Town and Gown—

Investigating the History of the Berkeley Campus and Community

Richard Cándida Smith Office hours, Th 1-3 and by appointment

Seminar Room C, Building C,, Clark Kerr Campus 489 Bancroft Library

W 2-4 642-7395


This class provides an introduction to the history of UC Berkeley and its relationship with the community surrounding the campus. We’ll begin with a thumbnail sketch of the history of higher education in the US and explore the development of the university and the reasons for Berkeley’s preeminence. We’ll tour the campus in order to see what the buildings and grounds say about the California ideal of education. Then we’ll look at the resources on campus for finding out more about what’s happened at Berkeley.

The goal of the class is, using the subject of campus history, to expose students to professional-level practices of research. Students will learn how questions and interests are translated into research plans. They will be introduced to some of the methodologies that are used by historians as they reconstruct and analyze the roots of the present in the past. Lectures and discussion will be focused as much on "How do we know? How do we find out?" as "What happened?" In addition to articles about the university, students in class will read oral histories that preserve the memories of faculty, administrators, and former students about their lives at Berkeley. Students will also speak with campus leaders, both present and past. Students will get an introduction in how to conduct oral history interviews and see if they want to do interviews themselves.

We’ll conclude the semester with brief research projects where the class begins to explore how to find answers to questions they have about Berkeley, the campus and the town.

January 22 — Introductions — Discussion on the history of higher education in the United States — What would you like to know more about Berkeley? — Selection of open topics for discussion in April

January 29 — Traditions and practices of faculty governance at Berkeley — Town/gown relations

Readings: George A. Pettit, "Berkeley: The Town and Gown of It"; Carroll Brentano, "The Two Berkeleys: City and University Through 125 Years"

February 5 — Tour of the campus

Weather permitting, we’ll meet in front the Bancroft Library today and walk around campus, exploring how different ideas about education have been expressed in the building and grounds. If it’s raining, we’ll meet in class on the Clark Kerr campus.

Reading: Carroll Brentano, "The Origins of the University of California’s Campus Plan"; C. Michael Otten, "Decline of Student Authority, 1919-1930"

February 12 — The rise of the post-World War II research university — Clark Kerr and the "multiversity"

Reading: John Douglass, selections from The California Ideal of Education; Clark Kerr, "A Master Plan for Higher Education in California"

February 19 — From SLATE to twLF: Student protest movements, 1958-1970

Film screening: Berkeley in the Sixties

Reading: Jonathan Eisen and David Steinberg, "The Students Revolt Against Liberalism"; Garin Burban, "Governor Reagan and Academic Freedom at Berkeley, 1966-1970"; "The Port Huron Statement"

February 26 — Oral history of the University — University archives

We’ll meet at the Regional Oral History Office on the top floor of the Bancroft Library. Interviewers who have been working on campus history will introduce you to the collection and what can be learned from reading what past campus leaders have to say. A curator from the Bancroft Library will speak about what’s in the University archives and how to use them. We’ll talk a bit about planning a research project and how to go about finding answers to your questions.

Assignment for the coming week: Come to ROHO and read the interview with George Maslach and browse through at least one interview in the campus history series. There are over 480 interviews about Berkeley, and ROHO staff can help you find those that would be most relevant to your questions and interests. Write a one- or two-page assessment of what you learned. Be sure to indicate areas where you would like to find out more, but which the interview didn’t cover. Bring your assignment and your questions to class March 5.

March 5 — Getting answers to questions — Today we’ll have guest speakers George and Doris Maslach. George is professor emeritus of engineering, former dean of the College of Engineering, and former Vice Chancellor. Doris has been active in Berkeley community affairs for many years. She’s worked on getting more housing in the city and on improving the schools. Bring your questions to class and see how two people who’ve been in Berkeley for over fifty years answer them

March 12 — Discussion of student interests in the history of Berkeley — How to translate interests and questions into a doable research project — Breaking down into research teams.

March 19 — Training in oral history interviewing techniques


April 2 — Work-shopping student projects — Discussion of practical, legal, and ethical issues involved in research

Assignment for coming class: Develop a two- to three-page project prospectus and plan. Explain what you want to find out and why. Describe what you plan on doing to get the answers you want. Be sure to anticipate possible problems or obstacles. What help do you need? What further training do you need?

April 9 — Open topics — Lecture and discussion on one of the topics suggested by students at the beginning of the term — What are the sources of information on this topic? How do you find out more?

April 16 — Open topics — Lecture and discussion on one of the topics suggested by students at the beginning of the term — What are the sources of information on this topic? How do you find out more?

April 24 — Open topics — Lecture and discussion on one of the topics suggested by students at the beginning of the term — What are the sources of information on this topic? How do you find out more?

April 30 — Presentation of class projects — Discussion of how research works

May 7 — Presentation of class projects — Discussion of what we’ve learned and what we need to learn still

Grading: Research project, 25%; class participation, 50%; written assignments, 25%.

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