2050 Center St.
Berkeley, California 94704

Presented by the California Studies Association; The Commons Group; California Studies Center, U.C. Berkeley; Heyday Books

The rich and bountiful commons that Californians once enjoyed as a gift of nature and fruit of public efforts are under assault today. Our resources are degraded, our services privatized and our public spaces increasingly pre-empted. But the state’s commons-wealth are not mere amenities for our private lives or raw materials for the economy. They are collective goods, shared resources and collective achievements that underpin our and future generations’ well-being, our civic life and our possibility for a democratic life together.

What exactly are commons? How do they work? How can we protect them? Join scholars, activists, scientists and writers from around the state to examine the crises of California’s commons, recover their history and imagine their possible futures.

Conference Schedule
April 27, Friday night, 7:00-9:00
Welcome, Jeff Lustig, Chair, Conference Organizing Committee

Keynote: Peter Linebaugh, Univ. of Toledo, The Magna Carta Manifesto, U. C.

Press, 2007: "The Commons: From Magna Carta to May Day"
Welcome Reception

April 28, Saturday 8:30-10:00 a.m.

1) California Water: Public Resource or Private Commodity?

Chair: Richard Orsi, CSU-East Bay; author, The Octopus Reconsidered

Bill Kier, William Kier Associates

Stacey Li, National Marine Fisheries Service
Suzanne Michel, Prof of Geography, Cuyamaca College
Adam Scow, Food and Water Watch
Tim Stroshane, editor Spillway newsletter

2) Cutbacks! The Evisceration of the Public Service Commons

Chair: Lauren Coodley, author, California: a Multicultural Documentary History

Anatole Anton, S.F. State University; Not for Sale: In Defense of Public Goods
Ken Jacobs, Labor Center UCB, author of The Hidden Costs of Wal-Mart Jobs
Fred Glass, California Federation of Teachers
Melissa Riley, San Francisco Public Library

April 28, 10:30-12:00

3) Struggles for the Resource Commons: From Mono Lake to the Redwood Forest

Chair: Cal Winslow, Director, Mendocino Institute

Will Russell, Environmental Studies, San Jose State University

Dick Walker, Geography, UCB; The Country in the City; The Conquest of Bread Cal Winslow, Director, Mendocino Institute
Angus Wright, Environmental Studies, CSU-Sacramento, The Death of Ramon
Gonzalez: The Modern Agricultural Dilemma.
4) The Cooperative Legacy: Co-ops in the East Bay

Chair: Chuck Wollenberg, Berkeley City College; author Golden Gate Metropolis; and

Ethnic Conflict in California History

John Curl, author History of Collectivity in the Bay Area

Cathy Goldsmith, Cheeseboard Cooperative

Bernard Marszalek, Inkworks

Adam Wight, Worker at two new Berkeley Food Co-ops

April 28, 11:45-12:30 p.m.

Box Lunch in atrium

Film: The New Los Angeles from series American and the California Dream

by Lynn Goldfarb et al.

April 28, 12:30-1:30

Luncheon Address: “The New Deal Legacy in California,” Gray Brechin, author

Imperial San Francisco; and Farewell Promised Land
Introduction by Gerald Haslam, author The Great Central Valley: California Heartland; Okies;

Voices of Place.

April 28, 1:45-3:15 p.m.

5) Organizing the Commons: Creating Community

Chair: Cynthia Kaufman, DeAnza College, Ideas for Action and Radical Change

Gilda Gonzalez, Unity Council, Fruitvale District, Oakland

David Kakishiba, East Bay Asian Youth Center
Binh Nguyen, Asian Pacific Environmental Network
David Roach, Mo’ Better Foods, West Oakland
Eric Vega, Freedom Bound Center, Sol Art Collective, Sacramento

6) Enclosing the Knowledge Commons: Capture of the Public University

Chair: Janet Fireman, Loyola-Marymount; and Ed., California History

Ignacio Chapela, Environmental Science, Policy, Management, UC Berkeley

Linda Collins, former Pres., Community Colleges Statewide Faculty
Senate; Exec. Dir., Career Ladders Project
Kamal Kapadia, Energy and Resources Group, U.C. Berkeley
Jeff Lustig, CSU Sacramento; author, Corporate Liberalism
Michael Perelman, CSU Chico; Intellectual Property Rights and Corp orate

Confiscation of Creativity

7) Voice of the Commons: Poetry and Literature of a Shared World
Chair: Janferie Stone, Native American Studies, U.C. Davis

Gerald Haslam, Sonoma State University, author The Great Central Valley:

California Heartland, Okies, That Constant Coyote
Vijaya R. Nagarajan, NEH Chair of Humanities, USF; Institute of Natural

and Cultural Resources

Julia Stein, Santa Monica College, Under the Ladder to Heaven; Walker Woman.

April 28, 3:30-5:00

8) Plenary: The Destiny of The Commons

Chair: Jeff Lustig, C.S.U. Sacramento; Founding Chair, California Studies Assoc.
Iain Boal, author, The Long Theft: Episodes in the History of Enclosure
Richard Prelinger, Prelinger Assocs.; founder of Prelinger Film Archive
Ruth Rosen, historian, journalist, Longview Institute; author, The World Split
Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America
Jonathon Rowe, Tomales Bay Institute; West Marin Commons Assoc.

April 28, 5:10-5:45

California Studies Association Business Meeting

Nomination of association officers.

April 28, evening

The Musical Commons

Anna’s Jazz Island, 2120 Allston Way (downtown Berkeley)

Sam Rudin, Boogie, Blues and Jazz,, 8:00
Country Joe McDonald, “A Tribute to Woody Guthrie,” 9:00

April 29, Sunday 9:00-10:30 a.m.

9) The Right to the City: Public Space as Commons

Chair: Carmen Rojas, City and Regional Planning, U.C. Berkeley

Chris Carlsson, activist & author of San Francisco: The Political Edge Christopher Ratcliff, architect and designer of Berkeley City College
Amy Trachtenberg, visual artist- public art, San Francisco

10) The Broadcast Commons: From Pacifica to Pirate Radio

Chair: Iain Boal, author, The Long Theft; Chair, The Commons Group

Maria Gilardin, TUC Radio
Anyi-Malik Howell, Youth Radio
Sasha Lilly, Interim General Manager, KPFA
Marian Smith, General Manager, KFOK, Georgetown, CA (invited)

April 29, 10:45-12:15

11) Seeds of the Future: Local Food Supply

Chair: Chris Shein, Landscape Horticulture, Merritt College; Wildheart Gardens

Christine Churdboonmaung, East Bay Asian Youth Center
Shereen d'Souza, Sustaining Ourselves Locally

Jason Harvey, Exec. Dir., Oakland Food Connection

Aaron Shapiro, LA Farmers’ Market Organizer

Chris Shein, Landscape Horticulture, Merritt College; Wildheart Gardens

12) The Information Commons: Rebirth or Siren Song?

Chair: Peter Wiley, author, The National Trust Guide to San Francisco

Bodo Balazs, Visiting Scholar, Stanford

James Jacobs, International Document Librarian, Stanford University

Annalee Newitz, Bay Guardian, column Techsploitation
Megan Shaw, Prelinger library

Shinjoung Yeo, Coordinator, Reference & Outreach Services, Stanford Univ.


NEH Chair in the Humanities, University of San Francisco


The Institute of Natural and Cultural Resources, The Mendocino Institute, San Francisco State University Environmental Studies Center, West Marin Commons Group

Added by raines on April 6, 2007

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