Richard Bauman Lecture: Catherine Cole, University of California, Berkeley
A Visual Ethnography of the City of Intellect
by Catherine Cole
In the 1960s, photographer Ansel Adams was commissioned to photograph the entire University of California system. He was to portray the institution not as it was, but as it wished to be. Adams and his collaborator, writer Nancy Newhall, were asked to project ahead the next one hundred years. The project, which was called "Fiat Lux," spanned four years and produced over 6,000 images. Using these photographs as a springboard to present-day discussions during a time of tremendous uncertainty for public higher education nationally, filmmakers Kwame Braun and Catherine Cole have created a visual ethnography that invites the people of today to reflect on their aspirations and visions for a university system that Clark Kerr once called "the Yosemite of higher education."