Congratulations to Shaun Ossei-Owusu, the Doheny Library-Institute on California and the West Postdoctoral Scholar, who has accepted a fellowship with the Columbia Law School. While at Columbia, Shaun will complete the two projects he has been working on during his time here at USC. The first, which emerges out of his dissertation, explores the historical development of legal aid organizations and public defender offices (the first of which was in Los Angeles in 1913). The second project, which he began at USC, investigates post-Great Society health care restructuring by examining the relationship between health legislation and urban hospital closings. Following his appointment at Columbia, Shaun will take his expertise in criminal and health law into the legal world, as he has agreed to join a Washington D.C. law firm.
Jessica is also currently Assistant Professor of History at California State University, Northridge and joins the ICW to expand programming in the areas of borderlands and Los Angeles public history. She is particularly excited to organize a number of events in the coming academic year that focus on the increasing public popularity of Los Angeles history and on new trends in the history of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Please join Jessica and the ICW at several upcoming events, all of which are open to the public:
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!
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Matt Shindell as Curator of Planetary Science in the Space History Department, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. As an NSF postdoc on the Aerospace History Project Matt a thoughtful contributor to the ICW community and we are excited to see him continue his work at the Air and Space Museum.
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
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.
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.
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.
Laura Skandera Trombley has been named the eighth president of The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, The Huntington’s Board of Trustees announced today. Trombley takes the helm on July 1, 2015, the first woman to do so, following the retirement of Steven S. Koblik, who has served as The Huntington’s president since 2001.
“With strong strategic insights, unceasing persistence, and a talented team that she assembled, Laura put the college on very sound footings, both financial and academic,” said Stewart Smith, chair of the board at The Huntington. "It is a success story that is the envy of many other liberal arts colleges. Laura is a woman of fierce intellect, a solid leader with tremendous energy and a strong vision for how to continue to build on The Huntington’s substantial strengths. More broadly, she is a passionate proponent of the humanities who articulates their value and fundamental importance in such a convincing manner that we knew without a doubt she would be the right person to lead The Huntington at this time.”
Please see the press release for more information.
The board of directors of Cal Humanities is pleased to announce the hiring of Julie Fry as its new President and CEO effective February 2, 2015. Cal Humanities was founded in 1975 as a humanities granting organization and has evolved into funding, creating, and collaborating on projects that connect Californians to ideas and one another. Cal Humanities has played a major role in funding high-quality, award-winning radio and film documentaries that explore California’s rich cultures and history.
Cal Humanities Board Chair Margaret Shelleda commented, “Julie Fry comes to Cal Humanities at an important time as we celebrate our 40th anniversary. Julie brings the right combination of experience, interests, character, and passion to help further our mission, and we are delighted she will be leading our organization. She will contribute significantly to our efforts to support humanities-based projects and programs, eye-opening cultural experiences, and meaningful conversations among Californians. We look forward to working with her as she builds upon our past accomplishments and helps us have an even greater impact in the future.”
Please see the press release for more information.
The LA Writing Group grew out of a collaborative USC-UCLA seminar on Los Angeles history co-taught by Professors William Deverell and Eric Avila. The group currently includes grad students and junior scholars from USC and UCLA as well as UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, Yale, and the University of Paris.
The group provides a supportive environment for scholarship in progress that deals with Los Angeles and Southern California. All disciplines are welcome. We have members in history, art history, film studies, and American studies and ethnicity.
Meetings take place at the Huntington Library and via Skype. Feel free to contact DanielLynch@ucla.edu if you have questions or would like to participate.