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California State University, Long Beach
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Friday—Looking Forward, Looking Back

How do we remember the Cold War through memoir and commemoration? How has the aerospace industry in Southern California adapted since the end of the Cold War?

At the beginning of the day, participants will travel the short distance to Del Valle Park in historic Lakewood. This park offers an excellent vantage point for viewing the historic suburban sprawl of a postwar community larger than Levittown. D.J. Waldie will provide a talk, “The ‘Holy Land’ of Lakewood: Life in the Archetypal Postwar Southern California Suburb,” in which he reflects on the creation of his memoir, Holy Land, a poetic memoir about the creation of Lakewood, California and the experiences of early residents, including Waldie and his family. He will discuss his book as a primary source and a form of popular memory, reflecting one view of experiences in the postwar suburbs created in large part to meet the housing needs of workers associated with the aerospace industry and the military.

After participants return to campus, Dr. Peter Westwick will provide the final presentation as a bookend to Deverell’s introductory talk. “Death and Rebirth: The Southern California Aerospace Industry Since the End of the Cold War” will take the narrative forward beyond the creation of the space shuttle to the end of the Cold War and the subsequent transition of the region’s aerospace industry over the last twenty years, ending with a discussion of the industry’s current status and larger implications for the region’s economy and culture. This talk will not only tie together themes and content from throughout the week, but will also link the historical subject to the present. After Westwick’s talk, Keirn and Neumann will offer closing comments before dismissing participants.

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