ”successfully submitted,” which does NOT mean your
proposal has been accepted.

All paper proposals require:

a. The name, email address, department and institutional affiliation of the
author, entered on the website.
b. A 500-word abstract for the 20-minute paper entered on the website.
c. Any needed audio-visual equipment must be noted following the abstract in
that space on the site.

Proposals for pre-constituted sessions are due September 15, 2008.

Roundtables are sessions in which panelists offer brief remarks, but the
bulk of the session is devoted to discussion among the panelists and
audience members. Workshops are similarly devoted primarily to discussion,
but they focus on practical problems in such areas as teaching, research, or
activism. No paper titles may be included for roundtables or workshops.

Pre-constituted sessions should NOT be submitted on the website, but should
be sent to csaus@pitt.edu with the words ”Session Proposal” in the subject
line. All proposals will be acknowledged, but please allow at least two
business days before inquiring.

All session proposals require:

a. The name, email address, phone number, and department and institutional
affiliation of the proposer.
b. The names, email addresses, and department and institutional affiliations
of each participant.
c. A 500-word overview of the session, including identifying the type of
session (panel, roundtable, workshop) proposed. For paper sessions, also
include 500-word abstracts of each of the papers. Paper sessions should have
three or four papers.
d. A request for any needed audio-visual equipment. All AV equipment must be
requested with the proposal.

Division sessions are due September 15, 2008.

A list of divisions is available at http://www.csaus.pitt.edu
<http://www.csaus.pitt.edu/> . Divisions may elect to post calls on that
site for papers and procedures for submission to division sessions or handle
the creation of their two division sessions by other means.  Division chairs
will submit their two panels/workshops/roundtables directly to the program
committee by September 15, 2008 (directions will be sent to the division
chairs). Proposals for divisions should NOT be submitted on the website or
to csaus@pitt.edu.

Proposals for seminars are due September 15, 2008.

Seminars are small-group (maximum 15 individuals) discussion sessions for
which participants prepare in advance of the conference. In previous years,
preparation has involved shared readings, pre-circulated ”position papers”
by seminar leaders and/or participants, and other forms of pre-conference
collaboration. We particularly invite proposals for seminars designed to
advance emerging lines of inquiry and research/teaching initiatives within
Cultural Studies broadly construed. We also invite seminars designed to
generate future collaborations among conference attendees. Once a limited
number of seminar topics and leaders are chosen, the seminars will be
announced through the CSA’s various public e-mail lists. Participants will
contact the seminar leader(s) directly who will then inform the Program
Committee who will participate in the seminar.  Seminars will be marked in
the conference programs as either closed to non-participants or open to
other conference attendees as auditors (or in other roles).  Examples of
successful seminar proposals from previous years are linked in here (if you
are reading this on the website).

All seminar proposals require:
a. A 500-word overview of the topic designed to attract participants and
clear instructions about how the seminar will work, including details about
what advanced preparation will be required of seminar participants.
b. The name, email address, phone number, mailing address, and departmental
and institutional affiliation of the leader(s) proposing the seminar.
c. A brief bio or one page CV of the leader(s) proposing the seminar.
d. A request for any needed audio-visual equipment. All AV equipment must be
requested with the proposal. Since seminars typically involve discussion of
previously circulated papers, such requests must be explained.

Seminar proposals should be sent to:

Bruce Burgett, Professor and Interim Director, Interdisciplinary Arts and
University of Washington Bothell


Colin Danby, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences,
University of Washington Bothell

Those interested in participating in (rather than leading) a seminar should
consult the list of seminars and the instructions for signing up for them,
available at http://www.csaus.pitt.edu <http://www.csaus.pitt.edu/>  after
October 15, 2008. Deadline to sign up will be November 14, 2008.  Deadline
for seminar leaders to submit final lists of participants (minimum 8
individuals, in addition to the seminar leader or leaders) will be November
21, 2008.

Quintard Taylor on African Americans in California and the West, Los Angeles (Thur. Sept. 11)

Conversations@CAAM presents:

Dr. Quintard Taylor
Scholar & Writer

Dr. Quintard Taylor is the Scott and Dorothy Bullitt Professor of American History at the University of Washington.  He writes and lectures on African Americans in the West, and is the author of The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle’s Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era and In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the America West, 1528-1990.

His articles have appeared in various scholastic journals including the Journal of Negro History, Arizona and the West, and Western Journal of Black Studies.  His online resource center called BlackPast.org (www.blackpast.org), is one of the largest reference sites of its type for African American history on the Internet.

Please join us for a stimulating evening as Dr. Taylor speaks about his life’s journey and the history of African Americans in the West.

Thursday, September 11
6:30 to 8:00 pm
California African American Museum

Admission is free.  Please call 213-744-7432, or visit http://www.caamuseum.org for more information.

LA vs. Seattle: Whose Pacific Rim is It? Los Angeles (Sept. 3)

From Huntington-USC Center on California and the West

Zócalo at The Skirball

Wednesday, September 3, 7:30 pm at The Skirball Cultural Center

Zócalo and the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West Present

L.A. vs. Seattle: Whose Pacific Rim is it?

Los Angeles and Seattle have very different histories, economies, leaders, ambitions, and demographic profiles. But both rely upon huge harbor, shipping, and transportation infrastructures as vital to metropolitan and regional growth; both claim intimate and expanding trade and other relationships with the Pacific Rim. Zócalo has gathered together a distinguished panel that includes, among others, UCLA political scientist Steve Erie, David Olson of the University of Washington, and Thomas O’Brien from the Center for International Trade and Transportation at Cal State Long Beach to discuss these two urban giants’ approach toward Asia. They’ll ask which city is better poised to take advantage of globalization in the Asian century.
To Reserve a Free Seat at The Skirball Click Here

Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movmement, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Through Sept. 1)

Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement

April 6, 2008–September 1, 2008 | Art of the Americas

Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement is the largest exhibition of cutting-edge Chicano art ever presented at LACMA. Chicano art, traditionally described as work created by Americans of Mexican descent, was established as a politically and culturally inspired movement during the counterculture revolutions of the late 1960s and early 1970s. This exhibition explores the more experimental tendencies within the Chicano art movement—ones oriented less toward painting and declarative polemical assertion than toward conceptual art, performance, film, photo- and media-based art, and “stealthy” artistic interventions in urban spaces. The exhibition includes approximately 125 works in all media, including painting and sculpture as well as installation, conceptual, video, performance art, and intermedia works that incorporate film, digital, and sound art. Artists featured are photographer Christina Fernandez, who documents the poetic and “phantom” in the urban landscape; Mario Ybarra Jr., who creates performances, site-specific installations and intermedia works; the “intermedia synaesthesia” of the seminal conceptual art group Asco; and the New York-based artist Nicola López, who creates dramatic installations with drawings that extend from the wall into the gallery.

The curators are Rita Gonzalez, American Art, LACMA, Howard Fox, Contemporary Art, LACMA, and Chon Noriega, Adjunct Curator of Latino and Chicano Art, LACMA, and Director of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center.This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and was made possible in part by the Peter Norton Family Foundation, LACMA’s Art Museum Council, and Bank of America.

Additional support was provided by the Contemporary Projects Endowment Fund. Contributors to the fund include Mr. and Mrs. Eric Lidow, Ronnie and Vidal Sassoon, Steve Martin, The Broad Art Foundation, Bob Crewe, Tony and Gail Ganz, Ansley I. Graham Trust, Peter Norton Family Foundation, Barry and Julie Smooke, and Sandra and Jacob Y. Terner.

National Assn. for Ethnic Studies, San Diego (Deadline, Oct. 15; Conference, April 2-4, 2009)

NAES 37th Annual Conference

April 2-4, 2009
San Diego Mission Valley Hilton Hotel
San Diego, California

Borders & Boundaries

Saludos! Welcome to San Diego, California’s second largest city, where blue skies keep watch over 70 miles of beaches and a gentle Mediterranean climate greets visitors most each and every day. Bordered by Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, the Anza-Borrego Desert and the Laguna Mountains, San Diego offers the perfect setting for this year’s annual conference. The city is home to numerous ethnic communities, including members from the Kumeyaay/Diegueño, Luiseño, Cupeño, and Cahuilla native tribes, whose ancestors inhabited the San Diego region as far back as 7,500 B.C., and Latina/os, who currently make up more than a quarter of the overall population. Similarly, the Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District recalls San Diego’s early Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, and Japanese settlements, and Baja California is accessible just minutes from downtown.

San Diego’s diversity also extends to its landscape, where visitors can explore rural mountain or desert trails, run with the tide or swim against it, scuba dive the depths of kelp forests or cycle pine forests. For the less adventurous but equally curious, the lush 1,200-acre Balboa Park is one of the nation’s most extensive cultural centers, with the greatest concentration of museums west of the Mississippi. Browse the spectacular array of fine art, science and natural history, aerospace, photography, model railroads, automobiles and performing arts. Plan a picnic near one of the Park’s many botanical gardens or arboretums. Tour the “world-famous” San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park or head over to the nearby SeaWorld and LEGOLAND theme attractions.

Two unique sites not to be missed are the Casa del Rey Moro Museum and Chicano Park. Located in Old Town, the Casa del Rey Moro Museum houses a multimedia exhibit that highlights 6,000 years of African world history with a special focus on African-Spanish, African-Mexican and African-American heritage. Chicano Park is situated beneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in Logan Heights (Barrio Logan), a predominantly Mexican American and Mexican-immigrant community in central San Diego, California. The historical site is home to the world’s largest conglomeration of outdoor murals (67 in total), as well as various sculptures, earthworks, and an architectural piece dedicated to the cultural heritage of the community.

In addition, downtown San Diego is an exciting urban center full of specialty shops, hotels, galleries and theaters. Dance to the rhythm of blues, jazz, reggae and rock at one of the many clubs, festivals and outdoor concerts. When it’s time to eat, you will find a delicious array of rich and savory choices. Food representing almost every world cuisine can be found somewhere in the city, including Mexican, Moroccan, Ethiopian, Thai, Vietnamese, Afghan, Persian, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, British, Italian and Cuban cuisine.

Not to be outdone by our surroundings, the NAES conference promises an equally exciting venue. As in the past, you can expect to hear national and international scholars discussing cutting edge work from a variety of academic perspectives. In addition, we will feature several panels and special sessions addressing local community issues facing San Diego residents. Finally, we will be presenting a number of awards to both young and established scholars as well as community leaders.

San Diego represents a great opportunity to blend intellectual stimulation with relaxing fun. Please join us!


Submit your 2009 NAES Conference Abstract Here! 
Call for Papers – 37th Annual NAES Conference at San Diego, CA

Oakland’s 7th Street Jazz and Blues from UC Berkeley Architecture and Journalism

The UC Berkeley Journalism School and Architecture Department have announced an interesting project in online history.  From their website:

Remembering 7th Street is a project of UC Berkeley’s Journalism School and Architecture Department to re-create West Oakland in the 1940s and ’50s when it was a thriving community teeming with blues and jazz clubs.

The virtual world video game takes you back in time to post-World-War-II West Oakland, when the area was bustling with shipyard workers and sailors, musicians and locals meeting up at the soda fountains and soul food restaurants, shops and other businesses that lined 7th Street.

Come dusk, music poured from the nightclubs out into the street. You might catch a performance by one of the big names, Lowell Fulson, Saunders King, Sugar Pie DeSanto or Ivory Joe Hunter, who played in this West Coast mecca for the blues.

Today, little trace remains of this rich history. The once thriving businesses are mostly empty storefronts now. The blues and jazz clubs have given way to a sprawling postal facility and an elevated BART train that runs through the heart of 7th Street.

Now you can explore the neighborhood as it once was and help bring 7th Street back to life. Simply log into the game and adopt an avatar – a musician hungry for a break – and soak up the lost music and culture of West Oakland.

You’ll cut a record with local producer Bob Geddins and convince a train porter to take your record cross-country. You’ll get your music career financed by a notorious local businessman and finally perform your music at the premier 7th Street club – Slim Jenkins’ Place

For background on the Oakland jazz and blues scene see: California Soul: Music of African Americans in the West.

For additional historical background on Oakland during the 20th century see Chris Rhomberg’s No There There: Race, Class and Political Community in Oakland.

CSA Announces Plans for 2009 Conference on the Silicon Valley

The history of the Silicon Valley was wrought by the bulldozer. Here is a 1954 conversion of a field into the Palo Alto Shopping Center on the Stanford Campus.


In July, the CSA steering committee voted to hold our next conference at De Anza College in Cupertino, CA, likely sometime in April, though the date has not been finalized.

The conference theme will focus broadly on an alternate vision of the Silicon Valley, an attempt to orient the official boosterist narrative of the entreprenuerial region toward the history, culture, and politics of the local communities in the Valley. The conference will bring together scholars, activists, non-profit professionals, and government officials to discuss the political economy of the Valley in the historical and cultural context of California.

The conference co-chairs are,

Mae Lee, PhD, professor of intercultural studies at De Anza College and co-director of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute, who is conducting a study about political formations of Asian Americans in the Silicon Valley. Contact leemae@fhda.edu

Tom Izu, executive director of the California History Center and Foundation, located on the De Anza campus. Contact izutom@fhda.edu

Also on the conference organizing committee are,

Cynthia Kaufman, PhD, a professor of philosophy at De Anza and author of the book Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change. Contact kaufmancynthia@fhda.edu

Nari Rhee, PhD, post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for Research on Labor and Education at UC Berkeley, who has written a dissertation on labor history and politics in the Silicon Valley. Contact nari@berkeley.edu

Aaron Wilcher, MA, instructor of Humanities at De Anza College and a master’s student in the Dept. of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley, who is working on a study of politics and built space in the Valley. Contact aaronwilcher@gmail.com

CSA Announces Partnership With the H-California Discussion Network

The CSA and H-California (Humanities Discussion Network, California) are proud to announce a new partnership to advance their missions to serve the communities of scholars, activists, and professionals who rely on scholarship in the humanities for their work. We are joining forces to strengthen the service we provide our communities.

In the last year, the CSA has undertaken a more robust approach to its use of the internet to serve its members by adopting a new website and a blog. These projects will be enhanced by collaborating with the editors at H-California who run a listserv (an email list), and an online forum with resources, through the international Humanities Network, h-net.org.

H-California functions as a way for scholars, activists, and nonprofit professionals to communicate about scholarly projects about California. Many of the postings are book reviews, calls for papers, event announcements, queries for projects, new resources, and so forth.

The CSA will collaborate with H-California in the following capacities:

* Shared news items, syndicated between the CSA blog and the H-California listserv.

* Promoting resources, events, and projects between the two resources.

We strongly encourage CSA members and our community to join the H-California listserv,an automated email discussion board of all news and events related to humanities scholarship in California. The CSA will list all our news, events, blog postings, and official communication on the H-California listserv.

CSA Announces Partnership With Art California, A Major Internet Resource

The CSA has partnered with Art California, a major internet resource for the arts across the state. Judy Malloy, a journalist on and advocate for the arts, has managed the Art California site since 2004, compiling thousands of links related to film, painting, music, museums, archives, writers in the web directory portion of the site. She has also maintained a significant calendar on events across the state.

Art California is an achievement that will benefit CSA members and constituents. Ms. Malloy will collaborate with Aaron Wilcher, the CSA blog editor, to keep the CSA informed on news, events, and resources on California arts through our calendar and news page. This, in turn, will inform our partnership with the H-California discussion network.

We encourage you to visit her site and use it in your research, education, and writing projects.

Charles Wollenberg Talks About Berkeley on KQED’s FORUM, Thur. Aug. 7

Chuck Wollenberg, author of the recent Berkeley: A City in History, showed up on Michael Krasny’s “Forum” this morning. Wollenberg is a founder of the CSA, a current member of the steering committee, a professor of history at Berkeley City College, and an eminent California historian. A great show on Berkeley’s history: from nuclear shelters to restrictive covenants, it’s all here. Get the book synopsis in a radio hour. Download the show here!

Here’s an article about the book in The Berkeleyan.

Preview an earlier version of the book at the Berkeley public library.

Here’s the UC Press page for the book.

Buy the book from amazon.