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. 
Recent Events, Fall 2019:
Sunday, November 10Writers Group met and reviewed a portion of Joanne Lafler’s in-progress biography Harry LaflerSunday, November 17, Monika Trobits presents “Exploring an Urban Legend: San Francisco 1923.” 

On November 19,  Play Readers Group meets to begin reading Long Day’s Journey Into Night, by Eugene O’Neill.

At other Fall 2019 Programs:
Jim Gasperini presented “Fire in the Mind.” 
At the Fall Potluck, Georgia Wright showed a video and discussed “Three English Cathedrals: Norwich, Lincoln, Wells.” 

Karen Offen gave a talk entitled, "Reminiscing about a Forty-year Journey to Recover the Debates on the Woman Question in France, 1400-1920” 


Public Programs: The Institute co-sponsored a talk by former member Robert Cherny on “The Coit Tower Murals: Visual Feast, Political Controversy, Decades of Neglect, and a Spectacular Restoration,” and a reading of Judith Offer’s play about Julia Morgan.

For further information  on IHS activities consult the website: www.instituteforhistoricalstudy.org




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 2019, was held on 3–4 October. The Shaping of Lives, this year’s ISAA conference theme, encouraged scholars from all disciplines to examine an aspect of how people, as individuals, groups, or societies, have been shaped. Emeritus Professor Ian Lowe AO gave the Annual Lecture on ‘The Wonderful Legacy of Anny Moyal’, ISAA’s founder.


In memoriam, Ann Moyal. Distinguished founder and honorary member of the Independent Scholars Association of Australia, Ann Moyal, died in Canberra on 21 July 2019 at the age of 93. A pioneer historian of science, Ann was seized with the idea of what she often referred to as an ‘alternative academy’, a band of scholars working on serious research subjects in isolation from academic institutions who were interested in the idea of independence and dissent. Building on Ann’s inspiration, energy and dedication, in 1993 an interim committee formed in 1993. The outcome of these meetings was taken to the ‘Against the Grain’ conference held in the National Library of Australia in 1995 at which ISAA was formally constituted. 

New South Wales ISAA Chapter holds two work-in-progress meetings and two open forums per year.  

- August 27, 2019 forum explored the topic "At what price? The costs of Australian security," presented by Dr Alison Broinowski.
- On 14 September, the NSW Chapter held its 2019 Annual Seminar in collaboration with State Library of NSW in the Metcalfe Auditorium. The seminar, titled: ‘Spare the Rod’: The Convention on the Rights of the Child Thirty Years On marked the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in November 1989.

- On 5 November 2019Monica Dennison spoke at the final Work in Progress for the year on ‘An Unlikely Cross-Channel Comparison: rhyme, shock and playfulness in the nineteenth-century poets, Hopkins, Rimbaud and Laforgue’.


The ACT ISAA Group meets monthly at the National Library in Canberra. 

On August 14Stephen Foster gave a talk on "History, fiction and the pursuit of truth: a case study from Guernsey in 1825."
 22 August, at lunchtime, Marion Amies discussed the experience of five merchant navy captains who voyaged to Australia between 1791 and the 1850s.
11 September, Tony Kevin gave a presentation on how Russia sits in the world today.
19 September: Colin Milner talked about Robert Randolph Garran, the ‘first’ Commonwealth Public Servant.
13 November: Professor Frank Bongiorno will recall Robert Menzies and ‘The Forgotten People’: Voices from 1950’s Australia;
On 21 NovemberHelen Roberts will tell us about the Australians who broke Japanese codes in World War II.


For more information: http://www.isaa.org.au



 MISF: Minnesota Independent Scholars Forum

The 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: 

Saturday, March 28, 2020: 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 for women is one state away from passage. Modern-day suffragists around the country have united to make equal legal in 2020. We’ll explore efforts both here in Minnesota and around the U.S., finally, to amend an ERA into our state and federal constitutions.

The honorable Betty Folliard is a well-known Minnesota thought leader; she was first board chair of Gender Justice – a non-profit law firm in St. Paul and served as board chair of PRISM – People Responding in Social Ministry, a social services agency. This year 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, born in North Minneapolis in 1950, 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 Day will 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. Her writing journey began in Anna Maria, Florida, her winter haven. 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. She lives in Rosemount, Minnesota.

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, while finishing a book in philosophy and history The Book of Twos and Everyday Life, 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 Minneapolis and the first in Minnesota to have been listed as an individual landmark in the National Register of Historic Sites. The cemetery’s first burial took place in 1853, five years before statehood. It is the final resting place of abolitionists, veterans from the War of 1812 to World War I, 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.

Sue Hunter Weir is Chair of Friends of the Cemetery. During 20 years researching the cemetery and its 22,000 residents, Sue has written more than 160 “Tales from the Cemetery,” columns that have been published in the Alley newspaper, which serves the Phillips Community and surrounding neighborhoods.  


For more information about MISF, http://www.mnindependentscholars.org



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.


2019 Meetings:

January 23Richard W Etulain: "Presidents Who Shaped the American West." 

March 13: Irene Hecht: "Under Manila Skies" 

May 29David Ritchie: "What Do You Call Your Sword?"

On September 18, 2019, Robert McGown gave a presentation on "Super Novas and Our Fragile Earth”

On November 30, 2019Josey Cooper will speak 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 is finding it is a delicate balance between the storyline and statistics. We will discuss two sample essays, one that is short and light in nature and one that is longer and includes supporting statistics and other research.


For more information about NISA and their bi-monthly meetings, see http://www.northwestindependentscholars.org 




Princeton Research Forum (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.


 The Annual General Meeting of Princeton Research Forum took place on Sunday, June 9. Besides being PRF’s annual pot-luck gathering, this year's event marked the launch of new publications by Ashwini Mokashi and by PRF President Linda Holt. Among other members celebrating new publications this year are Winnie Hughes, Roger Moseley and Lara Freidenfelds.

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of PRF member Helen Dane Schwartz. Helen died Friday, April 26, 2019. She was 83. Helen was active in PRF and attended many of our events. She was known for her work in the community as an artist, a basket weaver, and board member at the Princeton Adult School.

Recent member activities: 

This year, Linda Arntzenius celebrates the tenth anniversary of her work as an oral historian with the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center at the Institute for Advanced Study. She serves as consulting editor for the Center of Theological Inquiry’s magazine Fresh Thinking.

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. Her first, African American Women Chemists, published in 2012, features outstanding chemists from the earliest pioneers to the late 1960s and the passage of the Civil Rights Acts. This second book focuses on contemporary women chemists and chemical engineers who have benefited from that Act.

Lara Freidenfelds presided over the Women’s Breakfast at the American Association for the History of Medicine meeting in Columbus, Ohio. She has been nominated to serve on the association’s Council. In April, Lara gave the Linda and Charles Wilson Humanities in Medicine Lecture, on Perfect Pregnancies and Mourned Miscarriages: A History of Modern Childbearing at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Shelley Frisch and Katja Petrowskaja, the author of Shelley’s most recent translation, Maybe Esther, appeared at the University of London in London on May 30 at a conference on translingualism.  Maybe Esther is shortlisted for the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize.

Member-at-Large Joan Goldstein, host/producer of “Back Story with Joan Goldstein” on Princeton TV30, invited PRF President Linda Holt to discuss her latest book Invictus. Past President Ashwini Mokashi was also a guest; view the show at: https://vimeo.com/329114277.  Joan has once again taught for the Evergreen Forum of the Princeton Senior Resource Center. Her course titled: “Building Acceptance of Diversity” focused this year on gender. Amongst her guests was Robert Seda Schreiber, Director of the new Bayard Rustin Center, which offers help and support for the LGBTQ community.

PRF President Linda Holt’s latest research leads the way to the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth next year with the Harvard Square Editions April release of her novel, Invictus, a fictional account of the life, trials and times of the composer Beethoven.  In addition Linda’s review about pianist Daniel Mnukowski’s Carnegie Hall debut, was published earlier on May 9, 2019 in the New York Classical Review

Winifred Hughes’s chapbook, Frost Flowers, which won honorable mention in the Finishing Line Press competition, was published in June by Finishing Line Press. will be a featured reader in the Poets at the Library series at the Princeton Public Library on October 14.

Don McNeill’s article, “US nuclear proliferation policy during the Clinton administration,” was published in April 2019 in the book Foreign Policy in the Clinton Administration.

Donn Mitchell was a lead presenter at the May 10 Labor History Conference in New York, examining the labor movement and climate change. Donn's paper focused on UAW leader Walter Reuther as an environmentalist before his time. 

Roger Moseley’s book Morality: A Natural History, which was the subject of a PRF Work-in Progress last year, is now available on Amazon. The book explores the nature of morality and the source of moral ideas and looks at the ways in which philosophers have explored these questions for centuries.

Karen Reeds, PhD, FLS gave a talk at Columbia University in March 2019 titled “Seeking Snakeroot in Eden: John Parkinson’s Theatrum Botanicum (1640) in colonial Virginia,” to the Columbia University Seminar on the Renaissance.




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, the General Relativity Group, and Reading Experience.


On Nov. 16, 2019, SDIS members heard from Dr. Tracy Love, on “Language and the Brain: Evidence from Aphasia.” Dr. Love is Professor & Director of the School of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences at San Diego State University (SDSU). Her studies, using lexical, structural, and discourse levels of language comprehension, model the neural basis for real-time language processing. 

Colloquy Café’s recent meetings have discussed “charisma” and historic figures who used it for good and ill. Upcoming meetings will look at “Doubt."

The Film group has recently watched Radio Days by Woody Allen. In December the Mexican-Spanish film Chavela will be the program. 

The General Relativity group is studying the mathematical tools necessary for generating Einstein’s Equations. 

Neuroscience Study Group is exploring the topic of Artificial Intelligence. 

The NEW group, Reading Experience, meets on the third Monday morning of each month. This fall, they’re focusing on the topic of memoir, reading Nabokov, Didion, and de Waal. 


For more information on SDIS, go to http://www.sdscholars.org 





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National Coalition of Independent Scholars