20th Annual California Studies Conference
Co-sponsored by Boom: A Journal of California, the California Studies Association, and the New America Foundation
April 16, 2010
UC Davis, The Lodge @ the Rec Pool
What are the roots of our crisis? What are its implications for Californians and the world? And what hope do we have for reforming our way out of it? Join us in Davis as we explore causes, consequences, and prospects for renewal.
California lurches through a severe global recession seemingly unable to address its emergency. Once a model of deliberative democracy, the state's various levels of government now work at cross purposes until the institutions barely function. State revenues are in such poor condition that the Golden State verges on inability to sell its bonds - - despite having the world's eighth largest economy. How did we get here? Might there be tools and materials for building a new future amidst the experiences, stories, and visions of our vast cultural kaleidoscope? Can the state renowned for self-renewal renew itself?
Co-sponsored by Boom: A Journal of California, the California Studies Association, the New America Foundation, UC Consortium for California Studies, and the Davis Humanities Institute, this conference is open to scholars, journalists, policy makers, activists, and members of the general public.
|8:30am - 10:00am||"Constitutional Crisis: Remaking California & Reclaiming the Public Good."
Jeff Lustig, Dan Walters, Lenny Goldberg, and Jean Ross
|8:30am - 10:00am||"Regionalizing Politics and Power in California"
Frank J. Gruber, Juan D. De Lara, Ron Loveridge, and Terry O'Day
|10:15am - 11:45am||"Remapping California: Race, Place, and Community"
George Lipsitz, Clyde Woods, Francisco Fuentes, and Robin DeLugan
|10:15am - 11:45am||"Iconography from a Fallen State: A Filmmaker, Printmaker, and Journalist Take on Images of California"
Craig Baldwin, Bill Boyarsky, Tom Killion, Paulina Borsook
|12:00pm - 1:00pm||Lunch: "How to Fix a Broken State"
Mark Paul and Joe Mathews, authors of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How It Can Be Fixed
|1:15pm - 2:45pm||"Civil Rights in California: Education, Incarceration, Political Representation"
Charles McDonald, Daphne Kwok, and Kenneth Burt
|1:15pm - 2:45pm||"Reimagining California: Perspectives from the Embedded Arts"
Sara Wookey, Dick Hebdige, Matthias Gieger, Micha Cardenas, Kim Yasuda
|3:00pm - 4:30pm||Plenary Session: "Initiating Failure: Populist Governance and the Golden State"
Peter Schrag, Lisa Garcia-Bedolla, John Douglass, Daniel HoSang, Louis Warren
|4:30pm - 5:30pm||Keynote: "(re)Thinking California: Memory, Borders, and Place"
Roberto Alvarez, Professor of Ethnic Studies and Director of The Center for Global California Studies (California Culture's initiative) at UC San Diego
About the Speakers
Kenneth C. Burt
Juan David De Lara
John Aubrey Douglass
Frank J. Gruber
Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge
Louis S. Warren
Roberto Alvarez is Professor of Ethnic Studies and Director of the Center for Global California Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He currently holds the Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professorship of Latin American Affairs at Harvard University. His research interests include the application of anthropology to social change, especially regarding minority communities in the United States. In his first book, he focused on Lemon Grove and Logan Heights in Southern California and studied the settlement and long-term accommodation of immigrant communities along the California-Mexico Border. His most recent book, Mangos, Chiles and Truckers: The Business of Transnationalism (University of Minnesota Press, 2005), examines Mexican entrepreneurs, U.S.-Mexican transnational markets, and commodity chains. His current research focuses on the history of the United States Department of Agriculture and the role of the state in the development of global agriculture.
Born in Oakland, California, Craig Baldwin attended the University of California at Santa Barbara and San Francisco State University (MA, 1986). In the Department of Cinema there, he became increasingly drawn to the collage film form. His interest in the recontextualization of "found" imagery led him to the theories of the Situationist International and to various practices of mail art, 'zines, altered billboards and other creative initiatives beyond the fringe of the traditional fine-arts curriculum. After several photo-essay, installation, video and Super 8 projects, he produced his first 16mm production, WILD GUNMAN (20m, 1978), a dense montage of cowboy iconography, advertising campaigns and geo-political conflicts that featured playful optical-printing of an interactive penny-arcade game. Baldwin's audio-visual argument against neo-colonialist ideology was further developed in ROCKETKITKONGOKIT (30m, 1986), which utilized several narrative voices in an accelerating cinematic broadside. TRIBULATION 99 (48m, 1991) unspooled a satiric psycho-political rant on millenarianism, xenophobia and CIA covert-action in Latin America, with flying saucer simulations and the hypnotic music of Yma Sumac. A picture-book version of the work was published by Ediciones la Calavera. OH NO CORONADO! (40m, 1992) inter-cut live-action Conquistador vignettes with archival footage, video-to-film FX, and a time-warped musical mix in a black-comic critique of the Conquest. The SF Foundation recognized the effort with the 1992 Phelan Award in Film Art.
Bill Boyarsky, a 31 year veteran journalist at the LA Times, will discuss his book, Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times, which explores the impact the family and the paper had in the vanishing era of print. Through the first half of the century, it promoted land development (including the Chandler properties), a harbor, the Owens Valley water aqueduct and the beginnings of the aircraft industry, which grew into the aerospace industry, a key driver of the Southern California prosperity, and the Dodgers and their stadium. Publisher Otis Chandler transformed the LA Times from a right wing Republican rag to one of America's best newspapers, which also reflected the change in the Southland's demography. Boyarsky will discuss the impact of this journalism on California.
Kenneth C. Burt
Kenneth C. Burt is the Political Director for the California Federation of Teachers and a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley. By virtue of overseeing a multi-million dollar political action committee he has been able to help diversify the state legislature. Burt serves on a number of boards, including the Pat Brown Institute and the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy. He is the author of The Search for a Civic Voice: California Latino Politics (2007), and has chapters in five anthologies reflecting an interest in civil rights, Latinos, labor, and electoral politics in California. Burt has started a new blog on Latino political history at http://kennethburt.com/blog. For more information, go to www.KennethBurt.com
Micha Cárdenas / Azdel Slade / dj lotu5 is a transgender artist, theorist and trickster. She is a Lecturer in the Visual Arts department at University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She is an Artist/Researcher in the Experimental Game Lab at CRCA and the b.a.n.g. lab at Calit2. Micha holds an MFA from UCSD, an MA in Media and Communications with distinction from the European Graduate School and a BS in Computer Science from FIU. She has exhibited and performed in Los Angeles, Tijuana, New York, San Francisco, Montreal, Egypt, Ecuador, Spain, Ireland and many other places. Micha's work has been written about in publications including the LA Times, BBC World, Associated Press and Rolling Stone Italy. Read more at http://transreal.org
Juan David De Lara
Juan David De Lara currently serves as an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at the University of Southern California. Dr. De Lara holds a joint appointment with the Department of American Studies & Ethnicity and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. He received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation - Remapping Inland Southern California: Global Commodity Distribution, Land Speculation, and Politics in the Inland Empire - explores how the region's explosive growth and demographic transformation created new opportunities for a fledgling civil society to organize around labor rights, political representation, and environmental justice. Dr. De Lara's current research interests include: the geographies of global commodity distribution, emerging scales of metropolitan and regional growth, the role that labor and community organizations play in the social production of space, urban political ecology - especially as it relates to environmental justice and the green economy movement, and the politics of race and representation in California's rapidly expanding inland counties.
Robin DeLugan is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UC Merced. In her studies she has followed the development of the tourist development projects La Ruta Maya and Mundo Maya in Mexico and Central America by looking at how Indigenous culture and heritage becomes a resource for national economies. Among her related research interests is the role of museums for tourism, national identity, and community development.
John Aubrey Douglass
Dr. John Aubrey Douglass is Senior Research Fellow - Public Policy and Higher Education at the Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) at the University of California - Berkeley. He is the co-editor of Globalization's Muse: Universities and Higher Education Systems in a Changing World (Berkeley Public Policy Press 2009), and author of The Conditions for Admissions (Stanford Press 2007) and The California Idea and American Higher Education (Stanford University Press, 2000; published in Chinese in 2008). Among the research projects he founded and leads is the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) Consortium - a group of U.S. and soon international major research universities developing new data sources and analysis for improving student academic and civic engagement. He is also the editor of the CSHE Research and Occasional Paper Series (ROPS) and sits on the editorial boards of a number of international higher education journal.
Francisco Fuentes is currently a doctoral candidate in Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. His doctoral research focuses on the cultural history of Tijuana-San Diego border communities and their influence on transnational cultures. Fuentes has several years of teaching experience in a university setting, including "religion, migration, and identity" at Cal State Los Angeles in 2009. Currently, he is preparing to teach "The U.S.-Mexico Border and Immigration" during the summer of 2010 at the University of California Santa Barbara. He is also doing research on the Cananea (Mexico) copper mine strike which has been ongoing since the summer of 2007, and he hopes to publish a paper based on his 2004 field study in central Mexico, "Masculinities in Mexican Maquiladoras," in the near future.
Lisa García Bedolla is Associate Professor of Education and Political Science (with courtesy) at the University of California, Berkeley. She is author of Fluid Borders: Latino Power, Identity, and Politics in Los Angeles (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005) which won the American Political Science Association’s Ralph Bunche Award for the best book in political science on ethnic and cultural pluralism and a best book award from the American Political Science Association's Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Section. She is also author of Latino Politics (Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2009) and co-author of the forthcoming Mobilizing Inclusion: Getting Out the Vote among Low-Propensity Voters (New Haven: Yale University Press). Her work has appeared in the Journal of Politics, Politics and Gender, Latino Studies, American Politics Research, the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, and in numerous edited volumes. She has received fellowships and grants from the National Science Foundation, UCLA's Institute of American Cultures, the James Irvine Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Huntington Library, and the American Political Science Association. Her research focuses on the civic engagement of Latinos and other racial/ethnic groups in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the intersection of race, class, and gender.
Matthias Geiger is a faculty member in the UC Davis Art Studio Program. Visit his website at http://www.matthiasgeiger.com/
Frank J. Gruber
Since 2000 Frank Gruber has written a weekly column about life and politics in (and around) Santa Monica for the Santa Monica Lookout News, a local news website (www.surfsantamonica.com). Prior to writing the column, Frank was actively involved in local politics, having served on the Santa Monica Planning Commission from 1995 to 1999. The columns treat issues of urbanism and government through the lens of what Frank calls a "post-sprawl" city that has within its borders nearly every issue relevant to cities today: land use and development in a post-industrial context, school-funding and curriculum issues, gang violence, homelessness, the living wage and rent control, etc. A book collection of Frank's columns from 2000 to 2004, Urban Worrier: Making Politics Personal, was published in 2009. Frank also writes about urbanism issues for the Huffington Post and the Journal of the Architectural Foundation of Los Angeles. Frank is also an attorney in private practice.
A cultural critic and theorist, Hebdige has published widely on youth subculture, contemporary music, art and design, and consumer and media culture. His books include: Subculture: The Meaning of Style (Methuen, 1979); Cut 'n' Mix: Culture, Identity and Caribbean Music (Methuen, 1987); and Hiding in the Light: On Images and Things (Routledge, Methuen, 1988). His current interests include the integration of autobiography and mixed media in critical writing and pedagogy.
Daniel HoSang is Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies and Political Science at the University of Oregon, where he teaches classes on racial politics, history and theory. His forthcoming book, Racial Propositions: Genteel Apartheid in Postwar California (University of California Press), examines California's history of racialized ballot measures in the post World War II era to unearth the tangled roots of "color blind" racial politics.
Artist Tom Killion will discuss the way landscape art fixes the memory of place in the mind of the viewer, taking the fleeting world of perception and concertizing it in a way we can return to again and again. The landscape artist is generally unconscious of this effect (and that is often the reason it is successful), but the fixed landscape of art nonetheless creates an aesthetic standard for viewers to measures the mutable landscape of the real world. Landscape art can truly influence public ideas about preservation of forest, farmland, wildlands, etc. Although this influence is often indirect or delayed, it can have serious political and social consequences. Killion will explore the power of Landscape Art on public memory in contemporary California, through both his own personal experiences and the broader perspective of cultural history.
Daphne Kwok is a veteran advocate for Asian American & Pacific Islander civil rights, civic and political participation, and political representation. She is currently Chair and Co-Founder of Asian & Pacific Islander American VOTE (APIAVOTE). She served as the Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) Vote Lead Coordinator for Obama for America and as the AAPI Vote Director for Pennsylvania for Change. She was the Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) in Washington, DC for four years, focused on increasing political participation of the Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) community and working with the APIA elected officials from school board members to Members of Congress. For 11 years, she was the Executive Director of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), a non-profit, civil rights organization with more than 10,000 members. She has served on the boards of numerous national AAPI organizations.
George Lipsitz is a professor in the Department of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests include social movements, urban culture, and inequality. He is the author of Midnight at the Barrel House, Footsteps in the Dark, The Possessive Investment in Whiteness, A Life in the Struggle, and Time Passages. He serves as chairman of the board of directors of the African American Policy Forum and is a member of the board of directors of the National Fair Housing Alliance.
Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge
Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge is both a politician and a scholar with 30 years of public service experience. As Mayor of Riverside, he is active not only at the city level, but also in state and federal levels. Ron is the President of the National League of Cities. This prominent national lobbying, advocacy and leadership organization asserts the interests of some 19,000 cities and towns across the country at the federal level. You are invited to visit the Mayor's webpage at www.riversideca.gov/mayor to view some of his many programs and initiatives, and to read more about his city, regional, state and national leadership.
Joe Mathews, a journalist and Irvine senior fellow at the New America Foundation, is co-author (with Mark Paul) of the forthcoming book California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (University of California Press, 2010). His previous book was The People's Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy (PublicAffairs, 2006). Joe serves as a contributing writer at the Los Angeles Times and as a columnist for The Daily Beast. His work appears in the New York Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New Republic, The American Prospect, Politico, the Scientific American, Los Angeles magazine, and Fox & Hounds Daily. He is co-president of the 2010 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy (www.2010globalforum.com) a free, public conference of academics, journalists, activists and other experts scheduled for July 31-Aug. 4 at UC Hastings in San Francisco. Before joining New America in 2008, Joe was a reporter for eight years at the Los Angeles Times, where he covered Compton, education, state politics and the 2008 presidential campaign. Today, he maintains a blog on initiatives and referenda, Blockbuster Democracy, on the New America web site (http://www.newamerica.net/blog/blockbuster_democracy).
Charles McDonald is Statewide Alliance Organizer at Californians for Justice (CFJ) and National Youth Organizer for the Alliance for Educational Justice. As Statewide Alliance Organizer at CFJ, he is responsible for connecting the transformative, youth-led work of CFJ in northern and southern California cities to the statewide Campaign for Quality Education (CQE). The son of an Italian mother and African-American father, Charles has fought for economic and education justice in his hometown St. Paul, Minnesota and for workers' rights as a labor organizer in California.
Terry O'Day is a member of the Santa Monica City Council and the Executive Director of Environment Now Foundation, which supports environmental groups throughout California and Mexico. In 2008 was a key organizer of Meas. R, which raised $40 billion for transportation in Los Angeles County.
Mark Paul is an award-winning writer, editor, and policy expert with wide experience in journalism and California state government and politics. He covered California for 24 years, first as Editorial Page Editor and National Editor of the Oakland Tribune, then as Deputy Editorial Page Editor and columnist for the Sacramento Bee, where he wrote extensively about fiscal policy, health care, economics, urban development, and political reform. He won the 2000 Best in the West award for editorial writing about California policy. After leaving the Bee, he served as Deputy Treasurer and Policy Director in the California State Treasurer's Office and as Policy Director for the 2006 gubernatorial campaign of Phil Angelides.Paul has taught international relations and modern U.S. History at Simon Fraser University and Stanford University, and he was an editor of Inquiry, a magazine published by the Cato Institute. He is the author of "Diplomacy Delayed: The Atomic Bomb and the Division of Korea, 1945," in Child of Conflict: The Korean-American Relationship, 1945-1953. His articles and commentaries have also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Inquiry, and Mother Jones. A Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Paul is currently working on a book on political reform in California.
Peter Schrag, who served for 19 years as editorial page editor of the Sacramento Bee, is a lifelong journalist. From his retirement in 1996 until 2009 he wrote a weekly column for the Bee, and he now writes a weekly piece for the blog California Progress Report. A former editor of Saturday Review magazine, Schrag is the author of articles and reviews in the Atlantic, Harper's, the Nation, the New Republic, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Playboy, the American Prospect and other publications. His book, Paradise Lost: California's Experience, America's Future, published by the New Press in April 1998, was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book and issued as a paperback by the University of California Press in 1999. His Final Test: The Battle for Adequacy in America's Schools was published by the New Press in October 2003. His most recent book, California: America's High-Stakes Experiment, was published by the University of California Press in April 2006. A new book, Not Fit for our Society: Immigration and Nativism in America is scheduled for publication in May. Peter Schrag has taught at Amherst College, where he also served as a college administrator, the University of Massachusetts, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and at the Graduate School of Journalism and the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. Since 1998, he has also been a visiting scholar at Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies.
Louis S. Warren
Louis S. Warren is the W. Turrentine Jackson Professor of Western U.S. History at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches California history, environmental history, the history of the American West, and U.S. History. He is author of The Hunter's Game: Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth-Century America (Yale, 1997) and Buffalo Bill's America: William Cody and the Wild West Show (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005). He is also the editor of a classroom text, American Environmental History (Blackwell, 2003). He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Caughey Western History Prize and the Albert Beveridge Prize of the American Historical Association.
Clyde Woods is an associate professor in the Department of Black Studies and the acting director of the Center for Black Studies Research. He is the author of Development Arrested: Race, Power, and the Blues in the Mississippi Delta and the coeditor of Black geographies and the Politics of Place with Katherine McKittrick. He recently edited the American Quarterly special issue In the Wake of Hurricane Katrina: New Paradigms and Social Visions (September 2009) and has completed a manuscript on New Orleans. He is also working on a study of the evolution of the African American community in Southern California, from 1781 to the present.
Sara Wookey is an artist, choreographer and creative consultant. Since moving to Los Angeles from the Netherlands, where she was based from 1996 to 2006, her work has been presented at REDCAT, g727, 24th Street Theater, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, among other venues. A member of the Los Angeles Urban Rangers (www.laurbanrangers.org), Sara currently collaborates with artists, architects, and urban planners, developing performance and media art focused on creating perceptual and social experiences within urban contexts. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the Dept. of World Arts & Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles, and currently teaches at the California Institute of the Arts. She also serves on the board of the Southern California Dance Connection and is a founding member of the collective, Choreographer's Working Group.