Junípero Serra: The Myths, the Man, and the Statues

A Digital Lecture Presented by Dr. Robert M. Senkewicz

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Run Time: 1 hour and 23 minutes  

This special digital lecture presented by Dr. Robert M. Senkewicz, a professor emeritus of History at Santa Clara University, tells the multifaceted story about Junípero Serra, his history, and delves into why he is still a topic of conversation today. In developing our more inclusive historical perspectives and interpretive efforts, we rely on such impressive advisors such as Robert Senkewicz and all academics who have researched and published numerous books and articles on early California history. We believe inclusivity will allow our visitors to draw their own conclusions of what it felt and meant to be a priest, a soldier, a Native American, a post-secularization Catholic, a man, a woman, or child of that time.

About Dr. Robert M. Senkewicz

Along with his wife, Rose Marie Beebe (professor of Spanish literature at Santa Clara University), Robert has written a number of books on the history of Spanish and Mexican California including, The History of Alta California, Lands of Promise and Despair: Chronicles of Early California, 1535–1846; Testimonios: Early California through the Eyes of Women, 1815–1848; and “To Toil in That Vineyard of the Lord”: Contemporary Scholarship on Junípero Serra; and Junípero Serra: California, Indians, and the Transformation of a Missionary (University of Oklahoma Press, 2015). Their current project is on Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo’s five-volume “Recuerdos históricos y personales….” They are in the process of translating and annotating this very important manuscript.

Beebe and Senkewicz have received numerous teaching and scholarship awards at Santa Clara University. In 2015 they were recognized with the University Award for Sustained Excellence in Scholarship. They have also received awards from The Bancroft Library, the Historical Society of Southern California, the California Mission Studies Association, the California Council for the Promotion of History. Beebe received a year-long fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the Vallejo project.  Robert Senkewicz has researched and published numerous books and articles on early California history. These highly regarded professors serving California universities are positively assisting Mission San Juan Capistrano in strengthening its meaning as a living site of history and ongoing site of worship.