California Studies Association
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Letter from the Chair, Rachel Brahinsky

Rachel Brahinsky December 2013


Dear Friends of California Studies,

Welcome to our website! The vastness of California – economically, culturally and politically – has intrigued members of the CSA for nearly 25 years. Why do we love this incredible and confounding state – and how can we make it a better, more socially-just place?

Driven by these questions, the CSA steering committee organizes events and contributes to the public conversation about California through our blog and social media. We have a great line-up of events for the coming year, from our monthly dinner-seminars (which are generously hosted & supported by the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at UC Berkeley) to our annual spring conference.

Please save the date for our 2014 conference, which will be held at the University of San Francisco on Saturday April 26 (schedule TBA). Titled California on Fire, the event will have several components: We’ll have a session on the fires that consume the west, as the Rim Fire did this past summer. Another session may look at climate change’s impact on the state. Other sessions will think about fire in an entirely different way, looking at the “fires” of the real estate market, gentrification, displacement, and the like. We’ll look at some of the institutions behind these forces, and we’ll look at the political and personal experiences of California's “hot” real estate environment in our cities. We also hope to present an evening of short films, and a set of original maps and historical posters on these themes. If you have interest or expertise in these areas and want to participate, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

We look forward to another year of big thoughts and energizing conversations, and we hope you’ll join us. 

All the best,

Rachel Brahinsky
Chair, CSA steering committee
Faculty Director, Graduate Program in Urban Affairs
University of San Francisco



» Letter from past chair, Lincoln Cushing, February 2012
» Letter from past chair, Peter Richardson, February 2009
» Letter from past chair, Louise Nelson Dyble, September 2007