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An Unnatural History of UCSC An Unnatural History of UCSC
Editor: Jeff Arnett

Book Description

Since it first opened, UCSC's 2000 acres of forest have lured students seeking adventure, a respite from work, and spiritual guidance into the wandering wood. An evocative landscape of the mind that resembles sites in Spenser's Faerie Queene and Tolkien's modern allegories, the campus contains places symbolically named "Elfland." "Faerie Ring Redwood Grove," "End of the World Pool," "Wayfarer's Den," "Den of Justice," "Dell of the Winds," "Bridge to Heaven," and "Peace Fort." Stories abound throughout UCSC's forty year history of inspiration, illumination and enlightenment available in the backwood trails on campus.

An Unnatural History of UCSC, a new student-written publication, gathers some of this evocative, sometimes poignant, history through alumni reminiscences, newspaper accounts, and photographic archives. One chapter, "Elfland: A Trip Back in Time," for example, describes a poetics of space (Gaston Bachelard's eponymous term), revealing a campus mythic legacy previously available to most of us almost exclusively through oral tradition.

If you're interested in finding out what a deer-cow or a morad is, or you're curious about John o' the Woods or King of the Elves, two inhabitants at one time or another of our campus, check out this book. You may discover a hermetic aspect of college familiar to your parents' generation.

--Don Rothman
Senior Lecturer Emeritus, Writing
Director Emeritus, Central California Writing Project


Remembering Jim Crow Remembering Jim Crow
Paul Ortiz, contributor
African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South

Winner of the 2002 Lillian Smith Book Award for outstanding writing about the American South.

From the Publisher
The sequel to the award-winning Remembering Slavery, a groundbreaking book-and-CD set of interviews about the segregation-era South.Remembering Jim Crow, the groundbreaking sequel to Remembering Slavery, is an extraordinary opportunity to read and hear the voices of black southerners who were firsthand witnesses to one of the most heartbreaking and troubling chapters in America's history. Based on interviews collected by the Behind the Veil project at Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies, this remarkable book-and-CD set presents for the first time the most extensive oral history ever recorded of African American life in the racially segregated South. In vivid, compelling stories, men and women from all walks of life tell how their most ordinary activities were subjected to profound and unrelenting racial oppression—in the workplace, on street corners, and above all in the public facilities and institutions that systematically demeaned, disenfranchised, and disempowered black people, condemning them to second-class citizenship. At the same time, Remembering Jim Crow is a testament to how black southerners fought back against the system, raising children, building churches and schools, running businesses, and struggling for respect in a society that denied them the most basic rights. The result is a powerful story of survival enriched by vivid memories of individual, family, and community triumphs and tragedies. Remembering Jim Crow is accompanied by two one-hour compact discs of the companion radio documentary produced by American RadioWorks. A transcript of the audio programs is included in the book's appendix, and the book is illustrated with fifty rare segregation-era photographs collected from African American families who participated in the oral history project. Boxed set: hardcover book with 2 one-hour compact discs; 50 black-and-white photographs.

UCSC Currents Book Review


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