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Request for Proposals

A New History of the University of Southern California

The Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West ( is pleased to announce the launch of an ambitious book project leading to the publication of a new history of the University of Southern California.  The history of USC stretches back to the last third of the nineteenth century.  The university is the largest private university in Southern California and the largest private employer in the city of Los Angeles.  For well over a hundred years, the development of the university and of Southern California have been intertwined, as USC and greater Los Angeles grew to international prominence together.  Today, USC is home to more international students than any university in America.  It is one of the nation’s top research institutions, a premier destination for arts study, and a leader in professional education. 

This new history of USC, which will cover the period from the university’s founding up to the very recent past, is expected to be deeply-researched and written in an accessible style for a wide audience.  It is expected that the book will be published by a major academic press and that the project will take approximately two years to complete.  The university and the Institute on California and the West will provide research assistance to the author or authors (single-author proposals are preferred but multiple-author proposals will be accepted).  A scholarly advisory board will evaluate proposals, select an author or authors, and review the progress of the book in draft stages.  The author or authors will be compensated for their work in installment payments expected to be distributed across the two-year timeline.  Workspace will be provided to the author(s) on the campus of USC.

Proposals are to be submitted by April 4th, 2014.  Proposals should include a cover letter attesting to the author’s qualifications and interest, a c.v., a draft research and writing timeline, and an abstract of the author’s approach to the topic (no more than two single-spaced pages).  The advisory board will make a selection from finalists, and it is expected that the project will be under contract and begun by April 15th

Please send proposals to:

A New History of USC
c/o Professor William Deverell, Director
Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West
Department of History, SOS 153
3502 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA  90089-0034