Jim is an accomplished public speaker, author, and historian who offers unique and entertaining perspectives on California gay and lesbian history, Jewish identity, and Bay Area-related movies. He is currently available for bookings with the following four talks, as well as readings, workshops, and more. For availability, rates, and other information, please send him an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

7 Miles to Alcatraz
7 Miles to Alcatraz

A talk with video clips by Jim Van Buskirk

Shortly after Alcatraz opened as a federal prison in 1934, its career as a setting for movies began.

It Came From Beneath the Sea
It Came From Beneath the Sea

A talk with film clips by Jim Van Buskirk 

The Golden Gate Bridge has probably starred in more movies than any other American architectural icon.

Flower Drum Song
Flower Drum Song

A talk with slides and film clips by Jim Van Buskirk 

San Francisco has appeared in hundreds of movies and television series, some famous, others obscure, from Eric von Stroheim's 1924 Greed to Dirty Harry to Zodiac

The Bernstein Siblings
The Bernstein Siblings

A talk with slides by Jim Van Buskirk 

At the age of 54, Jim Van Buskirk, who had been raised "devoutly Unitarian" met with him mother after a long estrangement. Facing her own mortality, she said she had something to tell him: "You are Jewish."

The Children's Hour
The Children's Hour

A talk with video clips by Jim Van Buskirk

Using trailers from mainstream movies from the 1960s and 1970s, we'll investigate Hollywood's depiction of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender characters to stimulate a lively discussion of our own understanding of sexuality and gender issues.

Go to top