Public Programs

2022 “Writing and Revising Narrative History” by Megan Kate Nelson, with the Mechanics Institute, August 21
2021 “The Social Crusader: Berkeley Mayor J. Stitt Wilson’s Lifelong Quest for a Just Society,” online lecture by Stephen Barton, Berkeley Historical Society, July 22
2020 “Revealing San Francisco’ s Hidden 19th Century African American History,” online lecture by Susan D. Anderson, San Francisco History Days, September 26 (video here)
2020  “Harlem of the West: The Fillmore Jazz Era and Redevelopment,” online lecture by Elizabeth Pepin Silva, a documentary filmmaker, photographer, writer, and former day manager of the historic Fillmore Auditorium, August 16 
2019  “The Coit Tower Murals: Visual Feast, Political Controversy, Decades of Neglect, and a Spectacular Restoration,” lecture by Professor Emeritus Robert Cherny, hosted by Presidio Historical Association, October 3
2019 Julia Morgan Play Reading, Berkeley Historical Society, July 27
2018 “South Asians in the South Bay: The Privileged Immigrants – with Jeevan Zutshi,” Mechanics’ Institute, September 29
2018 “Storms, Droughts, Floods: Two Classic Documentary Films by Pare Lorentz,” San Francisco Public Library, September 9
2018 “The Making of Benjamin Madley’s Book, An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe,” Mechanics’ Institute, April 27
2018 “The Future of the Past in the Digital Age, 1.0,” San Francisco History Days, March 3, and “2.0,” SFPL, March 31
2017 “Siberia and California: Connections during the Russian Revolution and Civil War,” Merced Branch SFPL, November 15
2016 “Where Do Archives Come From?,” San Francisco Public Library, November 17
2015 World War I Film Series, co-sponsored, San Francisco Public Library, January-May
2013 “Treasures in the Archives,” with representatives from four San Francisco archives, co-sponsored, San Francisco Public Library, October 10
2013 Talk by C.W. Gortner, historical novelist, co-sponsored, San Francisco Public Library, July 10
2011 Three Sara Bard Field performances by Bonda Lewis at San Francisco Public Libraries, October 19, November 1 and 16
2010 “Gifts of the Great Depression”— presentations about the WPA, the Federal Writers’ Project, and the Civilian Conservation Corps, September 14, San Francisco Public Library
2007 “Historical Mysteries”— discussion with three writers of historical mystery novels,  November 8, San Francisco Public Library
2006 “We Were There”— readings of first-person accounts of the great earthquake and fire, April 19, San Francisco Public Library
2002 “Hidden Masonic Symbols in the San Francisco Murals of Diego Rivera”— illustrated lecture, October 30, San Francisco Public Library
1998 Film series, “Commemorating the Great War”— Barbed Wire, Westfront 1918, and The Dawn Patrol, introduced by Institute members, November 14, 21, and 28, San Francisco Public Library
1997 Conference, “The Scholarly Imperative: What Inspires Independent Scholars?” Co-sponsored by the National Coalition of Independent Scholars, October 18, San Francisco Public Library
1996 Symposium, “Outsiders in the Golden State: Immigration and Americanization in California,” co-sponsored with International House, October 17, International House, Berkeley
1995 Symposium, “Women Leaders at the Early United Nations: a Fiftieth Anniversary Appraisal,” co-sponsored by The Institute for Research on Women and Gender and The Women’s Heritage Museum, March 25, Fort Mason Center
1994 National Coalition of Independent Scholars conference, “Independent Scholars: Finding an Audience,” hosted by the Institute for Historical Study, October 21-23, Mills College
1993 Film series, “Literary San Francisco”— Greed and The Sea Wolf, co-sponsored by the California Historical Society and the San Francisco Historical Society, June 19 and June 26, Bank of America Center
1991 Symposium on German Unification, co-sponsored by the School of Liberal Arts, St. Mary’s College,  January 26, St. Mary’s College
1991 Film series, “Hollywood and the Myths of the West”: Stagecoach, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Little Big Man, High Noon, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, and Heartland, introduced by members of the Institute, April, May, and June, De Anza College, Cupertino
1991 Lecture, “On Becoming an Historian”— guest speaker, UCB history professor Leon Litwak; co-sponsored by the California Historical Society, May 22, First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco
1989 Series of programs for the bicentennial of the French Revolution, including:
1989 “Views of the French Revolution”— Exhibit of Materials in the Bancroft Library, June–August, Doe Library, UC Berkeley; reception held on June 15, Morrison Room, Doe Library
1989 Film series at the Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum: A Tale of Two Cities; Danton; La Nuit de Varennes; and Marat/Sade (each film introduced by an Institute member)
1989 Symposium on Film and History, “Imagining the Past,” with guest speaker Thomas Laqueur, September 9, Legion of Honor Museum
1988 Panel Discussion, “Independent Scholarship for Love and Money,”  December 3, Mills College
1987 Lecture series, “Berlin in the Twenties,” held at the Goethe Institute in San Francisco over four weeks in the spring, on political, social, and economic background of the Weimar Republic; fiction of Alfred Doeblin; contemporary art; new and experimental theater; F. W. Murnau’s film, Der letzte Mann; political culture of the Weimar years, including cabaret.
1986 Bay Area Labor History Workshop: “Using Your Archives” (co-sponsored by Labor Archives and Research Center), December 7, Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco
1985 “Dance for Life” exhibition and events, May 25, 26; June 1, Oakland Museum of California
1984 “World War II Documentary Films from Eastern Europe: The Use of Film in History,” October 29, Mills College
1983 Publications workshop, October 29, Diamond Branch Library, Oakland
1983 Conference on independent scholarship, September 25, World Affairs Council Rooms, San Francisco
1983 “Independent Scholars in the 1980s: Making Connections,” March 18-19, San Francisco State University
1982 “Clio and the Law,” co-presented by the Northern District of California Historical Society, December, United States District Court for the Northern District
1981 “Historians, History, and Historical Resources in the State Capital of California,” March 14, Big Four Building, Sacramento
1981 Grants Workshop (all day program), November 14, Faculty Club, Berkeley
1980 “The Chinese of America, 1785–1980,” November 21, Chinese Culture Center, San Francisco

About Our Public Programs

Public programs have included panel discussions, individual presentations, and film series. Programs are co-sponsored with other institutions, including public libraries, universities, museums, and archives. We are interested in developing new partnerships with other organizations to present public (or members-only) programs along the lines of the ones listed in this website.