April Conferences and Publications

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Michael A Eissinger

Mar 27, 2008, 10:55:21 AM3/27/08
to FRESNO...@listserv.csufresno.edu
Just to let everyone know.

I will be presenting two different papers to two very different
conferences, in the coming weeks. If you're in the neighborhood, and
interested, you might want to check them out.

The 1st paper will be called "The Politics of Going Home: The dynamics
of African Americans finding a home in the Central Valley" at the 10th
Annual History Graduate Student Symposium (sponsored by the HGSA at
California State University, Fresno). This symposium, on Saturday
April 12, includes panelists from numerous California Universities
including Stanford, UCLA, Berkeley, and others, and the keynote will
be Ronald Mellor (Professor of Roman History @ UCLA and author
of "Tacitus" and "Augustus and the Creation of the Roman Empire).

In my paper I examine the role played by racism in some San Joaquin
Valley communities in limiting the available options for housing and
even community selection by African Americans from the 1860s to the
present. This will be an abridged version of the paper which is being
published in Hindsight, a publication of the Graduate Division of the
Department of History, at CSU Fresno. This is the first time that CSU
Fresno students have been included in Hindsight (two of us were
included, this year). The majority of papers included are from Ph.D.
and M.A. candidates from across the country.

The 2nd conference is called "Beyond the City Limits: The Rural
African American Experience in the West" and will be held, also at CSU
Fresno, on April 26. This is a unique conference in that it examines
the life of African Americans in the rural West, rather than focusing,
as so much recent work has done, on the urban experience. Academic
presenters include professors and graduate students from NYU, Fresno
State, and elsewhere, with the afternoon dedicated to presentations
about Allensworth, including presentations by the Friends of
Allensworth, the California Department of Parks, and the Descendants
of Allensworth. The organizers have asked by a major German academic
publisher if the would consider allowing the academic proceeds (and
any additional supporting submissions) to be published, in the near
future, as an edited volume. The paper I will be presenting, at this
conference is (initially called) "Rural African American Communities
in the San Joaquin." Unlike the other
paper which focuses on factors that limited housing, this paper
examines some of the numerous rural all-black (or mostly-black)
colonies and townships established between Stockton and the Grapevine
since the 1860s. Beyond Allensworth, this paper introduces communities
such as Bowles, Cookseyville, Lanare, Fairmead, South Dos Palos,
Teviston, and other less well-known townships that have been
overlooked within the shadow of Allensworth. Several of these
communities still exist, in one form, or another.

Unlike prior years, I was able to get in a couple of conferences, this
year, without having to do much traveling. I was also able to fulfill
my goal of at least one (possibly two) publication(s), this academic

Both conferences will be at the University Business Center, Alice
Peters Auditorium, California State University, Fresno (8:30-4:30).

Michael Eissinger
Department of History
California State University, Fresno

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