Tuesday, October 02, 2007

CSA Annual Conference and Wilson Carey McWilliams

On Sunday, the steering committee of the California Studies Association (CSA) met on the Cal campus. In addition to knocking off some other business, we had a good discussion about the kind of conference CSA wants to host in the Spring.

I've always liked these conferences. I attended one in Oakland where I heard Wilson Carey McWilliams speak about the Progressive Era. I didn't know then that I would write about his father's life and work, but that's how it turned out, and his cooperation was crucial.

That conference took place during the electricity crisis, if I recall correctly. One panelist that year, Lenny Goldberg, had a great quote about the critical role of electricity in the California economy: "Electricity is just another commodity like oxygen is just another gas."

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