ICW is delighted to be featured in the Spring/Summer issue of USC Dornsife Magazine (The Frontiers Issue). You can read The Wonder of the West or see the entire issue here.





ICW In Conversation Series

From the Archive: 

In Conversation with Tyler Green

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Carleton Watkins in California: How an Artist on the Edge of America Impacted American Science, History and Business

Tyler Green is an award-winning art journalist and the producer and host of The Modern Art Notes Podcast, America's most popular audio program on art. He is writing a book (UC Press) on Carleton Watkins, the greatest American photographer of the 19th-century and arguably the most influential American artist of his time. The Huntington is home to the one of the most important collections of Watkins's work.







Western Histories Series


Western Histories is a book series published by the Huntington Library Press and the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West in partnership with the University of California Press, with the specific purpose of enlivening and enriching our collective understanding of the significance of California and the American West.


Highlighted Book of the Month:


Alta California: Peoples in Motion, Identities in Formation


ed. Stephen W. Hackel



Spanish California—with its diverse mix of Indians, soldiers, settlers, and missionaries—provides a fascinating site for the investigation of individual and collective identity in colonial America. Through innovative methodologies and extensive archival research, the nine essays in this volume reshape our understanding of how people in the northernmost Spanish Borderlands viewed themselves and remade their worlds. Essays examine Franciscan identity and missionary tactics in Alta California, Sonora, and the Sierra Gorda; Spanish and Mexican settlers’ identity as revealed in mission records, family relationships, political affiliations, and genetic origins; and Indian identity as shown in mission orchestras and choral guilds as well as in the life of Pablo Tac, a Luiseño who penned his own remembrance of the Spanish conquest of Alta California. The concluding essays examine the identity and historiography of the field of the Spanish Borderlands as it has developed over the last century in North America and Spain.


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When Not All Votes Were Equal

LASA executive director Doug Smith has a throughtful piece in The Atalantic on the Supreme Court's current reconsideration of how legislative districts are drawn and possible repercussions. Read here: When Not All Votes Were Equal




California and the Civil War

William Deverell is interviewed by KCRW's Morning Edition about California's role in the Civil War. Listen here.



Doug Smith on "Amicus"

LASA executive director Doug Smith recorded a segment for Dahlia Lithwick's "Amicus" podcast, available on the Slate site here.

The piece begins around the 20 minute mark:

In the second half of the podcast, Dahlia turns to a major election law case scheduled for next term’s Supreme Court docket. The case involves a challenge to the bedrock principle of “one person, one vote.” Dahlia is joined by historian Douglas Smith for an in-depth look at that principle, its origins, and what it would mean should it be overturned.



California Is Not About to Wither Away: an article about history and Western water in Politico.



Future of Cities launched on June 2, 2015. Our director gave this talk, Change and Velocity: The History and Future of Los Angeles.



We Are Alive When We Speak for Justice

We Are Alive When We Speak for Justice is an anthology by fifty-seven students from Mendez High School in Boyle Heights Los Angeles in which they explore a piece of history often overlooked: Mendez v. Westminster, the case that led to the desegregation of California schools and was a precursor to Brown v. Board of Education, which followed nine years later. It is the culmination of 826LA’s twelfth Young Authors’ Book Project.

For more information about the project and 826LA, and to order the book, please visit bit.ly/wearealivebook




ICW Congratulates Jared Farmer

Jared Farmer, ICW's first postdoctoral fellow, has received the 2015 Ray Allen Billington Prize from the Organization of American Historians for his book Trees in Paradise: A California History. SEE MORE




LA Times Festival of Books Discussion on California History and Biography, April 19, 2015

“History: Shaping California” was a panel from the 2015 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. You can watch a recording of the panel here.




ICW Congratulates Postdoctoral Colleagues

We are delighted to congratulate current ICW postdoctoral scholars Julia Ornelas-Higdon, Anne Reid, and Allison Miller on their recent appointments.

Julia is a recent USC PhD, and in the fall of 2015, will be joining the history department at CSU Channel Islands.

Anne, who received her PhD at USC in 2013, has accepted a tenure-track position as an assistant professor of history at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo beginning Fall 2015.

Allison, our current Mellon postdoc, recently accepted a position as editor of Perspectives on History, the newsmagazine of the American Historical Association, based in Washington, DC. 


ICW Congratulates former Postdoctoral Fellow Matthew Hersch on his New Appointment

We warmly congratulate our friend and colleague Matt Hersch on his appointment to the Department of the History of Science at Harvard as a tenure-track Assistant Professor.  Matt was an integral part of our initiation  of the Aerospace History Project, as an NSF postdoc, and we wish him the very best with his new position. 



Third Los Angeles Project

The Third Los Angeles Project is a unique collaboration between Occidental College, Southern California Public Radio and Christopher Hawthorne, professor of practice in the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental, as well as architecture critic at the Los Angeles Times since 2004. A corresponding academic course is running concurrent with the public events.




Boom, Spring 2015

The Spring Issue of Boom focuses on California in the Pacific World in 1915, 2015, and 2115.  ICW Postdoctoral Fellow Elizabeth Logan served as guest editor of the issue. 

The 1915 section of the issue examines California at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition through the lenses of labor via the work of Abigail Markwyn, and landscapes via Elizabeth Logan's essay.

Also, Phoebe S.K. Young takes the conversation further south to San Diego's Panama-California Exposition.


ICW Receives Grant from USC Del Amo Fund for Humboldt Project

Alexander von Humboldt               (1769-1859)

We are delighted to announce that the Del Amo Fund at USC Dornsife has awarded ICW a $15,000 grant in support of a project called "Iberia, New Spain, and Alexander von Humboldt."  These funds will allow the Institute to work closely with Humboldt expert Sandra Rebok, of the Spanish National Research Council, on the preparation of an English-language monograph exploring Humboldt's interactions with Spain and his cartographic and other fascinations with New Spain in the mission and post-mission eras of California history.  


BOOM article by Deverell and Sitton


An article about the film CHINATOWN in BOOM by Bill Deverell and Tom Sitton

  • Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West
  • Department of History
  • University of Southern California
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-0034