In 2011, Matthew Bokovoy returned to UCSC to speak as Keynote Speaker at the History Undergraduate Research Symposium. His talk, "Utopianism: Humanities Education and Everyday Life," drew upon his experience at UCSC to talk about the challenges that a humanities education presents to undergraduate students for transforming everyday life, and society and culture in our country. Bokovoy discussed the value of humanities training and research in seeking job opportunities and also other creative opportunities in the arts and culture, his experiences in book publishing and a research community in American cultural history, the connection between research conceptualization and arts and music endeavors, and the prospects for young adults to transform their society positively as they assume leadership positions in the professions. He also presented a survey of public intellectuals who have expressed great utopian optimism for younger generations to overcome the limitations of the baby boom generation’s stewardship of the country.
Bokovoy (Ph.D. History, Temple University, 1999; B.A. History, UC Santa Cruz, 1991) is senior acquisitions editor for Native American and Indigenous Studies and the History of the American West for the University of Nebraska Press. He is a former editor at University of Oklahoma Press and the Journal of San Diego History with nine years experience in scholarly publishing. He is the author of The San Diego World’s Fairs and Southwestern Memory, 1880-1940, (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2005) and Designing Tomorrow: America's World's Fairs of the 1930s, (Hartford: Yale University Press, 2010). He has been an exhibition consultant for the National Building Museum, Washington D.C. and the San Diego Historical Society. Bokovoy has taught the history of the American West and American Intellectual and Cultural history at University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Oklahoma State University, and University of Nebraska, Kearney.