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Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

Home to one of the largest oil refineries in the state, Richmond, California, was once a traditional company town dominated by Chevron. This largely nonwhite city of 110,000 suffered from poverty, pollution, violent street crime, and poorly funded public services. But in 2012, when journalist Steve Early moved to Richmond, he encountered a community that

Gold Rush Stories: Seekers, Scoundrels, Loss, and Luck

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

In less than ten years in the nineteenth century, more than 300,000 people made the journey to California, some from as far away as Chile and China. Dreamers and eccentrics, they included the first African American judge, an early feminist, and a self-styled emperor. Historian Gary Noy's new book, Gold Rush Stories: 49 Tales of Seekers,

Asian American Settlements and Suburban Development in Post-World War II Los Angeles

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

Details forthcoming. Please RSVP to this free event. Co-sponsored by the California Studies Association and the Townsend Center for the Humanities This talk is part of the California Studies Dinners series, a forum for the discussion of California politics, economy, and society that meets once a month on the Berkeley campus. It brings together scholars, students, and specialists from

Coastal Sage: Peter Douglas and the Fight to Save California’s Shore

California is home to 1,100 miles of uninterrupted coastline, defined by long stretches of beach and jagged rocky cliffs. It's easy to take our shore for granted - but its protections are hard-won. Thomas Osborne will discuss his new book, Coastal Sage, which chronicles the career and accomplishments of PeterDouglas, the longest-serving executive director of the California Coastal Commission. For

The Vietnam War in Mexican America

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

More than 200,000 Mexican Americans served in Vietnam. How did the war impact the Chicano community, and how do those effects linger today? Tomás Summers Sandoval has explored this question through oral histories of Chicano veterans and community members. He'll discuss his findings, which will be published in a forthcoming book and incorporated into a dramatic

Rebel Lawyer: Wayne Collins and the Defense of Japanese American Rights

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

Fred Korematsu, Iva Toguri (alias Tokyo Rose), Japanese Peruvians, and five thousand Americans who renounced their citizenship under duress: Chuck Wollenberg's new book Rebel Lawyer tells the story of the key cases pertaining to the World War II incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry and the trial attorney who defended them. Wayne Collins made a

CA Studies Seminar Dinner: Diane North

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

  Please come join us for our second California Studies Dinner featuring Diane North, Professor of History at the University of Maryland.  Her talk will be on her new book, "California at War: the State and the People During World War I". Scholars have produced many works on the impact of World War II on

Pictures of a Gone City: Tech and the Dark Side of Prosperity in the San Francisco Bay Area

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

RSVP's are open for our next California Studies dinner, featuring Richard Walker, "Pictures of a Gone City: Tech and the Downside of Prosperity in the San Francisco bay Area". The high tech boom has been a bust for many Bay Area residents.  Seminar co-convener Dick Walker discusses this and other contradictions of recent Bay Area

CA Studies Seminar Dinner: Honoring Labor From the Union Iron Works to the Salesforce Tower: From Black and White Film to Digital Images

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

San Francisco photographer Joe Blum was a boilermaker, ship fitter, and welder for more than twenty-five years.  He was also an activist in the Boilermakers Union.  Many of his photos are of iron workers and other craftspeople working on such big Bay Area projects as the Zampa Memorial Bridge over the Carquinez Straits, the new

The Party’s Over: Former Communist Party Members in the Bay Area

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

Communist Party members were an important part of the Bay Area’s political left during the 1930s and early 1940s. The eventual decline and fall of the party profoundly affected these individuals and the region’s leftwing politics. Bob Cherny discusses these issues in his seminar appearance on Tuesday, March 19. Now Professor emeritus, Cherny taught American

Chiura Obata: An American Modern

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

UC Berkeley California Studies Dinner Seminar, September 11, 2019: Kimi Kodani Hill, “Chiura Obata, an American Modern”. The late Chiura Obata was a prominent California artist and Professor of Art at UC Berkeley. A Japanese immigrant, he was particularly well known for his paintings of the Sierra Nevada and of the Topaz, Utah camp at

White Devil’s Daughter: the Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown

IRLE Director's Room 2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

Julia Flynn Siler’s new book documents the fight against the trafficking of Chinese women and girls in San Francisco during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Siler emphasizes the role of both white and Asian women in the struggle against sexual slavery, telling their stories with a twenty-first century feminist perspective. A journalist and author, Siler