Blog Archives

2012 Annual Dinner Lecture Report

The Global Migrations of Ornamental Plants

Plants migrate across the globe by hitching rides on exported building materials, riding as seeds in the entrails of animals, stowing away in the luggage of plant-loving travelers, or simply floating on wind that sweeps across continents. Author-neurologist Judith M. Taylor not only traced the migratory movements of numerous plants but also introduced botany’s earliest explorers,

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Member News

Members' Recent Activities:

Bert Gordon is now associate editor of the Journal of Tourism History and welcomes questions and/or submissions relevant to the Journal. He presented “With Camera and Guidebook: Tourism and War” virtually at Moscow State Linguistic University, on 14 September. On 27 October he will discuss the
“History and Legacy of Mills College,” also online, for the Oakland Public Library’s Oakland History Center. In addition to teaching “The West and Its Cultural Traditions” (to the modern period) at Mills, he is also currently offering “England and the British Empire: From Stonehenge to the Present” for Santa Clara
University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and in November will present “Russia from the 1917 Revolutions to the Present,” for the OLLI program at Cal State Eastbay. Both OLLI courses are virtual.

The Fulbright Association accepted Leslie Friedman’s essay, “The Shakers and Tagore Dance,” as part of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright program. The National School of Drama, in New Delhi, had invited her in 1983 to introduce American modern dance to their artists. This led to her Fulbright Lectureship in India. The events described by Leslie took place at Viswa Bharati University, Santineketan, West Bengal. While there, art students who wanted to see her perform seized a building and set up a concert. The audience overflowed the building. A power outage during the performance produced a dance lit by the audience’s flashlights with shadows and reflections like stars. The university invited her to return for an officially presented concert with a vast, enthusiastic audience. Tagore’s poetry and dances and her choreography and technique permeated each other. Results: international cultural understanding and glowing memories. See more on the Fulbright site.

Leslie Friedman’s play, “The Exhibitionist,” received three Zoom presentations. Play by Play, the organization founded and led by Institute member Judith Offer, presented it on a program that included Judith’s play, “Not Too Kosher,” on January 31. That reading/ performance led to two more, on February 3 and 11. “The Exhibitionist” is a satirical, one-act play with two characters re-meeting on what might be a date. Jonathan Clark (Leslie’s husband) played Danny and Leslie played Lily. Leslie has also been invited to give a talk about her recent book, The Story of Our Butterflies: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View, for Stanford’s program, Company of Authors.

John Graham’s second book, The Reeducation Of A Turd Peddler, is available for purchase ( He describes it as “historic, meta-fiction, and satire” which follows Junipero Serra’s heart “stuck in a jar for two hundred years and reveals who stole it and why.”

As of March 2021, Bert Gordon is Associate Editor of the Journal of Tourism History, a peer-reviewed journal published by Taylor and Francis in England. He may be contacted with questions about the journal at: bmgordon@

Susan Nuernberg reports that she is moving back to Wisconsin, where she will continue her work on Charmian Kittrege London, transcribing and annotating her handwritten diaries (1904-1916) for publication by the University of Nebraska Press. She expects to complete her project in a year.

Welcome to our newest members, both currently residing in London, England. Laure Latham describes herself as “a blogger, storyteller and lawyer,” holding a B.A. in religious anthropology from Paris Jussieu University and a B.A. in law from La Sorbonne. She has practiced law at the Paris Bar and has taught international tax at La Sorbonne. Her writings include articles on the environment as well as children and the outdoors. Laure coauthored George-Daniel de Monfreid: Ami et confident de Gauguin and is currently working on a fictional account of Russian America and Ohlone people taking place in 1839 California.

Esther Shallan is a philosopher (PhD in Philosophy from Oxford Brookes University and Mphil in the philosophy of psychology from Kings College London) with interests and research on the problem of evil, the nature of suffering, and personality traits. She is also a psychotherapist working in North London who specializes in bereavement, depression, and anxiety disorders. Esther is currently working on a book entitled "God, Good and Evil: The Problem of Moral Evil Re-evaluated.”

Congratulations to Our 2020 Mini-Grant Recipients:

Steven Levi for expenses of a visual presentation of his poem, “The Contract," about women's suffrage.
Pam Peirce for editing of her biography of Katherine Gibson Wicks.

Members:  Please submit news of your history-related publications, lectures, awards, research finds, etc. to

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Institute for Historical Study
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