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Welcoming Boom’s New Editorial Team

Curating California’s rich culture is a task held exclusively by no individual. Amid California’s many wonders and challenges, we learn much from its great luminaries, from creative writers and editors, and from other stewards who challenge us to think differently about this remarkable, sacred place. But we also learn from stories underrepresented and often untold, and from what D.J. Waldie calls “the sacred ordinary.”

Boom California plays a critical part in all of this. Inching toward the completion of its first decade on the California scene, Boom California is relocating its primary operations to Fresno State University. After three years as Editor, Jason Sexton is transitioning to a new role at UCLA and becoming Boom’s Editor-at-Large. And we could not be more thrilled to announce a new editorial team suitable to embody Boom’s vision for hosting some of California’s most interesting conversations, in both scholarly and public-facing ways.

We are pleased to announce that the new editors are Dr. Romeo Guzmán and Carribean Fragoza. This new editorial team brings an exciting attention to place, along with a decade worth of public-facing humanities work, and an extensive network of intellectuals, artists and journalists throughout the state.

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An award-winning public historian, Dr. Guzmán holds a Ph.D. in Latin American history from Columbia University and is the founding director of Fresno State’s Valley Public History Initiative. From the San Gabriel Valley to the San Joaquin Valley, Guzmán’s projects revolutionize the historical process by transforming how archives are built, how knowledge is produced, and how community members experience history. He has published on migration, archives, popular culture, and politics in both academic and popular outlets. Guzmán has also served as an editor at Tropics of Meta, one of the very first academic blogs. For Boom, he has written on the long history of charreria/rodeo in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and on Mexico’s influence on American and California soccer. For more on his work visit romeoguzman.com.

A graduate of CalArts’s MFA program, Carribean Fragoza is a well-known journalist, artist, and fiction writer. A native of South El Monte, Fragoza is dedicated to thinking deeply about place and working with underrepresented communities. As a former managing editor of KCET’s Departures, she built exciting and innovative editorial projects about Greater Los Angeles. Her short story collection is forthcoming with City Lights Publisher and you can find her writings in  outlets such as Aperture, the American Prospect, Artbound, LA Weekly, as well as BOMB Magazine, Huizache, and Palabra Literary Magazine. For more on her work visit carribeanfragoza.com.

Carribean.Fragoza.Photo Credit Vicent Ramos

Photo Credit Vincent Ramos

Together, Dr. Guzmán and Fragoza founded the South El Monte Arts Posse, an interdisciplinary arts collective dedicated to using the arts to foster critical conversations about place. Their forthcoming manuscript East of East: The Making of Greater El Monte (Rutgers Press: 2020) traces the experience of a California community over three centuries, from eighteenth-century Spanish colonization to twenty-first century globalization.

With new plans on the horizon, we trust Boom will continue to serve our wide-range of readers online, from policy-makers and workers to students and scholars, and everything in between. And we look forward to having you with us, faithful reader, as we hope to encourage and inspire you to see afresh this wonderful place so that we all might live more meaningfully here in our great state.

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Gender|Sex|Sexuality & California

Boom California seeks proposals for a series of essays on the theme, “Gender, Sex, Sexuality & California: part of the problem & solution.”

We expect this to consist of a range of features related to California’s contributions to these issues, both positive and negative. This includes historical, social, cultural, ethical, medical, psychological, technological, theological, and other features widely represented in interesting ways. Boom’s focus remains the question and contribution of the world in California and California in the world, but we especially invite unique takes on California’s contribution to these matters, including what California may have made possible (or impossible) in light of its particular ordered ways of being.

Issues for exploration may consist of freedom and exploitation, agency and consent culture, the contribution of legislation, criminalization, ‘coming out,’ the Hollywood ‘casting couch,’ Silicon Valley ‘bro’ culture, new and unique liberative movements, as well as the stereotypes propagated by California’s culture-making factory with the very actors, directors, or other figures’ personal lives standing inconsistent with images portrayed in public and through popular media.

Of interest is feminism’s various waves, masculinity, transgenderedness, plastic surgery, STDs, stigma, and class. Of consideration may also be California’s definition of the family, abuse, and California’s contribution to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and to various forms of establishing and reinforcing new and old social, religious, racial, and other norms. Further considerations may relate to sexuality and sports, LGBT ‘safe-spaces,’ California ‘cruising’ culture, Proposition 8 and the definition and purpose of ‘marriage,’ sex and California religion/s, prison sexuality, AI innovations, along with California’s own contribution to the development of queer theory (Foucault, Butler, etc.), sexuality and the California environment, among other subjects of inquiry under the broad topic above as related to California.   

We invite 100-word proposals for short (800–2,000 words) and long form (5,000-10,000 words) essays as well as proposals of significant books for review, or possible art or other creative forms of media, exhibits, events, etc. These short proposals should be submitted directly to boom@ucpress.edu by Sunday 15 July, with a deadline of 1 October for final submission of the completed piece for the review process. We anticipate a fast turnaround and to publish this series toward the end of 2018 or the beginning of 2019.

 

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Boom Spring Southern California Event: Vietnamese California

Please join us Wednesday, March 7th, 7-9 p.m. in Orange County’s Little Saigon for a discussion with best-selling authors Thi Bui and Andrew Lam, today’s chroniclers of Vietnamese California. Bill Gates called Thi Bui’s memoir, The Best We Could Do, one of 2017’s top-ten books; and frequent contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered, Andrew Lam’s book on the Vietnamese diaspora, Perfume Dreams, won the PEN/Beyond Margins Award, and Birds of Paradise Lost was a finalist for the California Book Award. Ahead of an upcoming Boom series on “Vietnamese California,” these leading writers will be joined in a conversation by Boom ​editor Jason Sexton and by scholars of the Vietnamese experience:

The event will be held at in the heart of Orange County’s LITTLE SAIGON, at Viet Bao News, 14841 Moran St., Westminster, 92683. Come along early to enjoy some of the world’s best Vietnamese food at any number of nearby restaurants. Books will also be available for sale and signing.

Please RSVP since space is limited. Hope to see you there!

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Undocumented California: An Evening of Readings and Music

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Gather with us Thursday 5 October in Tijuana at Cine Tonalá for an evening of friendship, readings, and music, entering the complex realities brought to us by the California/Mexico border. Co-sponsored together with the California Historical Society, we’ll reflect on California border ecology, highlighting our shared identity as Californians, bridge-builders, open to the world.

Come grab a drink, meet Boom writers like Ana Rosas, Tanya Golash-Boza, Zulema Valdez, Ronald Rael, Jemima Pierre, Laura Enriquez, Josh Kun, David Kipen, Daniel Hernandez, Boom editor Jason Sexton, members of Boom’s editorial team, and others to share new readings for this Fall’s Boom series on Undocumented California, making a statement together of our collective values as Californians. We’ll close the night with a special set by Tijuana-raised Ceci Bastida who will debut a new collaboration with Haitian refugees living in the city.

Undocumented California: An Evening of Readings and Music
Thursday, October 5th
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Cine Tonalá, Avenida Revolución 1317, Zona Centro, 22000 Tijuana, BC, Mexico

 

 

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Boom Fall Events

Jonathan Gold and Oliver Wang at the Autry in Los Angeles

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Food and Ethnicity: A Conversation about L.A.
Tuesday, September 5th
7:00 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m.
Program Begins

Join us in L.A. for our first Fall event! In partnership with the Autry Museum of the American West and their Works in Progress series, enjoy a night of food and conversation as LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold and Cal State Long Beach sociologist Oliver Wang workshop some ideas on L.A. food and ethnicity, which will be published in Boom California later this year. The discussion will be moderated by Boom’s editor, Jason Sexton.

This will be the first in an ongoing partnership between the Autry and Boom.

RSVPs are required and space is limited, so please reserve your spot and receive additional details by e-mailing Belinda Nakasato Suarez at bnakasato@theautry.org. The Autry Museum of the American West is located in Griffith Park.


TJ_night_Mark via Flickr

Tijuana by Mark via Flickr.

Gathering across the Border in Tijuana

Undocumented California: An Evening of Readings and Music
Thursday, October 5th
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Gather with us in Tijuana at Cine Tonalá for an evening of friendship, readings, and music, entering the complex realities brought to us by the California border. Co-sponsored together with the California Historical Society, we’ll reflect on California border ecology, highlighting our shared identity as Californians, bridge-builders, open to the world.

Come grab a drink, meet Boom writers like Ana Rosas, Tanya Golash-Boza, Zulema Valdez, Ronald Rael, Jemima Pierre, Laura Enriquez, Josh Kun, David Kipen, and others sharing new readings for this Fall’s Boom series on Undocumented California, making a statement together of our collective values as Californians. We’ll close the night with a special set by Tijuana-raised Ceci Bastida who will debut a new collaboration with Haitian refugees living in the city.

Venue: Cine Tonalá, Avenida Revolución 1317, Zona Centro, 22000 Tijuana, BC, Mexico

Looking forward to seeing you this Fall!

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Boom Receptions and Readings in February

Come out this month to meet some of our writers and join us for a celebration of the final print issue of Boom as we transition into the digital world as part of the resistance. We’ll be rolling out the issue over the next few weeks at http://www.boomcalifornia.com, but the final print issue is available here for free (http://boom.ucpress.edu/content/6/4), although a select number of issues will be available gratis at each event with the purchase of one of our authors’ books.

Readings will be held both in San Francisco and Los Angeles on the following days:

Wednesday 15 February, 7:30-9PM, DaDa Bar @ The Mechanics’ Institute, 65 Post St, San Francisco, 94104. Please RSVP here.

Tuesday 21 February, 7:30-9PM, The Last Bookstore, 453 S Spring St, Los Angeles, 90013. Please RSVP here.

We hope you can make it to one of them!

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Call for Proposals and Submissions

On behalf of the editorial board of Boom California, published by University of California Press, we seek proposals from scholars, students, and writers of California culture who wish to help cultivate critical discourse on California and its values, and to do so in a manner that is public-facing and relevant to our moment in history.

Boom California is a free refereed online media publication dedicated to inspiring lively and significant conversations about the vital social and cultural issues of our time in California and the world beyond. We host academic conversations in the form of peer reviewed articles that both highlight and advance scholarly discourse about California culture, and do so in a manner that is public-facing and oriented toward the social and practical concerns of ordinary Californians.

In light of our fast-changing world, Boom’s emphasis has shifted to concentrate on California social issues, and to cultivate underrepresented writers in the California landscape. More about the transition and Boom’s history can be found in the recent editorial (http://boom.ucpress.edu/content/6/4/1). As a peer review publication, we are looking for contributions in these areas related to California culture:

  • Immigration
  • Race
  • Inequality
  • Social Justice
  • Gender
  • Queer Studies
  • Labor
  • Latinx Population and Culture
  • Asian American Population and Culture
  • African American Population and Culture
  • Poverty
  • Social Movements

In addition to this, we are especially interested in proposals that address two areas of special concern to Boom this year:

  • the lives and experiences of undocumented Californians
  • the native Californian genocide consequent to the California Gold Rush, and today’s reckoning with this amidst native revivalism

Proposals for submissions may be sent to boom@ucpress.edu. For more on our submission process, please visit the relevant page on the Boom website (https://boomcalifornia.com/submissions/).

We look forward to journeying with you this year as part of the resistance.

Sincerely yours,

Jason S. Sexton, Editor

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Unknown maker, Untitled (Clenched Fist), circa 1965. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California.