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Shaping San Francisco | City History Lectures

Shaping San Francisco is a series of free lectures, which aim to excavate the city’s lost history. It’s a place to meet and talk unmediated by corporations, official spokespeople, religion, political parties, or dogma.

Shaping San Francisco
Periodic Wednesdays | 7:30 pm
Eric Quezada Center for Culture & Politics | 518 Valencia St., SF
FREE

September 27, 2017 – Other Food Systems are Possible
The Diggers served free food in an effort to address a massive influx of young people to the Haight during the Summer of Love and the Black Panthers’ Free Breakfast Program for youth began soon after. Drawing from this same desire to reimagine food systems, food conspiracies flourished in communes in the early 1970s and the People’s Food System built a network of stores and distributors out of this collective framework.

October 4 – Art and Architecture During the Depression
Join Richard Everett (Maritime Museum), Anne Schnoebelen (Treasure Island Museum), and Harvey Smith(Living New Deal) for a revealing discussion of the art, architecture, and politics that challenged the economic impoverishment of the Depression by inspiring flourishing public art.

October 11 –  Speeding Through the Unseen, from Coding to Commons
Ellen Ullman writes in her new book Life in Code “The penetration of technology into the interstices of human existence is nearly complete,” and then demystifes how humans turn their intentions and ideas into the computer codes that are the language of computers. Katja Schwaller puts “Twitterlandia” under the microscope of her critical gaze, showing how the reconfiguration of mid-Market embodies a larger capture and repurposing of public space by private interests. And Dennis Hayes, a long-time tech writer and author of an early critique of Silicon Valley, brings his own historical and political chops to bear on our current predicament, both obsessed with and deeply oppressed by the technosphere that speeds up our lives to the breaking point even while it presents itself as the answer to everything.

October 25 – 100th Anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution
Few events in the past century equal the importance of the Russian Revolution. And yet we only know it through the fog of propaganda and fear, and the actual events of 1917 are long forgotten in the mists of time. Find out what actually happened in that fabled year, and how it fit together with the world events of that epoch. Longtime Russian scholar Anthony D’Agostino (SF State) joins Anarchist scholar from socialist Yugoslavia Andrej Grubacic (CIIS) to unpack some of those tangled histories and together we’ll connect it to San Francisco then and now.

November 8 – Art & Politics: Seth Eisen “OUT of Site”
Seth Eisen/Eye Zen Presents and collaborators bring to life research and performance excerpts from their newest project, (a collaboration with Shaping SF)—a series of queer history performance-driven walking tours through the streets of San Francisco. This performative talk explores the ways that queer people have historically created community, how the communities have adapted over time, and ways they might sustain and nurture the historical and cultural queer essence.

November 29 – Art & Politics: Mona Caron and Kiernan Graves
In summer 2017 an ambitious project was begun to restore and extend the life of Mona Caron‘s Market Street Railway Mural at 15th and Church Streets. After more than a decade since it was painted, the wall’s surfaces were beginning to crack and buckle, and along came Kiernan Graves, an accomplished conservator, who offered to fix the understory with the skills she’d previously applied to historic Indian palaces and other sites. The art, the history, the process, all will be revealed.

December 6 – Popular Front to the Cold War
How did Communists help build this social movement, and how did the Communist Party undercut its own principles during WWII? How did African American workers and interned Japanese-Americans fit into the story? And where did that leave California politics at the end of WWII and the beginning of the long post-war economic boom? With Chuck Wollenberg, Jonathan Hunt, Kathryn Olmstead.

Wednesday, September 27

Shaping SF Lecture: Other Food Systems are Possible | Mission Dist.
Wednesday, September 27 – 7:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Eric Quezada Center
Shaping SF Lecture: Other Food Systems are Possible | Mission Dist.

The Diggers served free food in an effort to address a massive influx of young people to the Haight during the Summer of Love and the Black Panthers’ Free Breakfast Program for youth began soon after.
Drawing from this same desire to reimagine food systems, food …

Wednesday, October 4

Shaping SF Lecture: Art & Architecture During the Depression | Mission Dist.
Wednesday, October 4 – 7:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Eric Quezada Center
Shaping SF Lecture: Art & Architecture During the Depression | Mission Dist.

The Maritime Museum at Aquatic Park recently underwent extensive renovation, bringing to public view murals and sculptures from the WPA that have long been hidden and overlooked. Other beautiful artworks grace public buildings throughout the East Bay and San Francisco, including Coit Tower, and on …

Wednesday, October 11

Shaping SF Lecture: “Speeding Through the Unseen” from Coding to Commons | Mission Dist.
Wednesday, October 11 – 7:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Eric Quezada Center
Shaping SF Lecture:

Ellen Ullman writes in her new book Life in Code “The penetration of technology into the interstices of human existence is nearly complete,” and then demystifies how humans turn their intentions and ideas into the computer codes that are the language of computers.
Katja Schwaller puts …

Wednesday, October 25

Shaping SF Lecture: 100th Anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution | Mission Dist.
Wednesday, October 25 – 7:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Eric Quezada Center
Shaping SF Lecture: 100th Anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution | Mission Dist.

Few events in the past century equal the importance of the Russian Revolution. And yet people only know it through the fog of propaganda and fear, and the actual events of 1917 are long forgotten in the mists of time.
Find out what actually happened in …

Wednesday, November 8

Shaping SF Lecture: Seth Eisen “Out of Site” | Mission Dist.
Wednesday, November 8 – 7:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Eric Quezada Center
Shaping SF Lecture: Seth Eisen

Seth Eisen/Eye Zen Presents and collaborators bring to life research and performance excerpts from their newest project, (a collaboration with Shaping SF)—a series of queer history performance-driven walking tours through the streets of San Francisco.
This performative talk explores the ways that queer people have historically …

Wednesday, November 29

Shaping SF Lecture: Mona Caron & Kiernan Graves on Art & Politics | Mission Dist.
Wednesday, November 29 – 7:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Eric Quezada Center
Shaping SF Lecture: Mona Caron & Kiernan Graves on Art & Politics | Mission Dist.

In summer 2017 an ambitious project was begun to restore and extend the life of Mona Caron’s Market Street Railway Mural at 15th and Church Streets. When it was painted in 2003-04, it quickly became a beloved piece of public art, and uniquely presented a …

Wednesday, December 6

Shaping SF Lecture: Popular Front to the Cold War | Mission Dist.
Wednesday, December 6 – 7:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Eric Quezada Center
Shaping SF Lecture: Popular Front to the Cold War | Mission Dist.

In November 1938, California elected its first-ever liberal Democratic governor Culbert Olson, supported by a state-wide Popular Front coalition of liberals, unionists, communists, and other radicals. But by 1940 the Popular Front forces were already fracturing and from its wreckage emerged key elements of the …

Wednesday, December 13

Shaping SF Lecture: San Francisco’s Freeway Revolt | Mission Dist.
Wednesday, December 13 – 7:30 pm | Cost: FREE | Eric Quezada Center
Shaping SF Lecture: San Francisco's Freeway Revolt | Mission Dist.

Today’s San Francisco and the village-like neighborhoods, charming architecture, and quality of life is indebted to the Freeway Revolt that shocked the nation between 1956 and 1965.
Most histories have focused on the politicians and city leaders who argued and voted in those years, overlooking the …


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