Click the titles below for sections of this Newsletter
As the holiday season again fills our lives with remembrances of the year past and hopes for the year to come, I wish each of you joy in your celebrations and happiness in 2018. ΦBK- NCA is fortunate to count you as a member of our organization.
November was the start of membership renewal season for ΦBK-NCA, so please remit your membership contribution via PayPal using your own PayPal account or credit card at this site: www.pbknca.org/contribute/, and save a stamp and a few trees. Or you may use the enclosed remittance envelope. Our membership year is January-December, so if you paid at ANY time through September 2017, your renewal is due now. Many thanks for supporting ΦBK-NCA.
If you are a 2017 inductee from one of the eight Northern California colleges which have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter – Mills College, Santa Clara University, San Francisco State University, Stanford University, the Universities of California at Berkeley, Davis, and Santa Cruz, and the University of the Pacific - you receive a free membership for a year and won’t need to renew until November 2018.
Every membership contribution is totally tax-deductible. Your generosity enables us to fund Graduate Student scholarships and Teaching Excellence awards, to be presented at our Annual Dinner on May 6, 2018. We do NOT receive any funds from the Phi Beta Kappa Society in Washington, D.C., and a donation to them does not confer membership in our Association.
As an active (dues-paying or first-year-free) member, you'll be able to enjoy monthly activities in various sites around the Bay Area. First Vice President – Programs, Judy Hardardt, has a wonderful array of excursions, museums, and behind-the-scenes visits planned. You'll meet other ΦBK-PCA members and discover hidden treasures in our own backyard. Join us over Presidents' Weekend (16-19 February 2018) at the beautiful Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove for our annual retreat weekend. Deirdre Frontczak has rounded up an amazing panoply of speakers to educate and entertain us. Information about signing up for activities, and their costs, may be found in this newsletter and on our website: www.pbknca.org
We also are recruiting volunteers for various Board positions. If you are interested in giving of your time to our Association, please contact a member of the Nominating Committee or myself. Time commitments can be as little as one day (Audit Committee, or being host at an activity) to as many hours as you are able to give. All positions are rewarding and all volunteers are appreciated. It’s an opportunity to meet other dedicated members and to learn how this fine organization operates.
I look forward to meeting you at one of our activities, so I can thank you in person for supporting our Association. Our loyal members are what make ΦBK-NCA a superb organization.
Thank you for your generosity.
Mary Turner Gilliland, President
We start soliciting for memberships for the next year in November because our scholarships are awarded in May and we need to know how much money is available. Last year we were able to fund 10 scholarships of $7,500 each from the dues and donations we collected and the income from our endowed funds. Here are the award winners from 2017. Go to http://www.pbknca.org/scholarship/scholarship.winners.current.phi.beta.kappa.pbk.php for more about these worthy students. Membership questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to scholarship awards, we honor faculty members nominated by their PBK students. In 2017, the following three received a certificate and an honorarium. Go to
http://www.pbknca.org/teaching/teaching.winners.phi.beta.kappa.pbk.php for more about these distinguished teachers.
Upcoming Events – click the links
Visit Berkeley’s Kala Art Institute
Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, 11:00 am to ?
The 32nd Annual Asilomar Conference is coming February 16 – 19, 2018
We are back to our normal Presidents’ Day Weekend. Sign up before December 10!
Visit to Takara Sake USA in Berkeley
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Silent Film San Francisco. Tour Locations Used in the Days before the “Talkies”
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Be sure to read this important information about our enrollment, refund and cancellation policies. Most events can accommodate you and any friends or family you'd like to bring along. Occasionally an event will have a limited enrollment, in which case we may not be able to accommodate more than one member and one guest per enrollment. As for refunds, if you call in advance they may be available unless ΦBK-NCA will lose scholarship money – that is, unless we are financially committed, based on your enrollment, to an organization at which the event will be held. If we can find someone to fill your space we may be able to refund your payment, but that is not always possible. Members who do not come to an event for which they have registered will not receive a refund. The ΦBK-NCA Board is most grateful to those who prefer to donate the program fee to the scholarship program in lieu of a refund. You will not receive written confirmation of your reservation for the events. Directions are available from the event websites, Google.com, your GPS, or on the day of the event by calling Judy at (707) 696-9498.
Judy Hardardt, First Vice-President, Programs
We Will Visit Berkeley’s Kala Art Institute
Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, 11:00 am
The Kala Art Institute is located in the old Heinz factory at San Pablo and Ashby Ave. in Berkeley. A large non-profit institution providing space for artists to do their work, Kala is best known for print-making facilities, specializing in various forms of printmaking. They also provide art services to the public schools and summer art camps for kids, and they offer various art courses for the public. Showcasing the work of various artists in their exhibition space, Kala has a library of artworks demonstrating the techniques currently being used by artists these days as well as selling works of art by local artists. Our tour will last about an hour and will include the current exhibition and a demonstration of art done using different techniques. Kala occupies a large and interesting loft in the building, filled with a variety of print-making devices, from digital printing and other print-making techniques.
Optional demonstrations of different print-making techniques are available at an additional cost of $10 per person. This, the first option, will involve having an artist demonstrate one of the following techniques: etching, screen printing, letterpress, woodcut or intaglio, and digital printing. Over and above that, if we want, for an additional $10 per attendee Kala will provide two demonstrations - screen printing and letterpress. The first option must be satisfied before we can move onto the second one.
More details will be posted at www.pbknca.org as they become available.
Date: Saturday, January 20, 2018
Time: 11:00 am
Minimum: 10. Maximum: 20
Deadline: January 5, 2018
Directions: Kala is located at 2990 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley. Ample parking is available and if using BART, it is approximately 1 mile from the Ashby BART station.
To reach the gallery from Highway 80/580, exit at Ashby Avenue, continue East on Ashby to San Pablo Avenue. Take a left on San Pablo, heading North. Kala is located halfway down the block on the left side of the street, at 2990 San Pablo Ave. Parking: Non-metered spaces are available along San Pablo Ave as well as East on Heinz St. one block North of San Pablo Ave.
By Public Transit:
Take BART to 19th St. Oakland. On the street, catch the 72 or 72R AC Transit bus, ride it to the intersection of San Pablo and Ashby, and get off. OR, take BART to the Ashby station, walk or bike down Russell St. (parallel to Ashby one block north) to San Pablo Ave, and turn left to 2990 San Pablo Ave to reach the gallery.
|We are back to our normal Presidents’ Weekend. See the information starting on page 3.|
This event is one that we’ve been trying for years to arrange, and finally, Takara is able to accommodate us. Our visit will include Takara’s tasting room where we will learn about the different sakes; and also the Sake Museum which includes an exhibit of the historical sake-making process, sake artifacts and implements collected by Takara Sake USA, and a history of sake-making in America. The collection is the only one of its kind in the U.S.A.
Date: Saturday, March 17, 2018
Time: 1:00 pm
Minimum: 12 Maximum: 18
Deadline: March 3, 2018
Fee: $15.00 per person
Directions: Takara is located at 708 Addison Street in Berkeley.
From South (San Francisco) on I-80
Take the University Ave. exit. Turn right at the first traffic light, to 6th St. Go one block, and turn right at Addison St. Takara Sake is two blocks down, on the left, at 708 Addison St. 20 minutes drive from San Francisco.
From North (Sacramento) on I-80
Take the University Ave. exit. Turn right at ramp, to University Ave. Turn right at the first traffic light, to 6th St. Go one block, and turn right at Addison St. Takara Sake is two blocks down, on the left, at 708 Addison St. 70 minutes drive from Sacramento.
Description: Going back over 125 years, San Francisco provided the settings for hundreds of silent films & starring the Chaplins, Valentinos, Pickfords and more. We will walk through the Barbary Coast, Chinatown and the Financial District and Union Square. Along the way we’ll learn about the eccentrics, the stars, and the barriers filmmakers faced, and the greatest scandal of the silent era.
Note: We will start at the southeast corner of Pacific Avenue and Kearny Street -- across from “The Station” cafe.
Date: Saturday, April 14, 2018
Time: 11:00 am
Minimum: 12 Maximum: 18
Deadline: April 4, 2018
How often do you take a break from a dreary news cycle and constant daily demands, and explore the canvas on which we're creating our future? For Phi Betes, the annual Asilomar weekend offers just that chance.
Past participants describe the weekend as “the best aspects of college, without the exams” and “the greatest high of the year – without drugs!” For the latest information on the event, visit http://www.pbknca.org/asilomar/asilomar.2018.phi.beta.kappa.pbk.php
If you have questions on this year’s program, please contact email@example.com. For registration or logistics matters, please contact Barry Haskell at firstname.lastname@example.org. All registered participants will receive information to reserve their Asilomar accommodations, including meals; please watch your email for more details.
Sign up before December 10!
A preview of 2018 Asilomar speakers:
Friday evening, TBA
Saturday morning, Fred Lawrence, J.D., Public Policy / Secretary, Phi Beta Kappa Society
The Contours of Expression: Free Speech and Civility
The challenges for free expression on our campuses have never seemed greater. Given the coarsening of our public discourse and the lack of clarity about our core value of free expression, it is perhaps no surprise that this issue presents itself with such urgency on our campuses today. We must recommit ourselves to first principles; in particular, three:
Robust free expression and free inquiry are central for the mission of all our colleges and universities.
Free expression does have limits. Where does protected, hateful speech cross over into being behavior that a university may prohibit and sanction? The dividing line should be based on the intent of the actor. Is the intent to communicate a hateful idea, or to intimidate and threaten particular victims?
There is a moral obligation to respond to hateful speech – not to suppress it, but to respond to it clearly and forcefully.
Frederick M. Lawrence is Secretary and CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, where he has focused on advocacy for the arts, humanities and sciences, and on championing free expression, inquiry and academic freedom. He is also a Distinguished Lecturer at the Georgetown Law Center and Visiting Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Previously he served as president of Brandeis University, Dean of the George Washington University Law School, and Visiting Professor and Senior Research Scholar at Yale Law School.
Saturday afternoon, Kathleen Lawrence, Ph.D., Georgetown, Literature
ELDEST BROTHER OF MY OWN: How Walt Whitman Transformed Henry James
At first glance it appears that apart from a national heritage, Henry James and Walt Whitman shared little in common. Of different generations and social strata, writing in different genres and styles, and displaying contrasting sartorial identities, the two never met and seemed destined to ignore each other from their respective abodes on either side of the Atlantic. And yet, late in James’s life, at a vulnerable moment, he re-encountered Whitman’s final 1891 deathbed version of Leaves of Grass. On the cusp of a new century, sixty-five years old, and about to invent a new literary mode, James’s turn towards Whitman enabled him to regain his lost identity, transforming him emotionally and artistically.
Central to Whitman’s project, both literary and political, was what he called “the love of comrades,” an emotional bond described in the cluster added to Leaves of Grass in 1861. For Whitman, “a fervent, accepted development of comradeship, the beautiful and sane affection of man for man, latent in all the young fellows, north and south, east and west” would promote democratic values. This talk will explore the artistic and political implications of Whitman’s work, and its impact on James’s later life and literary expression.
Kathy Lawrence is an associate professor affiliated with the English department of Georgetown University, and has also taught at Brandeis University and George Washington University. Lawrence received her M.A. from Yale and her Ph.D. from Boston University in American Studies, as well as post-doctoral fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the Smithsonian, and the American Academy of Rome. She has published widely on Henry James, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller, and is currently working on a book about James’s relationship with Walt Whitman.
Saturday evening, Breck Parkman, M.A., Archaeology, California State Parks (ret.)
Sequel to the Summer of Love: An Archaeological Perspective of the 1960s
When people think of archaeologists, they often picture an Indiana Jones-type character toiling away amongst ancient ruins. Archaeology can be that and yet it can be so much more. For almost 40 years, I’ve been constructing an archaeology of the 1960s, that time of tremendous social and political upheaval in our country. Contemporary archaeology searches for new meaning in the recent past: My recent work has examined the archaeology of a famous, Grateful Dead-associated hippie commune that existed from 1967 to 1969, and a training ground used by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from 1961 to 1969. Numerous artifacts recovered from these two sites are useful in examining cultural stereotypes. In this talk, we will explore some of those artifacts, including 93 vinyl records and 360 spent cartridge cases, and describe what they can tell us about the 1960s that may challenge our memories or expectations.
E. Breck Parkman is recently retired from 36 years as a Senior State Archaeologist in California; his award-winning research has also spanned Kodiak Island, Alaska; the Canadian Plains; the South Coast of Peru; and Central Siberia. Breck earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in Anthropology at CSU Hayward, and is former Director of the UNESCO-sponsored Fort Ross ~ Global Village Project. His research interests include rock art studies, shamanism, contemporary archaeology, Russian America, and Native American resistance movements. He has appeared in numerous films and documentaries on the History Channel, Discovery Channel, BBC, and PBS.
Sunday Morning, Maryanne Wolf, Ph.D., Tufts, Education and Psychology
The Harvests of a Quiet Eye: A Cautionary Tale about the Changing Reading Brain in a Digital Culture
Soon after she published “Proust and the Squid” (2008), a history of the development of the reading brain, Wolf began receiving letters from readers – professionals, teachers and students – complaining of a new phenomenon: the more students read online, the less they seemed to understand. Had reading changed profoundly over the seven years of her writing project? What was going on with these readers? Was the digital format to blame for their superficial approaches? Was her research already in need of review?
This presentation will introduce recent research from varied disciplines, particularly the cognitive neurosciences, to describe the evolution of the reading brain until today, and particularly the changes occurring within a digital milieu. Wolf will discuss the implications of these changes for the development and/or atrophy of critical analysis, empathy, and contemplative thought, and also describe advances in global literacy based on digital technologies.
Maryanne Wolf is Professor of Citizenship and Public Service; Director, Center for Reading and Language Research, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, Tufts University; and Fellow and Research Affiliate at the Center for Advanced Study of Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University. She graduated from Harvard, where she began work on the reading brain, literacy, and dyslexia. Selected awards include Distinguished Professor of the Year (Massachusetts Psychological Association), Teaching Excellence Award (American Psychological Association), Fulbright Fellow (for work in Germany), and most recently, the Christopher Columbus Award for new work on global literacy. Her current work applies research on the reading brain circuit to the design and curation of a digital learning experience for non-literate children in remote regions around the world and in the rural U.S.
Sunday afternoon, Jason Klocek, Ph.D. Candidate, U.C. Berkeley, Political Science
What Do We Really Know about Modern Religious Conflicts?
Violence in the name of religion dominates our headlines. Coverage often centers on Islamist groups, such as al-Qaeda and ISIS. Yet, religious hostility is not limited to one faith tradition, as evidenced by the increased activity of militant Buddhist monks in Southeast Asia. Nor, is it confined to distant locales, as the latest attacks in the UK and France remind us. How are we to understand such violence?
In this talk, we will discuss the central questions that challenge contemporary scholars of religious conflict. Are these disputes more about religion, or politics? How does religion shape the way rebels fight? How do state forces respond to religious uprisings? And, why do these conflicts seem so difficult to resolve? We will explore these questions in the context of both ongoing and resolved conflicts, with particular attention to my current research on British counterinsurgency campaigns during the early postwar period.
Jason Klocek, Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Berkeley, is a ΦBKNCA scholarship awardee for 2017. His research and teaching examine the role of religion in conflict, state counterinsurgency and repression, and civil wars and political violence more broadly. His published work is forthcoming or has appeared in the Journal of Conflict Resolution and St. Antony’s International Review, among others. He holds an M.A. in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University, and served with the U.S. Peace Corps in Turkmenistan from 2003 to 2005.
Sunday evening, George Anders, Stanford, B.A., Economics
Work's Provocative Future
Every few weeks, we learn more about the seemingly limitless potential of artificial intelligence. As we head toward a world defined by self-driving cars, drone-powered warfare and AI-based chat bots, what's left for humans to do? Intriguingly, our greatest strengths are so familiar to us that we sometimes forget how valuable -- and hard to emulate -- they can be. The world's labor markets still need our creativity, curiosity and empathy. This talk will cover a variety of labor-market surprises, showing how the humanist's perspective is becoming more valuable, even as technology marches forward.
George Anders is an editor at large at LinkedIn and the author of five books, including his latest, You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a Useless Liberal Arts Degree. Earlier in his career, he worked as a writer or bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fast Company and Bloomberg View. He is a ΦBK Stanford graduate with a B.A. in economics and a transcript that includes brief journeys into everything from Slavic literature to genetics, constitutional law and the history of film. In 1997, he shared in the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
Monday morning, Laura Bogar, Ph.D. Candidate, Stanford
Underground negotiations: How plants and fungi negotiate symbiosis – and why we care
Humans have trouble cooperating, even with plenty of dialogue. So, how can organisms cooperate when they can’t even speak? Plants and fungi must do this all the time. My research focuses on how they manage it.
Nearly all land plants – our basic nutrition – rely on fungi to help them extract nutrients from the soil. The plants provide carbon resources (like sugar) to feed the fungi, and in exchange the fungi provide resources like water, phosphorus, and nitrogen to the plant. This cooperation, called mycorrhizal symbiosis, requires the plants and fungi to decide with which trading partners they want to associate, and what quantities of resources they want to exchange. In this talk, I will share some of my dissertation work, highlighting experiments that use next-generation sequencing to figure out what makes some plants and fungi more compatible than others. How do plants and fungi decide who their symbiotic partners will be? Answering this question will illuminate details of carbon and nitrogen cycling, improve our understanding of forest ecology, and provide insight into the evolution of cooperation itself.
A fifth year Ph.D. student at Stanford and winner of the Hendess scholarship from ΦBKNCA (2017), Laura focuses her research on the symbiosis between plant roots and soil fungi – a partnership essential for many temperate forest trees. She is interested in how ectomycorrhizal plants and fungi choose their partners and negotiate interactions, using genetics and physiology to understand small-scale mechanisms that influence large-scale ecological processes.
Sign up before December 10!
Nominations for the Teaching Excellence award for Spring 2018 are being accepted now
The nomination form is available on the web at www.pbknca.org/teaching. It can be filled out online (preferred) or a copy can be printed and mailed. You probably have had teachers who influenced your academic career; reward them with a nomination for our Teaching Excellence Award. Deadline Nov. 30.
Narcinda Lerner, Teaching Excellence Chair
ΦBK Board July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Mary Turner Gilliland, President
Menlo Park, (650) 321-9966, Mltg@aol.com
Judy Hardardt, First Vice President – Programs
Davis, cell (707) 696-9498, email@example.com
Joanne Sandstrom, Second Vice President – Scholarships
Oakland, (510) 339-1352, firstname.lastname@example.org
Patricia Kenber, Third Vice President – Membership
Danville, (925) 838-2296, email@example.com
Duncan Missimer, Treasurer
Mountain View, (408) 368-0835, Duncan.firstname.lastname@example.org
Stacey Croll, Recording Secretary
San Ramon, (925) 355-1771, email@example.com
Susan Jenkins, Corresponding Secretary
San Jose, (408) 532-6550, firstname.lastname@example.org
Deirdre Frontczak, Asilomar Chair
Santa Rosa, (707) 546-4238, email@example.com
Amanda Sanyal, Chapter Liaison
Campbell, (650) 520-5419, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ray Hendess, Communications Officer
Petaluma, (707) 763-2072, Ray@pbknca.org
Narcinda Lerner, Teaching Excellence Chair
Woodside, (650) 851-0137, email@example.com
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