1228 Carleton Street
Berkleley, CA 94702
Professor of History Emeritus John E. McGinty Distinguished Chair in History
San Francisco State University Salve Regina University
1600 Holloway Ave. 100 Ochre Point Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94132 Newport, RI
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, American
GRANTS AND AWARDS
San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, 2014 Award of Merit for contributions to teaching and writing about the history of San Francisco.
Rockefeller Foundation Grant for "San Francisco, the Politics of Inclusion"
Exhibit and Symposium, San Francisco Main Public Library, 1996-1997
Sabbatical Leave, San Francisco State, 1993
Faculty Research Grant, San Francisco State, 1991
Merit Award, San Francisco State, 1990
Faculty Research Grant, San Francisco State, 1988
Merit Award, San Francisco State, 1988
Faculty Research Fellowship, San Francisco State, 1987
Merit Award, San Francisco State, 1985
Sabbatical Leave, San Francisco State, 1985
NEH Summer Seminar for College Faculty, U C, Berkeley, 1984
California Council for the Humanities Grant for San Francisco
History program at the San Francisco County Fair, 1984
Fulbright Professor, American Studies Centre
Polytechnic of Central London (Now: University of Westminster), 1978-79
Faculty Research Grant, San Francisco State, 1976-77
Sabbatical Leave, San Francisco State, 1976
Faculty Research Grant, San Francisco State, 1971-72
NDEA Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 1965-67
Teaching Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 1964-65
Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Chapter, San Francisco State
Honors List, University of California, Berkeley, 1960-61
History Honors Program, University of California, 1960-61
Newhouse Grant, University of California, 1960
Merit Award Graduate, Archbishop Riordan High School, 1957
Sept. 2008 – May 2009 László Orzágh Chair in
American Studies, University of Pécs, Hungary
U.S. History Survey I and II
Sept. 1968- 2006. Instructor to Professor, San Francisco State, History, Urban Studies, Humanities, and Social Science Department courses.
Courses I initiated at San Francisco State
Religion and American Culture
Other courses taught at San Francisco State and Mills College
Additional Teaching Experience
Spring Semester, 2000. Associate Chair, Department of
History. Designed and successfully implemented new Modern World History
concentration in the graduate program of the department.
Department of History: Hiring Committee (served
five terms as chair), Promotions Committee, Retention and Tenure
Subcommittee, Elections Committee, Curriculum Committee, Ad Hoc Committee on
Credential Major (chair).
Member of Board of Editors, Pacific Historical
Review, 1988 -1991
Book Series Editor
The Contemporary United States: Series Co Editor
with Christopher Brookeman.
I commissioned and exercised editorial responsibility for the following six works:
Manning Marable, Race, Reform and Rebellion The
Second Reconstruction in Black America, 1945-1990,
Church and State in the City: Catholics and Politics in 20th Century San Francisco. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2013.
"Church and State in the City is a fascinating analysis of the political history of San Francisco. William Issel makes a compelling case for the central role of religion, particularly the Catholic Church, in the development of a liberal-minded politics in San Francisco from the 1890s through the 1980s.... [T]his book breaks new ground and makes a significant contribution to the fields of both urban and California history."
"Issel's longstanding scholarly interest and expertise on the role of ethnicity, race, religion, and politics in American cities, particularly San Francisco, are readily evident in his most expansive treatment to date of church and politics in that city.... The volume presents a superb narrative of twentieth-century public life in San Francisco while deftly interweaving analyses of national politics, international Catholic trends, and the local San Francisco context. Most significantly, it is exemplary in its scholarly integration of urban, political, and religious history."
"For Both Cross and Flag": Catholic Action, Anti-Catholicism, and National Security Politics in World War II San Francisco. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2010.
"Issel's work is instructive, compelling, and valuable... For Both Cross and Flag ought to count as the first meaningful and pace-setting step in recounting the history of Catholic Action in the United States. What is praiseworthy about Issel's treatment is that he eschews the proclivity to write functional organizational history. Instead, the author provides contextualization for a regional history of Catholic Action which will set the tone for how future historians will write about the movement.... [A] pathbreaking book for scholars interested in twentieth-century Catholic history in general, and American anti-Catholicism in particular.... In a concise, highly-readable book, Issel underscores the vibrancy of San Francisco Catholic culture."
"Issel, a specialist in the political, social, and cultural history of twentieth-century America, cover new territory in this excellent study.... For Both Cross and Flag is illuminating on several counts.... Well researched and persuasively argued, this slim book is also relevant. Although the tragedy of Sylvester Andriano has slipped down the memory hole, its recounting reminds us of the effect of loyalty investigations on civil liberties in wartime. If some measure of the worthiness of a book is that it teaches us things we ought to remember, this is indeed a fine book."
"Beginning with the introduction, which presents an overview of the case, Issel skillfully guides the reader through the layers of Andriano’s story and presents his central point: that anti-Catholicism played a key role in the decision of the Communist Party and anti-Catholic fellow Italian immigrants to target him.... Issel has told a story whose importance lies in its cautionary nature and its reminder regarding the influence of immigrants’ homeland politics and religious affiliation in domestic politics."
"Issel's splendid book... is a sad and tragic
tale.... [that] illustrates the wisdom of the Greek tragedian Aeschylus, who
said, 'In war the first casualty is truth.'"
"For Both Cross and Flag breaks
interesting new ground. Issel, a leading specialist on the history of 20th
century San Francisco, has done an exhaustive job of researching the life and
career of Sylvester Andriano. He fills out the history of conservatism in the
United States and the role of religion in local and national politics.
Thoroughly researched and clearly written, this excellent historical work fits
very nicely at the intersection of urban history, political history, and ethnic
history. It also makes important moral points."
Social Change in the United States, 1945-1983, London: Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1985; New York: Schocken Books, 1985. Paperback edition, 1988.
"A balanced and comprehensive survey of recent American social historiography." History (UK)
"An impressive study." Kyklos: International Review for Social Science
With Robert Cherny and Kieran Taylor, American Labor and the Cold War: Grassroots Politics and American Political Culture, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2004. I was co-editor, drafted the introduction, and authored a chapter on Catholic activism and the labor movement.
"This book is one of the most outstanding in recent years in all the history of U.S. labor."
Paul Buhle, co-editor of The Encyclopedia of the American Left
With Robert Cherny, San Francisco: 1865-1932: Politics, Power, and Urban Development, , Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986. Paperback edition, 1987.
"A major achievement. Issel and Cherny have set the historiographical agenda for studying San Francisco politics." Choice
With Robert Cherny, San Francisco: Presidio, Port and Pacific Metropolis, 1776-1980, San Francisco: Boyd and Fraser, 1981
Chapters in Books
"The Priesthood of the Layman: Catholic Action in the Archdiocese of San Francisco," in Empowering the People of God: Catholic Action before and after Vatican II, edited by Mary Beth Connolly and Jeremy Bonner, Fordham University Press, 2013.
"’For Both Cross and Flag’: Catholic Action in Northern California during the 1930s," in A Rosary of Hidden Voices: Catholicism in the American West, edited by Roberto Trevino, Texas A & M Press, 2007.
"’A Stern Struggle’: Catholic Activism and San Francisco Labor, 1932-1958" in American Labor and the Cold War: Grassroots Politics and American Political Culture, edited by William Issel, Robert Cherny and Kerry Taylor, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2004.
"Humanity is One Great Family: Inter-faith Cooperation between Catholics and Jews in the San Francisco Civil Rights Campaign, 1940-1960" in California Jews edited by Marc Dollinger and Ava Kahn, Brandeis University Press, 2003.
"New Deal and World War II Origins of San Francisco’s Postwar Political Culture," in The Way We Really Were: Everyday Life in California During World War II, edited by Roger W. Lotchin, University of Illinois Press, 1999.
"California and the Military-Industrial Complex" in Regions and Regionalism in the United States: Past and Present, London: PCL American Studies Centre, 1984.
"Approaches from History and Sociology," in Approaches to Teaching American Studies: Report of the Second Conference on Curricular Aspects of American Studies at Secondary Schools in Europe, in Peter Funke, ed., Bielefield: German Association of American Studies, 1980.
"Modernization in Philadelphia School Reform, 1882-1905," in Education in American History: The Social Issues, edited by Michael B. Katz, New York: Praeger Publishers, 1973.
Articles in Refereed Journals
"Peace with Justice:" Bishop Mark J. Hurley and the San Francisco State College Strike," in American Catholic Studies, (Fall 2015)
"Liberal and Conservative Visions in U.S. Politics since 1945: Cultural Politics, the Politics of Inclusion, and Two California Cases," in Siecles, 37 (2013)
"'A Different Era': Julia Gorman Porter's San Francisco Liberalism," in The Argonaut, winter 2008.
"Catholics and the Racial Justice Campaigns in San Francisco, from Pearl Harbor to Proposition 14," (Co-authored with Mary Anne Wold), in American Catholic Studies, fall 2008.
"Faith-Based Activism in American Cities: The Case of the San Francisco Catholic Action Cadre,"in Journal of Church and State, summer 2008.
"‘Still Potentially Dangerous in Some Quarters': Sylvester Andriano, Catholic Action, and Un-American Activities in California" in Pacific Historical Review, May 2006.
"’The Catholic Internationale’: Mayor Joseph L. Alioto’s Urban Liberalism and San Francisco Catholicism," in U.S. Catholic Historian, spring 2004.
"‘Land Values, Human Values, and the Preservation of the City’s Treasured Appearance’: Environmentalism, Politics, and the San Francisco Freeway Revolt," in Pacific Historical Review, November 1999.
"The Catholic Church and Organized Labor in San Francisco, 1932-1958," with James Collins, in Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia, Summer 1999.
"Liberalism and Urban Policy: San Francisco from the Thirties to the Sixties," Western Historical Quarterly, November 1991.
"Business Power and Political Culture in San Francisco, 1900-1940,"in Journal of Urban History, November 1989.
"`Citizens Outside the Government': Business and Urban Policy in San Francisco and Los Angeles, 1890-1932" in Pacific Historical Review, May 1988.
"Americanization, Acculturation, and Social Control: School Reform Ideology in Industrial Pennsylvania, 1880-1910," Journal of Social History, Summer 1979.
"The Politics of Public School Reform in Pennsylvania, 1880-1911," Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, January 1978.
"Class and Ethnic Conflict in San Francisco Political History: The Reform Charter of 1898," Labor History, summer 1977.
"History, Social Science, and Ideology: Elkins and Blassingame on Ante-Bellum Slavery," The History Teacher, November 1975.
"Teachers and Educational Reform during the Progressive Era: The Pittsburgh Teachers Association," History of Education Quarterly, Summer 1967.
"Ralph Borsodi and the Agrarian Response to Modern America," Agricultural History, April 1967.
"Joseph L. Alioto" and "Hugh A. Donohoe" articles in The Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Politics, published by Greenwood Press, Westport, CT.
"The San Francisco Bay Area," a 6000 word article in The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History, published by Scribners Reference, New York City.
"San Francisco," a 2500 word article for The Encyclopedia of American Urban History, published by Greenwood Press, Westport, CT.
"Joseph L. Alioto," a 1000 word article in The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, published by Scribners Reference, New York City.
"San Francisco," a 1000 word article for The Encyclopedia of Violence in the United States, published by Scribners Reference, New York City.
"Liberalism", and "San Francisco",
two 1000 word articles in the Reader's Guide to American History, edited
by Peter J. Parish and published by Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, Cambridge,
"San Francisco," a 500 word article for The Oxford Companion to United States History, published by Oxford University Press, New York City.
Schiller, Reuel, Forging Rivals: Race, Class, Law, and the Collapse of Postwar Liberalism, California Legal History, 2016.
Schwartz, Harvey, Building the Golden Gate Bridge: A Workers' Oral History, History News Network, 2015
Swindall, Leslie R. The Path to the Greater, Freer, Truer World: Southern Civil Rights and Anticolonialism, 1937-1955, North Carolina Historical Review, 2015.
Lawrence McAndrews, What They Wished For: Catholics and the Presidents, 1960-2004, U.S. Catholic Historian, 2015.
Sascha Rice, California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown, a Documentary Film, Southern California Quarterly, 2014.
Gordon K. Mantler, Power to the Poor: Black-Brown Coalition and the Fight for Economic Justice, 1960 – 1974, North Carolina Historical Review, 2013.
Kathleen Holscher, Religious Lessons: Catholic Sisters and the Captured Schools Crisis in New Mexico, Journal of American History, 2013.
Teresa Gowan, Hobos, Hustlers and Backsliders: Homeless in San Francisco, California History, 2011.
Frank Lambert, Religion and Politics in American History, The History Teacher, 2011.
Review Essay, "Recent Histories of Race Relations in California in World War II and the Cold War,"
H-California Electronic Discussion Network, October 22, 2005. http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~cal/
Robert Fogelson, Downtown, Journal of American History, Dec. 2002.
Richard Longstreth, The Drive-In, the Supermarket, and the Transformation of Commercial Space in Los Angeles, 1914-1941, American Historical Review, June. 2001.
Gray Brechin, Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin, California History, Spring 2001.
Steven J. Ross, Working Class Hollywood: Silent Film and the Shaping of Class in America, in Pacific Historical Review, 2000.
Stephen J. McGovern, the Politics of Downtown Development: Dynamic Political Cultures in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., Pacific Historical Review, 2000.
Richard Longstreth, From City Center to Regional Mall: Architecture, the Automobile, and Retailing in Los Angeles, in Town Planning Review (UK), 1998.
Terrence Emmons, Alleged Sex and Threatened Violence: Bishop Vladimir, Dr. Russel, and the Russians in San Francisco, in American Historical Review, October 1998.
Eric H. Monkkonen, The Local State, in Planning Perspectives, July 1997.
Philip Ethington, The Public City: The Political Construction of Urban Life in San Francisco, 1850-1900 in Pacific Historical Review, 1996
Albert Broussard, Black San Francisco: The Struggle for Racial Equality in the West, 1900-1954, in American Historical Review, October 1994.
David Ward and Olivier Zunz, The Landscape of Modernity: Essays on New York City, 1900-1940, Journal of American History, Sept. 1993.
Roger Lotchin, Fortress California: 1910-1961: From Warfare to Welfare, in Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Fall 1993.
Richard DeLeon, Left Coast City: Progressive Politics in San Francisco, 1975-1991, in Pacific Historical Review, Feb. 1994.
John M. Findlay, Magic Lands: Western Cityscapes and American Culture After 1940, in California History, Fall 1993.
William Mullins, The Depression and the Urban West Coast, in American Historical Review, April 1992.
Mark Foster, Henry J. Kaiser: Builder in the Modern American West, in American Historical Review, April 1991.
David Emmons, The Butte Irish: Class and Ethnicity in and American Mining Town in History, Summer 1990.
Erik Monkkonen, America Becomes Urban in History, August, 1989.
Terrence McDonald, The Parameters of Urban Fiscal Policy, in California History, September 1987.
Amy Bridges, A City in the Republic: New York City and the Origins of Ante-bellum Machine Politics, in The Journal of American Studies (UK), April 1986.
Peter Hare, A Woman's Quest for Science: Elsie Clews Parsons, in History: Reviews of New Books, Sept./Oct. 1985.
Robert Senkewicz, Vigilantes in Gold Rush San Francisco, in Review, The Northern California Magazine of Books, Art and Music, San Francisco Chronicle, April 1985.
Burton Benedict et al, The Anthropology of World's Fairs, San Francisco's Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915, in The Pacific Historian, Fall 1984.
Charles R. Morris, A Time of Passion: America 1960 - 1980 in Review, The Northern California Magazine of Books, Art & Music, San Francisco Chronicle, May 27, 1984.
Irving Louis Horowitz, C. Wright Mills: An American Utopian. in The San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 25, 1984.
Steven C. Levi, Committee of Vigilance: The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Law and Order Committee in History, Reviews of New Books, November/December 1983.
M. Christine Boyer, Dreaming the Rational City: The Myth of American City Planning in History, Reviews of New Books, 1984.
David U. Gerstel, Paradise Incorporated: Synanon, a Personal Account, in The Pacific Historian, Spring 1983.
Harvey J. Graff, The Literacy Myth: Literacy and Social Structure in the Nineteenth Century City, in American Historical Review, December 1980.
Paul Boyer, Urban Masses and Moral Order in America, 1820-1920, in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, July 1979.
James B. Gilbert, Work Without Salvation: America's Intellectuals and Industrial Alienation, in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, July 1978.
Herbert G. Gutman, The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom and Lawrence W. Levine, Black Culture and Black Consciousness in The San Francisco Bay Guardian, Oct. 13, 1977.
Selwyn Troen, The Public and the Schools: Shaping the St. Louis System in History, March 1976.
Hugh Hawkins, Between Harvard and America History, March 1973.
Michael Kammen, ed. What is the Good of History: Selected Letters of Carl Becker, 1900- 1945, in History, Nov./Dec. 1973.
Paul K. Kress, Social Science and the Idea of Process, in American Historical Review, October 1972.
Michael B. Katz, The Irony of Early School Reform, in Historical Methods Newsletter, June 1969.
PAPERS, LECTURES, CONSULTING (selected list)
March 2016. Panel Discussion, "Justice and Mercy: Race, Class, and Dilemmas of Criminal Justice in the United States Today." I organized and moderated this campus and community forum, featuring scholars from California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, as one of Salve Regina University's programs associated with the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.
Feb. 2016. Public Lecture, "The Great Society at 50: Lyndon B. Johnson and the Progress of Racial Justice in America," Joshua B. Stein Work in Progress Lecture, Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI.
November 2015. Public Lecture, "Peace with Justice: Bishop Mark J. Hurley, the Black Power Movement, and Racial Justice in the 1960s," at the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy, Salve Regina University, Newport, RI.
May 2015. Panelist, "Labor in San Francisco, Before and After 1915," one of the events associated with the 100th Anniversary of the Panama Pacific International Exposition programs at the California Historical Society, San Francisco.
September 2014. Comment at the session on "Peculiarities of the West: German American Communities in California, 1880 -- 1960, at the Annual Meeting of the German Studies Association, Kansas City, Missouri.
August 2014. Public Lecture, "Catholic Power and the Right to the City: The San Francisco LGBT Struggle for Freedom Reconsidered, at the Commonwealth Club, San Francisco.
May 2014. Plenary Lecture: "Dorothy Bryant, Gus Lee, Aimee Lieu, and Me: Novels, Memoirs, and History in American Studies Today," at the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Hungarian Association for American Studies, Budapest, Hungary.
January 2014. Co-organizer and commentator at the session on "Catholics and the Long Civil Rights Movement" at the American Historical Association annual conference, Washington, D.C.
November 2013. Paper on "The Vatican in the Golden State" Catholic Discourse and Political Practice in California" at the Conference on "Rhetoric and Political Discourse in the United States, Historical, Contemporary and Theoretical Approaches to US Rhetoric, at the Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg, The Netherlands and Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
October 2013. "The Archbishop and the Gaels: How Catholic Action Shaped 20th Century San Francisco," a public lecture at St. Mary's College of California, Moraga, CA.
August 2013. Chair and commentator at the session on "Moving Out from the Cities" at the American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch annual conference, Denver, CO.
May 2013. Paper on "The First Amendment and American Broadcasting: The Rise and Fall of the Fairness Doctrine," at the "Constitutions: Ongoing Revolutions in the US and Europe" international conference at the School of Law, University of Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
January 2013. Panelist, "Twentieth Century Catholic Lives" session of the American Catholic Historical Association Conference, New Orleans. Presented a paper on "The Untold Story of Bishop Mark Hurley's Role in the Settlement of the San Francisco State College Strike in 1969."
November 2012. Public lectures in Budapest and Pecs, Hungary on "The Presidential Election of 2012: New Perspectives on the Role of Cultural Politics in Presidential Elections."
October 2012. Paper on Religion, Business, and Politics in San Francisco, 1890-1980, at the "Defining the Public Interest Session of the Sixth Biennial Conference of the Urban History Association, New York City.
October 2012. Commentator at the session on "Immigrant Entrepreneurs and the Economic Development of Northern California," sponsored by the German Historical Institute, at the Western History Association annual conference, Denver, CO.
June 2012. Paper on "Cultural Politics, Conservatism and Direct Democracy in California,"at the "Direct Democracy in the United States and Europe" international conference at Blaise Pascal University and University of Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
May and June 2012. Participant in two conferences in Budapest, Hungary, commemorating 90 years of U.S. -- Hungarian diplomatic relations and 20 years of the Fulbright Commission.
Various dates, 2010 and 2011. Book talks and lectures in connection with the publication of For Both Cross and Flag, including public lectures at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, New York City, Museo Italo Americano, San Francisco, and St. Mary's College of California, Orinda.
November 2010. Panelist, "Urban Foundation Myths" session of the Urban History Association Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada. Presented a paper on "The Myth of the General Strike in San Francisco."
Summer 2010. Participant in the three week "Religion and War in American History" seminar, convened by Prof. Harry Stout of Yale University, at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. .
June 2010. Panelist, "War, Religion, and Ethnicity" session of the Historical Association Conference, Washington, D.C. Presented a paper on the role of religion and ethnicity in National Security Politics in World War II.
Sept. 2009. Panelist, "The 1934 Strike and its Legacy" on KQED FM Forum program, Labor Day.
Sept. 2009. Lecture, Children's Hospital and Research Center, Oakland, Orientation Program for new interns, Department of Psychiatry, "Oakland and Alameda County: An Urban Society and Culture in Historical Perspective."
June 2009. Panelist, Evening Symposium at
SPUR (San Francisco Urban Planning and Research Association), "The Reformed
City: Progressivism in the Wake of Disaster"
April 2008. Lecture, Docent Training Program, Oakland Museum of California, "The 1946 Oakland General Strike."
Feb 2008. Organized session "Enemies at the Gates"? On the politics of relocation of European war refugees in the US after World War II at the Seventh European Social Science History Conference, Lisbon.
November 2007. Lecture "Contested City, San Francisco 1896-1911: Lived Experience, Biography, History," at the "1906 and Beyond: Mayor Taylor’s Administration" Program, Main Public Library, San Francisco Civic Center.
Fall 2006 – Spring 2007. One of the two historian consultants hired to write the historical content for the master plan for the proposed Museum of San Francisco History at the Old Mint in San Francisco. The master plan was submitted by Christopher Chadbourne & Associates to the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society in February 2007. member of the 13 person working group of the 35 member community-based Storyline Committee charged with overseeing development of the master plan.
March 2006. Paper on "Bishop Hugh Donohoe and the Catholic Action Cadre in Northern California," at the Sixth European Social Science History Conference, Amsterdam.
March 2006. Paper on Catholic Action in Northern California at the Conference on Reassessing the Role of Religion in the American West, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.
November 2005. Paper on "Religion, Ethnicity and Loyalty Investigations in World War II California," at the annual meeting of the American Italian Historical Association, Los Angeles, California.
August 2005. Paper on "Religion and Politics: Continuities and Change" in the session on "Looking Back at the 2004 U.S. Elections, " at the Second World Conference of the International American Studies Association, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
August 2005. Organized session on "Race Relations, Ethnicity, and Politics in Recent California History" and presented a paper on the recent historiography of California race relations during World War II and the Cold War, at the annual meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
March 2004. Organized session on "Political Manifestations of Faith-Based Activism in Comparative Perspective" and presented a paper on Catholics and Politics in Modern California History at the Fifth Biennial European Social Science History Conference, Humboldt University, Berlin.
November 2003. Presented opening address and moderated program on "The Ten Most Controversial Public Policy Decisions in San Francisco History" sponsored by Leadership San Francisco, an affiliate of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.
November 2003. Presented talk based on my recent publications on Catholic and Jewish cooperation in the Civil Rights campaign at meeting of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association.
August 2003. Chair and commentator for session on New Approaches to the Role of Race and Ethnicity in California Politics in the mid-twentieth century at the annual meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, Honolulu.
July 2003. Lecture on Catholics and the Labor Movement for the University of San Francisco conference commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
May 2003. Paper on Religion and the Civil Rights Movement in California during the 1940s and 1950s, at the Pacific Northwest Labor Studies Association meeting, Seattle, Washington.
April 2003. Paper on Religion and Politics in California at the national conference on New Directions in the Study of Religion in American Culture sponsored by the New England American Studies Association, Hartford, Connecticut.
June 2002. Paper on Catholic Action during the New Deal, at the "Beyond the New Deal" Conference organized by the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on North America, University of Paris VII, June 6-7, 2002.
November 2001. Paper on Joseph L. Alioto and the Demise of Democratic Party Liberalism in Urban Politics, at the annual meeting of the Social Science History Association, Chicago, November 15-18, 2001.
April 2001. Paper on Jewish and Catholic participation in the early civil rights movement (1930s to the 1950s) in California, at the "California Jews: History, Politics, and Culture" Symposium at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, April 22.
April 2000. Participant at a three-day symposium at the Presidio of San Francisco, convened by the National Park Service and the Presidio Trust to develop program concepts that will be used as the Presidio completes its transition from its military past to its community-focused future.
April 2000. Paper, "Catholic Action on the Political and Cultural Fronts in Northern California during the 1930s," twenty-fifth Annual Conference of the British Association for American Studies, University of Wales, Swansea.
February 2000. Lecture, "‘A Stern Struggle’: Catholic Activism and San Francisco Labor, 1934-1958," Distinguished Labor History Lecture, Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco, CA.
October 1999. Lecture, "San Francisco’s Interfaith Campaign for Civil Rights from the Forties to the Sixties," Swig Judaic Studies Program, University of San Francisco.
May 1999. Paper, "Julia Gorman Porter and Urban Housing Reform from the Thirties to the Sixties," Tenth Anniversary Conference for the Journal of Policy History, St. Louis, Missouri.
January 1999. Paper, "The Postwar Politics of Environmentalism: Controversies Over Building Interstate Highways in the San Francisco Bay Area," presented at the Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference of the American Politics Group of the UK, Selwyn College, Cambridge University.
October 1998. Chair and Commentator, Session on New Perspectives on Religion in the West, Western History Association Annual Meeting, Sacramento, California.
January 1998. Lecture, "Rethinking the New Labor History in the Light of the New Institutionalism in Political History," presented at a session of the Bay Area Labor History Workshop, Berkeley.
September 1998. Lecture, "Moral Dilemmas, Loyalty Questions: The Case of American Anticommunism and Government Red Scares," presented to the members of the History and Arts Institute, San Jose Unified School District, San Jose.
October 1997. Paper, "Freeway Politics, San Francisco Style: The Controversy over Crosstown Freeways, 1945-1977," presented at a session of the Society for City and Regional Planning History meeting, Seattle, Washington.
April 1997. Chair and Commentator at a session on "San Francisco and the Dimensions of Diversity," at the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians, San Francisco.
October 1997. Chair and Commentator at a session on "Racial Liberalism in Postwar Western Cities," at the annual meeting of the Western History Association, St. Paul, Minnesota.
January 1997. Paper, "The Junipero Serra Freeway Controversy," presented at a session on Urban Policy in the Postwar American West, at the American Historical Association meeting, New York City.
July 1996. Lecture, "SOMA from 1870 to the Present: People, Places, and Politics in a Changing Urban District," at the California Historical Society, as part of the Inaugural Program of the Society at its new downtown address.
April 1996. Paper, "New Deal and Wartime Origins of San Francisco's Postwar Political Culture," at the annual scholars conference of the University of Iowa Center for Research in Recent United States History, Iowa City, Iowa.
August 1995 - December 1996. Curator of two historical exhibitions to mark the opening of the New Main Library, San Francisco. One exhibit told the story of how San Franciscans have expanded the meaning and practice of liberty, equality, and democracy in the city, and the other used materials from the Labor Archives to tell the story of working people and the union movement in the bay area.
November 1995. "San Francisco's New Deal System at War: the Impact of World War II on Politics and Policy," a paper at the Conference on California During World War II held at the Huntington Library, Pasadena.
August 1995. "New Deal and Wartime Origins of Urban Economic Policy: San Francisco in Comparative Perspective," a paper delivered at the annual meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, Kehei, Maui.
August 1994. Culminating Lecture, "Racism and the City in Historical Perspective" for the "What is Race" Series of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program at San Diego State University.
April 1994. Paper on Race and Class in the politics of policy-making in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston and San Antonio, from the Great Depression to the Great Society, at the annual meeting of the California American Studies Association, San Diego, California.
August 1992. Paper on coalition-building among labor, welfare, and civil rights organizations in San Francisco during World War II Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association, Corvallis, Oregon.
May 1992. Lecture, "Many Peoples, One City: The Political Culture of San Francisco from the Great Fire and Earthquake to World War II," lecture for a symposium on "Recovering the Lost City, 1906-1939, sponsored by the NEH and Humanities West, Herbst Theater, San Francisco.
May 1992. Chair for session on Crisis, War and the State at the "Law, State, Society and History" conference of the Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto.
April 1992. "Challenging White Supremacy on the Urban Frontier," paper presented at the biennial meeting of the European Association for American Studies Conference, Seville, Spain.
June 1990. Lecture, "San Francisco: The Liberal Vision from the 1930s to the 1960s," for a symposium on "Visionary San Francisco," held in conjunction with the exhibition of that title at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, presented by invitation from the Museum.
April 1990. Consultant work with the American Studies Resources Centre in London on American Urban History curriculum materials. Attendance at the biennial meeting of the European Association for American Studies and participation in various workshops.
December 1989. "Political Culture and American Urban History" session at the AHA annual meeting, San Francisco. I organized this session at the invitation of the program committee and presented a paper "Liberalism and Urban Policy in San Francisco, from the 1930s to the 1960s."
August 1988. Commentary, Session on "Structures of Urban Political Culture" at the annual meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, San Francisco.
August 1986. "The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and Urban Development in San Francisco, 1911-1937." A paper delivered at the August 1985 meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, Honolulu.
July 1986. "Political Ideology and Belief Systems on the Far Western Frontier: California Business Leaders from the 1890s to World War II." A paper delivered at the Ninth Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, June 29 - July 3, 1986, Amsterdam.
April 1986. "Politics, Culture, and Ideology: Three Episodes in the Evolution of San Francisco's 'Culture of Civility'." A paper delivered at the meeting of the California American Studies Association, Long Beach, California.
Summer 1984. Member of the NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers on Business History and American Culture, UC Berkeley.
March 1984 - October 1984. Member of Planning Committee for a Conference on Art and Disabilities: Contemporary Issues, funded by the California Council for the Humanities and co-sponsored by the San Francisco Museum of Art and the Institute of Art and Disabilities, Berkeley. Conference held at the Museum in October 1984.
April 1984 - June 1985. Director of "San Francisco History, the People and the City", a curriculum improvement project designed to introduce ethnic, working class, and women’s' history to the public secondary school curriculum at the San Francisco Downtown High School.
March - July 1984. Member of Planning Committee that put on the Fifty-Year Anniversary conference to commemorate the San Francisco General Strike. The conference, sponsored by the San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the ILWU, and the Teamsters, was held at Sailors Union Hall.
January 1980 - Present. Member of the Bay Area Labor History Workshop: academics, writers, and rank and file union historians.
December 1983. Paper on California business and urban policy history at the American Historical Association meeting in San Francisco.
December 1982 - December 1984. Co-Director, The San Francisco Community History project. I wrote half of the proposal for this project which was funded by the California Council for the Humanities and private foundations. The Project was an important part of the San Francisco County Fair during the summers of 1983 and 1984.
October 1982 - April 1983. Consultant to Video Free America project to broadcast four television documentaries on San Francisco neighborhoods.
August 1982. Chair, session on History and Architectural Preservation, Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association.
November 1981. Keynote speaker for a San Francisco Labor Council/California Humanities Council public employees' project.
February - December 1981. Member of Committee that put on a one-day conference on "San Francisco Labor: 130 Years of Tradition and Change." Conference was sponsored by San Francisco State and the S.F. Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the ILWU, and the Teamsters Joint Council.
August - January 1979, 1980. Consultant to San Francisco Art Commission and drafted the "historical background" section of a Commission report.
July 1979. Lecture, by invitation of the German Association for American Studies, at the Second European Conference on Curricular Aspects of American Studies, Munich, July 16-20.
July 1979. Paper, at the annual meeting of the Anglo-American Historical Commission, on the topic "Americanization, Social Control, and the Pursuit of Happiness in American Social Reform."
June 1979. Paper at the Second International Congress of North American Labor History, Milan, Italy, June 14-17.
May 1979. Seminar on American Studies held in Bucharest, Rumania, as well as lectures to audiences at a number of regional universities, May 17-25.
February 1979. Public Lecture at the Institute of United States Studies, University of London.
January 1979. Paper at the Irish Association of American Studies, University College, Dublin.
November 1978. Delivered keynote lecture and led various seminars at the Conference on "The Urban Experience: America in the Sixties" held in Copenhagen, Denmark and sponsored by the Commission for Educational Exchange.
October and November, 1978. Delivered lectures at a variety of week-end conferences and to students in a dozen secondary schools as part of my duties as a Fulbright lecturer. I also spoke to students in American Studies at the University of Manchester and the College of St. Mark and St. John in Plymouth, Devon.
March 1978. Participant at a curriculum workshop on American Studies held at the University of California, Santa Cruz, sponsored by the American Studies Association.
August 1977. Lecturer in the American Studies Summer Institute for European teachers held at San Francisco State University.
May 1977. Participant at the Institute of Governmental Studies Conference at the University of California, Berkeley, on data collection for research on California cities.
April 1977. Co-Director and Lecturer for the Conference on "Urban USA Since 1945," held at Christ College, Liverpool, sponsored by the British Association for American Studies
January 1977. Participant at the Conference on "Urban Change and Conflict" sponsored by the Centre for Environmental Studies, University of London, and held at York University, England.
November 1976. Guest Lecturer, Program in English and American Studies, Sussex University, Falmer, Brighton.
Fall 1976. Consultant to the American Studies Resources Centre, Polytechnic of Central London. Presented lecture series "Interdisciplinary Perspectives in American Studies" and participated in organizing conferences and exhibits on American Politics, American Labor History, and Native American History and Culture.
June 1976. Participant on "New Dimensions" program on KQED FM radio, with Laura Nader, anthropologist, and David Smith, founder and director of the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic - a four-hour program on "Emerging Models for Community."
Spring 1976. Consultant to the California Council for the Humanities in Public Policy. I was one of the four academic advisers to the producers of the "Economy and Environment" TV programs on the local CBS channel supported by the Council. I was also the discussion leader at the four public meetings that followed the screening of the one-hour shows.
October 1975. Panelist on "American Issues Forum" on KGO TV, San Francisco.
December 1974. American Historical Association and Immigration History Society, joint session, paper on public school reform in San Francisco during the 1890's, Chicago.
Elected Member, Council of the American Historical
Association, Pacific Coast Branch, 2003-2006.
American Historical Association, American Catholic Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, Labor and Working Class History Association, Immigration and Ethnic History Society, German Studies Association, Urban History Association, San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, Friends of the Archives of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Friends of the Bancroft Library.
Coordinator, Bay Area Labor History Workshop, 2003-
Recent Consultant Work:
"American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco" (2013) a film produced by Jackie Krentzman and directed by Marc Schafer
Recent Interviews on issues of San Francisco, California, and United States history:
CNN (on camera)