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Muscatine (Charles) Papers
BANC MSS 2015/202  
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The Charles Muscatine papers include materials related to the Loyalty Oath controversy, his involvement with the Free Speech Movement (FSM), the Collegiate Seminar Program (Strawberry Creek College), and undergraduate education reform more generally. There are administrative files, conference materials, correspondence, course materials, legal documents, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, program files, publications, and reports. Materials concerning the FSM also pertain to the New Left and the Vietnam War. The collection also contains Muscatine's writings about medieval literature. These files include conference materials, correspondence, essays and lectures, reprints, and typescripts. A small amount of personalia includes newspaper clippings about Muscatine, materials from his years at Yale and his naval service, some eulogies, and correspondence. There are audiovisual materials, the bulk of which consist of oral histories from the Collegiate Seminar Program, and interviews from "A Cook's Tour of San Francisco" which were conducted by Charles' wife, Doris Muscatine.
Charles Muscatine (1920-2010) was an influential Chaucer scholar and an educational reformer. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he received his Ph.D. in English from Yale in 1948 and joined Berkeley's English department. In 1949 Muscatine and 30 other professors refused to sign the anti-communist loyalty oath required by the state. He was fired, but returned to Berkeley in 1954 after the California Supreme Court ruled the oath was unconstitutional. Sympathetic to student demands about free speech issues, Muscatine mediated between them and the university administration during the Free Speech Movement. Subsequently, he led a faculty committee charged with proposing educational reforms at the university. Their publication"Education at Berkeley" (1966) was widely known as "Muscatine Report"; it promoted nontraditional and interdisciplinary courses. In the 1970s, Muscatine helped found and directed the Collegiate Seminar Program, better known as Strawberry Creek College. The program influenced community colleges and experimental universities across the country. Muscatine retired in 1991 but continued to advocate for reform in undergraduate education. Charles wife, Doris Muscatine (nee Corn), was a food, wine, and travel writer, and a historian of the Bay Area culinary scene. She died in 2006 at the age of 80.
6.65 linear feet (5 cartons, 2 boxes)
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Collection open for research. Physical audiovisual and digital media may not be used in the reading room. Enquire with Bancroft Public Services about the creation of access surrogates of these materials.