Recent Announcements

September 2023

Professor Francille Wilson has won the Carter Godwin Woodson Scholars Medallion from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH.) This award, as the ASALH website states, “is presented to a scholar whose career is distinguished through at least a decade of research, writing, and activism in the field of African American life and history. The recipient’s career should embody and personify the Woodson legacy to ensure a firm foundation for the continuance of African-centered education through dedication and commitment to African-American history.” More details can be found here: Many congratulations Francille!

April 2023

For his book, “Remains of the Everyday: A Century of Recyling in Beijing,” Josh Goldstein received the Joseph Levensen Prize in Modern Chinese Studies (not just history, but any field related to modern China), awarded by the Association for Asian Studies. The book, according to the Society’s Web Page, “is a fine example of how archival material, official statistics, and longitudinal interviews with participants can be synthesized into a strong narrative that transcends a given area of inquiry. The book highlights the challenge of how to handle waste not only in reform era China, but also around the world.”

February 2023

Our colleague Peter Mancall is one of five faculty on campus named as a “Distinguished Professor” this year—which, along with University Professorships, represents USC’s highest professional honor. As the announcement states, the award is for faculty “who have brought great distinction to our university through their work, which enlightens collective understandings and contributes to the advancement of society.” Congratulations, Peter, on this well deserved recognition!

January 2023

We are pleased to announce that three of our esteemed faculty have just received major awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities!  Alice Baumgartner won a research fellowship for her next project, titled, “Slavery After Abolition: How Freedom Seekers from New Mexico to Alaska Invoked the Thirteenth Amendment to End Slavery in the United States.”  Nathan Perl-Rosenthal received a research fellowship as well for his next book, “Ordering Property: A Global History of Maritime Prize Law, 1498-1916.”  Finally, Bill Deverell and the Institue on California and the West, in collaboration with Scott Fisher in the Cinema School, received a grant for their “Chinatown History Project,” an “augmented reality project” at Union Station, reconstructing the original Chinatown neighborhood that the station was built over.

December 2022

The third installment of the All Souls series is the basis for the final season of “Discovery of Witches,” coming soon to AMC, Sundance Now, and Shudder. A Discovery of Witches: Season 3, AMC+ Drama, 2022 — The Book of Life (Movie Tie-In): A Novel (All Souls Series), (Penguin Randomhouse, 2022).

November 2022

The North American Conference on British History has awarded Keith Pluymers‘s (PhD 2015) No Wood, No Kingdom (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021) the 2022 Ben Snow Prize.

October 2022

Vanessa Schwartz has recently received a major grant for which she will be acting as a co-PI —an international, interdisciplinary, multi-year project directed by Jean-François Staszak, (Geography, University of Geneva). The project, “Globetrotting: Touring Round the World (1869-1914),” was selected for funding of close to one million Swiss Francs by Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (Suisse) (FNRS) for 2023-2026.

Here are more details on the project itself: The project gathers an international and interdisciplinary team to study the rise of globetrotters who made “tours du monde” amateurs and the special role such trips made to the rise of mass tourism (as opposed to exploration, journalism, diplomacy) from the 1870s to 1914. We are especially interested in how new forms of travel and modes of publication and dissemination of both written and visual accounts (stereoscopic photo sets and films) not only re-figured concepts of the planetary but also fostered the development of new written and visual forms and styles.  The team has exclusive access to the archive of one Swiss traveler, which will form the kernel for an exhibition; it includes specialists who study the only non-Western globetrotters of the period from Japan; and accords with the Visual Studies Research Institute’s expertise using commercial images as well as our on-going examination of how images define space, time, and physical and virtual circulation.

September 2022

Jacob Soll has published Free Market: The History of an Idea, (Basic Books, 2022).  Tracing the intellectual evolution of the free market from Cicero to Milton Friedman, Soll argues that we need to go back to the origins of free market ideology in order to understand it—and to develop new economic concepts to face today’s challenges. Congratulations Jake!

Department News Archive

  • Spring

    Bill Deverell reports that the WHH Foundation of Los Angeles has made a year-end gift to support the Institute on California and the West and the Los Angeles Service Academy (LASA), the high school program aimed at teaching young people about Los Angeles infrastructure.

    Aro Velmet was elected to membership in the Estonian Young Academy of Sciences. The EYAS is an organization founded by the Estonian Academy of Sciences that represents young scholars up to the age of 41, and advocates for issues such as research funding, gender equity, interdisciplinary cooperation, science popularization etc.

    Edgardo Pérez Morales has published his second book, Unraveling Abolition: Legal Culture and Slave Emancipation in Colombia (Cambridge University Press, 2022). Centering the Colombian judicial forum as a crucible of antislavery, Pérez Morales reveals how the meanings of slavery, freedom, and political belonging were publicly contested during the anti-Spanish revolutions of the early 1800s. Congratulations Edgardo!

    Christina Davidson’s article“An Organic Union: Theorizing Race, Nation, and Imperialism within the Black Church,” in The Journal of African American History has been published online at

    Bill Deverell reports that the Institute on California and the West received a grant from a family foundation to support work with Indigenous partners in the southern Sierra.

    Wolf Gruner signed a contract with Yale University Press for his book manuscript “’Impudent Jews.’ Forgotten Stories of Individual Jewish Resistance in Hitler’s Germany” to be published in the fall.

    Elizabeth Logan, Associate Director of the Institute on California and the West, is the recipient of a Staff Achievement award from USC Dornsife

    George Sanchez will be participating in a live-streamed conversation with Jim Fallows (former editor of US News and the Atlantic) on Tuesday, February 22 at 1:30 pm PST for one hour that will be on “Examining American Democracy Through the Lens of Place.”  It is organized by the Ten Across Project of ASU, and will be broadcast from the Herald Examiner Building in downtown Los Angeles.

    Marjorie Becker was invited to share parts of her new poetry collection at Beyond Baroque in Venice on March 25. David St. John introduced her reading.  She has also received the cover art for her forthcoming history book, Dancing on the Sun Stone: Mexican Women and the Gendered Politics of Octavio Paz.

    Bill Deverell is joining KCET’s “Lost LA” television series as a Consulting Producer.

    Wolf Gruner gave the Annual Lecture in Memory of Prof. David Bankier at Yad Vashem, International Institute for Holocaust Research, Jerusalem (via Zoom) —in the presence of the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate and Prof. Bankier’s family on 24 February 2022. In connection to the lecture with the title “Hans Oppenheimer and other “impudent Jews”. Stories of Individual Resistance in Nazi Germany”, he held a closed workshop with Israeli graduate students on “Resisting persecution. Jewish Petitions in Nazi Germany.” on 23 February 2022. He also presented an invited paper at the workshop “German Historians in the United States after 1945: Transatlantic Careers and Scholarly Contributions” organized by Karen Hagemann and Konrad H. Jarausch (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), on 4 March 2022 (zoom).

    Sarah Gualtieri delivered the 2022 Women’s History Month Lecture at Rice University. The title of her lecture was, “Women in Early Arab America: Making Communities Across Borders.” See the write up here:

    Joan Piggott is pleased to announce that PhDs and current graduate students of this Department made quite a hit at the recent national meeting of the Association for Asian Studies in Honolulu (3/22-3/25). There were four panels on which our graduates and graduate students participated, and one more of our former students presented an independent research paper.

    The contribution of this department to the study of Japanese history, especially that of premodern Japan, was made very visible by the appearance of so many scholars from a single graduate program at one national meeting. We can all be proud!

    • Dr. Jillian Barndt, PhD 2022, Cressant Foundation Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow, History Department, USC — Panel: Re-Centering Men of Letters in Heian and Edo Japan. Barndt’s paper, “Dedicated to Confucius: Fujiwara no Yorinaga and the Ceremony for Confucius”
    • Dr. Sachiko Kawai, PhD 2015, Assistant Professor, National Museum of Japanese History, Sakura Japan — Panel: Chrysanthemum with Nine Lives, Longevity and Diversity in the Japanese Imperial Institution. Sachiko Kawai examined the creation of the nyoin title as the female equivalent of a retired sovereign in the Heian and Kamakura periods (794-1185).
    • Dr. Nadia Kanagawa, PhD 2021, Assistant Professor, Asian Studies, Fuhrman University — Panel: Chrysanthemum with Nine Lives, Longevity and Diversity in the Japanese Imperial Institution. Nadia Kanagawa considered the effect of a new royal policy on names and titles for immigrants in the late Nara period (710-784) in maintaining rulers’ legitimacy.
    • Dr. Michelle Damian, PhD 2015, Assistant Visiting Professor, Asia Pacific University; from next fall, Department of History, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater — Panel:  Mountains and Seas of Medieval Japan: Commoner Self-Governance and Network Formation in the Peripheries. Damian’s paper, “Administering Maritime Trade at Medieval Ports: The Role of theWarehouse Manager
    • Emily Warren, ABDPhD expected 2023 — Panel: From Kôji to Caramel, Rethinking Japanese History Through Sweetness. Warren’s paper, “Confecting Sweet Hierarchies: Kashi in Medieval Japanese Banquet Culture”
    • Dr. Kristina Buhrman, PhD 2012, Assistant Professor, Florida State University — Research Paper, “Safe as Houses: The Self, Body, and Residence in Classical and Early Medieval Japan”

    Vanessa Schwartz co curated the show, “City of Cinema: Paris, 1850-1907 on exhibition at LACMA until July 10, which was also recently reviewed in the Wall Street Journal. She co-authored the exhibition book, “City of Cinema” published by Delmonico Books to accompany the exhibition.

    Schwartz is currently Terra Visiting Professor at Paris X, where she will be lecturing in March and April, including giving the keynote address, “You can never go back to before”  at a conference on pre-history at the institut national de l’histoire de l’art. She will then go to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where she is a Distinguished Professor and will lecture on a variety of topics related to Visual History.

    Brett Sheehan and Zhu Yingui (Fudan University Shanghai, emeritus) published a chapter in the new Cambridge Economic History of China titled “Financial Institutions and Markets.” Debin Ma and Richard Von Glahn, eds. The Cambridge Economic History of China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022), 280-323.

    Alice Baumgartner’s chapter on the U.S.-Mexican War in the Cambridge History of America and the World (Cambridge University Press) came out this month.

    Wolf Gruner gave together with Dr. Amanda Frost, American University, the 2022 Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Annual Lecture on the topic of “The ‘Citizen Other’: Citizenship Stripping in Nazi Germany and the United States”, organized by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the University of Idaho, 30 March 2022 (zoom).  He also co-organized the international workshop “Knowledge on the Move. Information Networks During and After the Holocaust” with over 20 participants, German Historical Institute Washington/GHI West and USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research, which took place at the University of Southern California, 4-5 April 2022 (in person and zoom).

    Celeste Menchaca won the Kanner Award from the Western Association of Women Historians for her article “Staging Crossings: Policing Intimacy and Performing Respectability at the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1907-1917” published in the Pacific Historical Review. The award is given to honor a book, book chapter, or article that illustrates the use of a specific set of primary sources (diaries, letters, interviews etc.). This is now the second award she has received for the piece. Previously, she was awarded the Jensen-Miller prize for the best article in the field of women and gender in the North American West from the Western Historical Society back in October 2021.

    Carlos Francisco Parra (USC History PhD, 2021) has accepted a position in the inaugural cohort of the University of Arizona President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for 2022-2024. The UA President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship is a new research and faculty mentoring program aimed at recruiting potential new faculty to the University whose research, teaching, and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity. Carlos will work on his book project on Spanish-language TV in Los Angeles as a Postdoctoral Fellow at his undergraduate alma mater.

    George Sánchez presented the S.T. Lee Lecture for the Department of History at Columbia University in New York on April 21, 2022.  It was titled “Re-Establishing Local Democracy Beyond Citizenship in Los Angeles in the Late 20th Century.”

  • Spring

    Alice Baumgartner published an article, “The Massacre at Gracias a Dios: Mobility and Violence on the Lower Rio Grande, 1821–1856,” in the Winter 2021 issue of the Western Historical Quarterly.

    Alice also won the 2021 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians award for a first book in any field of history that does not focus on the history of women, gender, and/or sexuality for her book, South to Freedom (Basic Books, 2020). Congratulations Alice!

    One of Marjorie Becker’s poems was named Finalist in the Joy Harjo poetry contest.  Becker just taught Harjo’s own prize winning collection of poetry revealing elements of American indigenous people’s historical experiences in Approaches to History.  Becker’s poem is entitled, “The Inner Utter Other Ways to Stay, to Splay, to Rearrange the Silk and its Eternities in Satin and Survival Lust When Dozing There and Then Recall the Sense of Scenery, the Nonchalance Required to Cook, to Clean, to Beckon, Reckon, Say Amen, Amen to Men Beginning There and Then to Sense How Women Made it, Make it Still within the World of Happenstance and Brilliant Strokes upon the Riled-up Piano Keys of Being.”

    Marjorie Becker is delighted to learn that in a new History and Theory volume focusing on “Theorizing Race, Past and Present,” her article, “Talking Back to Frida: Houses of Emotional Mestizaje” is to be included.

    Lisa Bitel was given an NEH fellowship for next AY to work on her sixth monograph: Unseen: The Christianization of the European Supernatural.

    Phil Ethington and Bill Deverell have teamed-up with researchers from USC’s Spatial Sciences Institute, California State University Long Beach, CSU Los Angeles, CSU Northridge, University of California Los Angeles, and just won a (second) 2-year research grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, to reconstruct the first-ever 3-dimensional model of historical ecology and landscapes of the Los Angeles Basin, at the neighborhood scale (10-100 meter resolution). The team’s goal over the two-year project (2021-2022) is to synthesize Indigenous knowledge, historical topographic data; indicator wildlife species; cultural archives; and historical aerial photography, into a first-ever “model” of the historical landscape: the landforms, hydrology, potential natural vegetation, human and non-human animal habitation of the Los Angeles Basin prior to urbanization.  This project is unique because a commonly shared, detailed map of the historical ecology—the flora, fauna, hydrology and landforms, that evolved within Southern California’s Mediterranean climate over millennia and supported human populations for 9,000 years, has never been developed. Having such a resource is vital to all regional and local planning efforts involving sustainability, habitat restoration, and preparing for climate change. This project is also unique also because four of its Co-Principal Investigators are members of the LA Basin’s Indigenous communities (Tongva, Tataviam, and Chumash).  This project builds on another Haynes Foundation-funded project just concluded in June 2020, which mapped the pre-urban habitat estimation for the entire LA River and Watershed at a 1 kilometer resolution. See for maps, reports, and more information about both projects.

    Anne Goldgar co-edited a book, with Inger Leemans at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam that was published on Dec. 31st: Global Knowledge Societies as Affective Economies (Routledge, 2020). In it, Goldgar has co-written the introduction and also has an article, “Marketing Arctic knowledge: observation, publication, and affect in the 1630s.”

    Wolf Gruner co-authored an amici brief for the U.S. Supreme Court (hearing Dec. 7, 2020) related to the issue of Holocaust restitution. The BRIEF AMICI CURIAE OF HOLOCAUST AND NUREMBERG HISTORIANS IN SUPPORT OF NEITHER PARTY for The Supreme Court of the United States: Federal Republic of Germany, et al., Petitioner, v. Alan Philipp, et al., was co-authored with Peter Hayes, Northwestern University, Omer Bartov, Brown University, Debórah Dwork, CUNY Graduate Center, Claudia Koonz, Duke University, Dan Michman, Yad Vashem, Jonathan Petropoulos, Claremont-McKenna College, Nikolaus Wachsmann, Birkbeck College, University of London.

    Wolf Gruner was invited to participate in the international exploratory workshop “Jewish Refugees in Global Transit. Spaces – Temporalities – Interactions”, organized by the German historical Institute Washington, which took place on December 9-10, 2020.

    The Institute on California and the West has received a $10,000 grant from the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies to help support collaborations with Indigenous partners involved with cultural burning projects in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    Maya Maskarinec’s article, “Nuns as Sponsae Christi: The Legal Status of the Medieval Oblates of Tor de’ Specchi,” has been published in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History. A book chapter, “Clinging to Empire in Jordanes’ Romana,” has appeared in Historiographies of Identity, vol. 2: Post-Roman Multiplicity and New Political Identities, ed. Gerda Heydemann and Helmut Reimitz.

    Earlier this month, Jake Soll wrote a piece on the fate of conservatism for the New Republic, found here:

    Marjorie Becker has been invited to three poetry readings celebrating her new poetry collection, The Macon Sex School: Songs of Tenderness and Resistance (with an introduction by David St. John.)

    Bill Deverell has published Kathy Fiscus: A Tragedy That Transfixed the Nation with Angel City Press.

    Wolf Gruner gave an invited public lecture “Defiance and Protest. Forgotten individual Jewish resistance in Nazi Germany” at the Wiener Library, London, 12 January 2021 (live stream via Zoom). He also was invited to the Casden Conversation on Holocaust Remembrance day to talk about his book manuscript “Impudent Jews. Forgotten individual Jewish Resistance in Nazi Germany” with Steve Ross, USC Casden Institute, 27 January 2021.

    Peter Mancall’s book, The Trials of Thomas Morton: An Anglican Lawyer, His Puritan Foes, and the Battle for New Englandreceived a nice write-up in the New York Review of Books:

    Steve Ross was in conversation with Wolf Gruner to discuss his new work “Impudent Jews: Forgotten Individual Jewish Resistance in Nazi Germany” as part of the USC Casden Institute’s honoring International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.  Early that week, TIME Magazine published an interview with Steve: “‘Hate Never Disappears: It Just Takes a Break for a While’: Why the U.S. Capitol Attack Makes Holocaust Remembrance Day More Important Than Ever,”

    Jay Rubenstein gave the opening spring lecture in the Fordham Medieval Studies lectures series on “Alexander the Minorite’s Commentary on Revelation: Crusade and Prophecy in the Time of Frederick II.”

    Laura Isabel Serna’s student in Cinema and Media Studies, Peter Labuza, received the 2021 Dissertation Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. The dissertation is titled, “When a Handshake Meant Something: Lawyers, Deal Making and the Emergence of New Hollywood.” He is also a finalist for the Herman E. Krooss Prize for the best dissertation in Business History, awarded by the Business History Conference. Steve Ross was also on Peter’s committee.

    Alice Baumgartner’s book South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to the Civil War was just named a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize in History.

    For what seems like the jillionth year, Marjorie Becker is serving on the Charlotte Newcombe advanced advisory dissertation fellowship committee.  She continues to do this, because she remembers how meaningful a dissertation fellowship focusing on ethics and values was to her when she received it years ago, and she continues to do it, because, apparently, she feels committed to punishable good deeds.  Indeed, her efforts to retire from this committee work have come to naught, so far.

    In addition, Marjorie Becker participated in the inaugural reading of her new poetry collection, The Macon Sex School: Songs of Tenderness and Resistance.  As this was a Zoom event, audience members came from across the country and from Mexico.

    Anne Goldgar’s article “Learning to Perform in Early Modern Art Collections” has just been published online by the Journal of the History of Collections. It forms part of a special issue she co-edited with Miles Ogborn, Early Modern Collections in Use, which is appearing online now and will be published in hard copy as the third issue of the journal this year. Goldgar also co-wrote the introduction. The special issue originated as a conference at the Huntington she co-organized. It also includes an article by Daniela Bleichmar, “The Cabinet and the World: Non-European Objects in Early Modern European Collections,” which has also been published online.

    Benjamin Uchiyama’s
     article, “The ‘Oh, Mistake’ Incident and Juvenile Delinquency in Defeated Japan,” has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Contemporary History. He would like to thank the history workshop organized by Aro Velmet and Alaina Morgan, Paul Lerner, Brett Sheehan, Jason Glenn, Wolf Gruner, Nathan Perl-Rosenthal, and especially Steve Ross for all of their helpful suggestions and feedback.

    Wolf Gruner gave an invited (virtual) public lecture “Defiance and Protest: Forgotten Acts of Individual Jewish Resistance in Nazi Germany,” for The Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre and The Base on 9 March 2021. He was interviewed about the topic before the event by Charisse Zeifert for Chai FM radio Johannesburg on 23February 2021. He gave an invited talk about new research on the Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia at the (Virtual) 25th Annual Conference Western Jewish Studies Association, University of Nevada Las Vegas, on March 14 2021 (postponed from March 2020).

    Maya Maskarinec’s article, “A Question of Tradition: Catholic Reformers on Gregory the Great’s Beard,” has been published in the The Sixteenth Century Journal.

    The exhibit that Francille Wilson co-curated at the Natural History Museum is finally open.  Rise Up LA: A Century of Votes for Women will be on exhibit at the museum in Expo Park until October 10, 2021.

    Nathan Perl-Rosenthal was awarded a fellowship at Princeton’s Davis Center for Historical Studies in Spring 2022 to complete his book project, “Generation Revolution: Political Lives in a Revolutionary Age, 1760-1825.”

    Nathan Perl-Rosenthal published “New Kingdoms,” a review of Sujit Sivasundaram’s Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire in the Wall Street Journal (April 9, 2021)

    Laura Isabel Serna published this short dérivée, “Mapping Film Traffic” about the geographic imagination of the film trade press from 1908-1947, in Post 45’s recent contemporaries cluster “New Filmic Geographies.”


    Stanford University Press invited Marjorie Becker to assess a multi-genre manuscript. It was far out of her field, but Stanford said they asked her because of her expertise in the marriage between history and literature, and because of the well-known international importance of Rethinking History.

    Anne Goldgar co-edited, along with Marisa Anne Bass, Claudia Swan, and Hanneke Grootenboer, a volume of essays called Conchophilia: Shells, Art, and Curiosity in Early Modern Europe, which appeared this month from Princeton University Press, and in which she wrote the first chapter, “For the Love of Shells.”

    Recently, Wolf Gruner was invited by Miller Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Vermont to give the annual Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture in October 2021 and by the Journal of Holocaust Studies to participate in a forum on Dirk Moses’ new book The Problems of Genocide.  With his center for Advanced Genocide Research, he collaborates on an interdisciplinary research project to locate and identify the “Last Pictures: The Deportations of Jews and Romani People in Nazi Germany.” The joint project with Arolsen Archives, Technical University Berlin and City Archives Munich (all in Germany) was just funded by the German foundation “Stiftung Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft” for its first phase of 14 months with 720,000 Euro.

    In June, Gruner gave a paper “This Thug Hitler!” Defiance and Protest of Jewish Women in Nazi Germany at the zoom conference “Heroines of the Holocaust: Frameworks of Resistance” at the Wagner College Holocaust Center, and in May, on “Impudent Jews in Nazi Germany” for the project “Making history alive” for high school students in San Diego, Cottbus (Germany) and Teplice (Czech Republic).

    Maya Maskarinec’s article, “Monastic Archives and the Law: Legal Strategies at Farfa and Monte Amiata at the Turn of the Millennium,” has been published in the journal Early Medieval Europe.

    Ketaki Pant’s article, “A Poet’s Ocean: Merchants and Imagination across Indian Ocean Gujarat,” has been published in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. Her essay “The Vernacular Language of Racial Capitalism: The Politics of Gujarati in Colonial Mauritius” is forthcoming in The Routledge Handbook on Asian Transnationalism.

    Aro Velmet’s book, Pasteur’s Empire, was named honorable mention for the French Colonial Historical Society’s Alf Andrew Heggoy’s Book Award.  Velmet also curated an urban tour of the factory town of Sindi in Estonia. The tour features an audio guide and nine stops in a textile factory town from the 1830s, looking at utopias of urban modernity in the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and contemporary Estonia. The tour will become a permanent feature of Sindi’s urban landscape.

    In addition, Velmet won a public tender and was named the lead researcher on a €80,000 project for recording oral interviews with developers, entrepreneurs, politicians and researches, who built the Estonian e-state in the 1990s and 2000s. The project is financed by the European Commission, and the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication.

    Ben Uchiyama’s book, Japan’s Carnival War: Mass Culture on the Home Front, 1937-1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2019) was shortlisted for the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) 2021 Book Prize – Best Book in the Humanities.  In addition, he has been serving as historical consultant for the Apple TV dramatization of the novel Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. The story traces the story of a Korean family during the colonial era and their later life in Japan.

    Uchiyama was also interviewed by Jan Thompson and Alec Baldwin for a podcast about Ben Steele, survivor of the Bataan Death March. It was very nerve-wracking, and Uchiyama was scared he would embarrass himself in front of Alec Baldwin and not be able to watch 30 Rock on Netflix ever again because of the memories it would trigger. He thinks it went okay though he gave rambling, disjointed responses. Alec Baldwin was very nice and, actually, really smart and asked good questions. Uchiyama mentioned that Curtis LeMay once said that “There are no civilians in Japan” while directing the firebombing of Tokyo in 1945. Alec said “There are No Civilians” should be the title of Uchiyama’s next book and that he would write the forward. So that may well be Uchiyama’s next project in order to get Alec Baldwin’s forward. In conclusion, this was a stressful and traumatizing experience.

    Bill Deverell is pleased to report that the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, a state environmental agency, has approved a $282,000 grant to the Institute on California and the West to sponsor a series of three prescribed forest fire burn events in the Southern Sierra Nevada with tribal and other partners sometime in the winter of 2021-2022.

    Steve Ross lectured on “The War Against Hate: American Jewish Resistance to Anti-Semitism and White Supremacy After 1945,”at the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy at Oxford Summer Institute on Global Anti-Semitism, Oxford, England (virtual), Aug. 3, 2021.  Steve will be in conversation with Francois Forster-Hahn to discuss “Käthe Kollwitz in Los Angeles: Nazi Spies and Jewish Defiance,” Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Sept. 23, 2021.

    Alice Baumgartner’s book, South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to the Civil War, was awarded the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize from Phi Beta Kappa and the Willie Lee Rose Prize from the Southern Association for Women Historians.

    Wolf Gruner presented an invited paper (co-written with Aline Bothe, Free University Berlin) on “Das USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive und die Herausforderung digitaler Quellen für die Forschung (How digital sources challenge historical research- the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive” at the workshop “Zeithistorische Portale und digitale Sammlungen – Zu den Herausforderungen historischer Erkenntnis durch die Digital Humanities (Contemporary History Portals and Digital Collections – Digital Humanities Challenges for Historical Inquiry)” (original dates 14/15 June 2021, postponed to 28 and 29 September 2021) organized by the University Wuppertal and the University Jena, Germany.

    Sarah M.A. Gualtieri’s book, Arab Routes: Pathways to the Syrian Pacific (Stanford UP, 2020) has received the Arab American Book Award for 2021 (in the non-fiction category). The award is named after Evelyn Shakir, a feminist Arab American writer and activist. See

    Gualtieri’s book has just been reviewed in the American Historical Review. See The American Historical Review, Volume 126, Issue 2, June 2021, Pages 838–839,

    Gualtieri has also been selected as a “Distinguished Scholar” by the National Archives for an 18 month fellowship. She will be working with a team, led by MacArthur Fellow, Ibram X. Kendi, and Alice Kamps, curator at the National Archives. The project is titled Created (Un)Equal and explores the history and ongoing effects of racial distinctions in law, policy and in institutions. The work of the group will culminate in a major exhibition at the National Archives Museum in March 2024.

    Steve Ross appeared on John Horn’s radio program, “The Frame,” discussing the history of the IATSE and the looming Hollywood strike. The Casden Institute held its first of a two part series on Oct. 3, “Deadlock in Israel-Palestine: How to Imagine a Better Future.” A second discussion will be held on Dec. 5 at 11am.

    Jay Rubenstein has published a co-edited volume with Cecilia Gaposchkin of Dartmouth: Political Ritual and Practice in Capetian France Studies in Honour of Elizabeth A. R. Brown (Brepols: 2021)

    Vanessa Schwartz attended the opening of the show, “Enfin le cinéma” at the Musée d’Orsay, a show for which she served as a curator. It is open in Paris until mid-January and moves to LACMA, where it is called, “City of Cinema: Paris, 1850-1907.” She also has two essays in the French exhibition catalogue.

    Alice Baumgartner’s book, South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to the Civil War, won the Caughey Award from the Western History Association for the “most distinguished book on the history of the American West.”

    Marjorie Becker has completed her forthcoming, Dancing on the Sun Stone: Mexican Women and the Gendered Politics of Octavio Paz.  She also has learned that her recent poetry collection, The Macon Sex School: Songs of Tenderness and Resistance, has sold out. She has been invited to present some of the poems at Beyond Baroque next March.  And some of the poems from The Macon Sex School have been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize.

    Wolf Gruner published the book chapter: “Judenverfolgung und Euthanasie. Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede im NS-Staat (The Persecution of the Jews and Euthanasia. Similarities and Differences in the Nazi state“, in: Jan-Erik Schulte/Jörg Osterloh (eds.),”Euthanasie” und Holocaust. Kontinuitäten, Kausalitäten, Parallelitäten, Paderborn: Brill-Schöningh 2021, pp. 83-109. He gave the public 2021 Annual Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture on “ Impudent Jews. Forgotten stories of Jewish Resistance in Hitler’s Germany” at the Miller Center for Holocaust Studies and a guest lecture in a graduate class on “Nazism and fascism”, both at the University of Vermont, Burlington, on 12 and 13 October 2021. He was recently reappointed as a member of the academic committee of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    Maya Maskarinec’s article “Citation of Law as a Legal Argument in an early eleventh-century breve from Farfa,” has been published in the journal Reti Medievali 22.2:

    Steve Ross’s comments on the current IATSE negotiations and below-the-line discontent with the proposed contract appeared in the Los Angles TimesHollywood Reporter, and All Things Considered.  Steve was just selected as USC’s senior candidate for the 2020 Andrew Carnegie Fellows competition.

    Vanessa R. Schwartz recently appeared in the documentary “L’oeil, Le pinceau et le Cinématographe” on Arte in France and Germany.  She also was the keynote speaker at the Film Forum 2021 Conference: On Cinema, Media and Mobility held in Udine, Italy: In addition, she spoke about Disneyland at Rochester Institute of Technology.

    Schwartz was the keynote conference summary speaker in Cologne  for the conference Periodicals as/in Media Constellations: International Conference of the DFG-Research Unit “Journal Literature” 25.−27. November 2021, University of Cologne, where USC scholars Megan Luke (Art History) and Jonathan Dentler (PhD, History, VSGC, now Terra Foundation post-doc in Paris) also spoke.

    She visited Marburg University for a week as the Mercator Senior Fellow and lectured on the Jet Age.  Schwartz will speak in Paris about early cinema at a colloquium in connection with the Musée d’Orsay exhibition, Enfin Le Cinéma in December at the Fondation Pathé-Seydoux.

  • Spring

    Marjorie Becker is delighted that her Yale mentors, Steve Stern and Florencia Mallon travelled from Madison, Wisconsin to Santa Monica in part to congratulate her on her on her manuscript, “Dancing on the Sun Stone: Mexican Women and the Gendered Politics of Octavio Paz.”  She has known and worked with them from her first year as a grad student at Yale; they have worked together on peasant and state, gender and hegemony in an array of places and during numerous time-scapes.  She is also delighted that one of her recent poems was published by the Bellingham Review, that she was interviewed by the editors about her writing. That interview has emerged as an on-line “Contributor Spotlight.”

    Wolf Gruner presented an invited paper on the mass destruction of Jewish homes as part of a panel on Kristallnacht at the Association for Jewish Studies annual conference in San Diego on 15 December 2019. As member of the scientific committee, he helped to prepare the Prague Visual History and Digital Humanities Conference, which will take place in Prague — 27–28 January, 2020.

    Aro Velmet’s monograph, Pasteur’s Empire: Bacteriology and Politics in France, Its Colonies, and the World was published by Oxford University Press in January. It is currently available electronically and via pre-order. The monograph has been contracted for Estonian translation by Tallinn University Press (2021). He gave a pre-publication talk about the book at the Estonian National Art Museum in December, as a part of a series of talks accompanying Lisa Reihana’s exhibit “In Pursuit of Venus [infected]”.

    Velmet also completed work on a project he co-initiated and advised since 2018. The project “Gender-based and sexual misconduct at Estonian universities” was funded by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, and by Universities Estonia, managed by the Federation of Estonian Student Unions, and carried out by the Center for Applied Anthropology of Estonia and by the Social Science Applied Research Center. It is the first study in Estonia to survey misconduct at universities. The results of study were predictably depressing.

    Richard Antaramian has been awarded the in-residence Kingdon Fellowship at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for the 2020-21 academic year.

    Lois Banner, Professor Emerita, has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the USC Alumni Association.

    Marjorie Becker again served the Woodrow Wilson Foundation as a judge in the Charlotte Newcombe Fellowship competition. She received this award her last year in graduate school at Yale, and recognizes the importance of awards supporting work on ethics and values.  In addition, her fourth poetry collection, entitled, “The Macon Sex School” has been accepted for publication.

    Wolf Gruner published an article in German about the Evian conference on Jewish refugees in 1938 and its impact on Nazi policies against the German and Austrian Jews in: Jahrbuch für Antisemitismusforschung, 28 (2019). pp. 15-37.

    Maya Maskarinec has received a 2020 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship for her project “Domesticating Saints in Medieval and Early Modern Rome.”

    Nathan Perl-Rosenthal has received a courtesy appointment in the Law School; he is now Associate Professor of History, Spatial Sciences, and Law.  He has been appointed to a three year term on the Publications Committee of the American Society for Legal History.

    Steve Ross has been awarded the USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research.

    Vanessa R. Schwartz’s book, Jet Age Aesthetic: The Glamour of Media in Motion has been published by Yale UP. She will be celebrating its launch at the College Art Association Meeting in Chicago, and will be speaking at Princeton this month. Next month she will speak at Northwestern, the Co-op Bookstore in Chicago with WJT Mitchell, at U Penn, at the NY Public Library, in conversation with Jed Perl, and at Skylight Books in LA in May with LACMA curator Britt Salvesen.

    Ben Uchiyama received a grant from The Northeast Asia Council (NEAC) of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS), with the support of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC), to help support Japan in the Long 1940s: A New History workshop, to be held on April 3, 2020 at the University of Southern California, University Park Campus, Los Angeles, CA.

    Wolf Gruner delivered the Invited Keynote (Michael and Elaine Jaffe Lecture) on the topic of individual Jewish resistance in Nazi Germany at the 50th Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust at the Churches, University of Texas-Dallas, March 7-10, 2020.

    George Sanchez became President of the Organization of American Historians (OAH) this past weekend, as the Executive Committee of the OAH met virtually to discuss a plan forward given the cancellation of the OAH annual meeting in Washington DC.

    Richard Antaramian has been awarded a Fulbright (U.S. Scholars Program) for research in Armenian during summers 2021 and 2022.

    Phil Ethington, whose research energies have been focused on finishing his global-regional history of Los Angeles, published his first new article in years: “Of Boundaries, Places, and Situations,” an extended review of Thomas F. Gieryn’s Truth Spots: How Places Make People Believe (Chicago: 2018), in History and Theory 59:1 (March 2020): 103-127.

    Society of Fellows postdoc Ashanti Shih’s dissertation, “Invasive Ecologies: Science and Settler Colonialism in Twentieth Century Hawai’i” (Yale 2019), has recently received two awards. It won the 2020 Rachel Carson prize for Best Dissertation in Environmental History from the American Society for Environmental History, as well as Yale University’s Edwin W. Small Prize, awarded for outstanding work in the field of American History. Two great and well deserved honors for a terrific scholar!


    Marjorie Becker’s article, “You grabbed me as though you owned me, but I’m here to say you’re wrong: a letter to one of the Zamora sexual assailants” has come out on Rethinking History on line, and her new poetry collection, “The Macon Sex School: Songs of Tenderness and Resistance” with an introduction by David St. John will be coming out in September. In addition, Becker was invited to serve on a more prestigious version of the Princeton Charlotte Newcombe fellowship committee that she has served on for years, and she was invited to write an encyclopedia article about Frida Kahlo.

    Wolf Gruner coedited with Thomas Pegelow-Kaplan the volume  Resisting Persecution. Jews and Their Petitions during the Holocaust, New York: Berghahn Books, which was published in June 2020. He coauthored the introduction and conclusion and authored one chapter “To not live as a Pariah … Jewish Petitions as Individual and Collective Protest against Nazi Persecution in the Greater German Reich.”

    Joan Piggott is proud to announce that the Project for Premodern Japan Studies has had a great summer, even while members were quarantined in Tokyo, Osaka, Tampa, on the east coast, and in Los Angeles. Every Friday we have enjoyed the pleasure of meeting from 4 to 6 PM, LA time, to discuss a host of topics proposed by our members, graduated PhDs as well as current graduate students and research affiliates. In other words, we found a way to communicate globally despite the pandemic. It has been a great experience, even as we have regretted having to forego our usual month-long source-reading workshop (the Kambun Workshop) this summer. We hope we can conduct the workshop next summer. What is clear, however, is that we will continue our Friday Conversations into the new academic year. They have succeeded in making us feel much less isolated personally and intellectually, while introducing us to new issues and methodologies that are enlivening our minds, research, and teaching.

    Piggott has spent much of this summer readying new materials in East Asian legal history for teaching undergraduates at USC and elsewhere, with the specific objective of expanding interest in premodern Japan to those wishing to learn about law and judicial practices in East Asia. The results are being posted on the PPJS website <> under Resources, Law. Many of the texts and documents from a well-regarded text, Murakami Kazuhiro and Nishimura Yasuhiro eds. Shiryô de yomu Nihon hôshi  (Reading the History of Japan’s Law through Historical Sources), have been translated, with introductions and annotation, and posted online on the PPJS website. The project has also opened a new scholarly exchange with a leading institution in Kyoto, Doshisha University. The PPJS East Asian Law Research Group, made up of graduate students and faculty from around the world, will continue translating and annotating more sources and materials through the fall semester for History 377, the History of East Asian Law, to be taught again this spring in our Law, History and Culture program. To our knowledge, it is the only course on premodern East Asian law being taught in the U.S. Happily, it draws a new audience of students and researchers to the study of premodern Japan and China.

    Piggott has also been working as the U.S. Director of the Historiographical Glossary Project (HGP), based at Tokyo University, overseeing translation and annotation of other fundamental sources for the study of Japanese law. This summer, after two full years of solitary work followed by bilingual meetings in Tokyo to finalize each member’s contributions, we have completed 40 out of 150 clauses from the Sata Mirensho, a handbook of judicial protocols from the early 14th century. The work is being posted on the PPJS website this week. Eventually it will be published in book format, together with our work on the legal history text noted above.

    Marjorie Becker has signed a contract for her book manuscript Dancing on the Sun Stone: Mexican Women and the Gendered Politics of Octavio Paz, with the University of New Mexico Press.

    Wolf Gruner and his coeditor Thomas Pegelow Kaplan were invited by the Association of Holocaust Organizations to introduce their members to their new book “Resisting Persecution. Jews and Their Petitions during the Holocaust (Berghahn Books 2020)”. In this online webinar, hosted by the USC Shoah Foundation, they presented the main results of the research on Jewish petitions as an overlooked tool of contestation in Nazi Germany and several occupied or allied countries. Both coeditors were also interviewed on this book for a podcast by Kelly McFall (Newman University): New Books in Genocide Studies.

    George Sanchez recently co-edited a special issue of the Journal of American Ethnic History 39:4 (Summer 2020) with USC Ph.D. graduate Ana Elizabeth Rosas (& UC Irvine associate professor) titled “Undocumented Histories: Generative Approaches to Undocumented Immigrant Experiences and Immigration Histories.”  His essay in this volume is titled, “A Community Decides Who Belongs: Local Democracy and Incorporating the Undocumented in Boyle Heights, 1970s-1990s.”  Featured essays in this volume include one by recent USC faculty addition Celeste R. Menchaca, and recent Ph.D. graduate David-James Gonzales.

    Wolf Gruner published “My unorthodox path. Toward integrative, interdisciplinary, and comparative Holocaust studies” in the edited volume Advancing Holocaust Studies (ed. and introd. by Carol Rittner and John K. Roth, New York: Routledge). He was invited to participate in a conference and book project by Karen Hagemann and Konrad H. Jarausch (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), titled ”German Historians in the United States: Transatlantic Careers and Scholarly Contributions”. He was also invited to participate in an interdisciplinary workshop at the University of Wuppertal, Germany to discuss historical research, web portals and digital collections. Both will happen in early summer 2021. He also gave two guest lectures at the University of Virginia for Gabi Finder’s Holocaust class in September 2020.

    2016 Ph.D. graduate Alicia Gutierrez-Romine has had her book published, From Back Alley to the Border: Criminal Abortion in California, 1920-1969 (University of Nebraska Press, 2020).  Alicia is an assistant professor of history at La Sierra University.

    Laura Isabel Serna published a research note in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, “Material Culture and the Affective Dimensions of Chicana/o History” that offers a model for how to use material culture to tell the history, especially the history of emotions, of immigrant communities in the United States.

    Nathan Perl-Rosenthal had several public-facing publications in the past few months.  His review of books by Martha Jones and Jean-Frédéric Schaub about race and citizenship appeared in The Nation.  A review of a new biography of Toussaint Louverture appeared in The Wall Street Journal.  And just last week he appeared as the on-camera expert for a TV program about American independence on Franco-German culture channel ARTE  (link is here: the program is free but you need to use a VPN located in France or Germany to view it).

    Out last month is A World at Sea: Maritime Practices and Global History (Penn Press, 2020), co-edited by Lauren Benton and Nathan Perl-Rosenthal.  The collection of essays, based in part on a 2016 conference Perl-Rosenthal organized under the auspices of the USC-Huntington EMSI, “consists of nine original essays that sharpen and expand our understanding of practices and processes across the land-sea divide and the way they influenced global change. … Maritime history, the contributors show, matters because the oceans were key sites of experimentation, innovation, and disruption that reflected and sparked wide-ranging global change” (jacket copy).   

    Steve Ross was just named a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy.  He has just signed a deal with Bloomsbury Press to publish his next book, The War Against Hate: American Resistance to Anti-Semitism and White Surpemacy After 1945. Steve recently commented on the impact of celebrity endorsements on the presidential campaign. “Do celebrity political endorsements make a difference?

    Jake Soll published “For a New Economic History of Early Modern Empire: Anglo-French Imperial Codevelopment beyond Mercantilism and Laissez-Faire” in the October, 2020 Special Issue of William and Mary Quarterly that came from the Martens Economic History Forum two years ago.

    Aro Velmet published an article in the latest issue of French Historical Studies, titled “In the Image of Pasteur: Capitalism, Empire, and the Scientific Ethos in French Microbiology, 1890–1940.

    Velmet also presented his book, Pasteur’s Empire: Bacteriology and Politics in France, Its Colonies, and the World to audiences at The George Washington University, USC’s Levan Institute, and Tallinn University. He will be presenting research from the book at the Modern French History Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research on Nov 16.

    In September, Velmet presented research he co-authored on “Gender-based and sexual harassment in Estonian higher education” to the Council on Gender Equality of the Estonian Government. He has been invited to participate in a working group convened by the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Education, and Universities Estonia tasked with developing a uniform set of guidelines for monitoring and preventing gender-based and sexual harassment in higher education, to be presented to the Estonian Government and social partners in March of 2021.

    The Institute on California and the West’s webinar featuring Alice Baumgartner and Albert Broussard discussing her book, South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to the Civil War, will be broadcast on C-SPAN on December 13. Here is the link to the video that will be broadcast:

    Wolf Gruner co-presented together with Steve Ross on “Kristallnacht and its Ambiguous Legacy: Nazis and Jewish Resistors in Germany and Los Angeles” at the University of Hawai‘i-Manoa School of Communications on November 8th. Gruner delivered a commemorative Keynote lecture about the overlooked destruction of Jewish homes during the Nazi pogrom 1938 for the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest Consortium for Holocaust and Genocide Education and Research on November 9th. Gruner also gave the keynote address at the commemoration of Kristallnacht organized by the Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centers in South Africa, which was live streamed with over 230 attendees on 10 November. On 16 November, he gave the 2020 Annual Toby & Saul Reichert Holocaust Lecture at the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies at the University of Alberta.

    Sarah Gualtieri has been promoted to full professor. Her book Arab Routes won the Alixa Naff Prize in Migration Studies, which “recognizes outstanding scholarly studies from any discipline focusing on Middle East migration, refugees and diasporas.” The link to the announcement is here:
    In addition, Gualtieri gave the keynote address at the 3er Encuentro Internacionalistas Universitarixs at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México on Dec. 2

    Steve Ross has been appointed Dean’s Professor of History effective November 1, 2020.

    Ramzi Rouighi has been promoted to full professor. Congratulations Ramzi!

    Jake Soll’s article, “Can America Benefit from Covid? Ask 14th-Century Florence” in Politico went viral. (  Soll also has received a one-year sabbatical grant from the Kazarian Foundation for his next book.

  • Spring

    Rosina Lozano, who earned her PhD in our department in 2011, has received the Princeton University chapter of Phi Beta Kappa award for excellence in undergraduate teaching.  Read more here.

    Dan Sherer, who earned his PhD in our department in 2017, has accepted a tenure-track position in the Asian Studies Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He will begin this fall.  Congratulations Dan!

    Wolf Gruner co-organized the international conference “Future of Testimony” with Western Galilee College and Appalachian State University in Akko, Israel, March 11-13, 2019. He presented a paper by invitation at the “Advancing Holocaust Studies” seminar, organized by John Roth and Carol Rittner, as a preparation for a publication at The Mercy Conference and Retreat Center in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 24-26, 2019.

    Gruner also published an article in Hebrew with the semi-public journal: “Jewish and Non-Jewish Reactions to Persecution and Violence before and during the Novemberpogrom 1938 ” ,Bishvil Hazikaron (Legacy), Journal of the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem, Vol. 31 (December 2018), pp. 20 – 28.

    Steve Ross’ Hitler in Los Angeles was featured in the New York Times Book Review “Paperback Row” column on April 7, 2019.  The just released paperback edition debuted at #14 on the LA Times paperback bestseller list.  Steve was also a co-sponsor and moderator at a recently organized day-long conference discussing “Reframing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.”

    Ben Uchiyama’s book, Japan’s Carnival War: Mass Culture on the Home Front, 1937-1945, has been published by Cambridge University Press.  The book will also be translated into Japanese and published in Japan by Misuzu Shobo.

    Marjorie Becker was interviewed by the Hollywood Weekly about the movie “Roma.”  She is grateful that because of her array of Mexican friends and comrades, during part of her initial Mexican historical research into revolution, hegemony, gender and time, she lived in the Roma section of Mexico City.  She is also grateful to learn that an array of poetry journals have accepted 11 of her new poems and that her “Music, Such Sudden Music: When Mexican Women Altered Space in Time” is on line.

    Daniela Bleichmar and Vanessa Schwartz’s special issue of Representations (145), “Visual History: The Past in Pictures,” with an essay by the same title by the co-editors has been published. The issue is being exceptionally made available for free download for a year. It also includes essays by Randall Meissen, History doctoral candidate and Aaron Rich, cinema doctoral candidate, both of whom completed the Visual Studies Certificate.

    Wolf Gruner was invited to give a public evening lecture on individual Jewish Resistance at UC San Diego for their Holocaust Living History Workshop Program on February 27th, 2019. He was also invited to co-teach with Victoria Sanford (New York) a weeklong seminar in Spanish on Holocaust and Genocide studies for university professors from Latin American countries in Mexico City. The event will be organized by the US Holocaust Museum, Washington DC, and the Museo de Tolerancia Mexico, DF and will take place June 17-21, 2019.

    Sarah Gualtieri was interviewed recently by KPCC journalist Leslie Berestein Rojas for a story on advocacy around a Middle East and North African category on the 2020 Census. See “Are we White: SoCal’s Arab Americans Debate which Box to Check on the Census.”

    She was also a featured panelist at the University of Illinois, Chicago’s International Women’s Day Symposium on March 4, 2019 entitled “And Still We Rise: Resistance, Activism, and Solidarity.”

    Sarah Gualtieri’s book, Arab Routes: Pathways to Syrian California, has just gone into production with Stanford University Press with an anticipated Fall 2019 release.

    Vanessa Schwartz has organized a round table at the Oxford conference on Photobooks. She will be giving a paper about Time-Life Books.  Other VSRI participants in the event include Nadya Bair, currently a Getty-ACLS post doc, Steven Samols, in History and Jason Hill, now an Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Delaware.  In addition, Vanessa Schwartz has been invited to participate in June as a member of the Todi Circle, an invitation-only gathering of photography curators, dealers, artists and scholars in a castle in Todi in Umbria to exchange regarding photographic projects.

    Karin Amundsen has been named as the Omohundro Institute 2019-2021 OI-NEH Postdoctoral Fellow.  Congratulations Karin!

    Wolf Gruner published the article: “The Twisted Path of Holocaust & Genocide Studies. Potential Avenues of Comparison with the 1937/38 Nanjing Atrocities” (in Chinese) in the Journal of Japanese Invasion of China and Nanjing Massacre, issue No 1 of 2019.

    Kyung Moon Hwang’s new book, Past Forward: Essays in Korean History, has been published by Anthem Press (UK).

    Steve Ross’s Hitler in Los Angeles made it to #13 on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller list for the week of January 27, 2019.  This was its 16th week on the bestseller list.  Hitler in Los Angeles is also being translated into Chinese.  Also, Steve just received word that Hitler in Los Angeles was selected to receive USC’s 2019 Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award.

    With environmental historian Wade Graham, Bill Deverell has received a $95,000 grant from the Haynes Foundation for “An Almanac of Los Angeles County.”

    Daniela Bleichmar has been promoted to Full Professor of Art History and History. Congratulations Daniela!


    Wolf Gruner co-organized the international conference “In Global Transit: Jewish Refugees in an Era of Forced Migration, 1940s-1960s,” together with Simone Lässig (German Historical Institute Washington), Francesco Spagnolo (The Magnes, UC Berkeley), Swen Steinberg (University of Dresden)  at UC Berkeley, May 19-22, 2019. He was member of the scientific committee for the international conference “Comparative Lenses. Researching Video Testimonies on Genocide and Mass Violence”, at the American University in Paris, 5-7 June 2019. At the conference, he gave a paper on the Visual History Archive of the USC Shoah Foundation and participated in the concluding panel of the conference.

    Gruner co-taught with Victoria Sanford (Lehman College NY) a weeklong seminar in Spanish on Holocaust and Genocide studies for university professors from 6 Latin American countries in Mexico City. The event was organized by the US Holocaust Museum, Washington DC, and the Museo de Tolerancia Mexico, DF., June 17-21, 2019.  He gave an invited lecture on his recent research on the forgotten systematic destruction of Jewish homes during Kristallnacht 1938 at the Center for the Research on Antisemitism, Technical University Berlin, Germany, on June 12, 2019, and a paper on the same topic at the 14th Conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars   “The Missing Picture”: Rethinking Genocide Studies & Prevention in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 14-19 July 2019.

    Gruner published an article on individual Jewish resistance: “Verweigerung, Opposition und Protest. Vergessene jüdische Reaktionen auf die NS-Verfolgung in Deutschland”, in: Alina Bothe/Stefanie Schüler-Springorum (eds), Shoah. Ereignis und Erinnerung (3. Jahrbuch Selma Stern Zentrum für Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg), Berlin 2019, pp. 11-30.

    Maya Maskarinec been awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship for her project entitled, “Monasteries and the Development of Legal Science in Tenth- and Eleventh-Century Italy” to be carried out at the Free University of Berlin. An article, “Legal Expertise at a Late-Tenth-Century Monastery in Central Italy, or Disputing Property Donations and the History of Law in Benedict of Monte Soratte’s Chronicle,” has been published in Speculum 94.4 (2019): 1033–69; and another, “Why Remember Ratchis? Medieval Monastic Memory and the Lombard Past,” in the Archivio Storico Italiano 177.1 (2019): 3–57.

    Cambridge University Press and Guangdong People’s Publishing House will co-publish a Chinese translation of Ben Uchiyama’s book, “Japan’s Carnival War: Mass Culture on the Home Front, 1937-1945,” for sale in mainland China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan). The target publication date for the China Edition is July 2021.

    Aro Velmet finished his fellowship at Wadham College, Oxford University in the spring. During his research leave, he published a book chapter titled “From Universal Relaxant to Oriental Vice: Race and French Perceptions of Opium Use in the Moment of Global Control” in an edited volume on the history of psychoactive substances edited by Susannah Wilson. Drawing on this work, he is developing a course on the history of drugs, which he is teaching in the Spring of 2020. He published two articles: “The Making of a Pastorian Empire: Tuberculosis and Bacteriological Technopolitics” in Journal of Global History (July 2019) and “When Demography becomes Democracy: Anticommunism, Sovereignty and the Problem of Reproduction in Estonia, 1980-2016” in Journal of the History of Ideas (July 2019) and had articles accepted in French Historical Studies and Engaging Science, Technology, and Society.

    Marjorie Becker is happy to report she was invited to present some of her new work to the Center for US Mexican Studies (where she long ago held a fellowship.)  She also has a new article focusing on gender danger in modern Mexico to be published by Rethinking History.  On the poetry front, she has been invited to re-publish two of her multiply published poems in a new collection.  Last year twenty of the poems in her new collection were published in an array of poetry journals.

    Wolf Gruner published the English translation of his 2016 book as The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia. Czech Initiatives, German Policies, Jewish Responses, New York: Berghahn 2019, 454 pages. A Czech translation appeared with Academia Prague this fall and a Hebrew translation will be published with Yad Vashem in 2020.  He also published the translation of his edited 2008 volume of the multivolume series of Holocaust documents: The Persecution and Murder of the European Jews by Nazi Germany, 1933–1945 Vol. I: German Reich, 1933-1937, Ed. by German Federal Archives / Institute of Contemporary History Munich – Berlin / Chair of Modern History at the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg In collab. with Yad Vashem, (Munich: DeGryuter 2019), 880 pages.  He was invited to be a member of the scientific committee for the Prague Visual History and Digital Humanities Conference, 27–28 January 2020 in Prague.

    Bill Deverell won the 2019 long-form journalism Ozzie Award from Folio Magazine for his piece on the Kathy Fiscus tragedy of 1949.

    Wolf Gruner gave invited Distinguished Lectures on individual Jewish resistance in Nazi Germany at Soka University, Los Angeles, on 24 October 2019, and at Westchester University, PA, on 11 November 2019 as well as on the forgotten systematic destruction of Jewish homes during Kristallnacht 1938 at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pennsylvania, on 12 and 14 November 2019. On the latter topic, Wolf Gruner published a piece “The forgotten mass destruction of Jewish homes during Kristallnacht in The Conversation ( and a scholarly article in German “Totale Verwüstung. Die vergessene Massenzerstörung jüdischer Häuser und Wohnungen im Novemberpogrom 1938“, in: Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft 67/2019, H. 10, S. 793-811. He was invited to serve as faculty advisor for “Stand”, the student anti-genocide organization, USC branch, October 2019.

    In November, Vanessa R. Schwartz gave a keynote lecture in Lausanne called “It’s About Time” at the International Conference called “L’emergence du concept de montage” and was the invited guest at the Seminar for Media Studies at Basel University and the Kunstmuseum Basel lecture series on photography where she gave a lecture, “Creatures of the times: Time-Life Books, Pictorial Excess and the Logic of the Series.” She, along with Jennifer Greenhill and Alex Taylor (Pitt) organized a conference called “Commercial Pictures and the Art and Technics of Visual Persuasion” at the Hagley Museum.

    Wolf Gruner gave a Radio interview on “Kristallnacht” and the forgotten mass destruction of Jewish homes to Arnie Anderson “The Attitude”, on 19 November 2019. He coedited a book with Steven RossNew Perspectives on Kristallnacht: After 80 Years, the Nazi Pogrom in Global Comparison (Casden Annual), Purdue University Press 2019, for which he co-authored the introduction and authored the chapter “Worse than Vandals”. The Mass Destruction of Jewish homes and Jewish responses during the 1938 pogrom”.

    As an executive committee member of the National Higher Education Leadership consortium of centers for Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Studies, Gruner helped to plan the Second Biennial Conference at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, December 5-7, 2019. There, he moderated a plenary session “Using Technology to teach about Genocide and human rights issues”.

    Steve Ross and Wolf Gruner co-edited the recently published New Perspectives on Kristallnacht: After 80 Years, the Nazi Pogrom in Global Comparison, The Jewish Role in American Life: An Annual (Purdue University Press),Volume 17 (December 2019).   Steve also contributed an article to the volume, “The Ambiguous Legacy of Kristallnacht: Nazis, Jewish Resistors, and Anti-Semitism in Los Angeles.”  The paperback edition of his book, Hitler in Los Angeles, appeared on to the Los Angeles Times bestseller list–making it a total of 23 weeks on the bestseller list.

    Ben Uchiyama’s book, Japan’s Carnival War: Mass Culture on the Home Front, 1937-1945, was selected by Choice journal for its list of “2019 Outstanding Academic Titles.” The list is composed of only 11 percent of the more than 4,600 titles reviewed by Choice in 2019.

  • Spring

    Alice Echols’s book Shortfall: Family Secrets, Financial Collapse and a Hidden History of Capitalism was featured in the New Yorker’s “Briefly Noted” column in January.  She has given talks about Shortfall at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard and at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, and the Huntington as well as at the annual conferences of the Western History Association and C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists. Last May she gave a keynote lecture about disco for the  Bibliodiscotheque Symposium at The Library of Congress. She is currently working on a short book about David Bowie’s song, “Fame,” which has been commissioned by Duke University Press and will be among the inaugural titles for the press’s new music series, “Singles.”

    Wolf Gruner gave the annual Cedars Sinai Hospital Yom HaShoah-lecture on “Defiance and Protest. Forgotten individual Resistance in Nazi Germany” in front of more than 300 staff members, donors and survivors in Los Angeles on April 11, 2018.

    Steve Ross delivered the Clark Davis Memorial Lecture at the Huntington Library and an invited lecture at the Washington History Seminar (Woodrow Wilson Center), Washington D.C; he also gave talks about Hitler in Los Angeles in Syracuse, Fresno, Irvine, and at the American Jewish Committee headquarters in Los Angeles.  Hitler in Los Angeles was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History.

    Bill Deverell has been elected to membership in the USC chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and to the Society of American Historians.

    Wolf Gruner gave public lectures on his recent research on individual Jewish resistance during the Holocaust at Appalachian State University, Wake Forest University and Duke University as well as workshops at all three universities for faculty, students and librarians introducing the research potential of the survivor testimonies of the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive between March 19-22, 2018.

    Maya Maskarinec’s book, City of Saints: Rebuilding Rome in the Early Middle Ages (University of Pennsylvania Press) has just appeared in print ( Also, her article, “Saints for all Christendom: Naturalizing the Alexandrian Saints Cyrus and John in 7th- to 13th-century Rome,” was recently published in Dumbarton Oaks Papers 71: 337–65.

    Steve Ross was a featured speaker at the Brandeis Book Festival in Phoenix and the Concord Scholars Series in Syracuse. He will be going to the Disabled American Veterans national convention in July to receive the Order of the Bugle award honoring his book Hitler in Los Angeles–which has now been on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller list for 10 weeks.

    In February, Wolf Gruner participated at a panel for the documentary screening “Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent” at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles. On 12 and 13 March 2018, he gave a lecture in Spanish on his research on individual Jewish resistance at the  Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City as well as three workshops with introductions to the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Universidad Iberoamericana, and Universidad Anahuac, which were attended by various deans, the ambassadors of Israel and Cyprus, faculty and students from various disciplines.

    Marjorie Becker was very grateful to be invited to present her forthcoming article “Music, Such Sudden Music: When Mexican Women Altered Space in Time” at the celebration of her Yale mentors’ Florencia Mallon and Steve J. Stern.  Mallon and Stern trained 52 graduate students, all of whom set out to alter Latin American history.  She was fortunate enough to be the first of these students. At this event she also learned that her Yale dissertation (an effort to develop a cultural approach to Mexican revolutionary and educational history,) was taught to grad students at Yale, and that a graduate seminar focusing on her monograph Setting the Virgin on Fire: Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán Peasants and the Redemption of the Mexican Revolution was developed and taught at the University of Wisconsin.

    Bill Deverell’s story, “Driftwood,” has been accepted in the journal, The Cost of Paper.

    Wolf Gruner published a book chapter in German,”Das Dogma der „Volksgemeinschaft” und die Mikrogeschichte der NS-Gesellschaft (The dogma of the people’s community and the micro-history of the Nazi society”, in: Detlef Schmiechen-Ackermann, Marlies Buchholz et al (Ed): Der Ort der „Volksgemeinschaft“ in der deutschen Gesellschaftsgeschichte (the place of the “people’s community in the history of the German society), Ferdinand Schöningh Verlag: Paderborn 2018, pp. 71-90.  In addition, as a member of the steering committee, Gruner co-moderated a panel on resources at the National Summit of Higher Education Leadership convening more than 60 directors of national Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights centers and programs, at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D.C., 7-9 December 2017.

    Following Gruner’s first participation in a meeting as a newly appointed member of the academic committee of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, he presented his recently published book on the Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia to fellows and staff at the USHMM, 11-12 December 2017. At the annual meeting of the Association for Jewish Studies in  Washington DC, he presented a paper on the topic of individual Jewish resistance, 17-19 December 2017.  Gruner was also invited to give the annual lecture on Yom Hashoah Remembrance Day at Cedars Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles on 11 April, 2018 , and to present at the  concluding panel of “Critical Junctures: Ethical Challenges of Holocaust Studies”, a symposium of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM Washington DC, 7-8 May, 2018.

    Lon Kurashige has been awarded a Fulbright grant to spend the upcoming academic year in Japan.

    Steve Ross’ Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America is currently in its 4th printing and it has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award; it has also appeared on the Los Angeles Times Best Seller List for five weeks.

    George Sanchez was elected Vice President of the Organization of American Historians (OAH).  This means he will serve as President-Elect in 2019, the President of the OAH in 2020-2021. Sanchez was also recently honored with the Winter 2017 issue of Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies dedicated to the impact of his mentorship and scholarship on the profession.  Kalfou Vol. 4, No. 2 ( features nine essays from former Ph.D. students and current colleagues.  On March 1, 2018, a mini-conference will be held at UC Irvine, organized by Dr. Ana Rosas, to celebrate this issue and his continued impact, featuring current USC and UCI undergraduate scholarly presentations and a keynote address by Sanchez.

    Sanchez also recently published “Living in the Transpacific Borderlands: Expressions of Japanese Latino Culture and Identity,” with USC undergraduate and Mellon Mays Fellow Maria Jose Plascencia.  This essay appears in Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo (2017), the exhibition catalogue of a current exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum by the same name.

    Vanessa R. Schwartz published a review of Dominique Kalifa’s “La Véritable Histoire de la Belle Epoque” in the review of the Collège de France, “La View des Idées” on January 22, 2018.


    Warmest congratulations to our own Rosina Lozano, who has just been officially promoted by the trustees of Princeton University to Associate Professor of History, with tenure.  Rosina completed her Ph.D. in the USC History Department under the supervision of Professors George Sanchez and Bill Deverell.

    Wolf Gruner’s prize winning book about the persecution of the Jews in the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia 1939-1945 (Wallstein, Germany 2016) will appear in English as “The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia. Czech Initiatives, German Policies, Jewish Answers.” with Berghahn Books New York in summer of 2019. Besides an ongoing Czech translation there now will be also one in Hebrew to be published by Yad Vashem Jerusalem.

    Vanessa Schwartz is working on an exhibition that will open at the Musée D’Orsay called “Vivement le Cinema” in Paris in Spring 2021 and in LA in Fall 2021. She will also curate an exhibition at the Ryerson Image Center in Toronto called, Ernst Haas in Motion. In addition, her book, “Jet Age Aesthetics: The Glamour of Media in Motion” will be published by Yale University Press in Spring 2020.

    Wolf Gruner co-organized the international conference “New Perspectives on Kristallnacht – 80 Years After, the Nazi Pogrom in Global Comparison,” (November 5-7, 2018) at USC together with Steve Ross, the USC Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life. The conference was co-sponsored by the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies (USHMM), and the Center for Research on Antisemitism (Technical University Berlin). At this conference he gave the paper: “Two forgotten aspects of the 1938 Pogrom. The mass destruction of Jewish homes and Jewish responses during and after the violence.”

    Gruner also gave a paper on Jewish reactions in the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia at the biannual “Lessons and Legacies conference” on Holocaust studies at Washington University, St. Louis — 2 November 2018, and he participated at a panel together with Steve Ross at a film screening of “city without Jews” (recovered version of 1924), at Wilshire Boulevard Temple on 14 October 2018.

    Gruner published: “L’engagement obligatoire des Juifs au travail, 1938/39-1943. Èvolution, formes et fonctions à l’exemple de la région de Berlin-Brandebourg”, in: Èclairer au pays des coupables. “La Shoah et l’historiographie allemande 1990-2015 (German Historiography of the Shoah 1990-2015)”, in: Revue d’histoire de la Shoah, No. 209, Paris Octubre 2018, pp. 223-246; and together with Jörg Osterloh: “La persécution nationale-socialiste des Juifs dans les territoires annexés, 1935-1945”, in: Èclairer au pays des coupables. “La Shoah et l’historiographie allemande 1990-2015 (German Historiography of the Shoah 1990-2015)”, in: Revue d’histoire de la Shoah, No. 209, Paris Octubre 2018, pp. 401-430.

    Steve Ross spoke at the University of Tennessee in honor of the retirement of film studies scholar Charles Maland. Steve will be lecturing at Hebrew University (Jerusalem) and Tel Aviv University in mid-November. His Op-Ed piece, “Eighty Years Before Pittsburgh, Kristallnacht Emboldened Nazis in Los Angeles,” appeared in the Nov. 4 issue of the Los Angeles Times.

    Aro Velmet is happy to report that the Deep Transitions research group, run by scholars at the University of Essex (UK) and the University of Tartu (Estonia), and of which he is a member, received a five-year, €925,000 grant to study the history and future of infrastructural transitions in the former Soviet sphere. The project will look at the evolution of communications, mobility and energy systems in the Soviet/Post-Soviet space and outline how the overlapping histories of Soviet and capitalist development bear on the upcoming transition towards sustainable and equitable infrastructure. The grant funding will allow Velmet to conduct archival research on his next project on the history of digital governance in Eastern Europe, as well as work together with Estonian and British scholars in history, media studies, sociology, and economics on developing an interdisciplinary middle-range framework for understanding relationships between infrastructural and political change.

    Marjorie Becker’s new article, “Music, Such Sudden Music: When Mexican Women Altered Space in Time,” has been published on-line by Rethinking History.  This article is a historical fable, based on her original historical research and her years of study and practice of innovative writing and representation.

    Wolf Gruner gave an invited paper “Die Evian Konferenz und die Folgen für die NS-Judenpolitik (the Evian conference and its effects on Nazi policies against the Jews in 1938) in Berlin, at the international symposium “Flüchtlingskrise 1938 und heute? Zur Aktualität der Internationalen Flüchtlingskonferenz von Évian 1938”, a conference about the history and current implications of the Evian refugee conference in summer 1938 on September 20, 2018. The symposium was part of an event series commemorating the 80th anniversary of the conference and connected to the exhibition: “Closed Borders – The International Conference on Refugees in Évian, 1938” an exhibition by the Center for Research on Antisemitism of the Technische Universität Berlin and the German Resistance Memorial Center. Gruner also gave an invited public evening lecture on “The Jews in Berlin and the Persecution in 1938” at the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung in Berlin, on September 21, 2018.

    At USC, during the last weeks, Gruner helped to prepare a USC exhibition, which is based on a recent donation of private papers. The exhibition “From the battle in France to the liberation of Germany. Letters and artifacts from the Harry K. Wolff collection” will be inaugurated soon and displayed at the Treasure room  in Doheny library during fall 2018.

    Nathan Perl-Rosenthal’s article, “On Mobile Legal Spaces and Maritime Empires: The Pillage of the East Indiaman Osterley (1779),” has just been published in a special issue of the Dutch journal Itinerario on “The Indian Ocean of Law: Hybridity and Space” (vol 42, special issue 2).

    Bill Deverell and Anne Hyde have published their two-volume Shaped by the West, with the University of California Press.

    Professors Phil Ethington, Bill Deverell, and Travis Longcore have received a 2-year grant from the Haynes Foundation to reconstruct the “Historical Ecology of the Los Angeles River and Watershed”History PhD Student Gary Stein will be supported on a research fellowship for those two years, to scour archives for textual and pictorial sources, and natural history collections (seeds, dried plants, insects, bird nests) to map evidence of past landscapes at the neighborhood level prior to urbanization (circa 1880).  They will produce an online geodatabase (dynamic maps with many data layers and objects, accessible by anyone) for public access and regional planning.  This will be the first-ever detailed portrait of the “natural” ecology prior to the drastic paving and re-engineering of the region’s ecology, and tantamount to a portrait of the LA Basin throughout the Late Pleistocene.

    Wolf Gruner published a chapter on the radicalization of anti-Jewish policies in Berlin in 1938 in a German book about the deportation of the Polish Jews from Berlin in October 1938: Ausgewiesen! Berlin, 28. 10. 1938.  Die Geschichte der „Polenaktion“, hrsg. von Alina Bothe und Gertrud Pickhan unter Mitarbeit von Christine Meibeck, Berlin Metropol Verlag 2018.

    Sarah Gualtieri recently published her article “Edward Said, the AAUG, and Arab American Archival Methods,” in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, v. 38, no. 1, May 2018, pp. 21-29 (Duke University Press).  It is part of a special section on “Palestine: Doing Things with Archives.”  Her article “The Syrian of Sleepy Lagoon: Ethnic Coalitions and Archival Silence” has been accepted for publication in the June, 2019 issue of American Quarterly, the official publication of the American Studies Association.

    Nathan Perl-Rosenthal is glad to be back from leave in France, where he was a fellow at the Paris Institute for Advanced Study working on his next monograph, a wide-angle cultural history of the Atlantic age of revolution.  A book chapter he co-authored with Sam Erman of USC Law, on “Historians’ Amicus Briefs: Practice and Prospect,” was just published in the Oxford Handbook of Legal History.  A volume of essays on “Maritime Practices in Global History,” co-edited with Lauren Benton (Vanderbilt), has been approved for a contract with Penn Press.  He also wrote several reviews and essays in the past year, which were published in The AtlanticDissent, and several online platforms.

    Steve Ross’s Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America was selected as the winner of the Richard Wall Memorial Award given by the Theatre Library Association for the best book in film history.  Steve also received the BUGLE award at the Disabled American Veterans convention in Reno, where he also gave the keynote speech.

    Vanessa R. Schwartz is on leave this semester, completing her Guggenheim Fellowship. She is Visiting Professor at the University of Geneva where she will give a lecture about fake news at the historical society of Geneva, run a doctoral college and give a lecture about visual historical methodology, and lecture on the jet age. She will also keynote at a conference at the INHA in Paris about “La Vie Parisienne” and also keynote a conference in Germany about theme parks. She will give lectures in Tel Aviv about photojournalism and in Jerusalem about visual history.

    Schwartz’s former student, Catherine Clark, published her book with Oxford UP this Fall that began as a dissertation in this department. Her former student, Mark Braude, will publish his second book, with Penguin, about Napoleon in Elba, this Fall. Her former student, Anca Lasc, published her book on French interior design with Manchester University Press this Fall, and her former student, Ryan Linkof, is now Curator at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts.

    Ben Uchiyama was invited by the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University to give a lecture in November about his forthcoming book.  The presentation is entitled “The Hundred Man Killing Contest and the Birth of Carnival War in Japan.”  Uchiyama’s book, Japan’s Carnival War: Mass Culture on the Home Front, 1937-1945, is now forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in April 2019.

    The 2017 Richard Wall Memorial Award for an exemplary work in the field of recorded performance will be awarded to Steven J. Ross, for Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America.  The award is presented by the Theatre Library Association.

    Marjorie Becker’s “Music Such Sudden Music: Mexican Women Altered Space in Time,” is to be published in print and on line by Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice.  Becker presented this historical fable linking the Mexican dancers she long ago discovered with the Nobel-Prize winning poet, Octavio Paz at an invitational Stanford Latin American History conference, and at the celebration of the work of her mentors Florencia Mallon and Steve Stern.  Becker is also grateful that her other essay, a historical letter to the man who sexually assaulted her in Zamora, has been accepted by Rethinking History for publication.  And, Becker just learned from University of California Press, that her Setting the Virgin on Fire: Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán Peasants and the Redemption of the Mexican Revolution has sold 4.103 copies.

    Daniela Bleichmar is on leave this academic year with an ACLS Burkhardt Residential Fellowship, which she will hold at the Huntington Library. Her book Visual Voyages: Images of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin (Yale University Press, 2017) has been named a finalist for the Alice Award. In recent months she lectured at “Oceanic Roots of the Atlantic Revolutions,” an international summer school co-directed by Nathan Perl-Rosenthal; delivered keynotes at conferences hosted by the Institute of Fine Arts (NYU) and the Society for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies; and organized and directed a weekend-long faculty seminar on “Image and Knowledge in Early Modern Books” at the invitation of the Folger Institute.

    In May, Wolf Gruner attended the Academic Committee meeting at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and presented at the concluding panel of “Critical Junctures: Ethical Challenges of Holocaust Studies”, a symposium of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM Washington DC. In June, he co-taught the two-week 2018 Silberman Seminar for university professors on “Comparative Racial Theories and Practices from the Third Reich to the Jim Crow South” at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D.C.

    Wolf Gruner was recently invited as a member to the Advisory board for a grant proposal and the future project building a Historical GIS for Holocaust Ghettos, which is now funded by NEH 2018-2020. He was also invited as one of a few participants to the Advancing Holocaust Studies seminar, which will discuss the future of Holocaust studies leading to a publication and take place in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 24-26, 2019.  He was also appointed a member of the advisory board of the Holocaust Theater International Initiative of National Jewish Theater foundation.

    For 2019, Gruner and the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide research co-organize the international conference “Future of Testimony” with Western Galilee College — Akko, Israel — March 11-13, 2019, the international conference “In Global Transit: Jewish Refugees in an Era of Forced Migration, 1940s-1960s,” with the German Historical Institute Washington/GHI West and UC Berkeley and the University of Dresden, May 19-22, 2019, and the international conference “Comparative Lenses. Researching Video Testimonies on Genocide and Mass Violence” at the American University in Paris, June 5-6th 2019.

    Joan Piggott is happy to announce publication of a new co-edited volume, Land, Power, and the Sacred: The Estate System in Medieval Japan, which is the result of an international conference held here at USC, and the first volume in English on Japan’s medieval estate system of landholding and production. It contains 18 quite substantial essays, eight of which were authored by leading scholars in Japan whose work we are delighted to bring to English readers for the first time. Notable too are four essays in the volume that represent early publications by USC History graduate students, all of whom now have the PhD and are teaching in the U.S. or Japan.

  • Spring

    Alicia Gutierrez, who completed her Ph.D. in our department in 2016 under the supervision of Bill Deverell and George Sanchez, has accepted a tenure-track position in the Department of History, Politics and Sociology at La Sierra University in Riverside, CA.  Congratulations Alicia!

    Our Ph.D. candidate Carlos Parra has won a Fellowship in the Smithsonian’s Latino Museum Studies Program, for summer 2017, working at the National Museum of American History in Washington DC.  Congratulations Carlos! The Department of History is proud to announce that Cooper Nelson, double major in Cinematic Arts and Law, History, and Culture, is the USC 2017 Valedictorian.  Cooper has also won the 2017 Emma Josephine Bradley Bovard Award.  Founded and sponsored by the Faculty Women’s Club of the University of Southern California, it is awarded to the graduating students who have attained the highest scholarship average of all undergraduate women at the university.  Congratulations Cooper!

    Congratulations to our Ph.D. candidate Angelica Stoddard has received a Haynes Fellowship for her dissertation on “Defining Worthiness:  Mental Health Care in California from Postwar Crisis to Deinstitutionalization, 1945-1975.”

    Our Ph.D. candidate Jenna Ross has been awarded a Gold Family Fellowship from the Graduate School for Summer research. Congratulations Jenna! Congratulations to our Ph.D. candidate Gary Stein, who won the Center for Communal Studies Graduate Paper Prize for 2017 for his MA Thesis (Claremont Graduate Center).

    Marjorie Becker is very happy to have been invited by Latin American history at Stanford to participate in a Latin Americanist symposium. At the symposium, she presented one of her new articles, a recreation and assessment of elements of the historical relationship between the Michoacan dancers she discovered, and Mexico’s celebrated poet Octavio Paz.

    Bill Deverell has been awarded a California Writers residency appointment through the Yefe Nof residency and the literary journal 1888. 

    Wolf Gruner accepted the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s invitation to join as a member of the Museum’s steering committee of National higher education leadership. This committee will prepare a National Leadership Summit to take place at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum on December 7-8, 2017, in Washington, DC to promote the teaching, research, engagement, and advancement of Holocaust Studies amongst college youth. This summit will bring together Directors of Holocaust and Genocide Studies Centers and Human Rights Centers from across the United States in order to build a formal network of such Centers that will enable the Directors to share their knowledge about current research and pedagogical approaches, challenges, and resources. For his book on the Persecution of the Jews in the Protectorate Bohemia/Moravia. Local initiatives, central decisions and Jewish responses 1939-1945), published October 2016 in Germany, Gruner received one of the prizes for most outstanding German studies in the humanities and social sciences in 2017 by the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, the VG WORT and the German Foreign Office, dedicated to fund a translation into English. Good news regarding one of our majors.

    Anthony Garciano, one of this year’s honors students in History, has just won a Fulbright research fellowship to the Philippines.  Congratulations Anthony!

    History major Bethany Balchunas has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Taiwan.  In addition, her honors thesis, “Codifying Exoticism: Race and French Colonial Policy in West Africa 1910-1918” won first prize in the researched essay category of the *Undergraduate Writers’ Conference sponsored by the Writing Program. Bethany also received the Banner award for the best honors thesis this year.

    *(“ The Undergraduate Writers’ Conference is the culmination of a competition in USC student writing across genres (categories include analytical essays, researched essays, professional writing/moral reasoning, and creative works). This annual event is designed to let students share with peers outside the classroom and vie for cash prizes. In the mode of a traditional academic conference, complete with keynote speaker, undergraduates submit and present their work on faculty-moderated panels.”)

    Congratulations to Sarah Keyes, our former graduate student, who has accepted a position in Western History at the University of Nevada, Reno.  Sarah had been assistant professor of history at Texas Tech. Congratulations to our Ph.D. candidate Randall Meissen, who received an Endowed Fellowship from USC Graduate School!

    Congratulations to our Ph.D. candidate Will Cowan, who received a Research Enhancement Fellowship from USC Graduate School!

    We are pleased to share that USC Mellon Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow Peter Collopy has accepted a position at Caltech as University Archivist and Head, Special Collections. Please join us in extending our warm congratulations!

    Marjorie Becker has been invited to participate in a panel focusing on Latin American history at Stanford in late March.  She will present new work from her research on Mexico’s illustrious poet and diplomat, Octavio Paz, in literary and historical conversation with the Michoacán dancers she discovered.  She has also been invited to participate in the LA Festival of Books, reading from her and her poetry collective’s new collection, Angle of Reflection.

    Richard Fox has a review essay in the current issue of the Journal of the Early Republic (“The Mainstreaming of Visual Culture in U. S. History”) and a review on Lincoln assassination lore in the latest issue of the Journal of Illinois History.

    Wolf Gruner published the book chapter “Defiance and Protest. A comparative micro historical Reevaluation of Jewish Responses towards Nazi Persecution”, in Claire Zalc/Tal Bruttman, Microhistories of the Holocaust, Berghahn 2017, pp. 209-226. He will give an invited Paper at the international symposium Comparative Genocide Studies and the Holocaust: Conflict and Convergence” April 6-8, 2017 at the University of Minnesota. For June, Wolf Gruner received invitations to present his recent book on the persecution of the Jews in Bohemia and Moravia at the Memorial Topography of Terror in Berlin and the Fritz Bauer Institute for Holocaust Research and Remembrance (Goethe University).On February 27th, Gruner participated in a panel at “Reel Talk” with Stephen Farber at the Landmark Theatre in Westwood to comment on the German movie “13 minutes about the Hitler assassination attempt by Georg Elser in 1939.

    Vanessa Schwartz will be presenting a paper, “Ernst Haas, Master of Color” at the Princeton University Art Museum Study Day on LIFE Magazine at the end of March.

    Congratulations to our colleague Francille Rusan Wilson, who has just been named a 2017-2018 Fellow in the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University, where she plans to work on her history of black history movements since the 1880s.

    Daniela Bleichmar has been awarded an ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship, which she will take in 2018–2019.

    Bill Deverell published the introduction to Aftermath: The Griffith Park Fire, 2007.

    Wolf Gruner participated at a panel discussion with Steve Ross and Michael Renov (both USC) of the USC School of Cinematic Arts film screening of the Nazi propaganda film “Triumph of the Will” on January 19th, 2017. This event was co-sponsored by the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. He was also invited to be a discussant together with Todd Presner, UCLA, at the “Triumph of the Will” – film screening of “The Inaugural Global Human Rights Film Series: State and Power and Propaganda” organized by the UCLA International Institute on February 8, 2017. At UCLA, Gruner chaired the panel “Berlin and the German-Jewish Cultural Milieu” at the international symposium “Resisting Injustice and Championing Civil Rights: Rabbi Joachim Prinz and Kurt Weill” on January 22, 2017. In December 2016, Wolf Gruner gave a paper “Defiance and Protest. Police log books and video testimonies as new sources for Jewish responses in Nazi Germany” and chaired the panel “Contemporary challenges and opportunities in Holocaust education and memory”at the 48th Annual Conference, at the Association for Jewish Studies in San Diego, CA.

    Steve Ross was interviewed by BBC The World, ARTE-TV, Variety, and Toronto Star about the impact of movie stars speaking out against Donald Trump.  He was in conversation with Saul Friedlander discussing his memoir, Where Memory Leads, at the ALOUD series in the downtown LA Public Library.

    Jake Soll interviewed former UK Prime Minister David Cameron at Bovard Auditorium on 2 February, as part of USC President C. L. Max Nikias’ Distinguished Lecture series.

    One of our recent PhDs, Catherine Clark (2012), has been promoted to Associate Professor without Tenure at MIT. In addition, she has just been awarded a year-long Mellon Foundation Fellowship for Assistant Professors at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.  Congratulations, Catherine!

    Daniela Bleichmar has been awarded a Burkhardt Fellowship by the American Council of Learned Societies.  Congratulations Daniela!

    Congratulations to our Ph.D. candidate Jenna Ross on receiving a University Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.  She was the Department of History nominee last semester and now she has been selected for the university-wide award, which will be presented at a ceremony in April.

    The department would like to recognize George Sanchez, who has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, to be awarded in April 2017.  The announcement can be found here.  Congratulations George!

    Marjorie Becker has been invited to participate in a March symposium at Stanford on violence and illegality in Latin American history.  In addition, her “Music, Sudden Music: When Mexican Women Altered Space in Time,” one of her renditions of the dialogue between Mexico’s Nobel Prize Winning poet, Octavio Paz, and the illicit Michoacan dancers she discovers, is to be published by Rethinking History.  And in early January 2017 she took part in another reading from her new poetry collection Angle of Reflection at the Silver Lake public library.

    For the fourth time, Marjorie Becker is assessing dissertation proposals engaged with issues of ethics and values for the Charlotte Newcombe fellowship, a part of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.  She was fortunate enough to receive such a fellowship for her work on the Mexican revolution, and is grateful to be able to engage in this sort of service to the university and to the profession.


    Wolf Gruner’s recent book on the persecution of the Jews in the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia (Die Judenverfolgung im Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren. Lokale Initiativen, zentrale Entscheidungen, jüdische Antworten 1939-1945, Wallstein Verlag, 2016) won second place of the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust research 2017 for books published in 2015 and 2016.  Contracts are signed for the book’s translation into English with Berghahn Books New York and into Czech with Academia Prague.

    Sarah Gualtieri was interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Company on issues related to Syrians, race and citizenship. The 20 minute interview can be found at the bottom of the page here:

    The University of Pennsylvania Press has published Peter Mancall’s Nature and Culture in the Early Modern Atlantic.  The book had its origins as the Mellon Distinguished Lectures in the Humanities, which Peter delivered at Penn in 2012.

    Steve Ross 
    delivered the  Amram Scholar Series Distinguished Lecture in at the Washington (D.C.) Hebrew Congregation in mid November.  He also did a segment on Hitler in Los Angeles for A. Martinez’s “Take Two,” on KPPC and Madeleine Brand’s “Press Play” on KCRW.

    Marjorie Becker’s article “What happened when you and the priest behaved as though you owned my body: A note to the sexual assailants and those (you know who you are) who support that level of anti-female criminality,” has been accepted for publication by Rethinking History: A Journal of History and Practice.  In addition, she has been invited to present her forthcoming RH article, “Music, Such Sudden Music: When Mexican Women Altered Space in Time,” at a celebration of the careers of her amazing Yale mentors, Florencia Mallon and Steve J. Stern. She previously presented this article at the invitational Stanford University Latin American History conference last spring.

    In addition, four of Becker’s poems have just been published by the Peacock Journal. The poems are entitled, “Taste the Fig, the Later on,” “And Earthbound Touch,” “Read the Cursive on the Landscape,” and “The Dearest Dark.”

    Wolf Gruner was appointed a member of the academic committee of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC.  He also was invited to co-teach the 2018 Silberman Seminar for university professors on “Comparative Racial Theories and Practices from the Third Reich to the Jim Crow South” at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D.C. – June  4-15, 2018

    Steve Ross’ Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America debuted at #10 on Nov. 5 and #6 on Nov. 12 LA Times Non-Fiction Bestseller List. He recently spoke at the 92nd Street Y in New York and at venues in Jacksonville, St. Louis and Atlanta. Steve also published an Op-Ed piece, “The Hollywood Nazi Who Spied for America,” Washington Post, Oct. 25, 2017

    Vanessa Schwartz and Jonathan Dentler both spoke at the Transatlantis Conference in Utrecht on November 9.

    On October 11th, Professor Emeritus Dr. Paul Knoll was flown to Cracow, Poland to be awarded the “Pro Historia Polonorum” Honorary Prize by the Polish Historical Association (Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne, founded in 1886). The award was given at the III Congress of International Scholars on Polish History for “Outstanding Achievement in Research on the History of Medieval Poland, in particular the History of the University of Cracow.” This prize, one of two honorary awards, is given once every five years at the meeting of this Congress. The award Dr. Knoll received is intended to recognize a body of scholarship in one’s entire career and, in his case, particularly recognized his book “A Pearl of Powerful Learning.” The University of Cracow in the Fifteenth Century (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2016). Additionally, Dr. Knoll just been elected Vice-President of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America, whose headquarters is in New York City. He has been a member of its Board of Directors since 1986.

    Sarah Gualtieri’s article, “Edward Said, the AAUG, and Arab American Archival Methods,” is forthcoming in the May issue of the journal Comparative Studies in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (Duke University Press).  In addition, Sarah Gualtieri is part of the Training Team for a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. The grant, “Representing Muslim Women: Muslim Women and the Media,” will train journalists and coordinate access to experts on issues related to women, gender and Islam in the media.

    Maria Elena Martinez’s posthumously published article “Sex and the Colonial Archive: The Case of ‘Mariano’ Aguilera,” received an honorable mention from the James Alexander Robertson Prize Committee for the Committee of Latin American Historians. The prize is awarded to the best article(s) to appear in the Hispanic American Historical Review. The essay was guided into press by David Sartorius and David Kazanjian. A second essay, “Religion, Caste, and Race in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires: Local and Global Dimensions” is forthcoming in the book, Iberian Empires and the Roots of Globalization edited by Rachel O’toole, Ivonne del Valle and Anna More (Minnesota UP).

    Steve Ross was profiled in the September 25 New Yorker “Talk of the Town” column. He also published an article “When the Nazis Tried to Exterminate Hollywood,” in the Hollywood Reporter, Sept. 21, 2017, and an Op-Ed piece, “The Hate Groups Moved from the Margins to the Mainstream,” in the Los Angeles Times, Oct. 8.  He will be appearing in conversation with Rob Eshman, former publisher and editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal at the downtown library ALOUD series on Oct. 26.

    Ben Uchiyama’s article, “The Munitions Worker as Trickster in Wartime Japan,” was just published in The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 76, no. 3 (August 2017): 655-674.

    Wolf Gruner received the Sybil Halpern Milton Book Prize for 2017 of the German Studies Association in Atlanta. The laudatio reads: In Die Judenverfolgung im Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren. Lokale Initiativen, zentrale Entscheidungen, jüdische Antworten 1939-1945 (Wallstein Verlag, 2016), Wolf Gruner argues that the Czech Protectorate became a testing ground for Nazi policies implemented elsewhere. Gruner’s research convincingly revises the dominant view in the historical literature that the implementation of the Holocaust was organized centrally in Berlin. Gruner shows that occupied Czechoslovakia was a site of innovation and local initiative in the persecution of Czech Jews and that non-German antisemitism played a greater role than has been previously acknowledged. This groundbreaking and well researched book displays Gruner’s masterful command of the historiography on the Holocaust. Additionally, he challenges assumptions that Jews passively accepted their fate, by documenting their creative and tenacious struggle. Gruner’s book makes a major contribution to Holocaust research.

    Gruner was appointed as Distinguished Researcher of the Institute of Nanjing Massacre History and International Peace, Nanjing, China. Xinhua News Agency interviewed him for TV about his keynote paper and the importance of comparative genocide studies and the Nanjing Massacres in 1937 at the international academic conference “Nanjing massacre and Japanese War crimes” organized by The Research Institute of Nanjing Massacre History and International Peace, and The Research Institute of Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders on Sep. 7, 2017 in Nanjing, China.

    On September 7thWolf Gruner gave an invited keynote paper “Holocaust & Genocide Studies and Potential Avenues of Comparison with the 1937/38 Nanjing Massacres” at the International Academic Conference “Nanjing Massacre and Japanese War Crimes” organized by the Research Institute of Nanjing Massacre History and International Peace and The Research Institute of Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders in Nanjing, China. The keynote paper was simultaneously published in English and Chinese in the collection of papers of the conference. In July, Gruner published in the popular German history magazin “DAMALS” a piece on collaboration during the Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia.

    In the spring and summer Edgardo Pérez Morales published two articles:
    “Manumission on the Land: Slaves, Masters and Magistrates in Eighteenth-Century Mompox (Colombia)” Law & History Review 35.2 (2017):511-543 and “Tricks of the Slave Trade: Cuba and the Small-Scale Dynamics of the Spanish Transatlantic Trade in Human Beings” New West Indian Guide 91 (2017):1-29.

    Professor Emeritus Dr. Paul Knoll‘s book, “A Pearl of Powerful Learning.” The University of Cracow in the Fifteenth Century (Leiden: Brill Press, 2016) was awarded the ESSA 2016 Book Prize by the Early Slavic Studies Association, a sub-unit of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. The prize is given annually for the most outstanding scholarly monograph on pre-modern Slavdom, and the citation read: “A thoughtful, highly-informed, and nuanced history of the University of Cracow, an important institution in a pivotal period of Poland’s history, Knoll’s treatment of such important issues as the role of the University in the national life and the controversial and highly technical matter of the impact of Humanism are deal with tactfully and thoughtfully. The book will become the definitive work on this topic, and will ensure that the material will rapidly be absorbed into general histories of education and of universities in the Renaissance.”

    Marjorie Becker has been invited to present one of her forthcoming articles, “Music, Such Sudden Music: When Mexican Women Altered Space in Time,” at a panel celebrating the remarkable work and careers of two of her former teachers, Florencia Mallon and Steve J. Stern.  She has participated in the book tour for the collection Angle of Reflection that her longstanding writing community saw published in early 2017.

    Daniela Bleichmar’s new monograph, Visual Voyages: Images of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin (Yale University Press), will appear at the beginning of September. The book is published in conjunction with a major international loan exhibition of the same name that Daniela co-curated. The exhibition will open at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens on September 16th as part of PST: LA/LA, the Getty Foundation’s landmark initiative on Latin American and Latino art. Daniela will be delivering the Robert Werk lecture at the Huntington on October 16th.

    Angel’s Flight, Literary West has accepted Bill Deverell’s short story, Arraigned, for publication this fall.

    Alice Echols’ new book, Shortfall: Family Secrets, Financial Collapse, and a Hidden History of American Banking (New Press) has just snagged a starred review in Publishers Weekly and a terrific review in Kirkus as well.  The publication date is October 3, 2017.  Here are the links:

    Echols will discuss aspects of the book in San Diego at the Western History Association panel “Against and Along the Archival Grain: Writing Western and Borderlands Histories Linked to Family Pasts.”

    Before the summer, Wolf Gruner gave an invited talk “A Twisted Road: The relationship between Holocaust & Genocide studies” at the International Symposium “Comparative Genocide Studies and the Holocaust: Conflict and Convergence”, University of Minnesota, April 6-8, 2017.  On June 14th, he hosted a workshop “Introduction to the VHA” at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. The same day, he gave an evening lecture to present his recently in Germany published book on the persecution of the Jews in Bohemia and Moravia 1939-1945 (Wallstein 2016). He also presented the book in Berlin the next week at an evening event, co-hosted by both, the Center for the Research on Antisemitism, Technical University Berlin, and the memorial Topography of Terror Berlin.

    On June 16thWolf Gruner also participated in a symposium: “Atrocity, Violence and conflict. New Research from East Asia in Comparative Perspective with Europe” at the new China Center at Oxford University. In the early evening, Gruner gave the public keynote for the symposium: “A Twisted Road: The History of Holocaust & Genocide studies, its European origin and its comparative future”.  Together with Dan Michman from the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, he co-hosted the Third Workshop for Advanced PhD Candidates from North American Universities and Israel who are working on the Holocaust. Five graduate students from Israel and five from the United States and Canada participated in the workshop from 25- 29 June 2017.

    In June, the paperback version of Gruner’s co-edited volume “The Greater German Reich and the Jews. Nazi Persecution Policies in the Annexed Territories 1935-1945” was published by Berghahn Books New York.  On July 9th, 2017, Gruner gave a paper “Defiance and Protest: Forgotten Jewish resistance in Nazi Germany” at The Thirteenth Meeting of the International Association of Genocide Scholars “Justice and the prevention of Genocide” at the University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Australia (9-13 July 2017). On day 2, he chaired the Session: Definitions of Genocide IV.

    On July 17th , Gruner gave a talk about his research on individual Jewish resistance at the Beth Weizmann Community Centre in Melbourne. The talk was organized by Dvir Abramson of Jewish Studies at the University of Melbourne for the Anti-defamation Commission. The next day, Gruner hosted a workshop “Introduction to the Visual History Archive” at the University of Melbourne. On July 19th, he gave a lecture on individual Jewish resistance at the Jewish Museum in Sydney, which was attended by 70 survivors and descendants, staff and other people.

    Sarah Gualtieri has secured a contract from Stanford to publish her new book, Forging the Syrian Pacific: Arab Migrants in Southern California and Their Transnational Imaginaries.

    Vanessa R. Schwartz spoke at the Festival de l’histoire de l’art about Ernst Haas and color news pictures in Paris and delivered the keynote address at the Terra Foundation conference on “Circulation” at the Maison des Etudes Anglophones in Paris, “When Tomorrowland was Today: Transport, Mobility and the Jet Age at Disneyland, 1955” in June.  She also published “Networks: Technology, Mobility and Mediation in Visual Culture” in the special 30th Anniversary Issue of American Art (Summer 2017) v.31, n.2 104-109.

    Jake Soll received an NEH Public Scholar Grant to write Free Market: The History of a Dream.  He also has been awarded a monthlong invited summer fellowship and meetings at the Max Planck Institute Berlin to work on the history of bureaucracy for October and July 2018!  In addition, Soll spent time advising the Prime Minister of Greece.

  • Spring

    Matthew Fox-Amato, who earned his PhD in 2013 from this department,  has accepted a tenure-track position in the History Department at the University of Idaho.  In addition, his book,  “Slavery, Photography, and the Birth of Modern Visual Politics in America” is under contract with Oxford University Press.

    Nicholas Gliserman has successfully defended his dissertation and will start a visiting assistant professorship at Haverford College in the Fall.  Congratulations Nicholas!

    Our recent PhD Catherine Clark, Assistant Professor of French Studies at MIT, has an article which is drawn from her dissertation in the current American Historical Review.  To read the entire article entitled “Capturing the Moment, Picturing History.  Photographs of the Liberation of Paris” – please click here.

    Congratulations to Marjorie Becker for recently joining the editorial board of the journal Rethinking History.  We are proud of you Marjorie!

    Our recent PhD, Rieko Kamei-Dyche has now taken up her new post as a tenured assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts at Rissho University in Japan. The job market in Japan these days is tough, so this is very good news indeed!

    The Department of History is pleased to announce that our doctoral student Christian Paiz, has accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professor appointment in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley.  Congratulations Christian!

    Please join us in congratulating Dave Neumann, our Americanist doctoral student colleague, who has just been offered a tenure-track Assistant Professor appointment in History-Social Sciences Education at Cal Poly, Pomona.  Congratulations Dave!

    Wolf Gruner’s new book “The Persecution of the Jews in the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia. Local Initiatives, Central decisions, Jewish Responses 1933-1945”, will be published in German by Wallstein Verlag this fall. He was invited to give the keynote “Forgotten experiences. Video Testimonies as a Source for Holocaust Research” and to serve as a participant of the concluding roundtable at the international conference “The Future of Holocaust Testimonies IV”, on 8 March 2016 at Western Galilee College, Akko, Israel, organized by The Holocaust Studies Program of Western Galilee College, The Jewish Studies Program at the University of Virginia, and the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford. At Cornell University, he gave the invited Lecture “Defiance and Protest. Forgotten individual Jewish Reactions to Nazi Persecution” at the Departments of History and Jewish Studies on 17 March 2016, as well as hosted a workshop “Introduction to the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive” for faculty and graduate students on 18 March 2016.

    Sarah Gualtieri presented a paper in Mexico City at the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey Campus Santa Fe as part of the colloquium “Diversidades del Mundo Árabe.”  She spoke on Syrian migration to Mexico and California in transnational perspective. Gualtieri will also be the keynote speaker at the Arab American Civic Council’s Heritage Gala on April 24, in Laguna Hills.

    Chinese translation of Brett Sheehan’s Trust in Troubled Times (Harvard, 2003) was published by Cishu Press in affiliation with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences: Shi Hanbo 史瀚波. Luanshi zhong e xinren: minguo shiqi de Tianjin de huobi, yinhang, ji guojia-shehui guanxi 亂世中的信任:民國時期天津的貨幣, 銀行, 及國家-社會關係. Shanghai 上海: Shanghai Cishu Press 上海辭書出版社, 2016.

    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.

    Matthew Amato, who earned his PhD in 2013 from this department, has been offered a book contract from the University of Chicago Press, for Exposing Humanity: Slavery, Antislavery, and Early Photography in America, 1839-1865.  He currently holds a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities at Washington University.

    Our colleague Nathan Perl-Rosenthal has just been awarded the 2016 Gilbert Chinard Prize by the Society for French Historical Studies and the Institut français d’Amérique for his book, Citizen Sailors.  This is for “a distinguished scholarly book published in North America in 2015 in the history of themes shared by France and North, Central, or South America.”  That make twice for our department, as Vanessa Schwartz won the award as well, for her It’s So French! Congratulations Nathan!

    Congratulations to our graduate student colleague Jillian Barndt on her selection as a Finalist for  a 2016-2017 Fulbright U.S. Student Award to Japan. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program of the United States.  We are happy for you Jillian!

    Congratulations to our graduate student colleague Yu Tokunaga, who has been appointed as an assistant professor at the Institute for Research in Humanities at Kyoto University, beginning next month!

    Our recent Ph.D., Sachiko Kawai, who studied Japanese history with Joan Piggott, has just won the Reischauer Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University for next year.  This is terrific news, and the second year in a row for USC – Michelle Damian was awarded the fellowship last year.  Warmest congratulations Sachiko!

    Marjorie Becker is very grateful that the English Department at USC twice invited her to present work based on her new book, Dancing on the Sun Stone: An Exploration of Mexican Women and the Gendered Politics of Octavio Paz.  The talk was scheduled for last year; her father’s tragic passing prompted the rescheduling. She gave her talk, “When Mexican Women Consider Paz,” for the English Department lunchtime talk on February 24. The talk and the book itself are based on many years of research into issues of Mexican revolutionary, counter-revolutionary, post-revolutionary gendered histories enacted within and upon worlds of previously unseen or undiscussed  temporality and as many years of research, writing, assessment of Paz and many other poetic, historical and innovative historical forms.

    Wolf Gruner was invited to give a keynote on the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany at the international conference “From Euthanasia to the Holocaust” in November in Frankfurt, Germany.  He also received an invitation for a keynote lecture at a conference “Exhibiting National Socialism” in Tutzing, Germany, in October (declined).

    Vanessa R. Schwartz will be speaking at the University of Delaware, Rutger and Princeton this month. She will be a professeur invité at the Ecole Normal Supérieure in Paris in April. In addition, Schwartz’s former graduate students, Laura Kalba was recently tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Art at Smith College, and Mark Braude’s book, Making Monte Carlo will be appear with Simon and Schuster next month.

    Our Professor Emeritus Lois Banner has been awarded the Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the University of Uppsala in Sweden for six months of the next academic year.  She is also appearing on many television shows in the United States, Europe, China, and Japan for her research on Marilyn Monroe.  She is beginning to publish on her work on Greta Garbo and is giving papers, etc. at conventions.  Congratulations to Lois for her many accomplishments!

    Marjorie Becker’s “Had Pilar Ternera co-written Cien Aňos de Soledad, Gabo, I’d never write you now: toward a letter to the dead,” has just appeared in Rethinking History: the Journal of History and Practice.  Her sixth innovative historical article, it is based on her longstanding training and practice in innovative historical writing, music studies, journalism, gender studies, Latin American and deep Southern history, oral history, fiction and poetry.  An ethno-historical work of fictive history, it places the late Gabriel García Márquez in conversation with some of the remarkable rural women Becker knew during her time serving in the Peace Corps I rural Paraguay. It specifically emerged in response to her students and her own sorrow over Garcia Marquez’s passing. That is, this article was in part prompted by her longstanding focus on Garcia Marquez’s journalism and fiction, journalism and fiction she has been fortunate enough to teach in an array of Latin American history and Arts and Letters courses over many years.

    Sarah Gualtieri has accepted a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship for her project, “Syrian Migrants in Southern California, 1880-1945.”  She will be on sabbatical next year conducting research and writing. Gualtieri will also be giving a talk on February 23, at Cornell University in the Comparative Muslim Societies Program.

    Marjorie Becker’s former graduate student, Alex Aviňa was awarded The María Elena Martínez Book Prize in Mexican History for 2015 for his monograph Specters of Revolution: Peasant Guerillas in the Cold War Mexican Countryside (Oxford University Press.)

    Bill Deverell’s short story Evangel has been accepted for publication in the spring issue of The Southern California Literary Review.

    Wolf Gruner published the peer reviewed book chapter: “Indifference? Participation and Protest as Individual Responses to the Persecution of the Jews as Revealed in Berlin Police Logs and Trial Records, 1933-45”, in: Alan Steinweis/Susanna Schrafstetter (eds.), The Germans and the Holocaust. Popular Responses to the Persecution and Murder of the Jews, New York: Berghahn 2015, pp. 59-83.

    Gruner also co-organized with Thomas Pegelow Kaplan the panel: “Rethinking Jewish Petitions During the Holocaust. Towards Integrated Histories of Collective and Individual Acts of Contestation” (panel participants: Tim Cole, University of Bristol, Marion Kaplan, NYU (chair), Thomas Pegelow Kaplan, Davidson College, Wolf Gruner, USC) and delivered his paper “Letters and Memoranda. Overlooked Jewish Means of Opposition and Protest against the Persecution in Nazi Germany” at the 47th Annual conference of the Association of Jewish Studies, Boston, 13 December 2015.  He also gave an invited commentary to the 35th Annual Jerome Nemer Lecture “How to provide imperfect justice for Holocaust victims in the 21st Century” delivered by Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat on 15 November 2015 organized by the USC Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life and the USC Max Kade institute for German, Austrian and Swiss studies. In addition, he presented the International Family Film Festival (IFFF)’s 2015 Humanitarian Award to Rwandan filmmaker Eric Kabera and his film Intore about reconciliation through music and dance in the post-genocide society of Rwanda, on 8 November 2015 at Raleigh Studios, Hollywood.


    Marjorie Becker participated in the “Poetics of the Spanish Civil War,” program at Beyond Baroque and helped organized a future program focusing on historical assessments of that war known as the dress-rehearsal for the second world war. In addition, Angle of Reflection, the volume featuring her poetry and that of her longstanding poetry community has emerged. She participated in the initial reading from and celebration of that volume at Beyond Baroque on Friday, December 9. Lastly, Marjorie was recently interviewed about the new Latin American and Latina/o Studies major.

    Bill Deverell and Greg Hise have just published Form and Landscape: Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Basin, 1940-1990 with Edition One Books in Berkeley.

    Wolf Gruner published the book: Die Judenverfolgung im Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren. Lokale Initiativen, zentrale Entscheidungen, jüdische Antworten 1939-1945 (The persecution of the Jews in the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia. Local initiatives, central decisions and Jewish responses) with Wallstein in Germany, 360 pp.

    Gruner was the co-chair of the 14th biennial Lessons and Legacies Conference on Holocaust Studies “The Holocaust in the 21st Century: Relevance and Challenges in the Digital Age”. From November 3-6, the conference, organized by the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University and hosted by Claremont McKenna College, brought together 250 of the world’s leading Holocaust scholars and graduate students and showcased exciting new research from various disciplines. Gruner gave the welcome and concluding remarks for the conference. For the USC Schoah Foundation he also organized two workshops at USC to introduce two dozen participants to the survivor testimonies of the Visual History Archive. In the Fall, Gruner organized the “The Rebel Academic”, a symposium in honor of the renown British Holocaust scholar David Cesarani. Cesarani was selected last fall as the inaugural Sara and Asa Shapiro scholar of the USC Shoah Foundation, but unfortunately passed away after his acceptance of this award. The symposium hosted by the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research took place in Santa Monica and featured talks of Robert Rozett, David Silberklang (both Yad Vashem Jerusalem) and Todd Endelman (U Michigan), Stephen Smith (USC Shoah Foundation) and Dawn Cesarani from London.

    Gruner also gave an invited paper on “Anti-Jewish Policy until the beginning of the war” at the international conference “From Euthanasia to the Holocaust: Parallels or Causalities?” that took place 24 – 26 November 2016 at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main and at the memorial Hadamar in Germany.

    Vanessa Schwartz is keynoting the “Ecrire L’Histoire du XIX Siècle Par I’Image” conference at Paris I – The Sorbonne on December 14. She and Daniela Bleichmar are teaching a Mellon Sawyer Seminar in Spring 2017, “Visual History: The Past In Pictures” on 7 Monday afternoons and holding a symposium on April 23-24. Faculty are welcome to attend and there is currently a waiting list for grad students to enroll although they may attend any session(s).

    Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Jenna Ross for receiving the Department of History’s nomination for the university’s Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.  Jenna was honored, along with fellow nominees, at a Center for Excellence in Teaching reception on November 10th, 2016.

    Congratulations to third-year graduate student Simon Judkins on the publication of his article “Citizen Surveillance: CIVIC and the Investigation of Vice in the City of Los Angeles, 1935-1938” in the Fall 2016 issue of California History.  Pleae click here to read the article.

    Professor Jake Soll was recently intervied by one of the most influential newspapers in Portugal and Brazil.  The full article entitled, “The Rating System in Fraudulent,” is available here.

    Marjorie Becker has been invited to take part in an assessment of the poetics of the Spanish Civil War; during which she will focus on her own research regarding the gendered poetics and historiography of Octavio Paz.  In addition, some of her own poetry—published and new—will appear in the new collection, Angles of Reflection: 10 Los Angeles Poets.  She has been invited to participate in various readings celebrating this event.

    Wolf Gruner co-organized with Victoria Sanford (CUNY) the first international conference on the Mayan Genocide in Guatemala. The conference, hosted by the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research on 11-14 September 2016, was scheduled to mark the 20th anniversary of the Guatemalan Peace accord in 1996 which ended more than thirty years of a civil war. This civil war provided the cover for the genocidal campaign against the Mayan people in the 1980s that cost almost 200.000 lives. The four-day conference brought together 30 scholars from Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States and from a dozen disciplines to advance the academic discussion of Genocide and Resistance. The panels were moderated by colleagues from our department, USC and other universities in the greater Los Angeles area. Scholars from New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and San Francisco traveled to USC just to attend the conference. The live stream of the conference was watched in Canada and the United Emirates. Gruner gave interviews during the conference to KPCC, Annenberg TV. Media as La opinion, Univision, and KPFK covered the conference. And after a report of the Spanish news agency EFE, press and internet news media in Spain and Latin America followed. The conference program that had more than hundred people in the audience on one day, was accompanied by the screening of a related new documentary “Finding Oscar” together with the Cinema school, a community event with a keynote of a survivor and activist Rosalina Tuyuc, as well as by an evening concert with Rebeca Lane, a hip hop artist and human right activist from Guatemala, that as a USC Vision and Voices signature event almost sold out USC’s Bovard auditorium.

    Karin Amundsen, a former EMSI Summer Dissertation fellow (2015, 2016) and current Ph.D. candidate in History at USC, had been awarded the Jamestown Rediscovery-Omohundro Institute
    Short-Term Fellowship.  She will travel to Williamsburg this fall to continue research on her project entitled, “Metallurgy, Mining, and English Colonization in the Americas, 1550-1624.”

    Paul Lerner has won the American Historical Association’s Dorothy Rosenberg Prize “for the most distinguished work on the history of the Jewish diaspora published in English,” for his latest book, The Consuming Temple: Jews, Department Stores, and the Consumer Revolution in Germany, 1880–1940 (Cornell Univ. Press, 2015).  The official press release can be read here.  Please join us in congratulating him for winning this distinguished award (

    Recently published: Daniela Bleichmar and Meredith Martin (eds.), Objects in Motion in the Early Modern World (Wiley, 2016) and Daniela BleichmarEl imperio visible. Expediciones botánicas y cultural visual en la ilustración hispánica (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2016).

    Wolf Gruner gave a talk on Holocaust and Genocide at the seminar “Teaching about the Holocaust Genocide in Latin America: A USC Shoah Foundation and UNESCO Convening” for representatives from Governments and Ministries of education from Latin American on 10 September 2016 at USC. Gruner also gave KPFK, Los Angeles, a Radio interview in Spanish on August 28th as the host of the upcoming international conference on Genocide and Resistance in Guatemala and some related events that are organized by the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research and will take place September 11th-14th, 2016 at USC. He gave a similar interview in Spanish to Univision, Los Angeles, on September 9th, 2016.

    Joan Piggott and her colleagues in Japan, working under the auspices of USC’s Project for Premodern Japan Studies (PPJS), have now completed their five-year “Gender in the Japanese Administrative Code” initiative. They have produced the first bilingual annotated translations in modern Japanese and English of selections from the earliest Japanese law code, the Yôrô Code, compiled around 720 and promulgated in the 750s. Their work, including introductions and illustrations and glossaries in both languages, has been published collaboratively by two academic journals: the Teikyô University Historical Journal (Teikyô shigaku) and the Journal of History at Senshû University (Senshû shigaku). Research and collaborative meetings of the group began in Japan and the U.S. in 2010; and publication of the first of four parts began in late 2013, followed by subsequent publications in 2014, 2015, and 2016. In addition a new web page for Ritsuryô Legal Studies has been established as a venue for additional translations, research, and collaborative resources, at

    In Spring 2015 Joan Piggott published “Introducing the Taiheiki, and Newly Translated Selections,” in The Review of Japanese Culture and Society. These and other new translations from the Taiheiki, a fourteenth-century epic that has been called Japan’s own War and Peace, are being used for an undergraduate seminar taught here at USC, while also being published in the Japan Historical Text Initiative (JHTI) of the Center for Japanese Studies of the University of California at Berkeley. For that online project, the original text and the translation are published together, for use by researchers and teachers around the world.

    In Summer 2016 Professor Piggott led the fifteenth annual month-long Kambun Workshop. The Kambun Workshops, based at USC since 2004, have now trained more than 100 graduate students in Japanese Historical Studies to read Sino-Japanese (Kambun), the language of most historical sources in Japan up to the twentieth century. This year’s workshop was devoted to reading and translating sources from Tôji, Kyoto’s Eastern Temple, whose tens of thousands of archived records were designated recently by UNESCO as an outstanding resource for its Memory of the World initiative. The workshop was led by Professor Piggott, graduate student Dan Sherer of USC’s History Department, and Professor Toshiko Takahashi of the University of Tokyo’s Historiographical Institute (Shiryô Hensanjo). Participants from the University of Chicago, the University of California at Irvine, and the University of Pennsylvania joined several USC graduate students for the intensive workshop, which met daily from 10 to 5, for more class hours than a semester-long course!

    Vanessa Schwartz delivered the keynote address, “When Tomorrowland Became Today: Disneyland and Jet Age Mobility” at a conference on “Simulation” at the University of Geneva in early September. On behalf of the VSRI and Visions and Voices, she hosted filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, recently awarded an honorary Oscar, in two sold out events the first week of classes. Schwartz was filmed for Wiseman’s new film on the NYPL last year. She and Daniela Bleichmar are directing a Mellon Sawyer Seminar, “Visual History: The Past in Pictures.”

    Marjorie Becker is grateful to have been invited to serve on the editorial board of Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice. She is particularly grateful as long ago she was among those invited to the initial innovative historical conference from which this journal emerged, prompting her to create her USC graduate class entitled the Art of History Writing and her undergraduate course entitled New Historical Writing, and to participate in a remarkable scholarly community that seeks out forms of communication and representation consistent with contemporary fashions of thinking, feeling, and imagining.

    Justin Clark, who earned his PhD in 2014 from this department, has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of History at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.  His book manuscript based on his dissertation, “From Spectators to Visionaries: Visual Culture and the Transformation of 19th-Century Boston,” is under contract with UNC Press, and will come out in 2018.  Additionally, Clark’s article that began its life in Steve Ross’s research seminar,  “Confronting the ‘Seeker of Newspaper Notoriety’: Pathological Lying, the Public, and the Press, 1890-1920,” will be appearing in the Spring 2017 issue of American Journalism. Congratulations Justin!

    Wolf Gruner gave an invited Lecture “Defiance and Protest. Forgotten individual Jewish reactions to Nazi Persecution”, at the Department of History and Jewish Studies, Texas A&M University, and co-hosted a workshop “Introduction to the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive” for faculty and graduate students on 4 April 2016. On 5 April 2016, he gave the same invited Lecture “Defiance and Protest” at the University of Texas, Austin, organized by the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies, History Department, Center for European Studies, Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. On 2 May, Wolf Gruner gave an invited Lecture on “Defiance and Protest” at the Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention, at the American University of Paris and hosted a workshop “Introduction to the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive” for faculty and graduate students.

    On June 16th, Gruner gave a talk on Jewish resistance for Facing History and Ourselves in Los Angeles at their teacher’s seminar “The Holocaust and Human Behavior”. On 11 July he gave an invited lecture on  “Defiance and Protest” and hosted a workshop “Introduction to the USH Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive” on 13 July, both at the Third European Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilisation, organized by the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University, USA, and the Holocaust Research Centre at Royal Holloway, University of London, with the support of the Pears Foundation, at the Royal Holloway campus, Egham, Surrey, in England.

    Sarah Gualtieri would like to share with the department that an essay of Maria Elena Martinez’s, “Sex and the Colonial Archive: The Case of ‘Mariano’ Aguilera” has been published in the Hispanic American Historical Review with an online forum.  It may be found here.

    Our PhD candidate Sari Siegel was awarded a Harry Frank Guggenheim Dissertation Completion Fellowship for 2016-17.  Her article, “The Past and Promise of Jewish Prisoner-Physicians’ Accounts: A Case Study of Auschwitz-Birkenau’s Multiple Functions” has been published in S.I.M.O.N., the online  journal of the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies. It may be found here.

  • Spring

    Congratulations to Sachiko Kawai (,  who will graduate from the PhD program next month, and has accepted the position of College Fellow in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard for the 2015-16 academic year.

    Three of our graduate student colleagues have received Graduate School Advanced Fellowships—Nicholas Gliserman( and Christian Paiz ( have been awarded year-long Dissertation Completion Fellowships and Karin Amundsen ( has been awarded a Graduate School Endowed Fellowship.  Congratulations Nick, Christian and Karin.

    Keith Pluymers ( has just learned that he has been selected as a two-year environmental history postdoctoral instructor in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Caltech.  Congratulations, Keith!

    Daniela Bleichmar and Vanessa Schwartz have received $175K from the Mellon Foundation to organize a Mellon Sawyer seminar in 2016–2017. The grant will provide funding for a postdoctoral fellow, two graduate fellowships, and a year-long series of meetings on the topic “Visual History: The Past in Images.”

    Richard Fox has been elected to membership in the Society of American Historians, based at Columbia University.  He has also been appointed to a three-year term as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, the main professional body for scholars of the United States and its colonial antecedents.

    Wolf Gruner was awarded a faculty research grant by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Program) to conduct research for 2 months in Germany on individual defiance and resistance of Jews during the Holocaust and its remembrance after 1945. He will be in residence at the Center for Jewish Studies in Berlin in June and July, and give a talk on his topic and host a workshop about testimonies and research. He was invited to give a talk at an international conference on Genocide and Gender, organized by the Technical University Berlin and the Central European University Budapest in early June in Berlin, as well as to participate in a concluding Key note panel at a conference about the society in the Third Reich at the University of Hannover, Germany, in late June.

    From Wolf Gruner’s book, Jewish Forced Labor Under the Nazis: Economic Needs and Racial Aims, 1938–1944 (Cambridge UP 2008), the chapter 6 on “Camps and Ghettos – Forced Labor in the Reich Gau Wartheland” was published as a reprint in the extended 2nd edition of: The Holocaust: Origins, Implementation, Aftermath, ed. by Omer Bartov (Rewriting Histories series) Routledge, 2015.

    Lon Kurashige’s article, “Rethinking Anti-Immigrant Racism: Lessons from the Los Angeles Vote on the 1920 Alien Land Law,” has been selected the best article by an established historian to appear in the Southern California Quarterly in the past three years (2012-2014).  The award is called the Carl I. Wheat Award and was announced at the Historical Society of Southern California-Occidental Conference on April 4th.

    In March Peter Mancall spoke on “Writing America’s Origins” at the Sorbonne and on “The Landscape of History” at the École normale supérieure de Lyon.

    Nathan Perl-Rosenthal co-authored an op-ed on with Sam Erman (USC Law) about a court case they worked on together regarding the citizenship status of American Samoans.  “Not another Dred Scott case, please”

    Vanessa R. Schwartz was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. She was also awarded the Charles Lindbergh Chair for a fellowship at the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian. She gave lectures at the Penn Forum for the Humanities, keynoted at the Future of Photo History Conference at the Ryerson Image Center in Toronto and returned to Philly to speak at the Penn Art Museum.

    Brett Sheehan has published Industrial Eden: A Chinese Capitalist Vision. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015.

    On March 26, Jacob Soll presented his book The Reckoning at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

    Please join us in congratulating Keith Pluymers, who will graduate from the PhD program next month, on his selection as an inaugural Dornsife Preceptor for 2015-2016.  This new and highly selective program will bring Keith into the classroom to teach two courses next year and to assist other colleagues with TA-ing work. Congratulations,  Keith!

    Marjorie Becker was nominated by the American Historical Association’s committee on committees to serve on it Albert Beveridge grant committee. That entailed reading and assessing 129 grant proposals by grad students and faculty colleagues writing about Canada, the U.S. and Latin America.  Because it was so competitive key issues, including the construction of the prose, the editing of the proposals, proved even more important than usual.  She is also setting up a memorial for Maria Elena Martinez at the Latin American Studies Association to be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico this May.

    Wolf Gruner was invited to speak at the panel “Holocaust & Genocide Studies: Complementary or Competitive Paradigms?” The panel discussion on February 12th 2015, organized by the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies and cosponsored by the UCLA Center for European and Eurasian Studies and the UCLA Department of History, also featured A. Dirk Moses (Dept. of History and Civilization, European University Institute, Florence) and Benjamin L. Madley, Dept. of History, UCLA). Gruner also gave an invited lecture on “Jewish Defiance, Resistance, & Protest in Nazi Germany” at the Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies at Pepperdine University on Thursday, February 19, 2015.

    Vanessa R. Schwartz was awarded a fellowship at the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library, where she will be in residence in AY 15-16. She also contributed to a published discussion on “The Nineteenth Century through the Lens of Visual Studies” in the Revue d’histoire du XIX siecle n. 49, 2014/2, pp. 139-178.

    Governing the Sea in the Early Modern Era, edited by Carole Shammas and Peter Mancall, is a collection of essays published in honor of Roy Ritchie, the legendary research director at the Huntington Library.  The volume, published by the Huntington and distributed by the University of California Press, features chapters byKeith Pluymers, who recently defended his dissertation in the department, and Adrian Finucane, a former EMSI Mellon fellow who taught in our department for two years.

    Brett Sheehan’s “Shotgun Wedding: The Dongya Corporation and the Early Communist Regime,” was published in Sherman Cochran, ed., The Capitalist Dilemma in China’s Communist Revolution: Stay, Leave, or Return?, Cornell University Press, 2014, 21-43.

    Jacob Soll gave the annual Rava Lecture in Italian Studies at Washington University of St Louis on Florentine libraries in the 18th c; he took part in a debate about his work at the LSE; he also was invited by the dean of social sciences at UC Irvine to present his work last Wednesday. He was on Readers’ Corner on Idaho NPR on Feb 8; he is working with translators on the Japanese version of his book The Reckoning.   He organized the first Martens Economic Forum at USC, which brought acclaimed scholars from around the world and the country to USC to discuss 18th century British fiscal history; he also signed a contract for his new book, Free Market: The History of a Dream.

    Please join us in congratulating our postdoctoral colleague Allison Miller; Allison has just accepted the position as editor of the American Historical Association’s Perspectives magazine.  Congratulations, Allison!

    Anne (Andie) Reid, who did her dissertation work on the California mission system with Peter Mancall and Bill Deverell, has accepted a tenure-track appointment in the History Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Congratulations, Andie!

    Congratlations to our colleague Vanessa Schwartz who has just been awarded a 2015 USC Mellon Mentoring Award for Faculty Mentoring of Postdoctoral Scholars.  She has previously been awarded the Mellon Mentoring Award for Mentoring Graduate Students.  We are so proud!

    Our recent Ph.D student Julia Ornelas-Higdon, who worked with George Sanchez and Bill Deverell, has accepted an appointment as a tenure-track ass’t professor in the Department of History at the California State University, Channel Islands.  Congratulations!

    Lisa Bitel has just published Our Lady of the Rock: Vision and Pilgrimage in the Mojave Desert (Cornell, 2015)

    Richard Fox’s Lincoln’s Body: A Cultural History (W. W. Norton) has been released; author photo by Phil Ethington.

    Wolf Gruner’s co-edited book: The Greater German Reich and the Jews: Nazi Persecution Policies in the Annexed Territories 1935-1945was published with Berghahn Books New York.

    Vanessa Schwartz’s Getting the Picture: The Visual Culture of the News co-edited with Jason Hill, with contributions by former USC History students Ryan Linkof, Catherine Clark and Matt Fox-Amato, has been published by Bloomsbury Press. In addition, The Getty Research Journal (n.7) has just been published. Vanessa Schwartz and Jan von Brevern wrote the forward and edited a special section called “Photography’s Past Futures.”

    Jake Soll’s
     The Reckoning has been chosen by Castle Harlan Private Equity firm as their book of the year (2014) and is also included in Dropout Nation’s 2014 edition of The Top Eight Books That School Reformers Should Read.

    Diana Williams has been asked–and agreed–to join the amicus brief of historians of marriage in the DeBoer case, which is being appealed from the 6th Circuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Alex Aviña who is Marjorie Becker’s former graduate student in Latin American History with a focus on Modern Mexican History, has been promoted to associate professor with tenure at Florida State University.

    Phil Ethington just signed the first-ever (peer-reviewed) contract with a University Press
    (UC Press) for a born-digital, online book, with a scaled-down full color print version as a stand-alone companion to the digital version.  Ghost Metropolis: Los Angeles Since 13,000, written in many genres and across several disciplines, has been in the making for 14 years, so Phil will be very happy to see it reach the public about a year from now, in both formats.

    Wolf Gruner was invited to give a talk on “Jewish Forced Labor in the Service of Private Industry,” as part of the Shoah Teaching Alternatives in Jewish Education (STAJE) seminar on “Big Business and the Holocaust” on 14 December 2014  at the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial New York.

    Congratulations to our doctoral candidate colleague, Sari Siegel on the publication of her peer reviewed article, Treating an Auschwitz Prisoner-Physician: The Case of Dr. Maximilian Samuel (Sari J. Siegel, Holocaust and Genocide Studies 2014 28 (3): 450-481, doi: 10.1093/hgs/dcu041).  To read Sari’s article, please click here.

    Professor Jacob Soll traveled to Southern Europe to meet with officials and share his research on the relationship between history and modern economic crises.  The entire article can be found here.

    Our colleague, Professor Vanessa Schwartz, has been awarded the 2015 Associates Award for creativity in research and scholarship — the Associates Awards are the highest honors the university bestows upon its members for distinguished intellectual and artistic achievements and for outstanding teaching, both in and out of the classroom.

    We are delighted that our colleague, Francille Wilson, has been elected National Director of the Association of Black Women Historians.  Founded in 1979, ABWH is the professional association for all scholars of black women’s history.  As the new National Director, Francille is following in the footsteps of such scholars as Nell Irvin Painter and Darlene Clark Hine.  Many congratulations, Francille!

    Wonderful news to start the year – our colleague Glenda Goodman, who is serving as an ACLS New Faculty Fellow in the department, has accepted an offer from the University of Pennsylvania to become an assistant professor of music, starting in Fall, 2015.  Congratulations, Glenda!


    Kyung Moon Hwang was promoted to full professor, and his book, Rationalizing Korea, was published by UC Press.

    Congratulations to Paul Lerner who has just been promoted to Full Professor of History!

    The History Department is proud to announce that our PhD candidate Stefan Smith has been hired as a writer for the television program Drunk History!

    Marjorie Becker’s poetic and historical eulogy for our colleague Maria Elena Martinez just appeared in the Hispanic American Historical Review on line.  The eulogy is entitled, “And Cry Again and Shout as We . . .”  She also was invited to and has agreed to chair the American Historical Association’s Beveridge Grant Committee, on which she served last year.  She is co-chairing the history department’s colonial Latin American search committee, and will serve again on the Woodrow Wilson Charlotte Newcombe grant committee.

    Bill Deverell and Darryl Holter have just published Woody Guthrie L.A., 1937-1941 with Angel City Press.

    Wolf Gruner organized together with Nick Strimple (USC Thornton School of Music) “Singing in the Lion’s Mouth: Music as Resistance to Genocide,” a successful two-day event series on campus. The program began with two film screenings, Screamers, a film by Carla Garapedian, and Following the Ninth, a film by Kerry Candaele. Both films were followed by very interesting discussions involving the audience and the filmmakers. The second day started with an academic symposium with seven scholars from Europe, Indonesia, South Africa, and the United States. Their research presentations discussed and challenged our understanding of how music serves as a means of resistance. The events series on October 10th and 11th, 2015, supported by the USC Vision and Voices initiative and co-hosted by the USC Shoah foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research and the USC Thornton School of Music, ended with a moving evening concert that included performances by choral and instrumental USC students as well as original recordings of songs used or created as resistance during the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide and the Indonesian Purges.

    Peter Mancall has received a Dyason Fellowship from the University of Melbourne and is the PI for a newly awarded ACLS Postdoctoral Partnership Initiative grant.   He is also now the Vice Dean for the Humanities and Social Sciences at Dornsife.

    Vanessa Schwartz delivered a lecture on Teaching Western Civ. at Berkeley at a conference in honor of Tom Laqueur;  delivered the closing keynote, “Paparazzi: The Last Professionals” at the Reconsidering Photography Conference for the Mois de la Photo in Montréal, at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art lectured on “Networks” at the Terra Foundation Symposium, “Shifting Terrain: Mapping a Transnational American Art;” at the Cullman Center at the NYPL spoke on “Jet Age Aesthetics” and will give the Edith Bleich Lecture at the University of Miami Center for the Humanities on the origin of media events in late nineteenth century Paris. She is also an invited Professor at the Van Leer Institute at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at Ben Gurion University in December 2015 where she will lecture on France and the culture of mobility. Schwartz also published a response essay in Elkins, et. al. Farewell to Visual Studies. A Stone Seminar Book. (Penn State, 2015).

    Wolf Gruner was invited to author two chapters, one about his early research on Jewish Forced labor and one about his recent work on local and regional anti-Jewish policies in the annexed territories, to a two volume special edition of Revue d’histoire de la Shoah on German historiography on the Holocaust since 1990 which features original contributions by the most influential German historians. The planned volumes are a cooperation of the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris and the Center for Holocaust Studies of the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich.

    Steve Ross was interviewed by Vince Houghton, director of the International Spy Museum, for his hour-long Spycast Podcast as part of the first Politicon Convention held in Los Angeles October 9-10, 2015. He was also interviewed by the Boston Globe for an article on “Presidential Celebrity Endorsements.”

    Based on her committee work for the AHA and for the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Marjorie Becker was asked to help link the two regarding a new Woodrow Wilson fellowship.  She was also invited to the first ever poetry reading of her longstanding poetry salon, populated by poets trained by English Department chair and professor David St. John. She and her poetry from her previous collections and the one in the making were introduced by St. John.  Among other poems, she read her eulogy to the late Colombian writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who emerges in a distinct form in her forthcoming history article, itelf in part based on her longstanding experience teaching ARLT students fashions in which to assess history and literature. Her last poem was a eulogy to her late father, Marvin Jerome (“Buddy”) Becker.

    Daniela Bleichmar’s article, “The Imperial Visual Archive: Images, Evidence, and Knowledge in the Early Modern Hispanic World,” has just appeared in the Colonial Latin American Review.

    Marjorie Becker’s article, “Had Pilar Ternera Co-Written Cien Aňos de Soledad, Gabo, I’d Never Write You Now: Toward a Letter to the Dead,” has been accepted for publication in Rethinking History. She has been invited to serve a third year on the Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s Charlotte Newcombe Fellowship prize committee.  She has also been invited to participate in a panel focusing on the Spanish Civil War and the literature it prompted.

    Daniela Bleichmar has co-edited (with Meredith Martin of NYU) the latest issue of the peer-reviewed journal Art History, a collection of twelve essays entitled Objects in Motion in the Early Modern World that will also come out as a stand-alone paperback book from Wiley in a few months. Daniela’s contribution is a co-written introduction and an article entitled “History in Pictures: Translating the Codex Mendoza,” which is part of her ongoing monograph project on knowledge-making in colonial Mexico and early modern Europe.

    Wolf Gruner 
    received a USC Vision and Voices grant to organize together with the Center for Advanced Genocide Research and the Thornton School of Music several events around the international symposium “Music as Resistance to Genocide” on October 10th and 11th, consisting of documentary screenings and an evening concert, where students performed pieces of resistance music.  In June and July, he stayed in Berlin, Germany as a DAAD fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies in Berlin. During his residency he gave an invited paper on “What could Germans and German Jews in the Third Reich know about the Armenian Genocide?” at the Third international ICRAR conference “Gender, Memory and Genocide – Marking 100 Years Since the Armenian Genocide”, organized by the Technical University Berlin, the Central European University Budapest and Sabancı University Istanbul, on June, 5th 2015 at the Center for the Research on Antisemitism in Berlin. On June 27th, he gave an invited paper for the concluding round table at the international conference “Der Ort der »Volksgemeinschaft« in der deutschen Gesellschaftsgeschichte. Internationale Abschlusskonferenz des Niedersächsischen Forschungskollegs »Nationalsozialistische ›Volksgemeinschaft‹?« in Hannover, Germany.  On 9 July 2015 Wolf Gruner led a workshop about the “USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive. Möglichkeiten und Grenzen für die Forschung” at the Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Jewish Studies. The same day he gave there an evening keynote lecture: “Defiance and Protest. Forgotten Reactions of German Jews to the National Socialist persecution 1933-45”.  Gruner was also invited for a guest lecture at the class “Modern German Jewish History and the Holocaust” of the international Berlin Leo Baeck Summer School 2015 by Dr. Stefanie Fischer.  On 21 July 2015 her seminar was on “Persecution, Nuremberg laws, Kristallnacht and Emigration”. The assigned text was an article by Gruner on the initiative role of municipalities regarding the persecution of the Jews that the students would discuss with the author. Lastly, In August a digital reprint of Gruner’s 2005 book “Widerstand in der Rosenstrasse” was published by S. Fischer in Frankfurt.

    George Sanchez is President of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association in 2015-2016.  He will preside over the 109th annual meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch on August 4-6, 2016 at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott in Waikoloa Beach, Hawaii on the Big Island.  This year’s theme is “Uncharted Terrain: The Challenge of Re-Imagining Traveling to the Past.”  You are welcome to submit a complete panel proposal or individual paper submission to the program committee by December 4, 2015.  The Program Committee chairs are two USC Ph.D. Graduates, Associate Professor Ana Elizabeth Rosas (of History) at and Assistant Professor Mark Padoongpatt at

  • Spring

    Our graduate alumnus Gilbert Estrada has accepted a tenure track job in Latin American History at Long Ceach City College, where he will also develop and teach course in U.S. and Latino History.  Congratulations!

    Congratulations to three Fulbright scholars from the History Department! Vivian Yan received a scholarship to Hong Kong.  Bijou Nguyen received a scholarship to Korea, and Fan Fan received a scholarship to Brazil!

    Through the Los Angeles Service Academy, the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West is helping high school students interested in civil service to cultivate an appreciation of their city.  To read the entire article featured on the USC Dornsife homepage, please click here.

    Many congratulations to our recent undergraduates who have been selected to receive travel and merit fellowships from The Roberta Persinger Foulke  Endowment Fellowship.  Travel winners include: Natalia DaSilvaNitya RamanathanChristina Schoellkopf, and Katherine McCormick.  Merit winners include: Caroline FriendHanna Jolkovsky, Natalia DaSilva, and Nitya Ramanathan.

    Congratulations to our colleagues, Lon KurashigeGeorge Sanchez, and Diana Williams, on their selection by the Asian Pacific American Student Assembly & Academic Culture Assembly as 2014 Professors of Color.  The award singles out those professors who have gone above and beyond in their contributions and their role model service to students of color on the USC campus.  Congratulations to you all!

    Our doctoral-student colleague, Monica Pelayo, has been appointed Director of Public History at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.  Congratulations Monica!

    Warm congratulations to our colleague Jake Soll for his thoughtful piece — No Accounting Skills? No Moral Reckoning — in the Opinion section of the New York Times published on 4/28/14.  To read the entire article, please click here.

    Bill Deverell delivered the keynote address at “Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr.: A Vision for the American West,” a conference held last month at Stanford.

    Steve Ross presented the 2013 LA Times Book Prize for HIstory at the recent LA Times-USC Festival of Books.  He also moderated a panel on “Untold Stories of the Holocaust,” and was a panelist on a session devoted to discussing “Hollywood : Past and Present.”

    We would like to congratulate two of our honors students who won awards at the Undergraduate Research Symposium for Scholarly and reative work held on campus from April 14-16.  Michael Bertch won first prize in the Social Science Category! Vivian Yan won second prize in the Humanities Category!

    Ann Johnson has just accepted a CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) Postdoctoral Fellowship in Academis Librarieis at Leihigh University.

    Congratulations to Matt Amato for being awarded the prestigious 2014 Zuckerman Prize in American Studies by the McNeil Center for Early Americna Studies.  The award honors “The best dissertation connecting American history (in any period) with literature and/or art.”

    Congratulations to Keith Pluymers and Sachiko Kawai, who have been awarded Final Year Dissertation Fellowships for 2014-2015!

    Sari Siegel has been named a Saul Kagan Fellow in Advanced Shoah Studies.  Fellowships are awarded to a very few canditates around the world for “strong personal commitment to Shoah memory,” academic excellence, and potential for professional leadership in Holocaust studies.

    Maria-Elena Martinez has been awarded two prestigious residential research fellowships for next year at the Stanford Humanities Center and the National Humanities Center.  Stanford selected 10 fellows from 330 applications; and the NHC selected 30 from 360.  Congratulations!

    Steve Ross have an Invited Guest Lecture on “The Politicization of Charlie Chaplin: The Events That Led Him to Make The Great Dictator (1940),” for the History Department/Jewish Studies Film Series at Cal State Fresno.  He was also interviewed by Agence France-Press for a story about “Foreign Directors in Hollywood” and by Arte (French television) for programs on “The Controversy Over Ben Urwand’s The Collaboration.”

    Jacob Soll’s “The Economic Logic of the Humanities” appeared in the most recent issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.  He also spoke at the Trojan League.

    Our recent doctoral graduate, Matt Amato, has just accepted an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellowship in the Modelins Interdisciplinary Inquiry program at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Gina Greene, who was selected as a Provost’s Postdoc finalist by our executive committee, and then awarded one of these prestigious appointments, has accepted our offer to join us in the fall.  Gina’s work explores the architectural expression of social reform, especially as it relates to children’s issues, in late 19th century France.  Gina is currently serving as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.

    USC Dornsife’s William Deverell and David Ulin spearhead “Writing from California,” a two-part program held in Los Angeles and San Francisco sponsored by The Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West (ICW). To read the entire article entitled Tales from Two Cities, click here.

    Our recent Ph.D, Sarah Keyes, has accepted a tenure track job offer in the History Department at Texas Tech University.  This appointment will begin in the fall of 2015, as Sarah will first complete her ACLS New Faculty Fellowship at UC Berkeley.

    Wolf Gruner presented and invited public lecture “The Novemberpogrom and the Berliners” in Berlin, Germany, at the Topography of Terror with an audience of 115 people on February 18th, 2014.  At this occasion, his new book was presented: “The Persecution of the Berlin Jews 1933-1945.  A Chronology of measures by the authorities in the German Capital”, Berlin: Hentrich 2014, 200 pages, which is an updated English translation of the heavily expanded German edition of 2009.

    The Center for Holocaust Studies at the Institut für Zeitgeschichte and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies have selected Sari Siegel as the American recipient of the 2014 IfZ-USHMM Exchange of Scholars Award (eligible for this one fellowship in 2014 were PhD candidates and post-docs from North America). She will be in residence at the Center for Holocaust Studies in Munich and the Berlin branch of the IfZ for four months of her dissertation research this fall.  Sari has also been selected as a participant in the GHI Archival Summer Seminar–a two-week program organized by the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC that trains graduate students to read old German script and familiarizes them with German archival facilities. With the group, she will visit archives in Speyer, Cologne, Koblenz, and Munich.

    Our recent Ph.D. graduate, Jen Black, has accepted a tenure track position in the history department at Misericordia University in Pennsylvania. 

    Fulbright scholar Jasneet Aulakh, who earned her bachelor’s in history, English and philosophy at USC Dornsife, is in India studying the role of women in local government. Click here to read the full article.

    Wolf Gruner’s “The Holocaust in Germany-An annotated online bibliography”  (80 pages) was accepted by Oxford University Press after very positive peer reviews.  In January 2014, Wolf Gruner organized, on behalf of the 2020 research cluster “Resistance to genocide” and in cooperation with the USC Shoah foundation, a week long research visit of four scholars from the “Holocaust Geographies Collaborative” – an international group of 9 researchers – to explore intensively the USC Shoah foundation archive. The team of historians, art historians and geographers has worked together since 2007 on six case studies, culminating in an edited book – Geographies of the Holocaust – which will be published by Indiana University Press in 2014. The group had hitherto primarily focused on building digital infrastructure to establish the structural geographies of Holocaust locations and events, now at USC they wanted to explore the potential of testimonies for a systematic use as a source for geographical analysis. As a result of their week long research and discussions among themselves, but also with a variety of USC scholars from different disciplines, the group wants to use the testimonies as the source base for the next phase of their research, as they announced in the public presentation at the end of their stay, on January 10th.  A more intense collaboration with USC is planned.

    Daniela Bleichmar has been awarded a major grant from the Getty Foundation to collaborate with Catherine Hess (Senior Curator of European Art at the Huntington Art Collections) on a multi-year research project entitled “Visual Voyages: Depictions of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin.” The project will lead to an international loan exhibit at the Huntington in 2017.

    Bill Deverell has been accepted into Annenberg Alchemy, a training workshop for non-profit leadership run by the Annenberg Foundation.

    Sarah Gualtieri presented a paper entitled “Out of Ann Arbor: Edward Said and Arab American Studies” at the Transnational American Studies Conference at the American University of Beirut on January 9, 2014.

    Joan Piggott reports that the prestigious Luce Foundation has just granted the Project for Premodern Japan Studies funding for our Kambun Workshops for the next two summers, to pay for fellowships for outside graduate students and faculty to take the program. Thanks to the Luce folks, there will be Kambun Workshops for two more years.  Also Part II of our annotated translation and analysis of sections from the eighth-century law codes concerning matters of gender has just been published in the journal Senshûin Shigaku. Part I was published last March (in another journal, Teikyô Shigaku). Part II, which provides interpretation of relevant laws written in the original Chinese, and then translated into both modern Japanese and English, is published in both Japanese and English; and it covers the qualifications and activities of female officials who worked in the classical Japanese palace. To finish the project, we anticipate about ten more such publications over the next few years, at the rate of one or two per year. That will bring all relevant sections of the Yôrô Ritsuryô Code into modern Japanese and English. This legal historical project of annotating and analyzing the classical Japanese law code (ritsuryô) has been a top priority for East Asian researchers for decades, so that it is finally being done and published by the Gender and Ritsuryô Research Group (Joan Piggott, Akiko Yoshie, Yôko Ijûin) is a big deal!

    Jacob Soll’s article, The Reception of The Prince 1513-1700 and the Origins of the Modern Meaning of Machiavelli has been accepted by Social Research: An International Quarterly.  On January 10, Jacob Soll presented the Faculty Address at the 2014 Spring New Student Convocation.  In addition, Jake has been named a “correspondent” of the Boston Globe and as such he published “Fresh Ideas Can Come from the 13th Century” in the January 29th edition.


    Richard Fox’s Lincoln’s Body has been selected by The History Book Club as a featured alternate in its winter catalog.

    Wolf Gruner was honored with the 2014 “Legacy award” by the benefactors of the Jewish Club of 1933 inc., Los Angeles. He gave an acceptance speech about his dedication to Holocaust studies and his current research on Jewish defiance of and protest against Nazi persecution on November, 9th, 2014, during the annual pre-Thanksgiving Luncheon for the members of the club. He also was invited on November 12th, 2014, to USC Trojan TV and its program “Platforum”. The Program on Genocide and the new Center for Advanced Genocide Research was aired 5.30-6 pm with an interview of Gruner by host Dan Morgan-Russell and a following panel discussion with Gruner and two students.

    Steve Ross has just been awarded an NEH Fellowship for 2015 to complete work on “Hitler in Los Angeles.”  He recently presented his current research to the HUC Faculty Workshop.

    Jacob Soll authored a chapter for the Routledge History of Intellectual History: “Intellectual History and the History of the Book.”  He also recently launched the Portuguese edition of his book in Lisbon, THE RECKONING, as Ajuste de Contas, with a new Portuguese historical introduction.  He was interviewed and reviewed by Radio Television Portugal, Radio 1 Portugal, Portugal’s biggest weekly magazine Sábado, and the leading newspaper O Publico.  Numerous other articles and reviews in major newspapers appeared.  He also met with the Director of the Tribunal de Contas and is working with the Tribunal on Portuguese accounting standards and the history of the Tribunal.

    Jacob Soll also recently attended the American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce’s 25th Annual Economic Forum in Athens where he presented his book, THE RECKONING, to more the 600 attendees, including members of the government and press.  It was nationally broadcast.  He met with the Finance Minister, the heads of the Chamber of Commerce, major Greek bond holders, the European Correspondent of the Wall Street Journal, the President of the American Council on Competitiveness, attended dinner with the Prime Minister and is currently consulting with the Ministry of Finance about the creation of new state pilot programs of accounting and accountability.  He was interviewed by SBC TV.

    Elinor Accampo was invited to speak at Loyola Marymount University on September 22nd  where she gave a lecture, “World War I France and the Spanish Flu”.

    Marjorie Becker has been invited for a second year to serve on the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Selection Panel, Fellowship Proposals for the Charlotte Newcombe Fellowship, a fellowship she still feels grateful to have won.  She has also been asked by the American Historical Association Committee on Committees to serve on the Beveridge Grant Committee assessing Latin American, Canadian, and U.S. Proposals, from 2015 until 2017.

    Bill Deverell has received a grant from the Del Amo Fund at USC to support translation of materials from German and Spanish to English, all pertaining to the explorer and cartographer Alexander von Humboldt.

    The current issue of Huntington Frontiers (Fall/Winter 2014, pp. 19-23) contains an interview with Richard Fox about his forthcoming book, Lincoln’s Body: A Cultural History (W. W. Norton, Feb. 2015).

    Wolf Gruner published the book chapter “Armenian Atrocities: German Jews and Their Knowledge of the Genocide during the Third Reich” in Lessons and Legacies XI. Expanding Perspectives on the Holocaust in a Changing World, Ed. and with an introduction by Hilary Earl and Karl A. Schleunes, Northwestern University Press: Evanston, Illinois 2014, pp. 180-207.  He delivered an invited commentary for the Special Session “ Book Discussion: Authors/Editors Meet Critics” on “Geographies of the Holocaust: Place, Space, Digital Humanities and the Holocaust” (Indiana University Press 2014) with the authors Anne Knowles, Middlebury College, Tim Cole, Bristol University, Alberto Giordano, Texas State University, and the commentators Christopher Browning, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Debórah Dwork, Clark University, at the international conference “Lessons and Legacies XIII: The Holocaust after 70 Years: New Perspectives on Persecution, Resistance, and Survival”, October 30 – November 2, 2014, organized by the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.

    Maria Elena Martinez has published two articles– “Archives, Bodies, and Imagination: The Case of Juana Aguilar and Queer Approaches to History, Sexuality, and Politics,” Radical History Review, Special Issue on “Queering Archives” (Nov 2014) and “Indigenous Genealogies: Lineage, History, and the Colonial Pact in Central Mexico and Peru,” in Indigenous Intellectuals: Knowledge, Power, and Colonial Culture in Mexico and the Andes, ed. Yanna Yannakakis and Gabriela Ramos (Durham: Duke University Press, 2014), 173-201.

    Steve Ross gave a talk, “Hollywood and the Jewish Community,” at the American Jewish Committee’s annual Board of Governors Meeting in Los Angeles.  He also did a television interview with Russian Television Network NTV on the topic of “Nazis collaboration with Hollywood studios during WWII.”

    Our colleague Daniela Bleichmar has received news that her book Visible Empire was awarded the 2014 Herbert Baxter Adams Prize for the best book in European history from the American Historical Association! Congratulations, Daniela, on this wonderful honor.

    Though Marjorie Becker is on sabbatical working on her next history book, “Dancing on the Sun Stone: An Exploration of Mexican Women and the Gendered Politics of Octavio Paz,” she has been invited to serve on a round table about Mexico with Gen. David Petraeus, former director of the C.I.A.  Her presentation will focus on  Mexican gender relations through history and Mexico’s future  Her own poem about Paz, has been published in a volume celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth, just out in the volume entitled, Desde Hong Kong: Poets in Conversation with Octavio Paz on the occasion of the poet’s centenary.

    Bill Deverell has just published “Convalescence to Conservation: Nature and Nation in American History,” in Andrew Isenberg, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Environmental History.

    Wolf Gruner was invited to give the 2014 James J. Kenneally Lecture in Jewish-Christian Relations at Stonehill College, Mass. He delivered his keynote “Protest and Defiance. Unknown Jewish and non-Jewish Reactions to Nazi Persecution in Germany” on September 9th, 2014.

    Lindsay O’Neill has just published The Opened Letter: Networking in the Early Modern British World (PENN, 2014).

    Vanessa R. Schwartz has been invited to be a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of the Arts at the Ecole Normale Supérieur in Paris for a month-long visit during AY 15-16. She will be speaking at Stanford in the “Ends of American Art” conference in November. Later that month she will be speaking in the History Department at UC Berkeley. Her interview with Lynn Hunt was just published in the Fall 2014 issue of Public Culture.

    Elinor Accampo was an invited speaker at a conference on World War I, “Specters of the Great War,” which took place at Dartmouth, May 15-17, 2014. She delivered a paper, “Intractable Enemy: the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and its Consequences for the Great War.”

    During the summer, Wolf Gruner was appointed as a member of the jury for the 2014 Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust Research. The Holocaust Educational Foundation at Northwestern University invited him to co-chair the academic program of the biggest international conference on Holocaust Studies, “Lessons and Legacies”, in 2016, which will take place at Claremont McKenna College. Gruner was also appointed as the inaugural director of the new USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, which was launched by President Nikias and Steven Spielberg on 25 April 2014. In June, he visited as part of a Shoah foundation delegation Guatemala invited by the Forensic Anthropology Foundation to explore the Guatemalan genocide. The delegation had the chance to talk with the General prosecutor of Guatemala, the dean of the medical school of the  University of San Marcos in Guatemala city, and various victim organizations dealing with the mass violence and its effects in Guatemala.

    Wolf Gruner also published with Oxford University Press the peer reviewed, annotated online bibliography “The Holocaust in Germany”  as part of the “Bibliographies in Jewish Studies Series”. The page, containing approx. 100 pages of book annotations, went live on 30 July 2014:  In addition, his article on Armenian atrocities. What did Jewish and non-Jewish Germans know about the Armenian Genocide 1915-1916, in: Holocaust und Völkermorde. Die Reichweite des Vergleichs, ed. by Sybille Steinbacher, Fritz-Bauer-Institut, Frankfurt/Main-New York 2012, pp. 31-54, was published and translated into Turkish by  the journal Birikim”, vol. 299/300 (March 2014), p. 23-38.

    The department would like to espescially congratulate our graduate student, Sari Siegel, on her recent accomplishments.  Sari was selected as one 2014 Saul Kagan Fellow in Advanced Shoah Studies by the Jewish Claims conference, which honors internationally seven graduate students per year who advance Holocaust studies.  The Center for Holocaust Studies at the Institut für Zeitgeschichte and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies selected Sari Siegel as the American recipient of the 2014 IfZ-USHMM Exchange of Scholars Award (eligible for this one single fellowship in 2014 were Post-docs and PhD candidates from North America).

    She has also been selected as a participant in the German Historical Institute Archival Summer Seminar 2014 –a two-week program organized by the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC that trains graduate students to read old German script and brings them over to Germany to familiarize them with several archives.  For her dissertation project, she was also selected as a Junior Fellow by the Vienna Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies for 2015.  Way to go Sari!

    Congratulations to our colleage Steve Ross, who will, in mid-August, become Director of the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life. Steve moves to this role after 16 years serving as co-founder and co-director of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities (LAIH).  Warmest congratuations on this post and this honor.

    Congratulations to our colleague Daniela Bleichmar on the recent news that her book, Visible Empire: Edpeditions and Visual Culture in the Hispanic Enlightenment has been awarded the 2014 Levinson Book Prize from the History of Science Society.

    Congratulations to Jared Farmer, ICW’s very first postdoctoral fellow, who is the recipient of the 2014 Hiett Prize in the Humanities Award. The Hiett Prize in the Humanities seeks to distinguish candidates who are dedicated to the humanities and show promise as future leaders while in the initial phases of their careers; the award comes with a $50,000 cash prize.  Jared is currently an associate professor of history at Stony Brook University.  In characterizing Jared’s work, the prize committee noted that “Through writing and photography, he illuminates the hidden histories of landscapes and habitats.”  For more information please visit Jared Farmer’s website at

  • Spring 

    Professor Marjorie Becker has been invited to participate, with Prof. David St. John, in “Peruvian Portals: A Cross-Cultural Hymn.”  This assessment of Quechua poetry and Andean history will take place at the Fisher next fall.

    Professor Sarah Gualtieri has been invited to present a paper at the International Immigration History Conference, ” A Century of Transnationalism”, at UCLA on April 26, 2013.

    Professor Wolf Gruner’s article “Peregrinations into the Void? German Jews and their Knowledge about the Armenian Genocide during the Third Reich” (Central European History 2012) was translated into Armenian and published in three chapters in the journal:  Nor Or Weekly.

    Professor María Elena Martínez was awarded a 2012-2013 Mellon Mentoring Award in the Faculty to Graduate Students category.

    Recent PhD Graduate Catherine Clark (modern Europe and Visual Studies), has been offered a tenure track appointment at MIT.

    Recent PhD Graduate Ben Uchiyama (modern Japan), has been offered a tenure track appointment at the University of Kansas.

    Recent PhD Graduate Kristina Buhrman (pre-modern Japan), has been offered a tenure track appointment at Florida State University.

    Professor Joan Piggott has published the first in a series of articles and translations of the eighth-century Japanese law code, known as the Yoro Code, in “Gender in the Japanese Administrative Code, Part 1: Laws on Residence Units.” The article appears in the Teikyo Journal of History 28.

    Professor Judith Bennett gave a talk on feminist canons at the University of Oslo in January and talks on women and poverty at the University of Glasgow in February and the University of Antwerp in March.

    Graduate Student Mark Braude has won the Gargan Prize for the best graduate student essay from the Western Society for French History for his paper “Prince Rainier of Monaco and Princess Grace of Hollywood: Myth, Media and the Wedding of the Century.”

    Undergraduate history major Jasneet Aulakh has won a Fulbright fellowship for India.

    Professor Wolf Gruner published the book in German “Gedenkort. Rosenstraße 2-4: Internierung und Protest im NS-Staat” (Memorial. Rosenstrasse 2-4. Internment and protest in Nazi Germany), hrsg. von der Topographie des Terrors, Hentrich Verlag Berlin 2013. He gave a lecture at the memorial “Topography of Terror” in Berlin on February, 26th 2013, where the book was presented and the 70th anniversary of the so called factory raid and the public protest against the deportations of Jews in the Rosenstrasse was remembered.

    Professor Vanessa Schwartz’s article, “LAX: Designing for the Jet Age” is now published in DeWit and Alexander, LA Overdrive (Getty, 2013) and her work will be integrated into the exhibition of the same name, opening in April.

    Undergraduate history major Roza Petrosyan has won first place in the research category at the USC Undergraduate Writer’s Conference with her honors thesis in history “Voiceless Heroes:  Female Resistance During the Armenian Genocide” (2012).

    Graduate Student Sari Siegel was selected as a participant for The Annual Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization – Northwestern University 2013.

    Graduate Student Natasha Pesaran was accepted by Middlebury College for their prestigious Arabic language program and received also a Critical Language Scholarship sponsored by the US State Department for Morocco for summer 2013. She declined the former and accepted the latter.

    Professor Vanessa Schwartz has just published an essay, “Film and History” in the electronic journal of Sciences Po called Histoire@Politique.

    Professor Daniela Bleichmar is pleased to note that her book was awarded the PROSE award for best book in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology in 2012 from the Association of American Publishers.

    Graduate Student Sari Siegel’s article, “Treating Dr. Maximilian Samuel: A Case Study of an Auschwitz
    Prisoner Doctor,” has been accepted for publication in the prominent peer-reviewed Journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies and is scheduled to appear in 2014.

    Recent PhD Graduate Sarah Keyes has been selected an ACLS/Mellon New Faculty Fellow for 2013-15. She joins an elite group of just 26 such fellows nationwide.

    Professor Peter Mancall’s “The Raw and the Cold: Five English Sailors in Sixteenth-Century Nunavut,” is the lead article in the January 2013 issue of the William and Mary Quarterly.

    Undergraduate History Majors Roza PetrosyanCara Palmer, and Jasneet Aulakh have been awarded USC Discovery Scholar Prizes for the Academic Year 2012-2013.  This honor, presented to only ten undergraduate students per year, recognizes outstanding and creative undergraduate academic achievement.  The three students will join other outstanding USC scholars at a ceremony during Commencement Week and be greeted by University President C. L. Max Nikias at a reception for the award winners.

    Professor Sarah Gualtieri presented at the thematic conversation, The Arab Uprisings: Media Representations of Women & Youth,” at the Middle East Association Conference in Denver, CO, in November.

    Graduate Students Nicholas Gliserman and Keith Pluymers have received PhD Dissertation Fellowships for 2013-14 from the Early Modern Studies Institute.

    Recent PhD Graduate Jessica Kim has received a tenure track job offer from California State University, Northridge.

    Professor Vanessa Schwartz participated in a Presidential Plenary at the AHA in conversation with Bill Cronon, Peter Galison and film director John Sayles. She will be keynoting the conference: Politics in Art Forms in February at USC with a talk, “Beyond Atrocity: Looking at Photojournalism.”

    Graduate Student Max Felker-Kantor has just published “‘A Pledge Is Not Self-Enforcing’: Struggles for Equal Employment Opportunity in Multiracial Los Angeles, 1964–1982.” Pacific Historical Review 82, no. 1 (February 1, 2013): 63–94.

    Steve Ross’ Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped America Politics was just named by Choice as one of  its “Outstanding Academic Titles” for 2012.

    Professor Jacob Soll authored the review, “I Would Prefer Not To—What Paperwork Means to Modern Life,” The New Republic, January, 10, 2013.


    Wolf Gruner’s book chapter “Armenier-Greuel.“ Was wussten jüdische und nichtjüdische Deutsche im NS-Staat über den Völkermord von 1915/16? (Armenian Atrocities. What did Jewish and non-Jewish Germans know about the Genocide), in: Holocaust und Völkermorde. Die Reichweite des Vergleichs, ed. by Sybille Steinbacher, Frankfurt/Main-New York 2012, will be translated into Turkish and published in April 2014 in the Turkish academic journal: Birikim No. 300, 4/2014.  He also coauthored a biographical introduction of the late German writer Michael Peschke for a book with his theater and screen plays: Wolf Gruner/Hugo Velarde, Beobachten, Erinnern, Verstehen. Michael Peschkes Leben und Werk, in: Michael Peschke, Von Hauptbahnhof bis Kalaschnikow. Texte für Theater und Film. Herausgegeben von Hugo Velarde und Harald Müller, Berlin: Theater der Zeit 2013, pp. 7-12.

    Our emeritus colleague Jack Wills has just published a thoughtful, important letter in this month’s copy of the American Historical Association’s Perspectives. Click here to read the letter.

    Marjorie Becker participated with David St. John in a two part Fisher Museum presentation, entitled “Drawn to Language.”  Her participation, in conversation with St. John who read from his recent Andean-inflected poetry, was a paper drawing on her years of grass roots experience, research and teaching in and about the Andeas.  In her presentation she focused on the explosive and exceptionally resistant histories of female dances, souls, and song of the Andes.  In addition, as part of a collaboration between History and ASE, Professor Becker shaped a historical, literary and theoretical introduction to her internationally prominent Yale mentor Florencia Mallon.  Before a wide audience of USC colleagues and students drawn from multiple Latin American history and studies courses, Mallon read from her celebrated novel, Beyond the Ties of the Blood.  A remarkable conversation about the often gendered relationships between theory, historical and more creative writing ensued.

    Daniela Bleichmar recently presented papers at two conferences held at Dumbarton Oaks (“Botany of Empire”) and the Clark Library (“Iberian Globalization of the Early Modern World”), and served as the inaugural speaker for the new Iberian Studies seminar at Johns Hopkins University. Her short piece on Latin American science just appeared in Kenneth Mills and Evonne Levy (eds.), Lexikon of the Hispanic Baroque: Transatlantic Exchange and Transformation (UT Press).

    From Wolf Gruner’s book, Jewish Forced Labor Under the Nazis: Economic Needs and Racial Aims, 1938–1944 (Cambridge UP 2008), the chapter 6 on “Camps and Ghettos – Forced Labor in the Reich Gau Wartheland” was selected for a reprint in the 2nd edition of: The Holocaust: Origins, Implementation, Aftermath, ed. by Omer Bartov (Rewriting Histories series) Routledge, 2013.

    Peter Mancall’s talks in October and early November included “Pigs for Historians,” at the Chicago Humanities Festival, “Henry Hudson’s Fatal Journey,” at Cornell, and “Les habitants de Nouveau Monde vus d’Europe” at the Lycée Français de New York.

    María Elena Martínez’s essay “Archives, Bodies, and Imagination: Queer Approaches to History, Sexuality, and Politics,” has been accepted for publication by the Radical History Review, as part of a Special Issue on “Queering Archives” (fall 2014) The journal received 130 proposals for the issue. In October she presented on “Religion, Caste, and Race in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires: Local and Global Dimensions” at the University of Pennsylvania’s McNeil Center for Early American Studies. And she has accepted an invitation by Mexico’s National Autonomous University to deliver lectures on indigenous women’s rights next spring, as part of a seminar on law and history and a project by the school’s legal research institute to address the question of gendered violence historically and in the present in order to make juridical recommendations.

    Brett Sheehan was nominated for the Steven B. Sample Teaching and Mentoring Award and was recognized along with the other nominees at a parents’ banquet on October 24, 2013.

    Jacob Soll guest lectured in the undergraduate seminar on material culture at the University of Pennsylvania and the Library Company and was also an invited speaker at the conference on the History of Political Economy at Harvard Business School.

    Marjorie Becker has been invited by English professor David St. John to participate with him in a program at the Fisher Museum based on various Andean connections.  In particular, the work draws on the connections between Quechua (one of the Andean languages,) and music; the connections between St. John’s recent Andean-inspired poems, and Becker’s multiple trips to Peru and Bolivia and annual courses teaching the cultural histories of Boliva and Peru.  This part of this project will take place at the Fisher in October.  Becker has also been asked to help organize and participate in Florencia Mallon’s USC History Department visit.  Mallon, Becker’s Yale mentor, is an internationally famous historian and creative writer.  Her visit is part of multiple programs focusing on “The Other 9/11,” and the series of Chilean tragedies following the death of Salvador Allende and the government of Agustin Pinochet.  Becker’s own 9/11 poem, (emerging from an invitational conference she participated in,) was published last year.  It attempts to speak to and about her own multi-faceted experiences of Chile, its history, its present, its multi-faceted gendered worlds and the vast and elegant roles Salvador Allende played in Chileans’ and foreigners political and personal histories.  In addition, Becker has recently become involved, with the passing of her undergraduate and graduate teacher Larry Goodwyn, in widespread considerations of Goodwyn’s ground-breaking political and oral historical work.  Her own approach to miscegenation between enslaved women and their white “masters,” which received an AAUW award, emerged from her extensive study in Goodwyn’s undergraduate and graduate courses, and her work as an oral historian of the U.S. South.

    Judith Bennett, co-editing with Ruth Karras, has just published The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: 39 contributors; 600+ pages; and, best of all, it includes a spectacular chapter on gender and Christianization by Lisa Bitel.

    Daniela Bleichmar has been awarded the The American Historical Association’s 2013 Leo Gershow Award for “the most outstanding work published in English on any aspect of 17th- and 18th-century European history” for her book Visible Empire: Botanical Expeditions & Visual Culture in the Hispanic Enlightenment (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

    Wolf Gruner is pleased to note the successful completion of the Third interdisciplinary workshop “Resisting the Path to Genocide: Individual resistance”. This international conference was organized by the 2020 Dornsife research cluster “Resisting the path to genocide” and hosted at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, and the Villa Aurora, Pacific Palisades, September 26 – 28, 2013. The workshop brought scholars from the Netherlands, Poland, the UK, Germany, Australia and the United states, representing disciplines as Political science, Anthropology, Jewish studies, History, History of Medicine and Philosophy, together who discussed their research on Resistance during the Holocaust, the Herero Genocide and Mass violence in three African countries as well as theoretical questions.  Also, Gruner was invited to give a commentary on the panel “Persecution” at the international conference “Die deutsche Gesellschaft im Nationalsozialismus. Forschungspositionen und –perspektiven” (The German society during the Third Reich. Research Positions and Perspectives), organized by the University of Vermont und the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam, 30 September to 2 October 2013 in Potsdam, Germany.

    Nathan Perl-Rosenthal will be delivering papers by invitation at two international conferences taking place this month: “The Bordeaux-Dublin Letters Colloquium” at NYU and “Language Diversity in the French Americas, ca. 1600-1800,” at the University of Toronto.  He appears as an expert in‘s video introduction to John Quincy Adams, released this past month.

    Steve Ross has weighed in on the controversy surrounding Ben Urwand’s book, “The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact With Hitler,” in a letter published in the September 16, issue of The New Yorker.  He also appeared with Urwand on Warren’ Olney’s “Which Way LA,” as well as news reports on BBC and Arte.

    Elinor Accampo co-edited a special edition of French Historical Studies on “Disaster” that appeared in June.

    The Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the very foundation that awarded Marjorie Becker a Charlotte Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship, has asked her to help assess potential Charlotte Newcombe recipients.  She has also again been asked to review one of the monographs that have emerged in partial response to her work on ordinary Mexican’s multiple socio-economic, political, and gendered acts, acts that partly prompted Mexico’s twentieth century post-revolutionary government.

    Judith Bennett’s “Death and the Maiden” (Journal of Medieval and Early Modern History 42: 269-305) has been awarded the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians’ prize for the best article of 2012.

    Daniela Bleichmar is on leave this academic year with a fellowship from the Getty Center, where she will conduct research for a book project on the lives of sixteenth-century Mexican codices in Europe and America during the early modern period. As Consortium Professor, she will teach a graduate seminar on “Cultural Encounter and the Category of Art,” which is open to doctoral students from USC and five other area universities. The book she co-edited with Peter Mancall, Collecting Across Cultures: Material Exchanges in the Early Modern Atlantic World (Penn) is now out in paperback.

    Bill Deverell invites everyone to a special screening of Chinatown on the evening of September 27th on the big wall of the Natural History Museum, facing Exposition Blvd., at 6:00 pm.  Bring a picnic or patronize one of the food trucks on Expo.  A brief panel discussion, with David Ulin, Bill Deverell, Sandra Tsing Loh and Christine Mulholland, precedes the screening.  Funded by Metabolic Studio, this event marks the 100th anniversary of the Natural History Museum and the Los Angeles Aqueduct.  Join us!

    Clinton Godart presented a paper titled “Herbert Spencer in Japan: Boom and Bust of A Theory (1868-1911)” at the 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine, held at the University of Manchester, July 27. This essay will be published in a book manuscript titled “Global Spencerism” (Brill), edited by Bernard Lightman.

    Wolf Gruner submitted “Parias de la Patria: The myth of the liberation of the indigenous people in Bolivia 1825-1890,” an unpublished book manuscript which had been recently translated from German into Spanish, to the publisher “Plural” in La Paz, Bolivia.  He co-edited the review section (20 reviews) of volume 29 of the historical Yearbook “Beitraege zur Geschichte des Nationalsozialismus”. The thematic volume deals with Continuities and Discontinuities regarding National Socialism during the 20th century.  He wrote a review on the Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies for the English Historical Review which was published in July 2013. Wolf Gruner gave a well attended invited Public Evening Lecture on “Resistance, Opposition and Protest: Unknown responses of German Jews towards their persecution” at the Jewish Museum Berlin, on August 8, 2013. He was interviewed by the German radio station “NDR” on his research on individual Jewish defiance and protest in Nazi Germany 1933-45, which was broadcasted on August 19th 2013 and re-broadcasted by another radio station. Gruner was also invited to give the keynote “German Jews, Their Persecution and Resistance” at the Munich International Seminar “German Sources and Archives of Holocaust History” organized by Ludwig Maximilian University and the Institute for Contemporary History, Munich, on 17 August 2013. In the beginning of June he presented an invited paper at the scholar’s retreat of the Holocaust Educational Foundation on the “future of Holocaust research and education”, in Linconshire, Il.  In Los Angeles, he presented an invited paper: The East Berlin underground-Multiple subcultures, personal reflections” at a public evening panel: “Claus Bach-East German Photography”, May 22, 2013, at the Wende Museum, Los Angeles. In April he was part of the panel “The Shoah – Can It Be Studied?  And If So, How?” organized by the Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study at USC.

    Paul Lerner published “Könige des Einzelhandels: Jüdische Warenhausunternehmer und die Macht des Konsums” [Kings of Retail:  Jewish department store entrepreneurs and the power of consumption] in Fritz Backhaus, Raphael Gross and Liliane Weissberg (eds)., Juden.  Geld.  Eine Vorstellung [Jews, Money, An Idea] Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2013.  He also delivered the Kahn lecture in German Jewish studies at UCLA in May.  His book manuscript is under contract with Cornell University Press and scheduled to appear in Fall 2014.

    Brett Sheehan has published “Unorganized Crime: Forgers, Soldiers, and Shopkeepers in Beijing, 1927, 1928,” in Billy K.L. So and Madeleine Zelin, eds., New Narratives of Urban Space in Republican Chinese Cities: Emerging Social, Legal, and Governance Orders  (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2013), 95-112.

    Jacob Soll gave the keynote library history lecture at the American Library Association in Chicago, as well as papers at Cambridge University, the Fondazione Luigi Firpo in Turin and the University Federico Secondo in Naples.  He authored one book chapter, “Accounting and Accountability in Dutch Civic Life,” for a book on Dutch Common Folk, edited by Margaret Jacob and Catherine Secretan (Palgrave), and submitted an article, “The Reception of The Prince 1513-1700, and the Origins of the Modern Meaning of Machiavelli,” for a special issue on Machiavelli of the journal Social Research.  He further authored two op-ed pieces for the Boston Globe, another for the Qatar Foundation’s Magazine Think (where his article was paired with pieces by Bono and the former Archbishop of Canterbury) as well as the first book review ever to be published in the Chronicle of Higher Education (forthcoming) on the new English edition of Arlette Farge’s classic The Allure of the Archives (Yale).  He also finished the manuscript of his forthcoming book, The Reckoning: Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations (Basic, 2014), 380 pages, now in line-editing phase.  Soll was appointed to the Provost’s Review Committee for the University Library and on October 8th, he will deliver the Huygens-Descartes Lecture, a public talk at the historic Zuilenzaal on the history of science to the City of Amsterdam.

    Kevin Starr gave the keynote address at the annual conference of the Josiah Royce Society, held this August in Grass Valley, California, Royce’s birth place.  In addition, Kevin has joined the blue ribbon panel for the 75th anniversary observance for the 75th anniversary celebration of the publication of The Grapes of Wrath being organized by CSU Bakersfield.