To: Council of University of California Emeriti Association (CUCEA) Apr. 30, 2009, UCSD Fr: UCSC Emeriti Group — Submitted by Stanley D. Stevens, Secretary/Treasurer Re: Report of Activities, 2008 July 1 — 2009 June 30
Claudia Mitchell-Kernan, Vice Chancellor of Graduate Studies & Dean of the Graduate Division, UCLA, in late March, announced that the Constantine Panunzio Board of Directors selected Professor Emeritus Thomas F. Pettigrew of Santa Cruz as one of two recipients of the Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award for 2008-2009. The other is Daniel W. Howe, Department of History, UCLA.
Thomas Pettigrew, a research professor of social psychology, also, recently received an honorary doctorate in the natural sciences from Philipps University in Marburg, Germany. Pettigrew’s lifelong work in intergroup relations around the globe was also recognized with the recent publication of a new book edited by his colleagues in social psychology in three nations, entitled Improving Intergroup Relations: Building on the Legacy of Thomas F. Pettigrew (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008).
Writer of Oscar-winning Harvey Milk docudrama embraces “Milk”. You will not see Carter Wilson’s name on movie blurbs about “Milk,” but he’s in a much better position to judge the new biopic of slain San Francisco gay icon Harvey Milk than any mere film reviewer. Wilson, a retired UC Santa Cruz professor who lives in Aptos, was a screenwriter on the 1984 documentary “The Times of Harvey Milk,” which along with Randy Shilts’ book “The Mayor of Castro Street,” has long been considered the primary source on the life of Milk before Gus Van Sant’s film starring Sean Penn. “It’s a wonderful movie,” said Wilson who co-wrote actor Harvey Fierstein’s narration of “Times” with journalist Judith Coburn. “People have been baiting me with ‘Is it a rip-off of ‘Times’?’ Well, no. ‘Times’ is a historical document. It’s the ur-source on Harvey Milk. This is a fictional film, a very different thing.” “Times” was awarded the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature the year after it was released. The Oscar was only one of a handful of awards the film garnered, including the Peabody, the New York Film Critics Circle Award and the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. “One thing about the documentary people don’t realize,” said Wilson, who came out as gay a year or so before the documentary was made “was that there was just not a lot of material on Milk at the time. There was the book ‘The Mayor of Castro Street’ and there were interviews with people who knew him. And that’s about all.” Wilson praised Penn’s performance in the title role: “There is playing gay, which all straight actors do from time to time, and there is embodying a character, which is what Penn does here.” Wilson added that although “Milk” did not shy away from love scenes between gay characters, it underplayed the overtly sexual atmosphere of the Castro in the days before the AIDS epidemic. “By emphasizing politics and Milk’s role in the political process and the rights movement, it does not emphasize what was going on sexually in the Castro at the time. I don’t think that’s a negative. It’s just a question of focus.” [Wallace Blaine, Santa Cruz Sentinel staff writer, 12/12/2008]
Biologists John and Vicki Pearse receive Lifetime Achievement Award. The Western Society of Naturalists has awarded its 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award to UCSC biologists John and Vicki Pearse. John Pearse, a professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology, and his wife, Vicki, a research associate at the Institute of Marine Sciences, are both experts on
marine invertebrates. The Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2005 to honor an outstanding scientist who has been involved in the Western Society of Naturalists (WSN) throughout his or her career and has made an exemplary life-long contribution to increasing our understanding of natural history. The Pearses were honored at the annual WSN meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, earlier this month. Both have long been active leaders in WSN and other scientific societies. John served as president of WSN, California Academy of Sciences, International Society of Invertebrate Reproduction, and Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.
John Marcum, Emeritus Professor of Politics, returned from Angola where he gave the introductory lecture at a conference on civil society. Marcum, the author of a two-volume history of the Angolan revolution, provided historic background and analysis for conference attendees. The meeting was held in advance of national elections, scheduled for early September. Book Announcements
Joyce Brodsky, Emerita Professor of Art, had her book published about transnationalism entitled Experiences of Passage: the paintings of Li-lan and Yun Gee. Seattle : University of Washington Press, c2008. An exhibition of their works and a book signing was held at the Jason McCoy gallery in New York in March and another exhibition and book signing will be held in Beijing in November.
A Touch More Rare: Harry Berger, Jr. and the Art of Interpretation (Fordham University Press, 2009) celebrates more than four decades of groundbreaking work by UC Santa Cruz emeritus professor of literature and art history Harry Berger, Jr. [edited by Nina Levine & David Lee Miller] The book’s 19 essays serve as a tribute to a revered and respected literary and cultural critic, whose vast body of work led to his election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006. An internationally recognized scholar and founding faculty member of UC Santa Cruz, Berger is known for a wide-ranging and interdisciplinary approach that goes far beyond traditional academic boundaries. Berger studied literature and art history at Yale University, where he earned his B.A. and Ph.D. in English and taught for 12 years. He came to UC Santa Cruz in 1965 where he taught a variety of subjects under the general category of culture theory and Renaissance culture, including Renaissance drama and Shakespeare. In art history, he specialized in Italian and Dutch painting and the theory and practice of portraiture. Berger has published extensively over the years, with numerous books and more than 100 articles to his credit. As he noted in a 2002 interview: “Sometimes I have a sense of myself as sitting at a typing table and floating on a cloud for 50 years.” Although he retired in the 1990s, Berger continues to teach classes as an emeritus professor at UCSC, as well as lead seminars for faculty and students at such venues as the Newberry Library and the Shakespeare Society of America. Berger’s most recent books include Manhood, Marriage, and Mischief: Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’ and Other Dutch Group Portraits (2006) and Situated Utterances: Texts, Bodies and Cultural Representations (2005). Still a prolific author, Berger noted that he is currently preparing three separate books that have been accepted for publication by Fordham Press on Shakespeare, Plato, and Edmund Spenser, and has several more in the works. Meetings
The UCSC Emeriti Group meets on the third Thursday every-other month from September thru May. Our meetings include lunch at the Cowell College Provost’s House, followed by a speaker and discussion. One meeting is held at University House as luncheon guests of Chancellor George Blumenthal. The average attendance is 30 members. Except for the Guest Speaker, each attendee pays for her/his own lunch, at the rate of $17.50.
September 18: Ruth Martin & Prof. Joe Bunnett, Sept 18, 2008 ”Insights into Senior Home Care“
November 20: Bill Dickinson & Prof. Gary Miles, Nov 20, 2008 ”The Smith Renaissance Society and Former Foster Youth at UCSC“
January 15: Prof. Wentai Liu, Electrical Engineering, ”Engineering Hope with Biomimetic Systems “
March 19: Assoc. Prof. Brian Catlos, History: "Muslim Spain and the Modern West (or "What Bob Dylan & Bill Gates owe to Islam")"
May 21: Conversation with UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal.
Dean Janice V. Corriden represented UCSC at the October 30, 2008, meeting of the Council of UC Emeriti Associations held at UCSC. She will represent UCSC at the UCSD meeting April 30, 2009. Special Meetings
CUCEA (the Council of UC Emeriti Associations), in conjunction with the Council of UC Retirees Associations, met at UCSC on October 30, 2008. Dean Janice Corriden represented UCSC and helped coordinate meeting arrangements. Vice Chancellor of Business & Finance Emeritus Hal Hyde, and Librarian Emeritus Stan Stevens assisted with parking & directions.
Gary Schlimgen, Director of Retirement Programs for UC, spoke to a joint meeting of Retirees and Emeriti, March 24, 2009, on “UC Retirement Programs: Where Are We Today?” Mr. Schlimgen covered the structure, management and long-term outlook for the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) as well as on the impact of the current financial situation on the fund's stability. In addition, he discussed other post-employment benefits of interest to retirees and with time for questions. This was extremely timely discussion on the status of our UC benefits, and all retirees (and spouses) were invited to attend.
The paid-up Membership rose slightly during the year, from 72 to 78. A check was remitted to the CUCEA Treasurer on March 21, 2009.
Deaths Coyne: Dr. Donald G. Coyne, Professor Emeritus of Physics, UC Santa Cruz, who enjoyed a distinguished career in experimental particle physics and astrophysics, died October 1 in Santa Cruz after many years of battling prostate cancer. He was 71 years old. Hall: James Byron Hall, distinguished author and professor of literature, died February 28, 2008 (announced in October at UCSC) with family at his side in Portland, Oregon. He was the founding Provost of College V (now Porter College) at UCSC and hired many of the early faculty. He also taught creative writing and American Literature to many UCSC students. Heron: The family and friends of David W. Heron, librarian, author, and bibliophile, share a deep loss at his passing. David died peacefully January 8, at the age of 88, with his family near him, after an extended period of failing health. We are grateful that until almost the last he was able to be at his Aptos home of 34 years, with his wife Winifred. King: Professor Emeritus Noel King passed away on Sunday after a lengthy illness. Many of us remember Noel’s lively presence on campus and his commanding lecture style on the subject of his expertise: comparative religious studies. Hired by the campus shortly after it opened in the 1960s, Noel was an extraordinarily popular teacher and widely respected scholar, continuing to publish extensively well after his retirement in 1991 as a professor of history and comparative religion.
The UCSC Emeriti Group sponsors, with financial support from the Chancellor’s Office, community-wide lectures twice during the year by one of the distinguished Emeritus Professors from our group. Lectures are attended by all segments of our community. Lectures are given on a weekday evening and in a campus auditorium that is easily accessible to all. The Chairperson is responsible for coordinating the Emeriti Lectures.
Nov. 13, 2008: the Emeriti Faculty Lecture was presented by Research Professor David Deamer, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. In 1944, the physicist and Nobelist Erwin Schrödinger published a book entitled What is Life? Schrödinger asked a fundamental question: “How can the events in space and time which take place within the spatial boundary of a living organism be accounted for by physics and chemistry?” Sixty years later, that remains an open question, but we have learned so much more about the history of life on the Earth that we can now ask a related question: “What was Life?” Several research groups are attempting to fabricate synthetic life in the laboratory, so we can also ask, “What will Life be?” His talk discussed the origin of life nearly four billion years ago, and recent progress toward assembling a living system of molecules in the laboratory.
April 9, 2009: Thomas F. Pettigrew, research professor of social psychology, will give the Spring Emeriti Lecturer and discuss a topic related to the Obama election: “Post-Racism? Putting President Obama’s Victory in Perspective” — “Does President Obama’s momentous election victory signify a new, post-racism American era? Some observers, such as a New York Times science editor, think so. But, unfortunately, this claim is premature for a host of reasons.  It took “a perfect storm” of interlocking factors to elect Obama.  Many bigots actually voted for Obama.  Two logical fallacies underlie this too-optimistic view.  Racist attitudes and actions repeatedly occurred throughout the campaign.  White Southern and older voters both demonstrated that rank racism remains.  Increased turn-out of young and minority voters was crucial. So, what changes in American race relations may take place during the Obama presidency?”
Chairman: W. Todd Wipke, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Secretary/Treasurer: Stanley D. Stevens, Librarian Emeritus CUCEA Representative: Janice V. Corriden, Dean University Extension Emerita
Revised March 31, 2009