A community of scholars based in
the San Francisco Bay Area
Fall 2020: Revealing San Francisco’s Hidden 19th-Century Black History: A Tour of California Historical Society Artifacts, lecture by Susan D. Anderson, SF History Days (video here)
Summer 2020: Harlem of the West: The Fillmore Jazz Era and Redevelopment, online lecture by Elizabeth Pepin Silva
Fall 2019: An event-filled two-day excursion to Sacramento
Fall 2019: Tour of Marin Civic Center and presentation by member Bonnie Portnoy on The Man Beneath the Paint: Tilden Daken
Summer 2019: Reading of Judith Offer's play, Scenes from the Life of Julia Morgan
Fall 2018: Public Program, "South Asians in the South Bay: The Privileged Immigrants"
Spring 2018: Excursion to Niles area of Fremont with historic train ride and silent film museum
Spring 2018: The California and the West study group initiated the two public programs on "The Future of the Past in the Digital Age" and Benjamin Madley's talk on An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846–1873.
Fall 2017: Martinez Adobe Fandango; Public Program: “Siberia and California: Connections During the Russian Revolution and Civil War”
Fall 2016: Amador County
Summer 2016: San Francisco Presidio
Winter 2016: Berkeley History Center
Spring 2015: Sonoma Plaza
Winter 2015: San Francisco Public Library
Summer 2014: Red Oak Victory and World War II Homefront National Historic Park, Richmond
Spring 2014: Los Gatos History Museum, "American Bohemia: The Cats Estate in Los Gatos”
Winter 2014: Tour of California Historical Society exhibition on Juana Briones, January 25
Summer 2013: Green Gulch Farm Zen Center visit, August 15
Spring 2013: Visits to Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum and the McCune Collection at the Vallejo Public Library, April 13
In the abundance of caution recommended by heath authorities, the group has decided to take a break from regular meetings.
The group welcomes new members. If you wish to be placed on our email list and receive announcements, contact Joanne Lafler.
The Institute for Historical Study is a community of researchers, writers, and artists. Our common bond is a devotion to history in its many forms. Through wide-ranging programs, we share research, ideas, and practical advice and provide a public forum for the discussion of history.
Members' Recent Activities:
Kevin Knauss’ latest book, Amos P. Catlin, The Whig Who Put Sacramento On The Map, is now
available. See Kevin’s post about the book and Catlin’s life, including "a YouTube video where I
visit different places where Amos lived and worked.”
Margaretta (Gretta) Mitchell’s latest book is called Dreamscapes and Destinations. “This book was hatched in 2020, the first year of the pandemic. Since travel was out of the question, I turned to pictures to return to various destinations, some of which live in my memory as dreamscapes — beginning with the Ancient Stone Circles in England and ending with the vast space of Death Valley, California.” Each
geographical section includes brief anecdotal introductions to the 93 black and white images.
Gretta has produced three “legacy” books: Iconographies (2015), Island Dreams (2017) and Secret Garden (2020) published by her imprint, Elysian Editions. Institute members have a $10 discount on book purchases: $30 will cover tax and shipping. Please send checks to: Margaretta Mitchell, 280 Hillcrest Road, Berkeley, CA 94705.
Welcome to our newest members.
Lyndon Comstock has worked in the field of community economic development. Since retiring, he has
published books about Annie Clemenc and the 1913 Keweenaw copper strike, the early history of a Berkeley neighborhood, his grandmother in Salonica at the time of the Balkan Wars, and pre-abolition Black history in central Kentucky. Other historical research topics include: the United States Colored Troops at Fort Pillow; the community of Bolinas, California; Croatian partisans in World War II; Students for a
Democratic Society; and Chögyam Trungpa’s life in Tibet before 1959. Lyndon also served as a primary source for Cliff Rosenthal’s book about community development financial institutions.
Kieren McCarthy describes himself as “a journalist and writer based in Oakland. I’m from the UK but have been in California for over a decade now. I have a masters degree in mechanical engineering but went into journalism from university. I’ve written for a wide range of national newspapers and magazines, most in the UK. I wrote a book about the extraordinary battle for the internet address Sex.com. Currently I’m writing a book about John McLaren, the superintendent of Golden Gate Park from the 1890s to 1943 and have been digging into San Francisco and California history.”
About himself Michael Several writes: “Having never been an academic, I have had the luxury of learning about a great variety of subjects and taking my time to investigate each one at a leisurely pace. This life-long journey resulted in articles on empire building in ancient Egypt, public memory in Los Angeles, anti-Chinese racism in Redlands, and institutional and community formation of the San Gabriel Valley Jewish community. Currently I am researching the impact of the environment, the introduction of new communication technology, the advances in horticulture, and the completion of water and transportation projects on the development of the San Gabriel Valley between 1873 and 1886.”
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. She lives in London.
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:
Members: Please submit news of your history-related publications, lectures, awards, research finds, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome all men and women who have a commitment to historical study, which may be demonstrated in one or more of the following ways...
Institute for Historical Study
1399 Queens Road
Berkeley, CA 94708