Each year the SBTHP hosts lectures that cover a wide variety of subjects. Lecturers can be historians, artists, archaeologists, anyone with information to share about history that affects California.

Upcoming Lectures

The Anza Trail Today and Commemorating 250 Years

February 4, 2020  ·  6PM  ·  Zoom Webinar

The years 2025 and 2026 will mark the 250th anniversary of the historic Anza Expedition. Since the establishment of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail in 1990, public history has changed dramatically. We have broadened our understanding of the people and forces at play during the expedition and included multiple narratives in the story. Join Naomi Torres, Superintendent of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail for an update on trail activities to date and a shared view into the future.

Past Lectures

Migrant Longing: Letter Writing Across the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

January 10, 2021

Drawing upon a personal collection of more than 300 letters exchanged between her parents and other family members across the U.S.-Mexico border, Miroslava Chávez-García recreates and gives meaning to the hope, fear, and longing migrants experienced in their everyday lives both "here" and "there" (aqui y alla). As private sources of communication hidden from public consumption and historical research, the letters provide a rare glimpse into the deeply emotional, personal, and social lives of ordinary Mexican men and women as recorded in their immediate, firsthand accounts. Chávez-García demonstrates not only how migrants struggled to maintain their sense of humanity in el norte but also how those remaining at home made sense of their changing identities in response to the loss of loved ones who sometimes left for weeks, months, or years at a time, or simply never returned.

This event was co-hosted by the UCSB History Associates.

José de la Guerra's Commerce with Asia and Liverpool at Mexican Independence

December 10, 2020

Marie Christine Duggan, Ph.D of Keene State College discussed José Antonio de la Guerra y Noriega, who was the nephew of a powerful merchant in Mexico City. In 1798, his uncle put him in to California’s supply line, probably to obtain otter hides for export to Asia. When Spain ceased to finance the colony in 1810, De la Guerra guided California’s economy into trade with Manila, San Blas, Lima, Manila, Canton and Liverpool.

Sheila Lodge: An UNcommonplace American Town

November 15, 2020

Sheila Lodge discussed her new book, Santa Barbara: An UNcommonplace American Town, about how Santa Barbara became the community that it is through planning. She described the many battles it sometimes took and the process that was developed to make the critical decisions. Because of her personal involvement in the struggles, her book is partially a memoir. Her book is available for purchase in our gift shop.

This event was co-hosted by the UCSB History Associates.

The Chinese Railroad Workers of North America Project

November 11, 2020

Dr. Barbara Voss, Director of Archaeology for the Chinese Railroad Workers of North America Project at Stanford University, filmmaker Barre Fong, and associates screened Making Ties: The Cangdong Village Project and hosted a panel discussion on the film and the contributions of Chinese to the American West, specifically the transcontinental railroad. Learn about their collaborative research program studying the home villages of the 19th century Chinese immigrants.

This lecture was a part of SBTHP's series Advances in Preservation & Archaeology of Asian American Places.

Preserving the Harada House

November 4, 2020

Lisa Masengale, Curator of Historic Structures for the City of Riverside's Museum Department, discussed the importance of the Harada House to Japanese American history and their ongoing work to conserve, restore, and stabilize the building. The house was the focus of a critical application of the California Alien Land Law of 1913, which prevented foreigners who were ineligible for citizenship from owning property. The state of California attempted to seize the property from the family in California v. Harada, but the Haradas ultimately won the case and retained ownership of the house. In 2020, Harada House was named one of the most endangered historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

This lecture was a part of SBTHP's series Advances in Preservation & Archaeology of Asian American Places.

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