Judith Bettelheim, PhD

      AKA  betheim@SFSU.edu



      Judith with her son, Benjamin Edwards

      at his 21st Birthday - August 2000


After five wonderful years at Antioch College, which provided me the

   opportunity to study in France and Mexico, work on a kibbutz in

   Israel (pre 1967 war), live in Chicago, NYC, and Denver, and also

   travel around Europe and to California, I decided to get serious and

   go to graduate school. I ended up at UCLA, earning an MA in

   PreHispanic and African art history.


   I loved LA (still do, and plan to retire there) and spent six years

   living at the ocean in either Ocean Park or Venice. I was active in

   the feminist art movement, and various other social/political

   struggles. After the degree I taught part-time at a few So Cal

   institutions until I realized that I needed a PhD to continue my



   So in 1974 I returned to school, spending the next two years at Yale,

   but not feeling comfortable in New Haven. My mentor there had become

   quite famous as a radical art historian who specialized in the

   African Diaspora, and he was delighted to let me combine my academic

   work with my continuing involvement in dance. So I became a

   specialist in festival arts, doing my fieldwork in the Caribbean

   during Mardi Gras or Christmas -New year celebrations. I then moved

   to Oakland in 1977 to join my then partner who had started

   architecture school at Cal Berkeley, and to complete my PhD

   dissertation. In 1978 we married, and in '79  welcomed our son

   Benjamin to the world. We were divorced in '83.


   In 1984 I began a tenure track position at San Francisco State. I am

   still there as a full professor and am counting the years and money

   until I can retire! The rest of the story is the usual report of

   academic life: a few books, lots of travel, lots of work at a blue

   collar state institution. Perhaps some of my class mates saw a

   1988-90 exhibition Caribbean Festival Arts. It travelled to six

   cities; I was co-curator. During the 1990s I specialized in Cuban

   festivals, art, etc. and have done research there consistently since

   1985. Presently I am working on an exhibition of Cuban prints and am

   trying to finish my last book, ever.


   The other bright spot is my son Benjamin, who turns 23 in August and

   will (hopefully) finish Vassar College in December. He is majoring in

   philosophy and soccer, and surely will continue his passion with

   sports afterwards. He spends summers as a life guard, but did take

   time off to spend one semester in Madrid. (As a child he

   travelled/lived with me in Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico, etc and continued

   the travel bug as he jetted (I kid you not) around Europe on each

   break while in Madrid.) I tell everyone that his athletic passion

   comes from my youth and my activities in high school, but I have to

   show them my year books to prove it.


   My dad passed in '93, but my mother still lives in the house they

   moved to in Nyack in about 1977. They wanted streets and public

   transportation. Interestingly, the two houses on the New City land

   were each bought by friends of both my sister and myself. They have

   subsequently been resold.


   Judith Bettelheim, PhD

   Professor of Art History

   Department of Art

   San Francisco State University

   1600 Holloway Ave

   S.F.,  CA  94132


   department phone: 415 338 2176

   office phone      415 338 1269


   department fax    415 338 6537



          San Francisco State University

         1600 Holloway Ave

         S.F., CA 94132



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