Reinventing education—A historic retrospective of UCSC

“This is the story of what was learned, what was lost, and what has grown along the way.”

The very first days of UC Santa Cruz come alive in striking black and white photographs by Ansel Adams in a newly released two-volume collection of oral histories depicting the 50-year history of the experiment to reinvent public higher education in the U.S.

Seeds of Something Different: An Oral History of the University of California, Santa Cruz, just published by the UCSC Library Regional History Project, more than 200 first person accounts, posters, news clips, and images portray the vision and the challenges that unfolded.

UC Santa Cruz: A History of Creativity & Change

If you’re interested in learning more about the people and ideas shaping the legacy that grew into a leading research university, join us for a series of online discussions with the book’s editors—Irene Reti, Cameron VanderscoffSarah Rabkin—and staff and faculty guests.

Each session will feature co-editors of the book and special guest respondents, including some of UCSC’s most beloved faculty and staff. The series is created especially for UCSC alumni, but all are welcome! We’ve designed the six-session virtual Zoom series so you can tune in for one reading, or join us for the decade-by-decade serialized journey through UCSC history. Co-sponsored by the UCSC Alumni Association and the UCSC Library.

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A recording of the first (June 10, 2020) reading and discussion, The Pioneering Era and the Rising Counterculture (1960s), with guest commentators Ed Landesman and Frank Zwart, can be found online.

Here are the upcoming events in this series:

Wednesdays through July 15, 4:30-6:00 p.m. (PT)

Register Here

  • Reading 2: The Changing City on a Hill (1970s)

    Wednesday, June 17, 4:30–6 p.m.

    Guests: Cameron Vanderscoff and Irene Reti, editors; Teresa Mora, Head of Special Collections and Archives; J. Herman Blake, a professor of sociology and the first African American faculty member at UCSC; and Olga Nájera-Ramírez, alumni and retired anthropology professor, and founder of UCSC’s Latin American and Latino studies department.

  • Reading 3: “Rocks Ahead”: Reorganization of the College System (1980s)

    Wednesday, June 24, 4:30–6 p.m. – REGISTER HERE
    Guests: Cameron Vanderscoff and Irene Reti, editors; Teresa Mora, Head of Special Collections and Archives; Bill Domhoff, founding faculty and professor of sociology and psychology; and George Blumenthal, astronomy and astrophysics professor and former UCSC chancellor.

  • Reading 4: “Open the Door”: Finding a Place on “A Very White Campus” (1990s)

    Wednesday, July 1, 4:30–6 p.m. – REGISTER HERE
    Guests: Sarah Rabkin and Irene Reti, editors; Jessica Pigza, Exhibits and Outreach Librarian; Bettina Aptheker, alum and women studies professor; and Rosalie (Rosie) Cabrera, academic counselor, El Centro director.

  • Reading 5: A Research University with Experimental Roots (2000-2010)

    Wednesday, July 8, 4:30–6 p.m.

    Guests: Sarah Rabkin and Irene Reti, editors; Jessica Pigza, Exhibits and Outreach Librarian; Gary Griggs, oceanography professor, associate dean, former director of Marine Sciences and Long Marine Laboratory;  and Murray Baumgarten, literature professor, first chair of the Modern Society and Social Thought major, and co-founder of the world-renowned Dickens Project,

  • Reading 6: “For Times We Can’t Imagine” (2010-2020)

    Wednesday, July 15, 4:30–6 p.m. – REGISTER HERE
    Guests: Sarah Rabkin, Cameron Vanderscoff, and Irene Reti, editors; Jessica Pigza, Exhibits and Outreach Librarian; Jim Clifford, History of Consciousness professor and founding director of the UCSC Center for Cultural Studies; and Donna Haraway, History of Consciousness professor and ; Nirupama Chandrasekhar, undergraduate student in history and creative writing; and Stephen Yogi, undergraduate student in history and music

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