William Deverell

Professor of History, Spatial Sciences and Environmental Studies
William Deverell
Email deverell@usc.edu Office SOS 274 Office Phone (213) 740-1657

Center, Institute & Lab Affiliations

  • Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, Director
  • USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute, Collaborator

Biography

I am an American historian with a focus on the nineteenth and twentieth century American West. I have written works on political, social, ethnic, and environmental history. I am the founding director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. Please consult our website at www.usc.edu/icw for more information. I am one of founding directors of the Los Angeles Service Academy, a high school outreach initiative that teaches high school students about the infrastructural networks of Southern Callifornia (LAServiceAcademy.org). I also direct the USC Libraries Collections Convergence Initiative. My graduate students at USC work on a variety of topics on the history of the West, ranging from the West’s racial and ethnic history, to the rise of conservative politics in the Southwest, and the western U.S. connections to the Pacific Rim. Current projects include the Chinatown History Project and the West on Fire Initiative.

Education

  • Ph.D. History, Princeton University, 6/1989
  • M.A. History, Princeton University, 6/1985
  • A.B. American Studies, Stanford University, 6/1983
    • Postdoctoral Instructor in American History, Caltech/Huntington Library, 1988-1990
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Professor of History, University of Southern California, 07/01/2004 –
    • Associate Professor of History, California Instiute of Technology, 07/01/1996 – 06/30/2004
    • Associate Professor of History, University of California, San Diego, 07/01/1994 – 06/30/1996
    • Assistant Professor of History, University of California, San Diego, 08/01/1990 – 06/30/1994

    PostDoctoral Appointments

    • Postdoctoral Instructor in American History, Caltech/Huntington Library, 1988 – 1990
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    William Deverell, a historian of the 19th and 20th century American West, has published numerous books and papers on the history of California and the American West. Recent books include “Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of its Mexican Past,” which examines the historical relationship between the growth of Los Angeles and Southern California’s complex history of racial and ethnic conflict and accommodation. With USC’s Greg Hise, he recently edited “Land of Sunshine: An Environmental History of Metropolitan Los Angeles,” part of the University of Pittsburgh Press’s series on the environmental history of urban America. He and Hise are currently at work on the co-edited “Blackwell Companion to Los Angeles.” With Professor David Igler of UC Irvine, Deverell is co-editor of the “Blackwell Companion to California.” Professor Deverell is the director of the newly-established Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, a collaraborative research and teaching entity between USC’s College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences and the Huntington Library. Professor Deverell’s current research focuses on the aftermath of the Civil War in the American West.

    • Expert Witness Testimony
      City of San Jose v. Union Pacific Railroad Corporation
  • Book

    • Deverell, W. F.To Bind Up the Nation’s Wounds: The American West After the Civil War. New York: Bloomsbury Press.
    • Deverell, W. F., Hise, G. (2010). Blackwell Companion to Los Angeles. Malden, MA and Oxford: Blackwell.
    • Deverell, W. F., Igler, D. B. (2008). Blackwell Companion to California. Malden, MA and Oxford: Blackwell Companion to California History/Blackwell.
    • Deverell, W. F., White, D. G. (2006). United States History: Beginnings to 1877. Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
    • Deverell, W. F., White, D. G. (2005). United States History: Independence to 1914. Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
    • Hise, G., Deverell, W. F. (2005). Land of Sunshine: An Environmental History of Metropolitan Los Angeles. University of Pittsburgh Press.
    • Deverell, W. F. (2004). Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican Past. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
    • Deverell, William Francis (Ed.). (2004). Blackwell Companion to the American West. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
    • Deverell, W. F., Sitton, T. J. (2001). Metropolis in the Making: Los Angeles in the 1920s. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
    • Hise, G., Deverell, W. F. (2000). Eden by Design: The 1930 Olmsted-Bartholomew Plan for the Los Angeles Region. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
    • Deverell, W. F., Hyde, A. F. (2000). The West in the History of the Nation, vols 1 and 2. Bedford/St. Martin’s.
    • Deverell, W. F. (1994). Railroad Crossing: Californians and the Railroad, 1850-1910. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
    • Deverell, W. F., Sitton, T. J. (1994). California Progressivism Revisited. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

    Book Chapters

    • Deverell, W. F. (2010). Foreword: In Search of the Golden West. Lincoln NE: University of Nebraska Press.
    • Deverell, W. F. (2006). Niagara Magnified: Finding Emerson, Muir, and Adams in Yosemite. (Vol. NA) Berkeley and Los Angeles: Art of An American Icon/University of California Press.
    • Deverell, W. F., Wild, H. M. (2006). Going Against the Grain: Multiracialism and the Fate of the Social Gospel in 1920s Los Angeles. Race, Religion, Region: Landscapes of Encounter in the American West/University of Arizona.
    • Deverell, W. F., Flamming, D. (1999). Race and Regional Identity: Boosting Los Angeles, 1880-1930. pp. p. 117-143. Power and Place in the American West/University of Washington Press.

    Book Review

    • Deverell, W. F. (2010). Claims and Re-Claims in Western History. Reviews in American History.
    • Deverell, W. F. (2009). Searching for Tamsen Donner. Los Angeles Times.
    • Deverell, W. F. (2006). Review of Frank Norris: A Life. Los Angeles Times Book Review.

    Journal Article

    • Deverell, W. F. (2010). Special Issue: Jews of California. Casden Institute.
    • Deverell, W. F. (2010). CityThink. Los Angeles Magazine. Vol. Spring 2010
    • Deverell, W. F. (2009). Teaching California History: A Forum. California History. Vol. 87
    • Deverell, W. F. (2009). Historian, Father, Obsession. Frontiers. (Summer 2009)
    • Deverell, W. F. (2008). The Farther West: Mormons, California, and the Coming of the Civil War. Journal of Mormon History.
    • Deverell, W. F. (2008). California and the Coming of the Civil War. Southern California Quarterly.
    • Deverell, W. F. (2007). Redemptive California? Re-Thinking the Post Civil War. Rethinking History/Oxford University Press. Vol. NA
    • Simon, B., Deverell, W. F. (2001). Come Back, Tom Joad. California History/California Historical Society. Vol. Winter, pp. pp. 180-191.
    • Deverell, W. F., Igler, D. B. (1999). The Abattoir of the Prairie. Rethinking History/Oxford University Press. Vol. Fall, pp. pp. 321-323.

    Other

    • Deverell, W. F. (2010). Grand Ventures: The Banning Family and the Shaping of Southern California. Huntington Library Press.
    • Film Interview, Documentary Film on Simons Brickyard, Los Angeles, 2008-2009
    • Documentary Film, Executive producer on documentary film, Whitewashed Adobe, 2008-2009
    • On-line essay, Co-authored on-line essay, “The End of the Aerospace Century in Southern California” for LA Observed, January 2010, 2009-2010
    • On-Line essay, Co-authored on-line essay for LA Observed blog on “The End of the Aerospace Century”, 2009-2010
    • Television Interview, Canadian Public Broadcast; History Channel Canada. Interview for “Trashopolis” multi-part history of world cities (LA segment)., 2010-2011
    • Blog essay, Co-author, “California and the Civil War” at zocalopublicsquare.org, 2010-2011
    • Huntington Library Research Fellowship Recipient, Fletcher Jones Foundation Fellow, 2007-2008
    • USC Center for Excellence in Teaching, Faculty Fellow, , 2005/07/01-2008/06/30
    • Tanner Lecturer, Mormon History Association, Fall 2007
    • Whitsett Lecturer, California State University Northridge, Spring 2007
  • Editorships and Editorial Boards

    • Editorial Board, Western Historical Quarterly, 2007 –
    • Editorial Board, Pacific Historical Review, 2004 – 2007
    • Editorial Board, San Diego History, 2005

    Professional Offices

    • Nominating Committee Member, Western Historical Association, 08/2006 –