Finding aid for the History of Consciousness Board Records

Mathew E. Simpson
The University Library
Special Collections and Archives
University Library
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California, 95064
© 2013
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Finding aid for the History of Consciousness Board Records

Collection number: UA 78

The University Library

University Archives

University of California, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, California
Processed by:
Mathew E. Simpson
Date Completed:
April 2013
Encoded by:
Mathew E. Simpson
© 2013 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: History of Consciousness Board records
Dates: 1966-1994
Collection number: UA 78
Creator: History of Consciousness Dept
Collection Size: 1 linear foot (2 half cartons)
Repository: University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library. University Archives
Santa Cruz, California 95064
Abstract: This small collection contains early correspondence, essays, articles, and class material related to the History of Consciousness program at UCSC.
Physical location: Stored at Special Collections & Archives.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


Collection open for research.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred Citation

History of Consciousness Board records. UA 78. University Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Acquisition Information

Various campus sources.

Administrative History

The History of Consciousness program is an interdisciplinary graduate program in the humanities with links to the sciences, social sciences, and arts at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
The program was started in 1966 (the first year of the Santa Cruz campus) by small group of faculty members, including the American historian Page Smith, philosopher Maurice Natanson, culture theorist Harry Berger, Jr., and psychology professor Bert Kaplan, who approached the University of California system-wide Graduate Council with a proposal for a new type of graduate program for the new campus. According to the founding Chancellor of the campus, Dean McHenry, they did not consult with him and the program was approved without his input.
For over a decade, there were no direct faculty appointments to the program and all faculty teaching in the program was done by members of established Boards of Studies (at the time, the UC Santa Cruz equivalent of departments). This led to problems in budgeting and program continuity, and coupled with the innovative interdisciplinary nature of the program, it also presented challenges in placing History of Consciousness graduates in teaching jobs. The appointment of Norman O. Brown as Professor of Humanities in 1968 was in part intended to address some of these concerns.
Historians Hayden White and James Clifford were among the first faculty members directly appointed to the department. White joined the faculty as Professor of History of Consciousness and Chair of the Board in July, 1978, having been recruited by then-Chancellor Angus Taylor to bring stability to the program. Under White's leadership, the program grew in the early 1980's to become one of the intellectual centers of theoretical innovation in the humanities and social sciences in the United States.
The History of Consciousness Department currently offers a Ph.D. program that operates at the intersection of established and emergent disciplines and fields, acquainting students with leading intellectual trends in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. Intellectual projects are problem based and draw upon diverse theoretical approaches.
[Administrative History excerpted from the History of Consciousness Department website and Wikipedia entry.]

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection contains significant material from the early 1970's pertaining to the running of the program, as well as reviews that were conducted in 1986 and 1994. There are also brochures and information on class offerings.


Arranged chronologically.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
University of California, Santa Cruz - History of Consciousness Dept
University of California, Santa Cruz - Curricula

Related Collections

MS 35 Norman O. Brown Papers.

Container List

box 1, folder 1

Letter of Program Approval, Apr 18, 1966

box 1, folder 2

Graduate Council Subcommittee Review, May 24, 1968

box 1, folder 3

Articles & Excerpts, 1969-1975, n.d.

box 1, folder 4

Essays & Notes, ca. 1970-1973

box 1, folder 5

Class Materials, 1971-1975

box 1, folder 6

Fundraising (3 year Ford Foundation Grant), 1972-1976

box 1, folder 7

Reports & Correspondence, 1971-1976

box 2, folder 1

Events, 1970's

box 2, folder 2

Miscellany, 1970's

box 2, folder 3

Brochures, 1978-1990

box 2, folder 4

History of Consciousness Handbook, 1979-1980

box 2, folder 5

Academic Program Review Materials, 1986

box 2, folder 6

"Institute for Reality Studies" Correspondence, 1991

box 2, folder 7

Board Survey, 1993

box 2, folder 8

Board Program Review, Feb 3-4, 1994

box 2, folder 9

Board Program Review, Appendices 1-8, 1994

box 2, folder 10

Board Program Review, Appendices 9-15, 1994

box 2, folder 11

UCSC Catalog Entries (Photocopies), 1966-1994