California Studies Association
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Debugging the Silicon Dream: Real Life in a Virtual World

Conference 2009

April 24, 2009
19th Annual California Studies Conference
De Anza College
21250 Stevens Creek Blvd
Cupertino, CA
Campus Center Conference Rooms A&B

Conference Proceedings - Audio, Video, and Photos



Registration Form

The Internet floats in the popular imagination like a disembodied utopia; the mecca of Silicon Valley rises out of nowhere, built by technological genius and entrepreneurial drive. In real life, however, these stories obscure more than they reveal. This conference aims to "ground" public discussion about the Internet, Silicon Valley, and high-tech California. The event will bring together scholars, artists, community leaders, and the broader public to explore both the real-world forces that shape these developments and their consequences for people and place. It will also launch a South Bay Studies Working Group for researchers and practitioners engaged in building a deeper understanding of Silicon Valley in order to address its social problems.

The one-day conference will include practical, contextualizing, and critical workshops to examine the idea and place that we call "Silicon Valley."

Featured speakers will include:

9:00-5:00 Panel Sessions - $35 suggested donation
Registration begins at 8:30. Price Includes 1 year membership in the California Studies Association.

Track I: Debugging Silicon Valley
A participatory workshop series on the political and social challenges facing Silicon Valley.
Track II: Fragmented Technopolisis: Culture, Identity, Place
Producing cultures, identities, and sense of place in the shadow of high technology.
Track III: Materiality of the Digital World
The real world causes and consequences of the internet and high tech development.

6:00 California Studies Dinner at the California History Center - $20

For more details, including information about food and lodging, contact Tom Izu at the California History Center -


Download Program

  Track I: Debugging Silicon Valley Track II: Fragmented Technopolis Track III: Material World in a Digital Age
8:30-9:00 Registration and Breakfast
9:00-9:50 Welcome: De Anza College President, Brian Murphy
Plenary: Richard Walker, UC Berkeley & Nari Rhee, UC Berkeley
10:00-11:20 Challenges of Organizing in the "Valley of Non-Joiners"
  • Terry Christensen, Political Science, SJSU
  • Matt Hammer, People Acting in Community Together (PACT)
  • Mark Linder, Cupertino Parks & Rec
  • Dayana Salazar, SJSU/CommUniverCity
Arts, Youth & Civic Engagement
  • Jaime Contreras, Generation Engage
  • Jan English-Lueck, Anthropology, SJSU
  • Angel Luna, Silicon Valley De-Bug
  • Kelli Sicat, Montalvo Arts
The Economic Crisis & the Valley
  • Ashok Bardhan, Center for Real Estate Research, UC Berkeley
  • Sarah Lacy, co-host of "Tech Ticker" on Yahoo Finance
  • Chris O'Brien, Business writer for San Jose Mercury News
  • Richard Walker, Geography, UC Berkeley
11:30-12:50 Housing & Homelessness
  • Shiloh Ballard, Housing and Community Development, Silicon Valley Leadership Group
  • Bena Chang, Silicon Valley Leadership Group
  • Carol Lamont, Destination: Home
  • Jenne Wood-Taylor, PACT
The Right to the City
  • Aaron Cavin, U of Michigan
  • Raj Jayadev, Silicon Valley De-Bug
  • Dennis King, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Chris Lepe, De Anza College
Emerging Critical Scholars: Defining Landscapes and Workers in the Global Economy
  • Willow Lung Amam, UC Berkeley Landscape Architecture
  • Marianne Cooper, UC Berkeley Sociology
  • Richard Simpson, Stanford Modern Thought & Literature
1:00-1:50 Lunch / Keynote Address: Glenna Matthews, Historian
2:00-3:20 Euphrat Museum of Art Perspectives on the Silicon Valley
  • Angela Buenning Filo, Photographer
  • Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, Textiles, SJSU
  • Jan Rindfleisch, Euphrat Museum of Art, De Anza College
  • Teresa Castellanos, Immigration Relations & Integration Services (IRIS)
  • James Lai, Political Science, Santa Clara University
  • Calvin Miaw, UNITE HERE Local 19 Representative
Shaping Nature & Community
  • Michele Beasley, Greenbelt Alliance
  • Jon Christensen, Stanford Spatial History Center
  • Carrie Denning, Stanford
  • Jane Mark, Santa Clara County Parks & Rec
  • Richard Walker, Geography, UC Berkeley
3:30-4:50 Green Economy & Workforce Development
  • Louise Auerhahn, Working Partnerships USA
  • Ian Kim, Ella Baker Center
  • Rick Kuhn, Center for Applied Competitive Technologies
  • Alex Schafran, City & Regional Planning, UC Berkeley
Satire, Romance & SV in Fiction
  • Paulina Borsook, Cyberselfish
  • Ellen Ullman, The Bug
South Bay Studies Working Group

Discussion and launch of group.

5:00-5:30 Cultural Performance: De Anza College students: Marlo Custudio and David Sosa
5:30-6:00 CSA Business Meeting (open to everyone) at the California History Center, De Anza College
6:00-7:30 Informal Dinner (no host, $20) at the California History Center, De Anza College