In May 2010, Grass Valley and Nevada City hosted the 2010 California Preservation Conference, featuring tours that highlighted Nevada County’s rich history, architecture and natural beauty, and special events at its most historical locations.
Last year, Grass Valley participated in the Julia Morgan 2012 Festival, a statewide event focusing on the life and work of California’s first licensed female architect and the creator of over 700 structures in California alone. The North Star Conservancy held a special Julia Morgan Day in tandem with its regular Grower’s Market, with docent-led tours.
Now Grass Valley is going to host a meeting of international scholars who meet annually to discuss the life and work of a famous American philosopher Josiah Royce (1855-1916), who was born in the historic Gold-Rush town.
“Royce, California, and the World, a meeting of scholars and communities, will be held August 16-18, 2013, in Royce’s historic birthplace and hometown, Grass Valley, California, in the beautiful Sierra Foothills,” according to the Royce Society, which meets annually. “The meeting will be held at the Holbrooke Hotel, an important California landmark.”
Like the region’s other historical or academic conferences, it will draw out-of-town visitors (including some well-known ones) and introduce them to our region. It is a reminder of region’s wealth of historical assets that extend well beyond gold mining — a point this blog makes regularly.
In Grass Valley, the well-known public library is named after Royce, but his influence extends well beyond Gold Country: UCLA’s iconic Royce Hall also is named after him. Royce Hall has come to represent a defining image of the university.
The conference will draw renowned scholars, including Kevin Starr, the American historian best known for his multi-volume series on the history of California, “America and the California Dream.”
“In recent years the work of Josiah Royce has drawn increased attention from scholars and thinkers all over the world. Since its formation in 2003, the Josiah Royce Society has promoted scholarly activities related to Royce’s ideas in a far-ranging series of national and international conferences.”
The Harry Todd Costello Prize for the best graduate student or recent Ph.D. paper on Royce also will be awarded at the conference.
The proceedings also will include a reading of a new original play about Royce’s life in California, “Beyond Our Mountains,” by local resident Robin A. Wallace.