Prepared by Barbara Ellertson from newsletters and website listings posted by each affiliate.
IHS (San Francisco) approved 1/10/18 by Ann Harlow
ISAA approved 12/21/18 by Christine Jennett
Minnesota approved 12/14/18 by Michael Woolsey
Northwest Approved 12/10/18 by Margaret DeLacy
Princeton Approved 1/8/19 by Linda Holt
San Diego approved Dec. 8, 2018 by Barbara Heckler 


IHS: Institute for Historical Study (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. 

Upcoming Events
 On January 20, at the Oakland Monthly Program, Ross Maxwell will speak about "Big History.”
Recent Events
 On December 9, at the Writers Group meeting in Kensington, Joe Miller presented his latest work about 19th-century suffragists.
 On December 2, at the Monthly Program in San Francisco, Katya Miller presented "Beloved Freedom: Secret on the Capitol Dome."
 On September 28, Jeevan Zutshi gave a talk on "South Asians in the South Bay: The Privileged Immigrants.” His talk was offered in partnership with the Indo-American Community Federation and the Mechanics’ Institute. 
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 are published. The latest issue of the ISAA Review, on the theme of Science – Natural and Social, contains articles by Ian Lowe, Sybil Jack, Ann Moyal and Mike Pepperday.  

2018 ISAA Annual Conference was held on 11-12 October 2018 at the National Library, Canberra, on the theme “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights— 70 Years On.” Prof. Emeritus Trevor Parmenter delivered the keynote lecture, “Human Rights and Disability: The Promise and the Reality.” Over two days, panels and presentations explored such topics as Aboriginal health, Amnesty International, screen technology, disability issues, elder care, and precursors to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

New South Wales ISAA Chapter holds two work in progress meetings and two open forums per year, some held in conjunction with the Royal Australian Historical Society. Its Bulletin is published six times per year. The NSW Chapter’s Annual Seminar was held on 21 July in the Metcalfe Auditorium at the State Library of NSW. The theme was ‘In the Aftermath of the First World War – Women’s Legal Status Act 1918’. Organised by Dr. Wendy Michaels and the Seminar Committee, the keynote address was presented by Professor Anne Twomey. The proceedings of both the 2017 seminar and the 2018 one have been published in a volume titled Visions of Sydney + In the Aftermath of the First World War The Women’s Legal Status Act 1918 (NSW).

The ACT ISAA Group meets monthly at the National Library in Canberra. September 2018 talks were by Richard Reid on writing the history of the Irish National Association, and Dr. Keith Powell on a 1959 overland trip from India to England. In October, members took a guided tour of the National Museum’s exhibition on Rome. Douglas Newton gave a talk in November on shell-shock in the aftermath of the Great War, and Peter Fuller spoke about rodent eradication on Lord Howe Island.

The South Australia group is in the process of re-forming, and will meet on the fourth Thursday of each month; beginning writers and lapsed academics are welcome.

The Victorian group has not met for some time as the members are quite dispersed. There are also members in Queensland and Western Australia but there are no active ISAA groups in those states. Members receive emailed communications and published material and at times they attend the Annual Conference. There are also two international members.

For more information:

MISF: Minnesota Independent Scholars Forum
MISF provides four main services to independent scholars:
 Monthly forums for scholarly presentations
 Scholarly projects supported by grants from various grantors
 Semi-annual publication of a  journal, The Minnesota Scholar, that consists of scholarly articles by both MISF members and non-members
 Regular meetings of Philosophy and History Study Groups

MISF is currently engaged in 3 grant-supported projects: 
1. The writing and publication of the history of our own organization, entitled Scholars Without Walls
2. The research and writing required for a a continuous, interactive library and museum presentation on the history of refugee resettlement in Minnesota
3. An oral history of the "Minnesota 8," a famous/infamous group of draft resisters and draft-board raiders during the Vietnam War 

The MISF Philosophy Study Group is starting discussion of Plato’s dialogue Phaedrus.

The MISF History Study Group is starting discussion of Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. 

Recent monthly forums:
• October 27, 2018: Distinguished Guthrie Theater actor Nathaniel Fuller led an interactive dialogue about his experience as a performing artist as it relates to the experience of the audience.

• November 17, 2018: Frank Edgerton Martin gave a talk entitled “Beauty Spots: The deeper story behind Midwestern small town parks.”

Upcoming Forums, all at the Washburn Library, Minneapolis:  
• January 26, 2019: The Romansh in Minnesota

• February 23, 2019: The Power of Landscape Art

• March 23, 2019: Ignatius Donnelly: The Ultimate Independent Scholar

• April 27, 2019: The Writing Life

• June 22, 2019: Scholars without Walls: How our book came to be and why. 

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.

Recent Meetings:
• May 23, 2018: David Ritchie spoke on "The Mortar and the Sword: Weapons in Fantasy and Reality” about changes to the reality of weapons themselves and their status in our moral imagination. 

• September 26, 2018: NISA celebrated its 35th anniversary!

•  November 28th, 2018: Jane Elder Wolff presented “Beyond Words: The Story of an Orchestra. How the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is building a world-class musical legacy with the community of Vancouver, Washington." 

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


Princeton Research Forum
Princeton Research Forum (PRF) was founded in 1980 by a group of women scholars who were pursuing their own research outside of the academy. Their mission was to provide a forum for collegiality among the membership in the greater Princeton, N.J., area. Since those early days, much has improved for independent scholars, in part due to the efforts of PRF founding members and to those of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars (, with which PRF is affiliated.

Today, PRF offers a diverse group of men and women 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. Members also gather for an annual general meeting in early summer and a social kickoff event in the fall, and enjoy other benefits.

Recent member activities

Winifred Hughes taught a course on literature and nature as part of the Language of Nature series at the Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Center in Pennington in 2018. 

Toni Vogel Carey was awarded a 2017 Elizabeth Eisenstein Prize by the National Coalition of Independent Scholars, for her paper, “Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand: A Brief History,” published in the Adam Smith Review.

Pat Hyatt spoke about “American Women on the Move” at the University of Houston Women’s Conference in November 2017. Pat’s book, American Women on the Move: The Inside Story of the National Women’s Conference, 1977, celebrates the 40th anniversary of that unique gathering.

Joyce Irwin presented a paper entitled “Luther, Mattheson, and the Joy of Music” at a conference on “Lutheran Music Culture,” sponsored by the University of Uppsala, Sweden in September 2017.

Karen Reeds presented a slide-illustrated talk, “Essential to their Health and Service: Keeping Washington's Army Well Enough to Fight,” in June 2017 as part of a symposium commemorating George Washington’s First Middlebrook Encampment (1777) in Martinsville, New Jersey.

For more information on the PRF, go to


SDIS: San Diego Independent Scholars
San Diego Independent Scholars holds ongoing meetings of five study groups, in addition to monthly general meetings. Study groups include Colloquy Café, Culture One,  Film Group, and Neuroscience Group, and the General Relativity Group.

At the November 17, 2018 General Meeting, the focus presentation, “Trump and the Midterms” was given by Gary C. Jacobson, Distinguished Professor of Political Science Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego. Professor Jacobson described this fall’s election as “the most sweeping and divisive national referendum on any administration at least since the Great Depression.”

Upcoming: The January 19, 2019 General Meeting will be held at Univ. of California, San Diego. Martin Rosen, Registered Professional Architect, will give a lecture on “Chicano Park and Its Amazing Murals”.

Colloquy Café recently discussed "What is poetry?” and shared several original poems.

• The Film Group has recently screened Ida, a 2013 Polish drama about a young woman, about to take vows as a Catholic nun, who discovers that her parents were Jewish. Next up will be A Late Quartet, a moving 2012 drama about the interactions of a famous string quartet after one of its members is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. 

• The General Relativity Group met Oct. 30 and discussed the Schwartzschild Solution to Einstein's Equations, which works when there is a large spherically symmetric mass (such as a star) and there are no masses, or only relatively small masses, nearby. 

• The Neuroscience Study Group has been discussing Michio Kaku’s book, The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance and Empower the Mind, as well as recent journalism reports on artificial intelligence. 

Supper with Scholars gatherings are held on the first Thursday of each month. 

For more information on SDIS, go to

Contact us

National Coalition of Independent Scholars