Election? What election?

Saturday, Oct. 25

1:30 p.m.

Room 111-A Chancellor’s Complex, UCSD Campus


Shaping  an Election

Gary Jacobson

Gary C. Jacobson’s most recent book is A Divider, Not a Uniter:  George W. Bush and the American People.  So this promises to be an enlightening meeting from a scholar who is a specialist in U.S. elections, parties, interest groups, public opinion, and Congress.

Dr. Jacobson’s will talk about political conditions shaping the 2008 congressional and presidential elections:  evaluations of the Bush administration, party images, the economy, the Iraq War, the threat of terrorism, and the presidential and vice presidential candidates.

Dr. Jacobson has also written a few other books — Money in Congressional Elections, The Politics of Congressional Elections, The Electoral Origins of Divided Government, as well as more than 80 research articles. He is also coauthor of Strategy and Choice in Congressional Elections, and The Logic of American Politics.  Dr. Jacobson is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego, where he has taught since 1979.   

He has served on the Board of Overseers of National Election Studies, the Council of the American Political Science Association, the APSA’s Committee on Research Support, as Treasurer of the APSA and as chair of the APSA’s Elections Review Committee. He has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Jacobson received his A.B. from Stanford and his Ph.D. from Yale. 


We had a fine turnout at our first meeting of the season, with about 30 members and guests.  Alice Marquis, our speaker, took us through the trials and joys of writing history. With seven books done and another underway, Alice had plenty to share. She did it economically and with humor.  Alice took us from the trials of failed projects, withering “academics” who criticized her journalistic writing style, nasty or recalcitrant interviewees to the joys of archival research in places like Rouen, wonderful libraries such as the New York Public and the Getty, and new technologies including the internet and the data pen. Quotes: “Anything that has to be indented is too long.” “Make me a blockhead but make me a blockhead historian.”




Your UCSD library card ran out in September, and membership renewal can get it back! Send your check to Edwina Shell-Johnson, 908 Monterey Court, Chula Vista, CA  91911; 619-420-8759 ($40 single, $55 couples, add $25 for library card).




The holiday party will take place on  Saturday, Dec. 6, 11:30-2:30 at Carlsbad-by-the-Sea. More details next month. (Please note that this is a change from the past, when this event was on a Sunday.)





 Works in Progress

The next meeting will be on Saturday, Oct. 3, at 1:30 p.m. at Alice Marquis’ home, 8963 Caminito Fresco (La Jolla). By popular request, the group will consider the marketplace, that is, finding agents, contacting publishers, etc. So if you have information you’d like to share or information you’d like to have, this will be a special and unique meeting for this group.  Contact:

Colloquy Café

Sam Gusman will host the next meeting on Monday, Oct. 13, 1-3 p.m., at his home, 8515 Costa Verde Blvd., Apt. 1808. The subject of the meeting is Consciousness.  Contact Sam for more information at


The next meeting is scheduled for November 10 at 10:30 a. m. at the home of Cathy Blecki, 1607 Bittern Court, Carlsbad. We plan to discuss James Agee's A Death in the Family. Contact:


The Science Group (aka Brain Study Group), now in its ninth year, will meet on Thursday, Oct. 9, at 3 p.m., at the home of Bea Rose, 8515 Costa Verde Blvd., #1909,  to discuss Chapter four of Patricia Smith Churchland's  book Brain-Wise - Studies in Neurophilosophy.  Visitors are welcome.  Call Bea for directions and more information at 858.458.9263.



Cathy Blecki and Judith Strupp Green will represent SDIS at the Biennial Conference of the National Association of Independent Scholars (NCIS) in Berkeley, California, October 24th and 25th. Cathy will be giving a paper on Francis Bacon (1561-1625), "Ambition and Philanthropy: Francis Bacon’s Advancement of Learning (1605). A scholar and a lawyer, Bacon struggled with two polarities in his life: his ambition to reform learning and his desire to hold public office. He also wanted his work to benefit human beings. When it came to the reformation of learning, Bacon contented himself with being "a bell-ringer who is the first to call others to Church." Judith Strupp Green, winner of several of our Helen Hawkins awards, will be leading a grant-writing workshop on Sunday. Anyone interested in more information about the convention can find it on the NCIS website,


Cathy Robbins’ book on contemporary American Indians is in the editing process at the University of Nebraska Press and is slated for publication in 2010. She writes regularly about music, and you can find an overview of the fall/winter season at  (Scott Lewis, the co-editor of this award-winning San Diego news web site, was an SDIS speaker a couple of years ago.) Here’s the link:


NEXT MEETING: November 15



 Our membership chairperson, Delina Halushka, adds to this year’s events by inviting  members who are new to SDIS in the last year or so to her home in Carlsbad, October 11, for a luncheon with the Board.  We look forward to getting acquainted and helping them get to know SDIS.  Speaking of members, don’t forget to renew (and get a library card if you wish).  See Membership above for details.

Be sure to pencil in the Holiday Party December 6.  This is a highlight of our year.  No nerds or book worms here – we love our social events.

Also, we are still working on the website.  Look for updates this month and the Scholar’s Notebook in November.  (Even when inevitable, progress wheels in slowly.)

Donna Boyle



In this issue of the Scholar’s Notebook, we have started a Members at Work Department. Let’s fill it with news of your activities: writings, papers, conferences and meetings, discussions at study groups, progress on books in the publishing pipeline, etc. So send in your news!

Also, we’d like to include cultural events you think are worthwhile. San Diego has a terrific music season. Also, the Italian Film Festival is underway through October at the Museum of Photographic Arts, offering 15 free movies in Italian with English subtitles (great practice for your Italian); (   How about a visit to the Getty Center for the Bernini show? It runs until Oct. 26, and then goes to Ottawa (



 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.

PDF attachment: