CSUN to Host Event Celebrating the Success of Historical Atlas Produced in Part by Geography Department

eventbrite_bannerHow well do you know Los Angeles? Officials at California State University, Northridge’s Center for Southern California Studies (CSCS) and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences are curious.

Faculty, students and members of the public will explore the cultural landscape of the City of Los Angeles at an event celebrating “LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas,” an eclectic volume of essays and cartography on the geographic history of Los Angeles, published earlier this year by HeyDay Books. The event will take place Wednesday, Sept. 30, at the university and will feature a panel discussion moderated by former Los Angeles Times journalist, Hector Tobar.

Lawrence Becker, director of the CSCS, said the book is an example of ways that CSUN serves as a social and cultural hub in the region.

“The center generally focuses on public policy and public affairs in the region and the book is kind of a tasting menu of the region,” Becker said.

CSUN’s geography department was heavily involved in the book’s production, contributing essays, maps and artwork. Professor Steven Graves, who authored the chapter “Woody and Buzz,” an interpretation of the landscape of the San Fernando Valley, said he did not expect the book would be so well received.

“I thought the book was an exceptionally cool idea, but then again, I’m a geographer and it’s right up my alley,” Graves said. “The first pressing completely sold out and I wouldn’t have guessed that would happen. You get excited if you work hard on something and have people appreciate your work in a way that you wouldn’t have expected.”

The event will start with a visit to the geography department’s map library, and end with a panel of several LAtitudes contributors including Charles Hood, Sylvia Sukop, Teddy Varno, Jason Brown and Michael Jaime-Becerra.

Becker said Tobar will be an excellent moderator.

“If you think of Los Angeles and of people who can speak to its culture, history, geography, and landscape, he’s the perfect person to introduce this,” Becker said.

An open house will be held in the Geography Map Library and Sanborn Collection on the first floor of Sierra Hall at 4:30 p.m. The event will continue in the Whitsett Conference Room on the fourth floor of Sierra Hall with a reception at 6 p.m. and the panel at 7 p.m.

For more information and to RSVP, please visit the Center for Southern California Studies website at www.csun.edu/cscs.

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