The Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West (ICW) is a center for scholarly investigation of the history and culture of California and the American West. Through sponsorship of innovative scholarship, research and programming, ICW draws on the resources of the University of Southern California and The Huntington Library to build a unique collaboration amongst a research university, a research library, and the public.


Welcome to ICW’s new website. Some of our menus above have changed and we appreciate your patience as we continue to add features.

Dr. Naomi Sussman Joins University of Oregon

ICW is excited to share that Postdoctoral Fellow with the USC Society of Fellows and ICW Affiliated Scholar Dr. Naomi Sussman has accepted a position as an assistant professor in the History Department at the University of Oregon. She will focus on pre-1848 Mexico, its northern borderlands, and the region’s Indigenous histories. Her hire is part of a larger effort to expand Latinx Studies into a degree-granting program and complement existing strengths in Native Studies and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at UO. Congratulations, Naomi!

ICW Announces Two Successful Prescribed Burns with Sierra-Sequoia Burn Cooperative

On October 10th and November 4th, the ICW supported the Sierra-Sequoia Burn Cooperative in two successful prescribed burns at Forked Meadow and Camp El-O Win, both in Fresno County.

Prescribed burning is an important tool used to minimize fire hazards and the likelihood of uncontrolled future wildfires that would have the potential to induce significant air quality impacts on the local community. The objectives of SSBC’s burns also include the enhancement of Tribal cultural resources such as food-producing plants and basketmaking materials. 

The Sierra-Sequoia Burn Cooperative (SSBC) is a collaborative partnership of four California Native American Tribes, the Sierra Foothill Conservancy, UC Cooperative Extension, several private landowners, fire practitioners, and historical and scientific researchers in Fresno and Madera counties. The SSBC partnership operates with funding from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the California Community Foundation, with additional support from the The Nature Conservancy and the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. 

From the Directors

On behalf of the Institute on California and the West, welcome to ICW’s website. We invite you to scroll through these pages to see the range of ICW projects over the last two decades. We will mark our 20th anniversary in 2024 and are hopeful you can join us in the celebration. Our work investigating the history and culture of the modern American West is characterized by a set of activities that seek to bridge scholarly and public audiences, dialogues, and contributions to knowledge. We are committed to our work and our many collaborations, and we urge you to reach out to us with questions, comments, and suggestions about other directions we might explore. We take every suggestion seriously, and our dialogues with you strength our work and outreach.

February 13, 2024

Towards a See-Through Forest

Elizabeth Logan and Jessica Kim

Dirk Charley is energetic. Though he has two decades on us, we struggle to keep pace as we crisscross fifty acres of land in the Haslett Basin Preserve in the southern Sierra foothills. He stops to point things out. Rocks with wear-patterns that suggest they served as tools. Mushrooms, which he warns us aren’t edible. Sourberry, redberry, different types of oaks and manzanita, sprouting buckeye seeds almost the size of your fist.



Published in partnership with the University of California Press, ICW’s scholarly series Western Histories questions and deepens collective understanding of the history of California and the American West. In addition to the partnership with UC Press, ICW has published stand-alone texts including, Form and Landscape and Past Due.


USC Courses

Through ICW, USC faculty teach undergraduate courses at USC and graduate courses at The Huntington, directly weaving the library’s scholarly materials into the professional training of students. Doctoral and postdoctoral students in USC Dornsife College utilize the breadth of The Huntington collections in their path-breaking research on the history of the American West. At the graduate level, ICW is at the nexus of inter-university collaboration with students and scholars from UCLA, University of California, Riverside, University of California, Irvine, and others.

Study LA

Los Angeles History Syllabi

Drawing on academic partners throughout the region, syllabi from courses focused on Los Angeles history reflect the range of approaches to better understanding this space.

Contact Us

Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West

University of Southern California
Van Hunnick Department of History
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Los Angeles Service Academy (LASA)

University of Southern California
Van Hunnick Department of History
Los Angeles, CA 90089

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