Everyone Has a Camera --
So Why is Photography a Fine Art?

Saturday, Jan. 17

1:30 p.m.

Room 111-A Chancellor’s Complex, UCSD Campus


Joyce Strauss

Joyce Strauss asks, and answers, this question at our monthly meeting.

Strauss and her husband have an important private collection, and the San Diego Museum of Art featured six of their photographs in the museum's show of the top 25 local art collections.

She has been active in San Diego's Museum of Photographic Arts and was co-curator of photography at the Denver Art Museum for five years.

Now on the board of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Strauss also has served on the board of the Denver Art Museum.

She received a Masters in Art History at the University of Denver and has done post-graduate work at the University of Colorado. Strauss has taught at both institutions.



Helen Hawkins Fund applications will be available after the first of the year.  If you plan a research project and believe the Fund can help, contact Donna Boyle for more information anytime after January 2.


The Holiday Party was a great success and 33 members attended. Thanks go to Janet Kunert and Al Christman for providing access to the lovely common room at their home at Carlsbad By The Sea Retirement Community. —Marla Jensen, Party Chair



Arthur Wagner spoke to us about his lively career in theater in San Diego. He recounted the casual, almost cavalier world of academic theater in the 1960s. Wagner founded the Dept. of Theatre Arts and Dance 36 years ago and brought together UCSD and the La Jolla Playhouse.  Both are important elements in southern California’s educational and cultural life. Film actors including Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer had founded the Playhouse in 1947 as a summer stock company. It was rescued from demise by a foundation that in the 1960s began to ally itself with UCSD. In 1972, Wagner established the Theatre Arts Dept. with four faculty members; by the mid-70s, the Playhouse established its physical presence on the campus. Today, Theatre Arts has 32 full time teachers, with more than 1,000 students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees; it is the third largest program in the U.S., second only to Yale and New York University. With 12,000 subscribers, the Playhouse thrives as a national company and as a laboratory for UCSD students.


SDIS has important role at national meeting

Judith Strupp Green and Catherine Blecki attended and presented material at the National Coalition of Independent Scholars (NCIS) Conference in Berkeley, on October 25 and 26, 2008.  Here is their report:

Being in Berkeley was a beautiful autumn experience, a fine time to meet scholars from Northern California and elsewhere. SDIS was one of the co-sponsors of the conference, along with the other west coast affiliates: Canadian Academy of Independent Scholars, Institute for Historical Study, and the Northwest Independent Scholars Association.  The attending scholars from a variety of backgrounds were an accomplished group.

The meeting included six conference sessions and a workshop. We met with about 60 representatives at Euston Hall on the Graduate Theological Campus.  The papers were excellent, and there was time to discuss each of them.   Cathy read her paper on Sir Francis Bacon and the Advancement of Learning in one session, chaired another, and both Judith and Cathy gave the workshop on grant-writing.  Judith put together an excellent power-point presentation which generated a lively discussion.  NCIS gave us CDs of their handbook on grant-writing and list of institutions that offer grants.  Anyone who would like one of these free disks can contact Cathy Blecki at 760.603.8910.

The Saturday session ended with a sumptuous catered reception in the library of Euston Hall.  Katalin Kadar Lynn, chair of the local arrangements committee, brought many excellent wines from her home town of St. Helena.   We all toasted "independent scholarship."   

To our surprise, we found that representatives from the other affiliates regarded SDIS as the most active chapter in the coalition.  "Do you really have monthly meetings?" some asked. SDIS was indirectly responsible for the keynote speaker, Dr. Stanley Chodorow (UCSD) who spoke on "The Independence of Scholarship."  NCIS Board member Kati Lynn had attended our 25th anniversary party when Dr. Chodorow gave a short speech.  She liked him and what he said so much that she asked him to give the keynote speech at the conference.  SDIS is a member of NCIS, but any of our members can join as individuals. The website is

We very much appreciate the financial support of the SDIS Board so that we could attend the biennial national conference. — Judith Strupp Green and Catherine Blecki



 Works in Progress

The next meeting will be, this time only, on the second Saturday of the month, Jan. 10 at 1:30 p.m. at Alice Marquis’ home, 8963 Caminito Fresco (La Jolla). This month, the group will discuss Chapter 7 of Cathy Robbins’ book, Teepees, which is currently being revised. (In February, we will go back to the first Saturday of the month.) Contact:


Colloquy Café

Sam Gusman will host the next meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 1-3 p.m., at his home, 8515 Costa Verde Blvd., Apt. 1808. The subject of the meeting is Communication.  Contact Sam for more information at



The next meeting is scheduled for The next meeting of the literary group will take place on Monday, Jan. 5, 10:30 a.m., at the home of Larry and Carol Gartner,  28398 Alamar Rd., Valley Center. We will discuss Anthony Powell's  A Question of Upbringing, the first in a series of 12 novels titled A Dance to the  Music of Time. Contact:



 The Science Group (aka Brain Study Group), now in its ninth year, will meet on Friday, Jan. 16, at 3 p.m., at the home of Bea Rose, 8515 Costa Verde Blvd., #1909,  to discuss Chapter Seven of Patricia Churchland’s Brain-Wise: Studies in Neurophilosophy and related ideas. Bea notes that the invitation to visitors is temporarily rescinded, not because the group is asocial but because, with three new members, the limits of comfortable seating  in her apartment has been reached.  The group is limited to 10 participants. Call Bea for more information at 858.458.9263.


From the President

 Our thanks to Marla Jensen for arranging the delightful SDIS Holiday Party.  I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays, and that the New Year brings peace and joy. 

ŸWe’ve welcomed two new members so far this year.  As always, we appreciate the stimulating infusion of new ideas.  Our membership is pretty stable, but new faces are always welcome.  Tell Delina Halushka, our membership chair, your ideas for outreach and groups to contact.  And remember to invite your friends and acquaintances to our general meetings and study groups.

ŸAs you can see, we continue working on our website.  Upgrades seem virtually constant, because only frequent revision will keep the site lively and informative. We want to add to our Research Projects and Books & Publications links.  If any of you are working on projects or have published this past year, let Judith Green or me know.  Remember, we buy copies of your publications and donate them to the UCSD and San Diego Public Libraries.  Don’t pass up a chance for a sale! — Donna Boyle




Ann Uphoff

 We note the passing of Ann Uphoff on Nov. 2. Ann was a new member and was already active in several of SDIS’ study groups. She was a psychologist and a professional practicing counselor.  She survived by her son, Joseph, who lives in San Diego and her daughter and grandchild who live in Chicago.


 About SDIS

San Diego Independent Scholars (SDIS) supports unaffiliated writers and researchers and welcomes those who appreciate creative and intellectual activities in the humanities, science, and the arts.  SDIS is a non-profit organization and an affiliate of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars.

Donna Boyle, President,

Scholar’s Notebook is the newsletter of SDIS. Please send your news for the Notebook to Cathy Robbins, the Notebook editor: or 3720 First Ave., San Diego, CA 92103. The deadline for submissions is the 25th of the month prior to publication date.

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