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News and Events

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Upcoming Events:

Bakersfield Museum of Art Exhibit with photographs by Horace Bristol titled “The Grapes of Wrath,” January 23,  2014

The Grapes of Wrath Gala at the Historic Fox Theatre, February 7th, 2014 – Bakersfield, CA

Merle Haggard in Concert at the Historic Fox Theatre, March 8, 2014 – Bakersfield, CA

Children's Theatre Performance of “Dust Bowl Dreams,” March 15th & 16th, 2014 – Doré Theatre, CSUB

Arlo Guthrie in Concert at the Historic Fox Theatre, April 9, 2014 – Bakersfield, CA

Kegley Institute of Ethics:  Cruz Reynoso,  
April 17, 2014

CSUB History Forum: Gray Brechin (UC Berkeley), "California's Living New Deal,"
April 18th, 2014

Marisa Silver reads from Mary Coin, California Writers Series, April 23,  2014,  7pm


NEW: Hot off the press: Fall 2013 Newsletter!



"Epistemological Imperialism and Mass Violence in World History:
The Wiriyamu Massacre of 1972

Speaker:  Mustafah Dhada, D. Phil (Oxon)
CSUB,  Professor of History

Time: Friday, October 25, 2013
, 3:30 pm
Place: Music Building, Room 114


Three years before it exited Mozambique as its imperial ruler, Portugal’s colonial army massacred nearly 400 civilians in Wiriyamu. Portugal initially denied the carnage and then admitted it - not in the scale as publicly revealed - as an inevitable consequence of hunting down insurgents clamoring for independence in Mozambique. Portugal’s refusal to allow the United Nations to investigate the massacre compounded the problem of knowing why, how and what happened at Wiriyamu. Professor Dhada tells you how the story affected him and how he approached the problem to get to the bottom of this story.

Professor Mustafah Dhada, was born in Mozambique, is a Fulbright Scholar (1994-1995), Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and teaches African and Middle Eastern history at California State University, Bakersfield.

Update: Thanks largely to Dr. Brett Schmoll this talk is on you tube. Here are the two links:

Details on Professor Dhada are to be found at He can be reached at


NEW: The Public History Institute at CSUB and the School of Arts and Humanities are organizing an exciting series of events to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. Click here to learn more.


NEW: Have you ever wondered what historians actually do?
Check out this series of interviews with historians about how they do history:

"What I Do: Historians Talk about Their Work."

Most Recent History Forums

Text Box:  Rethinking Traditional Marriage in 19th-century America:
The "Marriage Reform" Movement of the 1850s

Speaker: Dr. Patricia Cline Cohen,
University of California, Santa Barbara
Friday, May 3, 3:30 p.m.,
Dezember Reading Room,
Walter Stiern Library

A century and a half before the current "marriage equality" movement emerged, there was a decade of vibrant and creative challenge to the institution of marriage as traditionally defined by the law books and by prevailing customs of that time. Anglo-American law ordained marriage as life-long heterosexual monogamy, built around different and very unequal roles for husbands and wives. Professor Patricia C. Cohen of UC-Santa Barbara will reconstruct three distinct challenges to the dominance of husbands in marriage: a move for relaxing state divorce laws, mainly backed by male legal reformers; a concerted push to gain economic rights for wives, backed by the budding Woman's Rights movement; and, most radically, a bid to untie loving unions of couples from any state regulation, supported by reformers branded as "free love" advocates by their opponents. Professor Cohen's book project is a close study of this last group, headed by an unusual couple, Mary Gove Nichols and her husband Thomas L. Nichols, who married in 1848 but then spent the next decade arguing that laws could not and thus should not police matters of the heart. The national emergency of the Civil War effectively ended this early challenge to marriage law, but many of the ideas that first surfaced then have gained widespread acceptance now.

Dr. Patricia Cline Cohen is Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Cohen, who received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, is a lecturer with the Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer Program, has served as President of the Western Association of Women Historians, and is currently President of the Society for Historians of the Early Republic. She is the author of The Murder of Helen Jewett: The Life and Death of a Prostitute in Nineteenth-Century New York (New York: Knopf, 1998) and a coauthor of The Flash Press: Sporting Male Weeklies in 1840s New York (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008). She is also a coauthor of the textbook, The American Promise (New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 5th edition, 2012).



Speaker:  William C. Tweed, Ph.D.
Sequoia National Parks Foundation
Friday, February 1, 2013
Albertson Room

Tweed photo

What happens to ideas as they age? In this case study of the key concepts behind the American national park system, historian William Tweed explores how what many term "America's best Idea" finds itself being challenged by changes in both science and society. Tweed will apply these questions to our own Sierra Nevada and its three famous national parks.

About William Tweed
For more than thirty years he was a career employee of the United States National Park Service, where he worked at various times as a historian, ranger-naturalist, park planner, concessions management specialist, public affairs specialist, and park manager. He spent many of these years at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California, where he spent the final decade of his career as the parks’ Chief Naturalist.

Dr. Tweed is the author or co-author of a number of books, including Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the Story Behind the Scenery; Challenge of the Big Trees, A Resource History of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks; Recreation Site Planning and Improvements in National Forests, 1891-1942; and Death Valley and the Northern Mohave, A Visitor’s Guide. His latest book, Uncertain Path: A Search for the Future of National Parks, was published in October 2010 by University of California Press.

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What is the History Forum?

The History Forum started in 1999 and presents one speaker per academic quarter. Past topics have included the history of the Basque settlement in Bakersfield presented by Jeri Echeverria, Fresno State University provost and historian; the history of the California wine industry by historian Victor Geraci, oral history and the Chicano experience given by Mario Garcia, from the University of California, Santa Barbara; an analysis on pre-national, pre-modern Ukrainian culture and icons of the Last Judgment, John-Paul Himka, history professor at the University of Alberta (Canada). For a complete list, click here.


Telephone: 661-654-3079 Fax: 661-654-6906
Contact History Department Office