Past Events

Friday, April 5, 2024 1-2:30pm

Humanities 1107, Free Parking in Lot A

Moisés Acuña-Gurrola: A School Board Revolution: The Molina Civic Association’s Fight for School Integration in Corpus Christi, Texas, 1954-1970

Oliver Rosales: “Telling an American Story”: César Chávez, Farm Workers, and American Public History CSU, Bakersfield, Humanities 1107, Friday, April 5, 1:00-2:30pm.

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC • 15 parking spots in Lot A are reserved for free parking for this event


Please join the Public History Institute’s program this Friday, Nov. 3, beginning at 1:00pm, in HUM 1109. This second installment of our Fight for Civil Rights: Contesting Discrimination in the American West lecture series will feature two short lectures focusing on past housing discrimination in Bakersfield against both Chinese and African Americans. There will be time for questions immediately after these presentations.


Gabriel Moore will share his ongoing research on the Chinese in Bakersfield (Bakersfield: Two Chinatowns with Only an Alley Left); and Eileen Diaz and Donato Cruz will share the podium to present their work on the Sunset-Mayflower District (SMPC: Community Organizing and Self-Reliance in the Sunset-Mayflower District, 1930-1940s).


This program, co-sponsored by CSUB’s Historical Research Center and made possible with funding from California Humanities, will ALSO be live streamed; see the QR code on the attached flyer, which has all the details you need. The event is free, as is parking in Lot A



Fight for Civil Rights flyer

Friday, April 21, 2023 1-2:15pm

Humanities 1108, Free Parking in Lot A

The Fight for Civil Rights: Contesting Discrimination in the American West, featuring Lori Wear (former curator of the Kern County Museum and currently a CA State Parks Interpreter) and our CSUB own Kiran Garcha (Asst. Prof. of African American History). 


The Public History Institute is hosting a terrific event on Monday, Nov. 7, 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm, featuring, among other things, 2 former CSUB administrators and our current VP of Student Affairs, who will share their experiences during the Civil Rights Era. This event is in conjunction with the One Book Project, which features Carlotta Walls LaNier’s book about her experience as a member of the Little Rock Nine, who integrated Central HS in Little Rock, Alabama, in 1957: A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock High School. (She is speaking on campus on Oct. 27.)

 The Public History Institute is hosting a terrific event on Monday, Nov. 7, 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm, featuring, among other things, 2 former CSUB administrators and our current VP of Student Affairs, who will share their experiences during the Civil Rights Era. This event is in conjunction with the One Book Project, which features Carlotta Walls LaNier’s book about her experience as a member of the Little Rock Nine, who integrated Central HS in Little Rock, Alabama, in 1957: A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock High School. (She is speaking on campus on Oct. 27.)


Join the livestream


Thursday, April 21, 2022

A History of History at CSUB, A 50th-Anniversary Retrospective

This event will celebrate the History Department and the professors who have had an impact on their students over the last 50 years at CSUB.

Download Flyer

Attend Virtually

Visit the Walter W. Stiern Library Youtube Channel

Past Student and Faculty Side Show


Event Recording


Thursday, March 24, 2022

Tyree Boyd-Pates, Remixing the Archive

Mr. Tyree Boyd-Pates received his BA in Communications from CSU Bakersfield in 2012, with a minor in Black Studies. He is currently the Associate Curator of Western History at the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles. There he develops exhibits in American history, namely the African American experience in the American West, and most recently on projects that engage the community in the age of COVID and the Black Lives Matter movement. In addition, he is a 2021 Civic Media Fellow at the Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC and a 2021 Innovation Fellow with the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy at UCLA. His work has been noted in major publications, and he is featured in the documentary Fight the Power: The Movements that Changed America, executive produced by the former NBA star Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

Download Flyer

Attend Virtually

Visit the Walter W. Stiern Library Youtube Channel



Friday, October 8, 2021

Dr. Mari K. Webel, The Politics of Disease Control

Tuesday, November 12, 2020

Miriam Pawel, Rethinking Crime, Punishment, and Redemption in California


Suffragettes and the Passage of the 19th Amendment: Trailblazing Women and Then and Now

November 13, 2019

Join us for a Historical discussion on the Women’s Suffrage Movement, followed by a panel of path-breaking women.



Scott B. Bomar

Bakersfield sound Flyer

Like country music? Merle Haggard sang at CSUB in 2009 and, now, ten years later, music producer Scott B. Bomar will be speaking in the Walter W. Stiern Library on October 15, 2019 at 6 p.m. about the Bakersfield Sound. Merle was a giant of the West Coast brand of country music that developed in Bakersfield’s Honky Tonks. Join us for this exciting Walter Presents event. RSVP required via Eventbrite. Free and open to the public.



At any parking permit machines, press #(pound), enter your

code 3777147, then press OK (the “D” lettered button

on the permit machine screen will show your code

authorizing and then a permit will print below.

Lot M is exempted.



The Dreamt land: Mark Arax

Dreamt Land Flyer

Mark your calendars now for special guest journalist Mark Arax, who will speak about his most recent book, Dreamt Land, which investigates water use and issues in California, especially the Central Valley: Thursday, Oct. 3, at 6pm, in the Dezember Reading Room of the Walter Stiern Library at CSUB. Free and open to the public.


Walter Presents: Poetry From the Great War

Poetry of Great War

In remembrance of the 100th anniversary of end of World War I, students and faculty will read from the poems of “the war to end all wars.” The power of the words that arose from the war speak across generations.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of America’s involvement in the first world war (the “Great War”), CSUB’s Public History Institute (PHI) will host several events related to WWI, including a World War I Poetry Event on November 7, from 6:00-8:00 in the Dezember Room of the Walter Stiern Library.

As Anthony Richards, Head of documents for Imperial War Museum, writes, “No conflict has ever been so closely linked with the poetry and literature of its age than the First World War […] The era of the First World War had seen a distinctive mood change among writers. Inspired by first-hand experience of the trenches, poets such as Sassoon distinguished themselves from the “old guard” of Conan Doyle, Kipling and Hardy who had traditionally portrayed war in a lyrical, romantic way. The nature of war itself had changed dramatically and it was this gritty realism which Sassoon and his contemporaries embraced and which would directly influence future literature and poetry of the 20th century.”

“Putting Words to War” is an interdisciplinary reading and discussion featuring faculty, administration, and students presenting specific “war” poems. In addition to a brief discussion of each work’s historical and literary context and an exploration of how the poem continues to speak to a modern audience, poets may read their own “war” poems.

The event will include members of both the CSUB community as well as Kern County’s poetry community (Note: this list is on-going) reading from and discussing the following works:

Curt Asher: “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen

Carla Chacon: “Strawberries” by Wilfred Gibson

Portia Choi: from “Battle of the Somme: The Song of the Mud” by Mary Borden

Carol Dell’Amico: “Easter, 1916” by W.B. Yeats

Robert Frakes: “The Soldier” by Rupert Brooke

Mateo Lara: “I Have a Rendezvous with Death” by Alan Seeger

Jerry Mathes: “The Artilleryman’s Vision” by Walt Whitman as precursor to the poets of the Great War

Don Thompson: the poetry of Edward Thomas and David Jones

Miriam Vivian: Vera Britten’s Testament of Youth

Tim Vivian: “Careless Love” by Stanley Kunitz and a series of poems inspired by Thomas Hardy

Matthew Woodman: “The Soldier Addresses his Body” by Edgell Rickword

Austin Yi: “At the Movies” by Florence Ripley Mastin

Poetry from the Great War Flyer

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World War I Conference:

America in the Trenches

The Public History Institute, the Historical Research Center, and the

Walter Stiern Library at CSU Bakersfield


America in the Trenches

A centennial exploration of America’s involvement

in the Great War

A conference at CSU Bakersfield: Saturday, October 13, 2018

In the academic year 2018-19, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of America’s involvement in the first world war (the “Great War”), CSUB’s Public History Institute (PHI) will host several events related to WWI,   including a one-day academic conference in fall 2018.

The conference keynote address will be by Dr. Diane M.T. North, drawn from her forthcoming book: California at War: The State and the People during World War I (University of Kansas Press, 2018).


Follow us on Facebook@CSUB Public History Institute.

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and then click on 

 October 13, 2018 – CSUB America in the Trenches – A Centennial Exploration of America’s Involvement in the Great War


 Conference registration is due by Thursday, October 11 

Download Forms



WWI Conference Flyer 


Conference Registration Form

Hotel Information

Directions to CSUB

Campus Map

Conference Program

Executive Order 9066:

Executive Order 9066

The History, Legacy, and Lessons of Japanese Internment. This event was co-sponsored by the Kegley Institute of Ethics and featured a short film, an interview with an internee, and panel of scholars (2017).

Kern County at 150 Exploring our Region’s Past

Kern County at 50

A half-day conference at CSU Bakersfield: Saturday, October 15, 2016 The Department of History and the Public History Institute, as well as the Walter Stiern Library and its Historical Research Center, announce a conference on the history of Kern County in conjunction with the sesquicentennial of the founding of the county (April 2, 1866). It will be held on the CSUB campus from 8am until noon. The conference begins in the Dezember Reading Room of the Walter Stiern Library, with a reception and information on presentation, which will focus on regional history covering topics from the Isabella Dam project, and women in the farmworker movement, to punk music in 1980s Bakersfield–and much in between. The conference will feature an 11am keynote address by Philip Garone of CSU, Stanislaus (The Fall and Rise of the Wetlands of California’s Great Central Valley, UC Press, 2011), who will speak on the history of water policy and management in the San Joaquin Valley: “Intersections: A History of Water, Agriculture, and Wildlife in the San Joaquin Valley.” Those interested (maximum 25) may join us for lunch at Woolgrowers at 12:30 pm, with a standard lunch set-up menu, as well as fried chicken and tri-tip, plus tea and wine, for $19 per person (plus tip). Individuals are responsible for their own lunch bill at the restaurant. To RESERVE your spot for lunch, contact Miriam Raub Vivian with your name (and # of diners):; 654-2230. After lunch, those interested are invited to join Ken Hooper (BHS archival instructor) and CSUB Archivist Chris Livingston outside the Padre Hotel (corner of 18th and H) at 2pm for a 90+ minute walking tour of downtown. Further information on the conference will be forthcoming on the PHI website: After mid-September, assistance may be available at or 654-6263.

FREE and OPEN to the public, with FREE parking in Lots C & D

Sponsored by the Public History Institute at CSUB, and the History Department–under the auspices of the School of Arts and Humanities–and the Walter Stiern Library, and Historical Research Center (

Conference Program Now Available at





Delano Grape Strike Re-examined: a 50th Anniversary Perspective

Delano Grape Strike

September 24-26, 2015

CSUB examines the Delano Grape Strike on its fiftieth anniversary

Order of Events at CSUB:

Friday September 25, 2015

1 p.m. Documentary Film, Delano Manongs: Forgotton Heroes of the United Farmworkers, with director Marissa Aroy

1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m., Panel Discussion: The History and Legacy of the Strike Activist Lorraine Agtang, Dr. Dawn Mabalon of San Francisco State University, Dr. Mario Sifuentez of University of California, Merced, and Dr. Todd Holmes, Post-Doctoral Scholar at Stanford University, will discuss the history and legacy of the Grape Strike.

3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., Panel Presentation: Dolores Huerta, Famed Activist and director of the UFW’s 1965 Grape Boycott, Dr. Matt Garcia author of From the Jaws of Victory: The Triumph and Tragedy of Cesar Chavez and the Farm Worker Movement, and Miriam Pawel, author of The Union of Their Dreams.

Saturday September 26, 2015

7:30 p.m., A Play by Gary Soto, In and Out of the Shadows. Doré Theatre. Admission for students of all ages will be free with I.D.

In and Out of the Shawdows

Remembering the Strike

CSUB Celebrates: The Grapes of Wrath

Grapes of Wrath

75th Anniversary Celebration at CSU Bakersfield:

Beginning in October 2013 and continuing throughout 2014, the School of Arts and Humanities at CSU Bakersfield will celebrate the 75th anniversary of Steinbeck’s classic novel about the Dust Bowl migration to California. An exciting schedule of public events will connect the cultural legacy of The Grapes of Wrath to the region across many forms: film, music, theatre, art, literature, history, philosophy, language and religion.

Our celebration involves collaboration with a number of public and private entities from around California and the United States, including Arts Council of Kern, Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, Bakersfield Youth Symphony, Beale Memorial Library, Kern County Museum, CalHumanities, Center for Steinbeck Studies at CSU San Jose, Kansas Humanities Council, and National Steinbeck Center of Salinas.

Please look through our events page and join us in celebrating our Kern County cultural history through the eyes of The Grapes of Wrath.

History Forum/Walter Presents: Professor Robert Cherny, “Communism and Anti-Communism in California during the 1930s”

September 25, 2014, 6-7:30 pm – Dezember Reading Room, Walter Stiern Library 

Professor Cherny, a member of the History faculty at San Francisco State University, is an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer.

Kegley Institute of Ethics presents “Becoming an American: A Personal Story, featuring Andrew Sullivan 

October 1, 2014, 7 pm – Doré Theatre, CSU Bakersfield 

Conservative author, pundit and blogger extraordinaire.  Mr. Sullivan’s blog, The Dish is among the world’s most widely read, in part because of his extraordinary intelligence and range of views. His talk will continue KIE’s contribution to CSUB’s Grapes of Wrath anniversary celebration.

Historic Sunset Camp – Past and Present

October 21, 2014, 1 pm – Beale Memorial Library 

The Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA, invites history buffs of all ages to a special presentation in the second-floor Tejon Room. Kern County Genealogical Society researchers will present the Dust Bowl story and history of the Weedpatch Camp of Kern County (also known as Sunset Camp), the migrant labor camp that inspired John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. This camp, looking much as it did in the 1930ís, may be seen to this day just a few miles South of Bakersfield. Learn more at this free historical program.  For more information, call 661-868-0701.


Bakersfield Built: 1930s Architecture

Opens Friday, October 24, 2014 at the Todd Madigan Gallery, 5-7 pm

Symposium, October 25, 2014, 9-11:30 am

Home Tour, October 25, 2014, afternoon

A celebration of Modernist architecture in Bakersfield.

New Visual Arts Building Ribbon-Cutting

October 24, 2014, 4:30 pm – CSUB campus.


Party in the Park, Alumni Event

October 24, 2014, 6-8:30 pm – CSUB campus.


Walter Presents – Jerry Stanley- CANCELED

October 28, 2014, 6 pm — Dezember Reading Room in CSUB’s Walter Stiern Library

Jerry Stanley will be reading and speaking about his famous children’s book “Children of the Dust Bowl.”

One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern

October 30, 2014, 7 p.m. – CSUB Icardo Center

The Kern County community reads one book in the libraries, schools, and in the universities. CSU Bakersfield leads the effort by choosing the book and requiring it in First-Year Experience program. This year’s book will be Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario. For more information, please visit:

Theatrical Performance of “From Dust Thou Art”

November 6, 7, 8 & 9, 2014 – Doré Theatre, CSU Bakersfield

The CSU Bakersfield Theatre Arts Department presents a play by Peter Grego based on oral histories of Dust Bowl immigrants of the period. Directed by Mandy Rees.

Cultural Legacy of The Grapes of Wrath – An Interdisciplinary Academic Conference

November 6, 7 & 8, 2014 – CSU Bakersfield

Academic conference including all disciplines from the arts and humanities (history, literature, philosophy, religious studies, communications, modern languages, linguistics, art, music, and theatre). Keynote and other featured speakers: Rick Wartzman (journalism), Susan Shillinglaw (literature), James N. Gregory (history), Peter La Chapelle (history), Daniel Goldmark (music), Dan Morgan (journalism).  For complete information visit

Popular Orchestral Classics of the Dust Bowl Era: The Plow that Broke the Plains and Billy the Kid

November 23, 2014 – Doré Theatre

The Bakersfield Youth Symphony in concert featuring Aaron’s Copland’s ballet score, Billy the Kid (1938), and Virgil Thomson’s score to Pare Lorentz’s film documentary, The Plow that Broke the Plains (1936). Live music, narration, and commentary accompanying the film, highlighting the influence of Lorentz’s work on Steinbeck’s novel.

Oildale and Beyond:

Oildale and Beyond

Interpreting the Region Through Words, Images, and Music. This conference included an interview with and short performance by Merle Haggard, and a keynote by native son, writer, and scholar Gerald Haslam (a centennial celebration in 2009)