The next Bancroft Roundtable will take place in the Lewis-Latimer Room of The Faculty Club at noon on Thursday, March 19. Simon Abramowitsch, Bancroft Library Study Award recipient and doctoral candidate in English at UC Davis, will present “Counter-institutions are the answer, man!” Multi-Ethnic Publishing in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s.
In the 1970s, independent publishing in the San Francisco Bay Area was central to the development of multi-ethnic American literature. Writers, editors, and publishers of literary journals and small presses made space for literature by African American, Asian American, Latina/o, Native American writers as well as European American writing outside the mainstream. But more than simply efforts to present work by and for single ethnic groups, the development of multi-ethnic literature in the Bay Area suggested and argued for a properly multi-cultural American literature. Ishmael Reed and Al Young’s Yardbird is frequently cited as the exemplar of this movement for the multi-culture, but Yardbird was in fact only one instance of a diverse and complex range of regional efforts in this direction. The talk will discuss the history of this local literary activity by looking at some of the figures and publishing efforts in the Bay Area during the 1970s.
Kathi Neal and Baiba Strads Bancroft Library Staff