Sunday, August 26, 2007

New Links

Two new links on my blog roll: California Studies Association and Frank Barajas .

The California Studies Association sponsors an annual conference, which I attended this year in Berkeley. (I joined the steering committee for next year's conference, too.) CSA also bestows its own Carey McWilliams Award; recipients have included Mike Davis, Kevin Starr, Luis Valdez, Gerald Haslam, and James Houston and Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston.

The organization has been guided over the years by Jeff Lustig and Richard Walker. I'm eagerly awaiting my copy of Dick Walker's latest book, The Country in the City, which tells the story of environmental activism in the Bay Area.

I gather the CSA website will be redesigned soon, so it's worth checking on occasionally.

As my last entry noted, Frank is an associate professor of history at Cal State Channel Islands. He's now researching community responses to civil gang injunctions in Oxnard.

Cal State Channel Islands Talk

Looks like my next talk on Carey McWilliams will happen next month at Cal State Channel Islands. Frank Barajas, a historian there, asked me to talk about McWilliams's civic engagement and public scholarship. He posted some info on the talk on his blog.

Frank's work is on Southern California history and especially Latino activism, so he has been a McWilliams aficionado for a while. Alice McGrath introduced us in May 2005, and we've been in touch since, most recently this summer at Stanford, where he was doing some archival work.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Heyday Books

Heyday Books just sent me Under the Dragon: California's New Culture by Lonny Shavelson and Fred Setterberg. The Oakland Museum of California co-produced it, and it has the high finish I associate with that kind of publication.

Most of the book is made up of colorful photos and verbal snapshots of the Bay Area's diverse population and hybrid culture. The foreword by Andrew Lam, author of another Heyday book (Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora), offers some helpful tropes for conceptualizing social identity in the region's rich racial and ethnic melange. A list of recommended readings, including an entire section of Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) publications, appears in the back matter. If I recall correctly, I worked on most of those PPIC reports during my years there.

I really like Heyday's operation, which is based in Berkeley. Anyone serious about California studies probably has a shelf of their books. Their McWilliams anthology, Fool's Paradise, is especially good.

Heyday was also kind enough to send along another 2007 title, Fast Cars and Frybread: Reports from the Rez, by Gordon Johnson. It's an original trade paperback, co-published by BayTree Books, that collects the author's columns from the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

KWMR Show Will Stream Tomorrow 11 a.m., not 10 a.m., as I reported earlier. Easiest thing is to go to and click the On Air button at the top.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

America Offline with Jonathan Rowe

I'll be on KWMR tonight at 5:30 to talk about Carey McWilliams, American Prophet, and whatever else might come up. The host is Jon Rowe, a freelance journalist and a fellow at the Tomales Bay Institute. I met Jon at the most recent California Studies Association meeting in Berkeley. KWMR serves West Marin from Point Reyes Station (90.5) and Bolinas (89.3). Here's their link:


Sunday, August 05, 2007

McWilliams Tribute on KPCC

I came upon a radio tribute to Carey McWilliams on KPCC (89.3 FM) in Pasadena. It aired last October in a segment called "Off-Ramps." Short and solid. Fanatical readers of this blog will recall that Patt Morrison also interviewed me last year about McWilliams on her KPCC show.

The KPCC website also has a great picture of him. It's a Will Connell photograph, evidently from the same session that produced the cover photo for American Prophet, but it's a little cooler than that one. McWilliams is looking directly at the camera, the dark tones are more saturated, and you can see the smoke coming off of his cigarette, all of which adds up to a noir-like image. I wish I'd seen this one earlier.

Here's the link. To listen to the segment, click on it and scroll down to "SoCal Visionary." There's also a link to McWilliams's Wikipedia page, which I've worked over pretty hard.