Cal Humanities

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more when it is in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

Show & Tell: What Can We Learn from Artifacts of California Elections?     

Multiple hands in various colors hold papers. Behind them is an outline of the state of California.

Take a trip back through California’s voting history in this show-and-tell led by historian Susan D. Anderson and archivists from across the state. Hear seldom-told stories of struggles for voting rights and representation, from Suffrage to Civil Rights and more. Recorded February 2021.

Speakers: Angela Brinskele, Frances Kaplan, Sean Dickerson, Tamara Martin, Xaviera Flores

The Electoral College: What Were the Founders Thinking? 

Multiple hands in various colors hold papers. Behind them is an outline of the state of California.

The Electoral College is an original American model, never duplicated outside of the country. Created after lively debate in the last days of the five-month long Constitutional Convention of 1787, it set forth that presidents would be selected — not by popular vote — but by electors in each state. What is its legacy today, in a more populous and mature America? Recorded January 2021.

Speakers: Sonja Diaz, Karthick Ramakrishnan, Mindy Romero, Dan Schnur

California on the Ballot: What’s the Deal with Direct Democracy? 

Multiple hands in various colors hold papers. Behind them is an outline of the state of California.

From the legality of prize fighting (1914) to the definition of marriage (2000), Californians have approved 132 ballot measures, with profound and long-lasting consequences for the state. Recorded October 2020.

Speakers: Jason Cohn, Rachael Myrow, Joe Mathews, Raphael Sonenshein

California on the Ballot: Highlights from Season One      

Multiple hands in various colors hold papers. Behind them is an outline of the state of California.

Our theme for California on the Ballot: Season One (October 2020-April 2021) is barriers to voting – what obstacles have defined the voter experience in California history? How has California worked to increase voter access? What work is left to do? We’ll talk with groups whose relationship to the ballot has a complicated history, including DACA recipients, incarcerated citizens, and Indigenous communities across California.  

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