Fall History Forum scheduled at CSUB

September 2, 2008
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, kmiller26@csub.edu or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720, mnewell1@csub.edu

A historical figure that has drawn both praise and scorn is the focus of California State University, Bakersfield's fall History Forum slated for Friday, Sept. 19 at 3:30 p.m. in the Albertson Room on campus.

University of Oregon's David Orique will lead a discussion on 16th-century figure Bartolomé de las Casas (1484-1566) in a presentation titled "The Unheard Voice of Law from an Often Heard Text: A New Rendition of Bartolomé de las Casas' Brevísima Relación de la Destruición de las Indias."

"Las Casas was a formidable advocate of human rights for the indigenous of the new world," Orique said.

Orique added that over the course of Las Casas' 82 years of life, he was a conscientious secular cleric, a crown-appointed "protector of the indigenous," a diligent Dominican friar, the controversial Bishop of Chiapa and a seasoned member of the emperor's privy council.

Trained in canon law, philosophy and theology, Las Casas consistently advocated for evangelization by peaceful methods, and questioned the legitimacy of Spain's presence in the new world. Of his prolific writings, "A Very Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies" is by far the best-known document.

Since its inception in 1999, the History Forum has presented one speaker per academic quarter. Past topics have included the history of the California wine industry by historian Victor Geraci; an oral history and the Chicano experience in World War II given by Mario Garcia, from the University of California, Santa Barbara; and the history of the Basque settlement in Bakersfield presented by Jeri Echeverria, Fresno State University provost and historian.

The forum is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served and parking will be free in lots B and C. For more information please call Mark Baker with the history department at (661) 654-6833 or visit www.csub.edu/history/.