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.



The Aerospace History Project, directed by Peter Westwick, has worked to document the history of aerospace in Southern California by collecting the papers and oral histories of key individuals and institutions across the aerospace industry. 


You can access the Aerospace Oral History Project transcripts at The Huntington and on their website, here. For the transcripts, use the link that says "access interview transcripts online."



Talk and Book Signing -

In Conversation with

Liz Goldwyn


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

7 p.m. at The Huntington


Author and filmmaker Liz Goldwyn discusses her book Sporting Guide, a series of interlinked stories that evoke a lost world on the margins of Los Angeles society in the 1890s. Long before the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Los Angeles was a city where dreamers came to make their fortunes—and where a madam named Pearl Morton entertained the city’s most powerful politicians and entrepreneurs inside her namesake brothel. William Deverell, director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, talks with Goldwyn about her research (much of it conducted at The Huntington) and about the creative process that fictionalizes the real-life people and events of a tumultuous era. A book signing follows the program. Free with reservations. Tickets will be available October 15.




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.



Read Tyler Green on Carleton Watkins here: "Late Cling Georgia Peaches"






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.


Follow Us


USC History Department Seeking Tenure Track Historian in Colonial Latin American History

We are thrilled to be searching in this vibrant field.  To apply, please consult 



USC Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar Adam Goodman on the Concept of “A Nation of Immigrants”

Our colleague has just published this thoughtful essay on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Immigrant Act.




USC Student Jennifer Frazin is Awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at Caltech

ICW is proud to have played a small role in USC student Jennifer Frazin's summer at the Huntington Library, working as a Caltech-supported researcher with distinguished English Romanticist Kevin Gilmartin.  Jennifer took a thematic option course on "Americans and Nature" with ICW Director William Deverell at USC in the Fall of 2015, and she spun her interest into an application to Caltech's vaunted summer research program.  Awarded a rare research fellowship in the humanities, Jennifer spent ten weeks in research at The Huntington and with other archives, and we are delighted to have her describe her work, and her summer, in this brief report.  Congratulations, Jennifer!


You can view Jennifer's report here.


In Memoriam: Gabrielle Burton

In light of writer Gabrielle Burton's recent passing, we would like to share in memory of her this review of her Donner party memoir, "Searching for Tamsen Donner."





Doug Smith on MSNBC

LASA Executive Director Doug Smith speaks to MSNBC on the idea of "one person, one vote" : video (segment begins at 2:21)




When Not All Votes Were Equal

LASA executive director Doug Smith has a thoughtful piece in The Atlantic 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 was 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




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.




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.


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