Scholars Notebook December 2014

All Members and Member Guests
To Our Annual Holiday Celebration 
And Buffet Luncheon.

Saturday, December 6 from 12:30 to 3:00 PM. 
We will gather at the Vi at La Jolla Village 
8515 Costa Verde Boulevard, San Diego
Cost is $25 per person.  Reservations closed on December 2.

Send your check, payable to SDIS, to: 
Barbara George, 8515 Costa Verde Blvd. #1657 
San Diego, ca. 92122

You may reach Barbara at 858-552-9155 or


President’s Message

SDIS is busy planning our Holiday Party, Saturday, December 6th, 12:30 - 3:00 PM, Buffet Luncheon, Vi at La Jolla Village. Invitations were sent to SDIS Members and Member Guests.

We anticipate a friendly party atmosphere, an opportunity to mix and visit with old friends, new members, and others on the scene. Plus, a truly delicious buffet with food and drink to please our palates, tastes, and diets. It is also an occasion to observe and participate in SDIS as a whole. We are a special kind of organization, with an identity that reflects distinctive attributes (features, goals), relationships (members, community, events) and structure (officers, Board, study/discussion groups, intellectual development). We hope to see you there: a Holiday Party enjoyed by all. For further information, contact Barbara George, e-mail:

Colloquy Cafe

"Self-deception," our November topic, is difficult to summarize, since it involves believing something about ourselves that we know is not true, i.e., holding two opposing ideas at the same time. One member brought up the German people's "universal self-deception" during WWII in 1943 when many people couldn't believe the unspeakable acts committed by the army, so chose to think Germany was winning the war. We discussed some classic cases of self-deception: the spouse who refuses to believe his/her partner is a philanderer, the compulsive eater who promises to begin dieting the next day, the alcoholic who believes he/she can stop any time. Nevertheless, self-deception can be either positive or negative. Since contemporary philosophers can't agree on a specific definition, we concurred that self-deception is purposeful and left it at that.  Our topic for December 17 is “contrition.”


Culture One

Culture One is pursuing its current topic of interest, "Evolution and Development of Homo Sapiens" by utilizing the research symposiums of CARTA (Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny, UCSD & Salk Institute) as our source of information. We are reading the abstracts, attending the symposia, and organizing SDIS pre-and post-symposia discussions supplemented by online viewing of symposia and studying primary sources in the field. 

We are launching this effort by focusing on the recent CARTA Symposium, "Domestication and Human Evolution,” October 10, 2014. Background on the actual symposium is obtained individually by reading the online Abstracts of the eight research talks comprising the Symposium. References provided upon request. 

Our first discussion meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 3rd, 2:00 - 3:30 PM. At that time we will compare notes on what we consider to be the highlights of the presentations. We will also identify the particular presentations of the Domestication Symposium that we wish to view at our next group meeting, Friday, December 12, 2:00 - 4:00 PM, where we will watch several TV online talks from the Domestication Symposium*. We will also determine if we would like to schedule a final discussion meeting in which we summarize the conclusions and overall contribution of this Symposium. Newcomers to our group are encouraged and welcomed, but please contact me in advance of the meeting.  

*FYI: TV Broadcasts of the CARTA DOMESTICATION SYMPOSIUM are available on UCSD-TV, Time Warner (Digital) Ch. 1231, Cox (Digital Ch.135, AT&T U-verse Ch.99, and UHF (no cable) Ch. 35. First air dates, three speakers per one hour program, are December 1, 3 PM; December 4, 7 PM; and December 8, 10 PM.

As for future planning, we intend to carry out a similar plan for the next two CARTA Symposia: "How Language Evolves" (February 20, 2015); and "Human - Climate Interactions: Past and Future" (May 15, 2015). This includes preliminary reading of the Abstracts of the Symposium, viewing or attending the Symposium, followed by post-hoc discussion and viewing the Online TV version of the Symposium. 

Please let me know if you wish to attend our meetings or have questions regarding our group. Contact Sue R. Rosner, e-mail,


Culture Two

At the Culture Two Study Group’s October 24 meeting we started discussion of A. Varshnay’s book, Battles Half Won, India’s Improbable Democracy, using the first section entitled “Power”as background reading. The background reading for the next meeting on December 5 is the second section on “Pleasure.” If you are interested in joining this discussion please contact Sam Gusman at


Film Group

The Film Group will meet Wednesday, December 3, at 10:00 AM at the home of Barbara Heckler to view Oscar-nominated anti-war French drama Joyeux Noel, based on a WWI true story. Soldiers from Scotland, Germany, and France gathered briefly for a truce to observe Christmas Eve 1914.  Contact Barbara at for information about attending.


Literature Group

We are meeting Monday, December 1, at Gerry Horwitz's home to discuss The Blood Oranges, a novel by John Hawkes, with Marcus Klein leading. We won't have further meetings in December.   


SDIS Events

Supper with Scholars: December 4 

Breakfast Roundtable: December 8 

Monthly Lecture: January 17


Next Month’s Lecture:


Reading Beyond the Ending of Native History: 
The Nez Perce Allotment

(The written and visual records of Alice C. Fletcher and E. Jane Gay) 

Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015,  1:30 – 3:30PM

Free and Open to the Public

Room 111A, Chancellor’s Complex
UCSD Campus
Free Parking in the Gilman Parking Structure


Dr. Nicole Tonkovich, Professor of Literature at UCSD, and expert on 19th century American women in literature and visual arts, will talk about the allotment of lands in severalty to the Nez Perces, and the role of Alice C. Fletcher and E. Jane Gay:   




“Although most Americans are familiar with the iconic figure of Chief Joseph, few can accurately identify his tribal affiliation. Fewer still know what happened to him and his people after he signed a cessation of hostilities agreement with General O. O. Miles in 1877. In my talk, I will outline the challenges of writing about the period that followed the Joseph War. Assuming that Natives would soon be utterly defeated, federal reformers helped design a policy designed to assimilate Indians by separating them from the land base that had defined their sovereign status. Joseph’s tribe, the Nez Perces, were among the first to be subjected to this legislation.

“So confident was the government that this policy would not be violently resisted that they charged a middle-aged woman, Alice C. Fletcher, to oversee the surveying, division, and deeding of lands on the Nez Perce Reservation in northwestern Idaho. Her companion, the photographer E. Jane Gay, made more than 250 images of Fletcher’s work among the Nez Perces. The written and visual records they left have become a crucial means of documenting this transitional period in Native history and show--perhaps inadvertently--the powerful, if peaceful and highly effective, resistances to their work by the Nez Perces with whom they worked.”

Dr. Tonkovich has written and edited five books, including, most recently “The Allotment Plot: Alice C. Fletcher and E. Jane Gay, and Nez Perce Survivance”, which is the inspiration for her SDIS talk. Among her honors, Dr. Tonkovich received the UCSD Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award in 2013.