Skip to main content

Philip Ethington

Professor of History, Political Science and Spatial Sciences

Contact Information
E-mail: philipje@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-1669
Office: SOS 268

LINKS
Curriculum Vitae
 

Biographical Sketch

Philip J. Ethington is Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Southern California, North American Editor and Multimedia Editor of the journal Urban History (Cambridge University Press), and Co-Director (with Tara McPherson) of the USC Center for Transformative Scholarship. An interdisciplinary historian, Ethington's scholarship explores the past as a cartography of time. His recent published work include theoretical work on a spatial theory of history; sociological studies of residential segregation; large-format maps of urban historical change; Online interactive Web 2.0 tools, archives, and publications for urban studies; and museum exhibit collaborations. He is co-PI of the HyperCities project (funded by the MacArthur Foundation and HASTAC). Most recently, Ethington co-wrote the award-winning film Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman (Art House Films, 2009), which is narrated by Dustin Hoffman. His photography and cartography have been published and exhibited internationally. He is currently completing a large-format graphic book, interactive online publication, and public art exhibit Ghost Metropolis: Los Angeles, since 13,000 BP.
 

Education

Ph.D. , Stanford University, 1/1989
 

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Tenure Track Appointments

Professor of History and Political Science, University of Southern California, 01/01/2005-  
Professor of History, University of Southern California, 01/01/2003-01/01/2005  
Associate Professor of History, University of Southern California, 01/01/1995-01/01/2003  
Assistant Professor of History, University of Southern California, 01/01/1993-01/01/1995  
 

Non-Tenure Track Appointments

Member, Board of Editors, American Historical Review, 01/01/2010-12/31/2013  
Multimedia Editor, Urban History (journal), Cambridge University Press, 01/01/2010-12/31/2012  
Associate Dean for Regional Initiatives, University Libraries, USC, 01/09/2002-08/31/2007  
 

Visiting and Temporary Appointments

Getty Scholar, Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1996-1997   
Visiting Scholar, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, 1992-1993   
Visiting Assistant Professor, Brandeis University, Department of History, 01/01/1989-01/01/1991  
 

PostDoctoral Appointments

Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, 2007-2008   
 

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Philip J. Ethington is Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Southern California, North American Editor and Multimedia Editor of the journal Urban History (Cambridge University Press), and Co-Director (with Tara McPherson) of the USC Center for Transformative Scholarship in the Digital Age. He is also a member of the Board of Editors of the American Historical Review. A multidisciplinary historian, Ethington explores the past as a cartography of time. His recent published work includes theoretical writings toward a spatial theory of history; political science studies of the spatiality of institutions and regional sources of political power; quantitative sociological studies of residential segregation; large-format maps of urban historical change, called “chronographs”; Online interactive Web 2.0 tools, archives, and publications for urban studies; and museum exhibit collaborations. He is co-PI of the geohistorical collaborative research platform, HyperCities (funded in part by the MacArthur Foundation). Most recently, Ethington wrote the award-winning film Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman (Art House Films, 2009), narrated by Dustin Hoffman. His photography and cartography have been published and exhibited internationally. He is currently completing a large-format graphic book, interactive online publication, and public art exhibit, titled Ghost Metropolis: Los Angeles, since 13,000 BP. Please see website.
 

Research Keywords

Urban history, society, politics, and culture, visual culture, digital humanities, theory of history, immigration, race relations, segregation, American Political Development
 

Research Specialties

Urban, political, social and cultural history; Global history of cities, digital humanities, visual culture, intellectual history, theory of history.
 

Funded Research

Contracts and Grants Awarded

Broadening the Digital Humanities: The Vectors-CTS Summer Institute on Digital Approaches to America (National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of D), Philip J. Ethington, Tara McPherson and John Carlos Rowe, $248,492, 2010-2011   
Mapping Los Angeles Research Online with HyperCities: An Open Access Publishing and Collaboration Pl (The John Randolgh Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundatio), Philip J. Ethington, $75,000, 2010-2011   
"HyperCities" Digital Media and Learning Grant (MacArthur Foundation), Todd Presner, UCLA, Philip J. Ethington, USC, $238,000, 2008-2009   
 

USC Funding

Provost Collaboration Fund - Renewal. Center for Transformative Scholarship Digital Scholars Program To Support Digital Humanities Publishing: To support an advanced scholars program that will enable a community of humanities faculty to actively realize their scholarship using new Web 2.0 publishing platforms. , $15,000, 2011-2012   
Provost Collaboration Fund. Center for Transformative Scholarship Digital Scholars Program To Support Digital Humanities Publishing: to support an advanced scholars program that will enable a community of humanities faculty to actively realize their scholarship using new Web 2.0 publishing platforms., $30,000, 2010-2011   
 

Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions

Center for Transformative Scholarship, Co-Director, http://transformative.usc.edu/
Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, Fellow, http://www.usc.edu/directories/dept/humanities.html
Population Dynamics Lab, School of Policy, Planning and Development, Faculty researcher, http://www.usc.edu/schools/sppd/research/census2000/race_census/index.htm
USC History Lab, http://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/history/historylab/index.html
Urban History (Cambridge University Press), North American Editor, http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=UHY
 

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"Deep Historical Regionalism: Los Angeles and the Institutional Ecology of a Global Metropolis, Since 13,000 Before Present", Lecture/Seminar, Lincoln, Nebraska, Plains Humanities Alliance, University of Lincoln,, Invited, 2011-2012   
"Deep Historical Regionalism: Los Angeles and the Institutional Ecology of a Global Metropolis, Since 13,000 Before Present", Lecture/Seminar, Paris, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales, Invited, 2010-2011   
"Visualizing Geohistorical Urban History: The HyperCities Platform for Interactive and Participatory Mapping", Urban History Association, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Las Vegas, NV, Urban History Association, 10/20/2010-10/23/2010  
"Now Urbanism, Now Seattle", Now Urbanism: City-Making in the 21st Century and Beyond, Keynote Lecture, University of Washington, John E. Sawyer Seminar in the Study of Comparative, Invited, 10/07/2010  
""Mapping the Deep Regional Past of a Global Metropolis: Los Angeles since 13,000 Before Present"", Cityscapes in History: Creating the Urban Experience WEDNESDAY, JULY 28, Keynote Lecture, Munich, Center for Advanced Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians-Un, Invited, 2009-2010   
"HyperCities Ghost Metropolis, Los Angeles", Social Science History Association, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Long Beach, California, Social Science History Association, 11/15/2009  
"Geographic Institutionalism: The Metropolis and the Regional Regimes of American Political Development (with David Levitus)", 32nd Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association (SSHA), Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Chicago, Social Science History Association, 11/16/2007  
"Journal Publishing Workshop: How to Get your Article Published", 12th National Conference on Planning History, Workshop, Portland, Maine, Society for American City and Regional Planning Hi, Invited, 10/28/2007  
"Living Together: Multiculturalism and Race Relations", 19th Annual Envisioning California Conference", Talk/Oral Presentation, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, California State University Northridge, Invited, 09/19/2007  
"Mapping the Haunted Spaces of Los Angeles", Talk/Oral Presentation, USC, Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, Invited, 04/06/2007  
"(with Christian Redfearn) Neighborhood Stability and Change: Unbundling the Dynamics of Place and Race in Los Angeles, 1940-2000", SPPD Research Seminar, Talk/Oral Presentation, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, USC, Lusk Center for Real Estate, USC, Invited, 02/14/2007  
""Ghost Trajectories" (With Robbert Flick and Tomo Isoyama)", L.A. Palimpsest: Recovering Los Angeles' Hidden Stories and Forgotten Communities, Talk/Oral Presentation, Claremont, CA, Scripps College Humanities Institute, Invited, 02/06/2007  
"Global Spaces of Los Angeles in the 20th Century: Oil, Hollywood, and Counterrevolution", Images and Realities of Cities in the 21st Century: Global Cities, Creative Cities, and Sustainable , Talk/Oral Presentation, Nishinara Plaza, Osaka, Japan, Urban Research Plaza, Osaka City University, Invited, 12/22/2006  
"The Cultural Creativity of Cities in the 20th Century", Images and Realities of Cities in the 21st Century: Global Cities, Creative Cities, and Sustainable , Talk/Oral Presentation, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan, Urban Research Plaza, Osaka City University, Invited, 12/19/2006  
"Keynote-Roundtable 'The Urban West'", 3rd Biennial Meeting of the Urban History Association, Talk/Oral Presentation, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, Invited, 10/21/2006  
"The Haunted Landscapes of Los Angeles: A Cartography of Time, 1940-2000", Annual Rena Sivitanidu Research Symposium: Models and Stories: Explaining the Long Processes of Citi, Talk/Oral Presentation, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, USC, Lusk Center for Real Estate, USC, Invited, 02/27/2006  
"La Metrópolis Fantasma. Los Angeles: Una Cartografía del Tiempo", visiting lectureship, University of A Coruña, Spain, Invited, 11/21/2005  
"Round Table on the City and American Political Development", Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Portland, Oregon, SSHA, 11/03/2005  
"Los Angeles and the Question of 'Urban Decline,' 1940-2000", bi-annual meeting of the Urban History Association, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Urban History Association, 10/10/2004  
"La Raza Cósmica Contra Los Ángeles: The Borderland Capital of the Mexican Counterrevolution, 1910-1929", Annual Meeting of the Organization of Americal Historians, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Boston, Mass., 03/24/2004  
"La fotografia como «cronoscopia»: Métodos de encontrar la presencia del pasado urbano en el presente", Diplomado-taller "Las fotográfías de la Ciudad de México", Workshop, Mexico City, El Instituto de Investigaciones Dr. José María Lui, Invited, 10/09/2003  
"The Global Spaces of Los Angeles, 1920s-1930s", seminar, Talk/Oral Presentation, Princeton University Department of History, Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, Invited, 10/02/2003  
 

Other Presentations

"Mapping the Deep Regional Past of a Global Metropolis: Los Angeles Since 13,000 Before Present", Cityscapes in History: Creating the Urban Experience, Center for Advanced Study, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, 07/28/2010-07/30/2010  
 

Publications

Book Chapter

Ethington, P. J. (2011). "Sociovisual Perspective: Vision and the Forms of the Human Past". A Field Guide to a New Meta-Field: Bridging the Hu pp. 123-152. Chicago, Ilinois: University of Chicago Press.
Ethington, P. J. (2010). Ab urbe condita: The Regional Regimes of Los Angeles since 13,000 Before Present. A Companion to Los Angeles (Blackwell Companions t pp. 177-215. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
Ethington, P. J., Levitus, D. (2009). "Placing American Political Development: Cities, Regions, and Regimes, 1789-2008". pp. 154-176. New York: Routledge.
Ethington, P. J. (2008). "Global Spaces of Los Angeles, 1920s-1930s," in The Spaces of the Modern City: Imaginaries, Politics, and Everyday Life. pp. 58-98.. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Ethington, P. J. (2006). Context and Contingency: Los Angeles, New York City, and Other Global Nodes". Osaka: Osaka City University.
Ethington, P. J. (2001). Ghost Neighborhoods: Space, Time, and Alienation in Los Angeles. in Michael Roth and Charles Salas, Eds., Looking for Los Angeles: Architecture, Film, Photography, and the Urban Landscape, (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2001). (Vol. Looking For Los Angeles: Architecture, Film, Photo). Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities.
 

Journal Article

Ethington, P. J. (2010). Comment and Afterword: Photography and Placing the Past. Journal of Visual Culture. Vol. 9 (2), pp. 439-448.
Ethington, P. J. (2010). Global California Contra Greater California. California History Magazine. Vol. 2010, pp. 10.
Ethington, Philip J. (Ed.). (2009). "Transnational Urbanism in the Americas". Cambridge University Press. Vol. 36 (2), pp. 194 - 356.
Ethington, P. J. (2007). 'Placing the Past: ‘Groundwork’ for a Spatial Theory of History,' forum with responses to Ethington’s essay by Thomas Bender, David Carr, Edward Casey, Edward Dimendberg, and Alun Munslow. Rethinking History. Vol. 11 (4 (Dec. 2007))
McManus, R., Ethington, P. J. (2007). Suburbs in Transition: New Approaches to Suburban History. Urban History/Cambridge University Press. Vol. 34 (2), pp. 317-336.
Ethington, P. J., Schwartz, V. R. (2006). special issue, "Urban Icons," and "Introduction: an atlas of the Urban Icons project,". Urban History/Cambridge University Press. Vol. 33 (1)
Ethington, P. J. (2005). Cronoscopia: La fotografia de la historia espacial de Los ingeles y MExico. Sequencia: Revista de historia y ciencias sociales. Vol. 61 (Jan-April 2005), pp. 46-58.
Ethington, P. J. (2005). Georg Simmel y la cuestión de la espacialidad. Trayectorias: Revista de Ciencias Sociales. Vol. 19 (Sept-Dic 2005), pp. p. 46-58.
 

Other

Ethington, P. J. The Public City: The Political Construction of Urban Life in San Francisco, 1850-1900, UC Press, 2001.
Ethington, P. J. Los Angeles and the Problem of Urban Historical Knowledge. American Historical Review, 105:5, December 2000.
Ethington, P. J. The Metropolis and Multicultural Ethics: Direct Democracy versus Deliberative Democracy in the Progressive Era, In Sidney Millkis and Jerome Mileur, eds., Progressivism and the New Democracy, Amherst: University of Massachusettes Press, 1999.
 

Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

Co-Author, Online Multimedia Publication, http://hypercities.com/LA/ Los Angeles Citizen Research Collections: A Collaborative Mapping and Visualization Platform Linking Community Organizations, Academic Researchers , and the Citizens of Los Angeles Funded by the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, 2010-2011   
Editor, Multimedia Publication, A study in Modern(ist) urbanism: planning Vancouver, 1945-1965 by Rhodri Windsor Liscombe, Urban History (Cambridge Journals Online), Volume 38, Issue 01: 124-149. , 2010-2011   
Documentary Film, Ethington co-wrote the award-winning film Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman (Art House Films, 2009), which is narrated by Dustin Hoffman., 2008-2009   
Multimedia Scholarship, "HyperCities" (http://www.hypercities.com) is a spatio-temporal collaborative learning and research platform built atop Google Map/Google Earth, funding by the MacArthur Foundation, with Ethington as Co-PI., 2008-2009   
Multimedia Scholarship, Multimedia Companion to Transnational Urbanism in the Americas," Urban History Special Issue 36:2 (August 2008) Cambridge Journals Online, 2008-2009   
Multimedia Scholarship, "Urban Icons," Multimedia Companion to Urban History. http://journals.cambridge.org/fulltext_content/supplementary/urban_icons_companion/index.htm, 06/01/2008  
Multimedia Scholarship, Los Angeles and the Problem of Urban Historical Knowledge. American Historical Review, 105:5, December 2000, 12/01/2000  
 

Advisement

Other Advisement or Time Devoted to Students

Senior Thesis Adviser, Alex Hofmann, "The Solitude of Hallowed Ground: The Southern Agrarians and the Paradox of Mass Culture." , 2010-2011   
Senior Thesis Adviser, Jenna Katherine Ross, "Fighting for Uncle Sam: American Political Ideology and the Common Soldier in Vietnam" , 2010-2011   
Senior Thesis Adviser, Joyce Fienman, "The Power of Place: Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and Santa Catalina Island, 1920-1960" , 2010-2011   
 

New Courses Developed

MDA 399a+b Researching the LA Riots, Multidisciplinary Activities, This is a "Team Research Community" course, developed at the request of Hilary Schor, then Vice Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum, LAS. The students work with major collections held by the USC libraries concerning the 1965 and 1992 LA civil disorders., 2007-2008   
TO 104 Change and the Future "Don Quijote in Los Angeles", Thematic Option, Cervantes first explored the entanglement of illusion and rationality in the modern world. His Don Quijote is the first comprehensive portrait of the modern self. In his quest to restore the truths of the past, Don Quijote creates his own identity but is caught in a web of illusions. The students will embark on a quest as well: to map the ways that world history, as it can be found all around us in the landscape of the present, affects our lives today. The course is based on the instructor’s forthcoming book, Ghost Metropolis: Los Angeles and the Cartography of Time, 1900-2001. Students will also read other histories of Los Angeles, and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s Don Quijote. , Fall 2005   
 

Honors and Awards

Nominee, Steven B. Sample Teaching and Mentoring Award, 2010-2011   
USC Center for Interdisciplinary Faculty Fellowship, 2004-2005  
 

Service to the University

Administrative Appointments

Co-Director, Center for Transformative Scholarship., 2008-2009   
Associate Dean for Regional Initiatives, University Libraries, 09/01/2002-08/31/2007  
 

Committees

Joint Provost-Academic Senate University Research Committee, 2011-2012   
Member, Vice President, Dornsife College Faculty Council, 2011-2012   
Member, Board of Editors, American Historical Review, 2010-2011   
Chair, Joint Provost-Academic Senate University Research Committee, 2010-2011   
Member, Faculty Tenure and Privileges Appeals Committee, Office of the Provost., 2009-2010   
Member, Joint Provost-Academic Senate University Research Committee, 2009-2010   
Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Science Initiative Committee, 2008-2009   
Co-Chair, History Department Program Committee, and Co-Director of the USC History Seminar., 2008-2009   
Joint Senate-Provost Library Advisory Committee, 2008-2009   
Member, Strategic Plan Working Group, Office of the Provost, 2008-2009   
Member, College Natural Sciences and Mathematics Personnel Committee, 2007-2008   
Co-Chair, History Department Program Committee, 2007-2008   
Member, Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Science Initiative Committee, 2006-2007   
Dean of Libraries Search Committee, 2006-2007   
Chair, History Department Appointments Committee, 2005-2006   
 

Review Panels

USC, Provost's Committee on the Future of the Library, 2005-2006   
 

Media, Alumni, and Community Relations

Chair, Academic Community Advisory Board for the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission, 01/01/2003-12/31/2008  
Member, Executive Committee, LA as Subject Archives Forum, 01/01/2002-12/31/2008  
 

Service to the Profession

Conferences Organized

Organizer, First Annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar, Huntington Library and Gardens, PUblic exhibition of area archives that hold materials about Los Angeles. Attended by more than 800 people, according to LA Times article by Larry Gordon (LA Times, 5 Nov. 2006). The success of this first Bazaar was followed by an even larger turnout in November 2007, estimated at more than 1,000., 11/04/2006  
Co-organizer, "Transnational Urban History: The Local-Global Nexus." Funded by the Los Angeles-Osaka Comparative Urban Studies Project University of Southern Calif, University of Southern California, Co-Organized by Prof. Joan Piggott, 10/24/2005-10/25/2005  
Co-organizer, "Urban Icons: Studies in Urban Visual History" , USC, Co-organized by Prof. Vanessa Schwartz, 03/04/2004-03/05/2004  
 

Editorships and Editorial Boards

Board of Editors, American Historical Review, 2010-2013  
 
 
Faculty may update their profile by visiting https://mydornsife.usc.edu.