NCIS Partner NEWS Spring 2020

IHS: Institute for Historical Study IHS (San Francisco) is an active, independent community of researchers, writers, and artists who share a devotion to history in its many forms. Through wide-ranging programs, IHS members share research, ideas, and practical advice and provide a public forum for the discussion of history.

Winter 2020:

  • IHS will be celebrating its 40thanniversaryin 2020! A celebratory luncheon is planned for Saturday, May 16. Member Oliver Pollak is exploring the possibility of a book about the history of HIS.
  • IHS mourns the loss of long-time member and energetic leader Georgia Wright,who hosted monthly “work-in-progress” meetings at her home for decades. An architectural historian and medievalist, Dr. Wright followed her academic teaching career with an MBA and then independent work on medieval tombs, the French Revolution, and the Limestone Provenance Project. “Georgia’s death in December 2019 leaves a great hole in the life of the Institute.”

Spring 2020:

  • The monthly program planned for Sunday, March 15 had to be cancelleddue to the current health crisis. Monika Trobits had been scheduled to present: Exploring an Urban Legend: San Francisco 1923
  • Writers Group plans to meet on Sunday, April 12, for a presentation by Pam Grier.
  • Play Readers Groupwill reconvene when pandemic conditions permit. The next reading will be a 20th-century  version of the Greek tragedy, Antigone, by the playwright Jean Anouilh.

For further information on IHS activities consult the website:


ISAA: Independent Scholars’ Association of Australia ISAA publishes a National Newsletter several times a year and the ISAA Review twice a year plus the proceedings of the Annual conference. The latest issue of the ISAA Review, on the theme of International Relations," contains articles by John Moses, John Ramsland, and Graeme Gill and opinion pieces by Amin Saikal and Alison Broinowski.

ISAA National Conference 2020, will be held on 24-25 September 2020 at the National Library with the theme “No Place Like Home. The Call for Papers has been sent out.

New South Wales ISAA Chapter holds two work-in-progress meetings and two open forums per year. However, due to the COVID-19 virus lockdown its first meeting for the year has been postponed.

  • On 25 March 2020, Dr Judith Bonzol was to have given a Work in Progress report on her research on early seventeenth-century Bermuda. This will now take place after the lockdown is over.
  • The Public Affairs Reading Group met on 19 Nov 2019 and 4 Feb. 2020. Titles discussed were Common Ground: A Political Life by Justin Trudeauand Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World by M R O’Connor. The 28 March 2020 meeting was postponed due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • Upcoming: Dr Alan Roberts will give an Open Forum on Faction, Fiction and History at the History House on 10 June 2020.
  • ISAA NSW also publishes a Bulletin regularly throughout the year. The February 2020 issue has been distributed and is on the ISAA website.

The ACT ISAA Group meets monthly but is in abeyance until after the COVID-19 lockdown.

  • 13 November 2019: Professor Frank Bongiorno recalled Robert Menzies and ‘The Forgotten People’: Voices from 1950’s Australia.
  • On 21 November 2019, Dr Michael Gladwin launched the new book by ACT members Dr John Moses and Peter Overlack, First Know Your Enemy: Comprehending Imperial German War Aims & Deciphering the Enigma of Kultur.

For more information:


MISF: Minnesota Independent Scholars Forum MISF exists to foster scholars, whatever their formal credentials or academic involvement. We encourage all projects of disciplined intellectual inquiry. In an age of ever more sophisticated means of communication, MISF promotes face-to-face interaction among scholars as an irreplaceable means to scholarly excellence. Our membership is open to anyone who supports these goals. To achieve its mission, MISF provides scholars with

  1. opportunities to collaborate with other scholars of similar interests;
  2. regular opportunities to exchange ideas on designated topics in small groups;
  3. opportunities to present, to the critical eye of other scholars and to the public, the fruits of study, both in oral and written form;
  4. fiscal agency for scholarly grant submissions.

Upcoming events: TO BE RESCHEDULED: Betty Folliard, Founder – ERA Minnesota, will present “Bold Vision: ERA 2020.” On the 100th anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote, another 100-year struggle to gain constitutional equality through ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment awaits Congressional action. Modern-day suffragists around the country have united to make equal rights legal in 2020. We’ll explore efforts both here in Minnesota and around the U.S. to amend an ERA into our state and federal constitutions. The honorable Betty Folliard is a well-known Minnesota thought leader. In 2019 she helped pass the state ERA bill through the Minnesota House. She is currently helping organize a Women’s Economic Security Task Force on behalf of the new Minnesota State Attorney General.

Saturday, April 25, 2020. Peter Simmons will present "Minnesotans and the Ultra-Resistance." Based on his 2018-2019 oral history project, "We Won't Go, and We Don't Want You to Go Either," this talk discusses Minnesotans who, during 1967-1970, took part in raids on Selective Service offices, aiming to cripple the ability of the government to conscript young American's into the military during the never-declared Vietnam war. Mr. Simmons has been a life-long Minneapolis resident. After involvement in the draft resistance and peace movements, he was convicted in 1970 of violating the Selective Service Act, and spent twenty months in Federal Prison in Colorado. His "We Won't Go..." project was assisted and made possible by the Minnesota Independent Scholars Forum.

Saturday, May 23, 2020 : 2020 MISF Annual Poetry Daywill feature two distinct poets.

  • Vicki Mickelson is a retired educator with thirty-eight years experience in the classroom, most of them in the Minneapolis Public Schools. She has published seven books of poetry, including Island Attitudes, nominated for a Minnesota Book Award in 2016. Vicki’s work is inspired by life’s feats and daily observations and resonates human frailties and achievements.
  • Joseph A. Amato has written more than twenty-five books in European intellectual and cultural history, family, local, rural and regional history, and two memoirs. In the last decade, he completed a major work of magic realism, Buffalo Man: A Boy Giant on the Minnesota River, and four books of poetry.

Saturday, June 27, 2020: Sue Hunter Weir will give a presentation on “Saving Lives: Stories from Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery.” This site (formerly Layman’s) is the oldest existing cemetery in. The cemetery’s first burial took place in 1853, five years before statehood. It is the final resting place of abolitionists, veterans, members of the city’s early African-American community, and several thousand immigrants. Volunteers have been collecting and preserving stories and photographs of these residents to ensure that they are not forgotten. During 20 years researching the cemetery and its 22,000 residents, Sue Hunter Weir has written more than 160 “Tales from the Cemetery,” columns that have which serves the Phillips Community and surrounding neighborhoods.

The MISF Journal, The Minnesota Scholaris published semi-annually to provide a publishing venue for independent scholarship. Publishing in the journal is open to all persons of a scholarly inclination, both MISF members and non-members. Submissions, normally limited to 1,800 words, may include poetry and artwork. The journal is free to the public, but only MISF members are entitled to receive copies by US mail. For more information about MISF,


NISA: Northwest Independent Scholars Association NISA meets five times per year (every other month except July) to encourage and promote scholarly discussion, research, writing, and publication outside of formal institutions of higher education, for individuals who are actively pursuing serious scholarly research.

  • On November 30, 2019, Josey Cooperspoke on "Dancing with ideas: the personal essay as a vehicle for challenging assumptions about aging.” Josephine Cooper is experimenting with ways to write about social inequities that attract the reader's interest through a human-interest story. She finds that it is delicate to balance between the storyline and statistics. We discussed two sample essays, one that is short and light in nature and a longer one that includes supporting statistics and other research.
  • Spring 2020program has had to be postponed, due to the Coronavirus. When we’re once again able to gather, Anne O’Neill will speak on "Researching and Writing Pre-Oregon Trail Historical Fiction." Her current novel explores the lifetime adventures of an orphaned French voyageur and a widow in the Willamette River area as they balance the demands of the beaver trade with social and cultural challenges. O’Neill finds that historical fiction focuses research while releasing the author to characterize theories of fundamental humanity. Her focus on first peoples has been a fresh topic for her. She finds fiction as a genre less constraining than verifying documentation for often illiterate, trappers and their life.

For more information about NISA and their bi-monthly meetings, see


Princeton Research Forum (PRF) PRF offers a diverse group of scholars in the Princeton area the opportunity to share their research interests, expertise, and creative endeavors in a supportive environment with other independent scholars. In addition to meeting monthly during the academic year, PRF members participate in ongoing study groups in the humanities, science/history of science, and poetry as well as annual general meeting in early summer and a social kickoff event in the fall. Recent member activities:

  • Linda Arntzeniuscontinues to conduct the Institute for Advanced Study’s oral history project and to serve as consultant and contributing editor for the Center of Theological Inquiry’s recently launched publication Fresh Thinking. In November 2019, she presented A Celebration of Poet Jean Hollander” in conjunction with US1 Poet’s Cooperative.
  • Jeannette E. Brown’s latest book, African American Women in the Modern Era published by Oxford University Press, is the second of two she has written on African American women chemists. This second book focuses on contemporary women chemists and chemical engineers who have benefited from that Act.
  • Lara Freidenfelds’s second book, The Myth of the Perfect Pregnancy: A History of Miscarriage in America,was published out in January 2020. Meanwhile, she has been pruning her scholarly library. PRF members with overloaded bookshelves will appreciate Lara’s insightful essay, “Is a Historian’s Library an Archive or a Living Thing?” at and
  • Shelley Frisch attended the Frankfurt Book Fair to lecture on how to get established in the translation community. This fall she published, with NYRB Classics, her new translation of Last Letters: The Prison Correspondence, 1944-1945, by Freya von Moltke and Helmuth James von Moltke, edited by Helmuth Caspar von Moltke, Dorothea von Moltke, and Johannes von Moltke. The three editors are the son and grandchildren of the courageous couple who took part in the civilian German Resistance to Hitler. For a selection of these heart-breaking letters: light. She also published a translation of Jan Mohnhaupt's The Zookeepers' War, with Simon & Schuster.
  • PRF President Linda Holt’s latest research leads the way to the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth this year with the Harvard Square Editions April release of her novel, Invictus by L. L. Holt, a fictional account of the life, trials and times of the composer Beethoven.
  • Winifred Hughes’s chapbook, Frost Flowers, which won honorable mention in the Finishing Line Press competition, was featured in the Poets at the Library series at the Princeton Public Library on October 14.
  • Terri McNichol was awarded a 2019 PRF Hutner Presentation Grant for her Idea Café illustrated talk, “The Four Treasures: On Becoming a Chinese Sage,” at the 2019 GlobalMindED Conference June 5-7, 2019 in Denver, Colorado.
  • Ashwini Mokashi has found receptive audiences for her book, Sapiens and Sthitaprajna: A Comparative Study in Seneca’s Stoicism and the Bhagavadgita, both in India and locally. The book was launched at the Bhandarkar Institute, where Ashwini delivered the 18thP. V. Bapat Memorial Lecture: &t=2776s
  • Roger V. Moseley, MD made a presentation to PRF about his new book, Morality: A Natural History, in December 2019. After his career as a surgeon, he has turned to this exploration of what morality is, and what is the source of our moral ideas. Roger presents a multi-disciplinary discussion of the question, and posits that morality is rooted in evolutionary forces that optimize human welfare. An item on the neuroscience chapter of his book appears as a feature article in the March 2020 issue of Nature Historymagazine.
  • Maureen Mulvihillrecently published an online essay “Looking Skyward”: Mulvihill Collection Acquires Mary Somerville, "Queen of Science.”This may be of special interest to devotees of astronomy and women scientists. The essay, for the Rare Book Hub (San Francisco) is about celebrated Scots polymath and science writer, Mary Fairfax Greig Somerville (1780–1872).
  • Karen Reeds’sreview of two very learned books about the pioneering Renaissance anatomist, Andreas Vesalius, is featured as an Open Access Review by Renaissance Quarterly (Volume 72, Issue 2, Summer 2019, pp. 630-632).

For more information, go to


SDIS: San Diego Independent Scholars San Diego Independent Scholars holds ongoing meetings of six study groups, in addition to monthly general meetings. Study groups include Colloquy Café, Culture One, Film Group, Neuroscience Group, General Relativity Group, Reading Experience and Inside Politics.. Because of Covid-19, all meetings for April will be held via Zoom video-conferencing. Spring 2020 On April 18, a SDIS general meeting will be held on Zoom. “How Are Cellphones Shaping the future of Photography?” will be presented by Kim Signoret-Paar, award-winning photographer and teacher.

  • Colloquy Café’s recent meetings have discussed the subject of “a good life” with discussions about ethics, sharing, and the balance of material achievements. The topic for the April 15 meeting will be “Redemption.”
  • The Film Group has recently watched Pain and Gloryby Pedro Almodovar and The History Boys, a 2006 British comedy-drama. The upcoming screening of Parasitehas had to be postponed.
  • The General Relativity Group is studying Einstein’s Equation: both the curvature tensor and the energy tensor. The next meeting will discuss the Manifold approach to fundamental quantities.
  • Neuroscience Study Group is exploring the topic of Artificial Intelligence, using two recent books: Martin Ford’s Architects of Intelligenceand John Brockman, Possible Minds.
  • TheReading Experience Groupmeets on the third Monday morning of each month. This spring they’re focusing on the theme of Where and When. Their April 20 meeting will address two stories from Dublinersby James Joyce.
  • A new group, Inside Politics,meets on the first Saturday of every month. April’s meeting will be held via Zoom.

For more information on SDIS, go to

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