Press Release, Boom: A Journal of California University of California Press

Boom: A Journal of California

September 22, 2009, Berkeley, CA–University of California Press, the not-for-profit publishing arm of the University of California, is pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of Boom: A Journal of California.

Written in a scholarly but accessible fashion, Boom is a peer-reviewed quarterly journal, which aims to create a dialog about the vital social, cultural, and political issues of our time. Thoughtful, provocative, and at times playful, Boom speaks not only to the scholarly community but also to the broader public, in California and beyond.

Headed by Editors Carolyn de la Peña, Associate Professor of American Studies at UC Davis and Director of the Davis Humanities Institute, and Louis Warren, UC Davis’ W. Turrentine Jackson Professor of Western U.S. History, the journal will include a wide range of works, including two to three scholarly articles forming the gravitational center of each issue, and setting the foundation for other shorter, often informal works.

“One in eight residents of the U.S. lives in California, and the state has become an unprecedented cultural, economic, and political force in the U.S. and abroad. And yet, no journal has explored the origins and meaning of today’s California in an interdisciplinary and intellectual way. With Boom, we aim to fix that,” said Louis Warren, Boom co-editor.

And according to de la Peña, “To truly grapple with the crisis facing California, we have to gather new knowledge about who we are, how we got here, and what common ground can be built for the future. By featuring the work of researchers in multiple fields and combining that with community voices, we believe Boom will uncover fresh perspectives on the state we’re in.”

Contributions will be made by scholars from within the University of California community, from other universities, as well as by independent scholars, writers, journalists, photographers, and researchers. In addition to a wide range of topical writings in each issue, each year a single, special issue–an outgrowth of a companion annual conference–will assess timely matters of relevance to the state and with global implications.

The first issue of Boom will publish in February 2011 both in print and online.

Boom is supported in part by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “We are deeply grateful to the Mellon Foundation for fostering scholarship in California Studies at this critical moment,” said Lynne Withey, Director of University of California Press.

Few places inspire such a wide range of profound emotions as California. Boom: A Journal of California will harness and direct this passion towards a deeper understanding of the state, its past and future, and role in the wider world.

Click here to download this release as a PDF.

Lou Cannon: California Dream Is Dimming

Lou Cannon assesses California politics and governance in a recent piece for Politics Daily.  As usual, Lou resists easy ideological categorization.  A former White House correspondent for the Washington Post and Ronald Reagan’s chief biographer, Lou is often perceived as a conservative.  But in this piece, he quotes Carey McWilliams and California Budget Project director Jean Ross.

I interviewed Lou for American Prophet. He told me he quoted McWilliams in all of his books.    They became acquainted after Lou began his first book, on Reagan and Jess Unruh.  Later, he lectured in McWilliams’s class at UCLA.

Sasha Abramsky on California Prisons

Sasha Abramsky has a Guardian piece on the recent federal ruling ordering California to reduce its prison population by 40,000.

Sasha, whose publications include three books on the criminal justice and prison systems, notes that the ruling may be a useful opportunity to rethink policy.  “The templates for successful reform are out there. The challenge for California, over the coming months, will be to listen to these voices rather than simply stampede into a wholesale release frenzy.”

Peter Richardson to speak about Ramparts Magazine at the Institute on California and the West

The Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West will be presenting a conversation with Peter Richardson (current Chair of the California Studies Association), to discuss his new book, A Bomb in Every Issue: How the Short, Unruly Life of Ramparts Magazine Changed America.  The conversation will be led by David Igler, of UC Irvine.

Peter Richardson teaches California Culture at San Francisco State University, chairs the California Studies Association, and is editorial director at PoliPointPress, which publishes trade books on politics and current affairs.  Richardson wrote American Prophet: The Life and Work of Carey McWilliams.

Details: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2009 from noon to 1:00pm
Seaver Classrooms 1&2, Huntington Library

This event is part of a brown bag luncheon series sponsored by ICW.  The event is open to any who wishes to attend, and a limited number of lunches will be available on a first come/first served basis.  To reserve a seat, please respond to Kim Matsunaga at by October 1.

Author event at Book Passage in San Francisco: John Buntin on the LAPD; Sept. 24

John Buntin will talk about his new book, L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City at Book Passage in San Francisco on Sept. 24.  From the Book Passage listing:

Buntin offers a fascinating examination of how the LAPD created a  dangerously unaccountable surveillance-intensive model of crime fighting that damaged Los Angeles’s social fabric and eerily prefigured today’s “war on terror.”

Thurs., Sept. 24, 6:00 pm, Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building, #42, San Francisco, CA 94111, Phone: (415) 835-1020

Author event at Book Passage in Marin; Mike Miller talks about the Mission Coalition; Sept. 24

Mike Miller will talk about his new book, A Community Organizer’s Tale: People and Power in San Francisco. From the Book Passage listing:

This is the story of a Bay Area neighborhood and its long-term citizens. The Mission Coalition was a group of citizens who fought to keep the community intact in San Francisco’s predominantly Latino Mission District.

Thurs., Sept. 24, 7:00 pm

Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA 94925, Phone: (415) 927-0960

Author event at Book Passage in Marin; Peter Richardson on Ramparts Magazine; Sept. 25

Peter Richardson (Chair of the California Studies Association) will talk about his new book, A Bomb In Every Issue: How the Short, Unruly Life of Ramparts Magazine Changed America. From the Book Passage listing:

This is the rollicking story of Ramparts—the San Francisco magazine that captured the zeitgeist of the 1960s, repeatedly scooping the N.Y. Times. Ramparts brought the new left into American living rooms, and it made an indelible imprint on American journalism.

Fri., Sept. 25, 7:00 pm

Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA 94925, Phone: (415) 927-0960

Berkeley Arts and Letters lecture: Robert Scheer and Peter Richardson to discuss Ramparts Magazine; Sept. 24

Fabled journalist Robert Scheer, and Peter Richardson, author of the newly published, A Bomb in Every Issue: How the Short, Unruly Life of Ramparts Magazine Changed America, will speak about Ramparts at a Berkeley Arts & Letters event, Thursday, September 24, 7:30 p.m., at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley. 800-838-3006. $15.

Book party at Vesuvio for A Bomb in Every Issue; Sept. 23

City Lights bookstore and Vesuvio Cafe, 255 Columbus @ Jack Kerouac Alley , San Fransciso, will present a book party open to the public celebrating Peter Richardson’s new book, A Bomb in Every Issue: How the Short, Unruly Life of Ramparts Magazine Changed America, on Wednesday, September 23, 2009, at 7:00 p.m.

Author Peter Richardson will be joined by Ramparts Magazine Alumni.

From the City Lights listing:

A Bomb in Every Issue tells the largely untold story of the wild ride of this hugely influential magazine that achieved countless firsts: it published the first conspiracy theory about JFK’s assassination, it was the first to reveal that the CIA had backed the National Student Association during the Cold War, and its article about the use of napalm on Vietnamese children (another first) caused Martin Luther King Jr. to speak out against the war for the first time. For more info, click here.

JAS A Festival of Grassroots Economics, Sept. 26


Please accept our invitation to participate in a festival of the alternative, grassroots, and do-it-yourself economy. We call it the Just, Alternative, Sustainable Economy or JASeconomy Festival.

The festival date is Saturday, September 26th 2009 at the Humanist Hall in Oakland, on 27th St. near Broadway – a landmark venue. Both indoor and outdoor exhibition space will be available at very affordable rates. The festival will be a free event for the public to attend between 10 am and 4 pm.

Individuals associated with SF Bay Area cooperatives and collectives, non-profit organizations, volunteer associations, community-based financial institutions, and more, are organizing this festival. The aim to demonstrate to the local community the rich diversity of projects that function as “another economy.”

We envision displays from worker cooperatives, and other democratically managed enterprises, alternative energy information, a Farmers’ Market outside in the grassy area, a bike maintenance clinic, natural healing demonstrations, creative arts play for adults and children and … well what else? Suggest other activities.

Informative workshops will be organized. These will link the participants to various areas of expertise and to the larger social context. In this way we hope to maintain and enrich our alternative economy.

The JASeconomy Festival is planned as a celebration of our achievements.

We are living in scary times. The dominant economy has never served our interests, but now it literally threatens our lives. The creativity that exists within our communities to meet our real, daily needs in very practical ways must be stepped-up. The times call for solidarity, for innovation and for expansion of all our efforts to build a better way of organizing our lives. We must do this ourselves. And with the JASeconomy Festival we believe we can demonstrate what’s possible by showing what has already been accomplished.


Besides an unprecedented opportunity for exposure to an interested public the festival offers participants the chance to meet others involved in a variety of projects in other economic sectors. A summing up at the closing available for all the participants will enhance the possibility of networking to create alliances, to coordinate economic benefits or to gain additional expertise.


In recognition of the values of the economy highlighted by this festival, all financial arrangements will be transparent to all participants. Costs of the festival will be based on a sliding scale. All volunteer groups for instance will be requested to donate $40 and those enterprises that are expected to benefit immediately from their presence, either through sales of goods or services will be requested to donate a minimum of $100. All other participants can self select their donation based on expected benefits from the festival. Participants can also trade display space for in-kind donations of services.

The participant donations will provide for one 2.5’ x 6’ table and 2 chairs or approximately 25sq feet of space for a display. Morning bakery treats and a modest lunch are included for one person per table. For the summing up at the end of the day we hope to include a dinner. (Extra persons participating with organizations can donate $5 to $10 depending on final cost assessments for food and availability.)

Sponsorships are encouraged in exchange for placement in adverts and signage at the festival. Both 1,000’s of event cards and 100’s of posters will be printed to promote the festival throughout the Bay Area.

There will be several literature/info tables for those groups who want to be represented but who cannot directly participate in the festival.

Both print and electronic media will be kept aware of the progress of the festival throughout the summer leading to a build up of publicity in August and September. Several journalists who have been made aware of our plans to do the festival expressed great interest in learning more.

Given the continuing meltdown of the economy we believe that the festival will intrigue the media. If the public is adequately informed of the festival, we expect a popular turnout. Unlike all other fairs and festivals the JASeconomy Festival will be FREE TO THE PUBLIC.

Lastly, space is limited. The uppermost limit to participation is 50 projects. Also because we want to show the diversity of the “other economy” we may have to limit participation of certain sectors.

If your group wants to participate please contact us early. We expect to fill the venue by June.


  • Participants will have an opportunity to present their projects/enterprises to a motivated public.
  • The festival will provide a venue for the public to witness the diversity and vitality of a people-oriented economy. The aim is to demonstrate to the public an alternative perspective and a practical “economic” way of organizing a sustainable economy.
  • Participants will benefit from networking with the other participants, including those invited with specific expertise in financing, marketing, legal issues and other areas.

For more information please email:

Visit our website:

To leave a phone message: NoBAWC @ (510) 835-0254

Calif. Historical Society’s Think California Exhibition Opens September 24, 2009

“Think California,” the California Historical Society’s new exhibition will offer a glimpse into California’s complex past and present through the society’s remarkable collection.

The exhibition opens September 24, 2009, and will continue until February 5, 2011.

For more information, go the society’s webpage for the exhibition.

California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco

Call for Papers: Western Association of Women Historians: May 20-23



Western Association of Women Historians
42nd Annual Conference

University of Puget Sound
Tacoma, Washington

May 20-23, 2010

* *

The WAWH invites faculty members, graduate students, independent
scholars and others for a collegial, stimulating, and professional
weekend of history and networking.

The program committee welcomes proposals for panels or single papers on
any historical subject, time period, or region. The program
committee seeks to emphasize that papers do not necessarily have to
focus on women’s or gender history, although those issues are of
interest to the membership. All periods of history are welcome,
especially non-U.S. subjects. Panels, workshops, or roundtables on
issues in the historical profession are also encouraged. Proposals for
complete panels, including commentators, are preferred, but individual
papers are also welcome.

WAWH offers a prize for the best paper presented by a graduate student
at the WAWH meeting. Please see for guidelines.

Proposals must include each of the following:

1) A required WAWH Cover Page (found at

2) A one-half to one-page abstract for each paper submitted

3) One-to-two-page curriculum vitae for each panelist

Mail _six_ complete sets of proposal material to the program committee
co-chair, postmarked by October 15, 2009:

Dr. Nancy Page Fernandez
Freshman Programs
California State University, Fullerton
Langsdorf Hall Suite #216
800 North State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831-3599

If you have any questions, please contact either program co-chair:

Kathleen Kennedy at or 360-650-3043 or

Nancy Page Fernandez at or 657-278-4184

Current (2009-2010) WAWH membership and 2010 conference preregistration
are _required_ of all program participants.

WAWH Membership runs from conference to conference.

The program committee reserves the right to change or reconfigure
panels. Submission of proposal will indicate agreement with this policy.
Communication with panelists will be made through the designated contact.

Electronic submissions will not be accepted.

The Western Association of Women Historians was founded in 1969. Drawing
scholars from the Western states, the WAWH is the largest of the
regional women’s historical associations in the United States.
Membership is open to all. For information about the organization, award
and prize applications, proposal deadline, conference registration,
conference program, and membership, please visit

Los Angeles History Research Group’s first meeting of 2009-10 is Sept. 19

The first meeting of the Los Angeles History Research Group for 2009-2010 will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 19, 2009, in Classroom 3 of the Munger Research Center at The Huntington Library.

The presenter will be Sara Fingal, PhD candidate, Brown University, who will discuss her paper, “Turning the Tide: Conflict, Leisure, and Access along Southern and Baja California’s Coastline, 1940s-1980s.”  To request a copy of the paper, please contact Carolyn Powell at

Anyone with questions may contact one of the coordinators listed below, who can also provide a complete schedule for the year.

Nick Rosenthal,

Allison Varzally,

THEATER: “Rivets” A Musical on the Richmond Shipyards, through Sept. 27

Rosie the Riveter Play


A New Musical Based on
Rosie the Riveter & Richmond’s Kaiser Shipyards
Produced by Galatean Players Ensemble Theatre
Rosie the Riveter & The “Homefront Soldiers” of WW2 are the subjects of The World Premiere Musical RIVETS by Kathryn G. McCarty (libretto) and Mitchell Covington (music), on the SS Red Oak Victory at the site of the historic Kaiser Richmond Shipyards.
Note:   RIVETS runs on Labor Day weekend.  Celebrate the labors of the Men & Women who’s dedication to service helped the United States win WW2!
WHERE:Onboard the SS Red Oak Victory, 1337 Canal Blvd., Berth 6A, Richmond, CA 94804.
WHEN:August 28- Sept. 27
Friday, Saturday at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 3 p.m.
Saturday matinees Sept. 12, 19, 26 at 3 p.m.
TICKETSBox Office   925-676-5705
$20 General Admission
$15   Seniors & Students
Rosies, WW 2 Veterans and Uniformed Soldiers:  Free
** $2 discount with donation for
Blue Star Mom’s Holiday Care Packages for Soldiers
Note:   RIVETS runs on Labor Day weekend.  Celebrate the labors of the Men & Women whose dedication to service helped the United States win WW2!
“Homefront Soldiers,”  the family and loved ones 16 million American WW 2 Soldiers left behind while fighting overseas, are celebrated in RIVETS by Kathryn G. McCarty and Mitchell Covington, opening August 28 on the SS Red Oak Victory at the site of the historic Kaiser Richmond Shipyards in the Rosie the Riveter National Park.
The Kaiser Shipyards, the most famous and productive shipyards in the San Francisco Bay Area, serve as backdrop for RIVETS,  which will run on the historic site Fridays-Sundays, August 28- Sept. 27.   Last Fall, RIVETS played to full houses,  and the show’s success prompted another run, in which several new songs will be added.
The Red Oak Victory ship is the last surviving Victory ship built and launched in the Kaiser Richmond Shipyard.
“The show’s characters are fictional,” McCarty explains, “but the story is based on a decade of historical research.   Henry J. Kaiser’s Shipyards produced the ships that helped America win WW 2, and changed our country forever.”   McCarty noted that the entire Bay Area played a critical role in America winning the war, “Richmond, Sausalito, Marin, Vallejo, San Francisco, Oakland – the characters and plotline of RIVETS are a tapestry of  the entire Bay Area’s dedication to the war effort.”
With most of the Country’s men at war, women entered the work force for the first time in history.  Women known as “Rosie the Riveter,” “Wendy the Welder” and “Dynamite Dorothy” were led by industrial geniuses like Henry J. Kaiser.  The Bay Area had the largest concentration of shipbuilding, reaching from the Golden Gate nearly a hundred miles east to Stockton, with 14 shipyards contained within the area. The Kaiser Shipyard in Richmond employed over 40% of the area’s 250,000 shipyard workers.
The deck of the SS Red Oak Victory boasts views of both the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges and the Port of Oakland.  “We are grateful to have a musical that celebrates the dedication of Americans during WW2 performed on the ship,” said Lois Boyle, President of the Richmond Museum Organization, owners of the Red Oak.     Boyle is optimistic about the future of the SS Red Oak Victory, adding that the organization  ” is engaged in an all-out effort to raise funds to put the ship in drydock for the badly needed hull painting and engine room work so that the ship will once again sail.”
According to Boyle, unlike any surviving WW2 ship in the entire Country, the historical integrity of the Red Oak Victory will remain in tact when it has been restored.  “It is a museum, above all.  It is a piece of of history and RIVETS brings the history of the Yard and the Rosie the Riveters to life in 3-D.”
“RIVETS is the story of the Rosie the Riveters, the women of World War II who  influenced generations that followed.  It is the story of the development of the Bay Area where the population swelled as people migrated to the East Bay in search of war production work,” said Director Clay David who has shepherded the show through its three previous incarnations at Contra Costa College in San Pablo,  the Lesher Arts Center in Walnut Creek, and the SS Red Oak Victory.
“Because we are developing a new musical,” said Covington,  the show’s composer.  “This is an excellent opportunity to further work on the script and to add additional songs to the show.”  Covington is an award-winning Bay Area composer whose works span many genres including music for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble, theater, television and film. He has recently written the score for the television series “Saving the Bay,” currently in production for Northern California Public Television. He has also composed the music for over 20 independent film projects, and has served as Director of Music for First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley for 17 years.
“The show contains moments that are heroic, poignant, funny and dramatic—these have provided me with many wonderful opportunities to compose music in a broad range of styles and emotions.” Covington says.
“The stories told in the cannon of American Musical theatre – from Showboat to Carousel to Chorus Line to RIVETS educates and illuminates audiences here in America and around the world in the most entertaining way, about who we are and who we want to be” said RIVETS musical director Peter Maleitzke.
Maleitzke has been involved in a number of original Musicals.  His credits include SF’s American Conservatory Theatre’s World Premiere’s of The Difficulty of Crossing a Field and as Associate Music Director of Urinetown (First National), as well as the pre-Broadway workshop of The Geek, and The Threepenny Opera featuring Bebe Neuworth, Nancy Dusault, Lisa Vroman and Anika Noni Rose.  Maleitzke also served as conductor of the First National production of The Phantom of the Opera.  He has also worked as musical assistant to Michael Tilson Thomas, and  conductor of the Tuscan Music Festival.
According to McCarty, the production team is enthused about the opportunity to continue to partner professional theatre with community service.  Among the community groups that RIVETS will help support are the Blue Star Moms, a service organization created during World War II.   Patrons will receive ticket discounts with donations for Holiday Care packages to the Blue Star Moms who have sons and daughters currently serving in branches of the Military all over the world.
In addition, all WW2 Military Veterans and “Rosie the Riveters,” and uniformed soldiers will receive complimentary admission to the show.
“The 1940’s were the beginning of monumental transformations between both sexes and races” said McCarty, citing President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 8802 as an example.  “As a result of pressure from the African American Porter’s Union, President Roosevelt banned discrimination in War Production industries and Government because of race, creed, color, or national origin.  These people changed the world.”
“Before that, Blacks and Whites were assigned separate drinking fountains.  Interracial relationships were a felony — there was no such thing as interracial marriages.” added David, acknowledging parallels between those laws and present day legislation to ban same sex marriages.
While RIVETS is based on fictional characters, McCarty spent 10 years researching the development of the Bay Area during the 1940’s.    “I’ve blended historical information with fictitious story lines and characters,” explains McCarty, who says RIVETS explores many aspects of the 1940’s America, including American Industrialization, War Propaganda, Rationing and Changing Roles between the Sexes and the Races.
“We have been very pleased with the response from the earlier productions,” Covington said, adding that while enjoying the response from critics, “The most heartfelt review came from an original Rosie who told us that she felt that she’d been ‘transported back in time.’  You can’t ask for more.”
For tickets to the performance  call (925) 676-5705 or visit    Performances are Friday – Saturdays Aug. 28- Sept. 27, Friday, Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3.  Saturday matinees will held on Sept. 12, 19, 26.   Before the Saturday and Sunday matinee performances, the Ship is open to visitors on Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., donations requested.
Please note that access to the ship requires the ability to climb stairs.
Tours of the SS Red Oak Victory are available before all Sunday performances.  Visiting hours are 10 AM – 3 PM.     $5 donation requested.
A Pancake Breakfast will be held on the Ship’s Deck on September 13th – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Cost $6
Note access to the ship requires the ability to climb stairs
Launched November 9, 1944 as the SS Red Oak Victory, then commissioned as the USS Red Oak Victory (AK235) in December, 1944, the Red Oak Victory is the only vessel built by the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond, California that is being restored.   It is number 558 of the 747 ships built in the Yard.
The ship served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.  In 1996, by an Act of Congress, title to the SS Red Oak Victory was conveyed to the Richmond Museum Association.
The SS Red Oak Victory, built in Yard 1,  was named after the town of Red Oak, Iowa, which suffered the highest per capita casualty rate of any American town during World War II.
The USS Red Oak Victory (AK-235) served as a Navy ammunition carrier.  In her maiden voyage she hauled over 10,000 tons of ammunition from the Port Chicago Ammunition Depot to the South Pacific.