Kevin Starr

University Professor and Professor of History, and Policy, Planning, and Development

Contact Information
E-mail: kstarr@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 821-2595
Office: SOS 175



  • B.A. English, University of San Francisco, 1/1962
  • M.A. English and American Literature, Harvard University, 1/1965
  • Ph.D. English and American Literature, Harvard University, 1/1969

  • Postdoctoral Training

    • Master of Library Science, University of California, Berkeley, 1974  

    Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

    • Visiting Professor of History, University of California, Davis, 01/01/1985-01/01/1986  
    • Lecturer on Librarianship, University of California, Berkeley, 01/01/1978  
    • Adjunct Professor of English, Santa Clara University, 01/01/1977-01/01/1978  
    • Regents' Lecturer in Political Science, University of California, Riverside, 01/01/1977  
    • Visiting Lecturer in Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, 01/01/1976  
    • Adjunct Professor of Humanities, San Francisco State University, 01/01/1975-01/01/1976  
    • Visiting Associate Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley, 01/01/1974  
    • Assistant Professor of American Literature, Harvard University, 01/01/1969-01/01/1973  

    Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    State Librarian Emeritus, Starr researches California history, history of American culture, urban history and "Americans and the California Dream" captures the enigmatic blend of dreams and hardscrabble reality that defines California. To date, Starr's books uncover how the Golden State emerged from the Gold Rush, absorbed the shocks of the Great Depression, and was transformed by the sweeping events of World War II.


    • Starr, K. O. Americans and the California Dream, 1850-1915, Oxford University Press, 1973.
    • Starr, K. O. Material Dreams: Southern California Through the 1920s, Oxford University Press, 1990.
    • Starr, K. O. Endangered Dreams: The Great Depression in California, Oxford University Press, 1996.
    • Starr, K. O. The Dream Endures: California Enters the 1940s, Oxford University Press, 1997.
    • Starr, K. O. Embattled Dreams: California in War and Peace, 1940-1950, Oxford University Press, 2002.
    • Starr, K. O. Coast of Dreams: California on the Edge, 1990-2003, Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.
    • Starr, K. O. California: A History, Random House (2005).

    Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

    • Book, Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance, 1950-1963 (Oxford University Press), 01/10/2009-12/31/2009  
    • Foreward, O, My Ancestor: The Gabrielino-Tongva People (Heyday, 2009), 2008-2009   
    • Chapters in Books, The Great Cities in History (Thames & Hudson, 2009), 2008-2009   
    • Book , Co-Author: Los Angeles: Portrait of a City (Taschen, 2009), 01/01/2009-12/31/2009  
    • book, Golden Gate: The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge (Bloomsbury Press, 2010), 2009-2010   

    Honors and Awards

    • National Endowment for the Humanities Medalist, 2006  
    • USC Presidential Medallion, 2005  
    • USC Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award, 1991  
    • Fellow (or Equivalent) of National Society in Discipline, Society of American Historians, 1986  
    • Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient, 1976-1977  

  • Department of History
  • 3502 Trousdale Parkway
  • Social Sciences Building (SOS) 153
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 90089-0034