Table of Contents for Fall 2011 Issue of Southern California Quarterly

The Table of Contents for the Fall 2011 issue of Southern California Quarterly, the journal of the Historical Society of Southern California is the following:


Southern California Quarterly: Past and Present

By Patricia Adler-Ingram, Executive Director

Two Party Invitations: “Supreme Court of Old California: Case of The Good Old Days, Plaintiff, vs. John Uri Lloyd, Defendant,” November 30,1913, and “March Hares Invitation,” March 2,1919

By Charles F. Lummis (Edited by Merry Ovnick)

Writing The Script for Survival and Resurgence: RKO Studio and the Impact of the Great Depression, 1932-1933

By Edwin J. Perkins

David Weber and the Borderlands: Past, Present, Future; Conference on Latin American History/American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Boston: January 8, 2011

Borderlands and Frontiers Studies Committee Panel Honoring David Weber

The Historian’s Eye


Phillips, Vineyards and Vaqueros: Indian Labor and the Economic Expansion of Southern California, 1771-1877, by Brett Garcia Myhren

Ignoffo, Captive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester, Heiress to the Rifle Fortune, by Michelle Stonis

Culver, The Frontier of Leisure: Southern California and the Shaping of Modern America, by Catherine Cocks

Schwartz, Ed Ruscha’s Los Angeles, by LaNitra Berger

Moore, Sells Like Teen Spirit: Music, Youth Culture, and Social Crisis, by Eileen Luhr

Peterson, Sound, Space, and the City; Civic Performance in Downtown Los Angeles, by Kenneth H. Marcus

Dedina, Wild Sea; Eco-Wars and Surf Stories from the Coast of the Californias, by Sean Smith

UC Berkeley California Studies Dinner Seminar Schedule, Fall, 2017

Supported by grants from the UC Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Employment and the Townsend Center for the Humanities, the UCB California Studies Dinner Seminar will begin its 31st year this fall.

Fall Semester Schedule:

September 14: Steve Early, author of a new book on Richmond, “Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money and the Remaking of an American City”

October 19: Gary Noy, Sierra College on his recent book, “Gold Rush Stories: Tales of Dreamers, Schemers, Bigots, and Rogues”

November 16: James Zarsadiaz, University of San Francisco, “Asian American Settlements and Suburban Development in Post-World War II Los Angeles”

Although the spring schedule is not complete, it will include Rachel Brahinsky speaking on her new People’s Guide to the Bay Area and Sandra Nichols discussing her student-created Napa Valley Latino History project.

All seminar sessions are 7-9:15 p.m. at the UCB Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley.  Free admission and dinner.

RSVP: Charlotte Rutty at

Dorothea Lange: “Politics of Seeing”

Dorothea Lange: “Politics of Seeing”
Oakland Museum of California,
May 13, 2017–August 27, 2017

Kaiser, Dorthea Lange

photo by Dorthea Lange

Review by Lincoln Cushing

Though she was female and politically on the left, Dorothea Lange was recognized early as an essential image-maker of the Great Depression and U.S. World War II home front. Her work has come to represent an entire slice of history.

Her personal journey into that role, and the ways she navigated her medium as an artist while employed by government agencies, are themes in “Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing,” an exhibit drawn from Lange’s archives at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA). The archives, which were a gift from the artist, include 25,000 negatives, 6,000 vintage prints, field notes, and personal memorabilia.

“Politics of Seeing” explains Lange’s commitment to documentation, an approach that confirmed the authenticity of her work and also elevated her art as historic record. Lange not only captured individual faces of participants in America’s turbulent history, she helped preserve their names as well. She kept meticulous notes on her shoots, and these are part of the robust catalog records of her work. Curator Drew Johnson explains how her artistic process evolved in this interview.

However, no one’s records are perfect, and it is evident some of her notes were made after the fact. One of the great photos displayed in huge format is “Shift Change 3:30 PM – Coming on of Yard 3 – Kaiser Shipyards | Kaiser Shipyard – Shift Change 3:30 PM” dated “circa 1942.” (Shown above.) It’s a visual testament to inclusivity on the WWII home front, prominently showing black and women workers in a bustling new industry. But as a historian of Henry J. Kaiser and his industries, I instantly recognized that the date and location were not correct. The photo was taken at Kaiser Richmond Shipyard #2, and it must have been later than 1942, since the first ship wasn’t launched from Yard #3 until August 1943. This is not meant to detract from her work, simply to point out it takes a village to accurately encode our history.

One feature of Lange’s work that resonates with current politics is the nature of government support for cultural workers. Most of the photos in the OMCA exhibit were made while she was employed by agencies such as the Farm Security Administration, which morphed into the Office of War Information. (Her 1936 “Migrant Mother” heads the Library of Congress’ site page on this remarkable body of work.) These jobs were not easy, and the OMCA exhibition reveals some of the inside fights over representation. But at this point in history it’s almost unfathomable to look back and realize that tax dollars were used to hire women like Lange or photographers of color like E. F. Joseph. Revealing that stolen history is the heavy lifting being done by the Living New Deal Project.

OMCA astutely included three contemporary photographers in this exhibition – Janet DelaneyJason Jaacks, and Ken Light, drawing the photodocumentarian story arc to the present.

Two of the same artists are part of an exhibition at the Berkeley Art Center, “Resistors: 50 Years of Social Movement Photography” showing through August 20. Ken Light, with his wife and collaborator Melanie Light, curated the show, andJanet Delaney is one of the dozens of photographers.

This is a wonderfully rich and moving exhibition, which works on many levels.

Among many other reviews:

Berkeleyside, “A must see: Dorothea Lange’s remarkable photographs at OMCA“
KQED magazine, “Once-Suppressed Dorothea Lange Photos Capture Wartime Paranoia”

Two new Bay Area-themed books

Explosion cover-sm.jpgTwo wonderful books were just published that each shed welcome light on the impact of the SF Bay Area – The Explosion of Deferred Dreams : Musical Renaissance and Social Revolution in San Francisco, 1965-1975 by Mat Callahan (PM Press), and Lavender and Red : Liberation and Solidarity in the Gay and Lesbian Left by Emily Hobson (UC Press). I happened to work with both authors, and am honored to have provided the cover and inside poster art from my archive.

LavenderAndRed-sm.jpgThese books draw from painstaking scholarship, persistent interviews with activists, and provocative analysis to reveal new truths about how our social movements emerged. Highly recommended, both.

-Lincoln Cushing, Docs Populi

Betty Reid Soskin accepts 2016 Carey McWilliams award

Ever since 2002, the California Studies Association has presented the Carey McWilliams Award to a writer, scholar or artist who lives up to the best tradition of McWilliams’ work. That is, someone whose artistic vision, moral force and intellectual clarity give voice to the people of California, their needs and desires, sufferings, struggles and triumphs. At a deeply moving event held on October 9, this year’s award was presented to Betty Reid Soskin.

A political activist raised in Oakland and Berkeley, and currently America’s oldest park ranger, at 94 years, Betty Reid Soskin currently works as an interpretive ranger at the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California. Her participation and activism in the creation of the park itself was instrumental in the ways Rosie the Riveter incorporates and memorializes the African American history of Richmond and the greater Bay Area region.

In choosing Soskin as this year’s Carey McWilliams awardee, CSA recognized her creative and political work in contributing to historical knowledge of California, and especially the experiences of African Americans during and after World War II. Accompanying Ms. Reid at the award was Tom Leatherman, Superintendent of four National Park Service historic sites in the East Bay. Below is her acceptance speech.


The National Park Service [celebrating its centennial] only has five years on me!

In 1942 I came into Richmond as a clerk in a Jim Crow segregated union hall… that would be decades before the racial integration of the labor movement. So, in order to comply with [Henry J.] Kaiser’s wishes, labor created what was called “auxiliaries” – a fancy name for Jim Crow, One in Sausalito, one in West Oakland, the other at Richmond – Boilermaker’s Auxiliary #36, which is where I went every day.

If you’d asked me at the time, I would have told you all the shipyard workers were black. They were the only people I saw every day. The people who came up to my window to have their addresses changed, which is what I was doing on 3×5” file cards to save the world for democracy. And, as we all know, it worked.

I would return 15 years ago to Richmond, after more than 20 years as a suburban housewife, after raising four kids to adulthood, after outliving two husbands, after learning lots of lessons over lots of decades. I returned to Richmond as a Field Representative of the California State Assembly. I’d started under Dion Aroner, and when she termed out I stayed on as a Field Representative for her successor, Loni Hancock, who herself is now terming out.

That arc of my life, from when I was 20 to 15 years ago, is a solid indication of how much social change has happened in this nation in those intervening years. That’s not, by any means, a case of personal achievement. Not for one minute. That’s an indication of what we all did, all of us, black and brown, and yellow, and straight and gay, and trans, it’s what we all did. Right here, in the Bay Area, during those years, from 1942 to 1945.

And some of us did it kicking and screaming. Some of us are still kicking and screaming. But nonetheless, because of what happened right here, enough of us completed that full trajectory that my life so well indicates. It’s still out of the greater Bay Area that social change continues to radiate out into the rest of the country. That’s something we can all buy into, that’s something we lived.


There were lots of steps in that process. But only Henry Kaiser would dare to bring in a workforce of 98,000 black and white southerners into a city with a population of 23,000. He did that not only because he knew he could revolutionize shipbuilding by introducing the mass production techniques Henry Ford used in the auto industry, but he knew where the greatest pool of available workers lay in the country – in five southern states: Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana.

He brought people into a city who would not be sharing drinking fountains, schools, hospitals, housing, even cemeteries – any kind of public accommodations –for another 20 years back in their places of origin. That’s would not be happening until the 1960s.This was 1942. With no chance for diversity training or focus groups!

They had to negotiate, at the individual level, every single day, how to get through it without killing each other.

If you knew the sequence in which they were hired – first it was the men who were too old to fight, then boys too young to be drafted, then single white women. When that pool was exhausted, married white women. In 1943 the first black men were hired only as trainees and helpers, to do the heavy lifting for the women they’d brought on board.

And though there were some, few, black women who worked as laborers picking up trash and sweeping the decks while other people worked. It wasn’t until late 1944 and early 1945 when black women began to be trained as welders.


If you know this sequence, then you know that those pictures of all of us – black and brown and yellow and straight and gay, all standing together having our pictures taken as brothers and sisters expressing the cooperation of the great Second World War brotherhood period – we have to know it was late in the war, because you couldn’t have gotten them to stand together and have their pictures taken in 1942.

But those pictures indicate, solidly, the pace of social change, which set us up for what was to happen in the 1960s. Those people were all living under the common threat of Fascism and world domination, and they could only take on the mission of their leader, which was to build ships faster than the enemy could sink them. They were working around the clock, three shifts a day, 364 days a year.

Henry Kaiser, a man I’m told referred to the bow of a ship as “the pointy end,” completed 747 ships in three years and eight months. And that was enough.

That social change, set up in those days, has significance for all our lives. Social change continues to radiate out from where we are into the rest of the country. We have been leading since 1942. And that’s the story I get to tell. I may be leading the only Federally-funded revolution in the country.

We are all ready to have these conversations now, we are ready at our park. And across the country, that’s beginning to happen. It’s possible now because, as Tom [Leatherman] says, it’s not just the environmental movement, or protecting the wildlife, or the protection of historic wildlands. What we are dealing with now, ever since about 1970, is the history and culture of this country. It’s now possible to revisit almost any era in this nation – the heroic places, the contemplative places, the scenic wonders, the shameful places, and the painful places, in order to own that history so that we may process it in order to forgive ourselves in order that we may all be able to move into a more compassionate future. And the National Park Service is leading that fight.

Thank you so much for this award. I am deeply honored.


[Thanks to Lisbet Tellefsen for the recording from which this transcript was made. Kaiser shipyard newspaper illustrations by Emmy Lou Packard. Photos are by Bryan Gibel, the director/cinematographer behind Sign My Name to Freedom, a feature-length documentary film in production about Betty Reid Soskin’s work as a singer/songwriter during the 1960s and 1970s, and the great social transformations she’s participated in over nine decades in California.]

Newsletter, September 2016

In this issue, you’ll find... News about our October 9th Carey McWilliams Award honoree, Betty Reid Soskin… the Dinner Seminars lineup for 2016-17… Susan Anderson on Yosemite Park’s Buffalo Soldiers… Peter Richardson and Lincoln Cushing on 1960s aesthetics… Patricia Wakida on starting points for wartime incarceration in Fresno… 2,270 Rosie the Riveters… and, yes, the donation button!

2,265 Rosies rocked Richmond

RosieEvent-medToday 2,265 people (yes, men were allowed!) dressed as the iconic “Rosie the Riveter” gathered in the giant Ford Assembly building craneway to beat the current Guinness world record for such an event. More than a gimmick, it was a testament to the impact of the World War II Home Front, and honored the women who participated in the war effort.

During WWII the Ford plant was surrounded by four Kaiser shipyards, which produced 747 ships to help win the war. The social programs that accompanied the war effort – such as efforts to integrate housing, provision of quality child care, acceptance of women in the industrial workforce, opportunities for women and people of color in trade unions, and the Kaiser health plan – were precursors of many subsequent social justice efforts, including the civil rights movement and second wave feminism.

The Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond is the only National Park to cover this important period in national (and California) history. It’s well worth a visit.

-Lincoln Cushing, CSA

Newsletter, May 2016

In this issue, you’ll find… A word from our new Steering Committee chair, Lindsey Dillon… Commentary from Richard Walker on the Delta islands purchase… Javier Arbona on “anti-memorial” space at the site of the 1942 black sailors’ uprising in Vallejo… details on last fall’s Carey McWilliams Award and an invitation to nominate the next awardee… Lincoln Cushing on the end of Inkworks… an opportunity to donate!

Invitation to Nominate for the 2016 Carey McWilliams Award

To the California Studies Association community:

Each year, the California Studies Association gives the Carey McWilliams Award to a writer, scholar or artist who lives up to the best tradition of McWilliams’ work. That is, someone whose artistic vision, moral force and intellectual clarity gives voice to the people of California, their needs and desires, sufferings, struggles and triumphs.

Last fall, we awarded the Japanese American playwright, Hiroshi Kashiwagi.

Hiroshi Kashiwagi was born in Sacramento in 1922, and grew up in Loomis.  In 1942, he and his family were incarcerated at Tule Lake concentration camp, in northeastern California, including when the Tule Lake camp became a high-security “segregation center” for Japanese Americans who were classified as “disloyal” by the federal government’s deeply flawed loyalty review process. Kashiwagi was one of 5,000 Tule Lake prisoners who renounced their American citizenship, and it was not until 1959 that the government finally restored full citizenship rights to him and most of the other renunciants.

After the war, Kashiwagi received a BA from UCLA and an MA from UC Berkeley.  He became a noted poet, playwright, actor, and author.  He also served for many years as a San Francisco public librarian. Throughout his adult life, he’s been a vocal activist and advocate for Japanese American redress and civil rights in general.

In 2011, President Obama invited Kashiwagi to participate in a White House evening of poetry and prose. In 2015, he was among a group of prominent Japanese Americans who met with Muslim American leaders to protest the rise of anti-Muslim prejudice and the use of the wartime internment as precedent for anti-Muslim policies.

Among his publications: “Starting From Loomis and Other Stories” (2013) and “Swimming the American, a Memoir and Selected Writings” (2005).

At our event in the fall, Mr. Kashiwagi delivered a vivid reading of his work, and the afternoon was moving and powerful. 

This year, we are asking members of the California Studies community to nominate a person they feel best fits the spirit of the award.

To nominate someone for the award, please use this online form.

To see the list of past awardees, please visit our website.

Submissions must be received by May 24, 2016. 

The California Studies Association Steering Committee will meet in late May to deliberate over the nominations and select this year’s award winner. 

Thank you to all for making this organization a vibrant public space to discuss the politics, culture, and environments of California. We look forward to seeing you at the 2016 Carey McWilliams award event!


The California Studies Association Board

Podcast – “Soul of California”

CSA colleague emeritus Richard Walker passes along this recommendation:SoulOfC.jpeg

The Soul of California podcast, launched over the 2015 summer, has included a number of California’s leading musicians, artists, architects, academics and advocates on a range of topics.

To close up 2015, podcaster Richard Dion put together a summary of some of the best stories and reflections thus far. This episode and previous episodes are available as a free download on iTunes here:
or here:

Upcoming podcasts will include photographer Kevin Break on LA’s 6th street bridge and Tom Williams on writer Raymond Chandler, amongst others.

Newsletter, September 2015

In this issue, you’ll find... a new exhibition on Richmond artist-activist Emmy Lou Packard… critical analysis of California water policy. a history of theCalifornia Studies Dinner seminar, and it’s fall line-up…. news and announcements by CSA steering committee members… a fascinating interview with Carey McWilliams  Award recipient Hiroshi Kashawagi… an opportunity to donate!

“Berkeley Saves the Bay” Chuck Wollenberg at the Berkeley Public Library, June 20, 27. 2-3:30

2015 is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, which for a half century has successfully protected and preserved San Francisco Bay.  The legislation establishing BCDC was accomplished by the grassroots Save the Bay Movement, launched in 1961 by three extraordinary Berkeley women.  The Berkeley Public Library commemorates these events with two talks by Berkeley City College historian Chuck Wollenberg, discussing Berkeley’s role in the emergence and accomplishments of the Save the Bay Movement and the city’s larger influence on the Bay Area’s environmental consciousness.  The sessions will be in the Berkeley History Room of the main library from 2-3:30, Saturdays June 20 and June 27.  Free admission.

May 2015 CSA Newsletter…

Our May newsletter went out at the end of the month. Here’s a preview with a link to it… If you want to receive it in the future, subscribe here! The next newsletter is slated for September, just before our annual conference, which is scheduled for Oct 24-25. Click on the image below to read the whole newsletter:

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 11.32.26 AM

Newsletter, May 2015

In this issue you’ll find:
Announcements from members…. upcoming events…. an essay by Docks to Delta creator Ildi Carlisle-Cummins…. an article on the playwright Hiroshi Kashiwagi (this year’s recipient of the Carey McWilliams award! Congrats!)…. a reflection on the 1976 filming Farewell to Manzanar, in Tule Lake.

New book on urban San Francisco struggles

The Tenderloin: Sex, Crime and Resistance in the Heart of San Francisco
Randy Shaw, AK Press, 2015

Written by a San Francisco movement veteran, this new title seeks to “revive the lost history of a great neighborhood and to solve a longstanding mystery: how has the Tenderloin survived as a primarily low-income, ethnically diverse community in a city of vast wealth? A neighborhood surrounded by the upscale areas of Union Square, Hayes Valley, Nob Hill and SOMA was supposed to have been gentrified long ago. But the Tenderloin defied this fate.”

San Francisco author and editor Gary Kamiya has praised this book as “A lively and opinionated history of one of the most fascinating neighborhoods in the world.” Chris Carlsson, co-director of Shaping San Francisco, says “Shaw’s thoroughly documented, and profusely illustrated work will be a basic resource for scholars and urban investigators for years to come.”


Dam San Francisco Bay? The Rise and Fall of the Reber Plan

Chuck Wollenberg’s article on the rise and fall of the Reber Plan to turn San Francisco Bay into two fresh water lakes has been published online by BOOM a Jounal of California.  The article covers John Reber’s personal story, the debates between influential supporters and opponents of the plan in the 1940s and 50s, and the relationship between these events and the Save the Bay movement of the 1960s.


UC Berkeley California Studies Dinner Seminar, January 22, 2015: Chuck Wollenberg, “Save the Bay Part One: The Rise and Fall of the Reber Plan to Destroy San Francisco Bay”

With all due hubris, seminar moderator Chuck Wollenberg has scheduled himself as speaker for the next session. He will discuss the 1940s-50s controversy over John Reber’s plan to turn San Francisco Bay into two fresh water lakes and its connection (or lack thereof) to the Save the Bay movement of the 60s. Wollenberg teaches History at Berkeley City College and is the author of several works, including “Berkeley: a City in History” (UC Press).

The session is on Thursday, Jan. 22, from 7-9 p.m. at the UCB Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, 2521 Channing Way, just east of Telegraph Ave. Free admission and dinner. Contact Myra Armstrong,, 510-643-3012.

Howard Zinn Book Fair in SF — Sat. Nov 15, 2014

Many current and former California Studies Associationhoward-zinn-book-fair_final-design-o-pp2 members and friends will be participating in the Howard Zinn book Fair this weekend at Mission High School in San Francisco.

Many of the tables and workshops will focus on California history, in various ways. All are oriented around the kind of “people’s history” that Zinn popularized, and the line-up is very exciting.

The event is free and open to all, including tables and workshops from 10-5pm and an evening plenary from 5:30 onward.

Full schedule here: