SEMINAR I: Know Your Place: Concepts of Home and Identity in the Central Valley: This topic focuses on home, identity and belonging as well as the different ways that “place” is and can be conceived.  This will lead us to engage in this idea of what our “place” in the Central Valley means, through the written word, images, and other kinds of representations. Key Questions: What are the dominant presuppositions underlying critical examinations of cultural displacement and divergent values and priorities? Are the working definitions, terms, and frameworks shaping these examinations consistent, clear, and grounded?  Or do we learn more if we approach these elements (and the examinations themselves) as continually evolving collages composed of contingent alliances nourished through the interplay of vertical and horizontal dimensions of our cultural heritage? MJC Faculty Organizer: Eva Mo.

RELATED YOUTUBE VIDEOS (from October 21, 2016 Common Ground Conference) -




1. Dr. Jason Winfree – Place (pptx)

2. Dr. Richard Kamber – Race and Music in Asbury Park (pptx)

CURRICULAR MODULES: Concepts of Home, Place, and Identity in the Central Valley

LECTURE: February 18, 2015 from 3-5pm at Modesto Junior College, Performing and Media Arts Center (PAC), East Campus, Room 243
Lecture with Jim Tuedio, Professor of Philosophy and Dean, College of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at CSU Stanislaus and  Nigel Hatton, Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Merced.
DiscussionMarch 4, 2015 from 3-5pm Modesto Junior College, Performing and Media Arts Center (PAC), East Campus, Room 243
Seminar discussion with required and recommended readings, including: Michel de Certeau’s “Spatial Stories” from The Practice of Everyday LifeFranco Moretti’s “Towards a Geography of Literature” from Atlas of the European Novel; Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities; Stephen Johnson’s The Great Central Valley: California’s  Heartland; selections from the works of Rebecca Solnit; selections from Stan Yogi’s (ed.)  Highway 99: A Literary Journey Through California’s Great Central Valley; John Muir’s piece on “Bees;” James D. Houston’s “In Search of Oildorado;” David Mas Masumoto’s “Firedance;” John Steinbeck’s “The Harvest Gypsies;”  Edward Said’s “Narrative and Social Space” from Culture and Imperialism.

In an ideal world, we could read everything. But because sometimes we don’t have the space for all of it, you’ve been given a list of priorities.

Reading List

Although you can read in any order, it is suggested that the following is read in this order:

  1. Solnit
  2. Calvino
  3. Poems and Stories


Part I: Stories

**Calvino, Italo. Invisible Cities. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1974.
(Read at least three or four chapters. Any version will do. The provided one is free online. Audibles currently has this title on sale.)

Yogi, Stan, ed. Highway 99: A Literary Journey through California’s Great Central Valley. Berkeley, CA: Heyday Books, 1996. (Selection of poems and stories listed below)


Covers the Ground by Gary Snyder

Gabby Took the 99 by Jose Montoya

February Heat by Susan Kelly-DeWitt

Sometimes by Jean Janzen

Tracy Poem by Joyce Carol Thomas

Memory by Lawson Fusao Inada

Water, Wealth… by Lee Nicholson


The Bee Pastures by John Muir (the blue are the prioritized passages)

The Harvest Gypsies by John Steinbeck

**Fresno by William Saroyan

Firedance by David Mas Masumoto

**Notes from a Native Daughter by Joan Didion

*In Search of Oildorado by James D. Houston

**Prison Valley by Bill Barich

Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1984. (Excerpts) [Tuedio]


Part II: Interpretive Representation

**Solnit, Rebecca. Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2010.

**Haslam, Gerald, Stephen Johnson, Robert Dawson. The Great Central Valley: California’s Heartland. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1993.
(This is a photographic project, and there really is no substitute to reading and looking at the actual book. If you do not personally own a copy, then we have a few to lend out. We ask that these copies are returned in a timely manner so that the next topic participants can use it as well. Contact Eva).


Part III: Theory

**Cresswell, Tim. Place. Egham, UK: Royal Holloway, University of London, 2009. [Hatton]

*de Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1980 [Hatton]

**Hooks, Bell. “Choosing the Margin as a Space of Radical Openness” from Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1990. [Tuedio]

*Maalouf, Amin. In the Name of Identity. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1996. [Tuedio]

*Moretti, Franco. Atlas of the European Novel, 1800-1900. UK: Verso, 1999. [Hatton]

Said, Edward W. Culture and Imperialism. New York, NY: Knopf, 1993. [Hatton]

Tuedio, James. “Ambiguities in the Locus of Home” from Homes in Transformation: Dwelling, Moving, Belonging. Helsinki, 2009 [T]

Tuedio, James. “Boundaries in Translation at the Margins of Liminal Excess: Calibrating the Voice of Empire to the Ear of Resistance” from Margins. 2006. [T]



Module: Know your Place

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