Events | City of Refuge: Exile, Dispossession, and Cultural Renaissance

Los Angeles, UCLA Luskin Conference Center | November 12, 2022 | 4:45 PM – 6:15 PM (PST)

The Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association presents the PAMLA 2022 Forum, entitled “City of Refuge: Exile, Dispossession, and Cultural Renaissance,” featuring Dr. Alison Rose Jefferson (California African American Museum), Benno Herz (Thomas Mann House Los Angeles), and Jan Lin (Occidental College). The forum is comprised of three short presentations on different aspects of exile, dispossession and cultural renaissance.

Dr. Alison Rose Jefferson’s presentation will explore California Coastal Zone enclaves and their significance as places within the African American experience. Dr. Jefferson will discuss these spaces, historically and geographically, as connected to California Dream mythology, the urban beach landscape, Southern California beach culture, American history and identity, and contemporary heritage conservation efforts. She will discuss how the Applied History programming, Belmar History + Art developed for Santa Monica, is empowering people with useful knowledge for civic engagement, justice, and equality, while facilitating individual and community pride.

Thomas Mann House Program Director Benno Herz was invited to discuss the work of the Thomas Mann House, the Mann families’ connections to Los Angeles and the network of intellectuals they found there. After fleeing Nazi Germany, writer and Nobel Prize winner Thomas Mann found refuge for himself and his family in the Pacific Palisades, a quiet residential neighborhood in Los Angeles between Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean. Mann was one of many European intellectuals who fled to Los Angeles, forming a community known as “Weimar on the Pacific.”

Jan Lin will examine dynamics of gentrification and displacement in Northeast L.A. Speculator-investors and corporate developers have subjected Latinx families to rent increases and mass evictions, uprooting social networks instrumental to economic survival. Lin draws attention to the rise of Latinx anti-gentrification movements to resist their displacement and cultural erasure.

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An Event by the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association.

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