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Announcement of the 2011-2012 Program of the L.A. History & Metro Studies Group

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The Los Angeles History & Metro Studies Group has issued the following announcement regarding its program for 2011-2012:


The coordinators of the L.A. History & Metro Studies Group, are pleased to announce the schedule for the 2011-2012 academic year.

After twenty years as the premier intellectual forum for historical scholarship on Los Angeles, the L.A. History Group is broadening its focus to include innovative studies on urban/suburban development and metropolitan studies on Los Angeles and cities beyond.  An enthusiastic response to the group’s call for papers has generated a broad-ranging, exciting program for the coming academic year. Scholars from New York, London, Las Vegas, Portland, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles will be participating in sessions that reflect the group’s revamped format – which includes both roundtable sessions and workshops on individual papers.

In the fall, our roundtable session will focus on the “Bell Political Crisis,” with Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives, the Pulitzer Prizing winning reporters of the Los Angeles Times who first broke the story. After sharing their tale of how they uncovered rampant political corruption in the small working-class Latino town of Bell, they’ll enter into a conversation with two experts on Latina/o Los Angeles to help place this crisis in broader political and historical context. In the spring, our roundtable sessions will explore the significance of left-of-center grassroots organizing in narratives of metropolitan history from the 1930s through the 1970s.  Nine scholars from across the country and the UK will share their own work, and engage in a discussion with the audience in two consecutive sessions.  These sessions will bring together a range of thematic and geographic perspectives to an emerging, vibrant area of metropolitan history.

Our individual presenters will share scholarship on a rich array of topics, including the role of industrial suburbs in the problem of regional inequity, American Indian urbanization in Southern California, the place of palm trees in shaping Los Angeles, and the transnational significance of Asian-American suburbanization.

We look forward to a year of vibrant intellectual exchange, and hope you will join us.


October 7, 2011 – Friday 12 noon, Huntington Library

“Regional Equity and the Industrial Cities of Los Angeles County,” pre-circulated paper, Rebecca Overmyer-Velázquez, Associate Professor of Sociology, Whittier College.

November 4, 2011 – Friday 12 noon, Huntington Library

“The Bell Political Crisis” roundtable discussion

Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times; Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times; Jerry Gonzalez, Assistant Professor of History, University of Texas San Antonio; Gilda Ochoa, Professor of Sociology and Chicana/o Studies, Pomona College.

December 2, 2011 – Friday 12 noon, Huntington Library

“Professionalization and Influence: The Los Angeles Realty Board and the Growth of the Southland 1903-1923,” pre-circulated paper, Laura Redford, Ph.D. candidate, UCLA

January 17, 2012 – Tuesday 6:30 p.m., Autry National Center – Joint session with Autry Western History Workshop

“Metropolitan Fronds: Street Palms and the Fashioning of Los Angeles,” pre-circulated paper, Jared Farmer, Assistant Professor of History, SUNY Stony Brook

February 10, 2012 – Friday 12 noon, Huntington Library

“Liberals and the Left in Metropolitan History:  Part I,” roundtable discussion

Greg Hise, Professor of History, UNLV; David Levitus, Ph.D. candidate, USC; Alyssa Ribiero, Ph.D. candidate, University of Pittsburgh; Jess Rigelhaupt, Assistant Professor of History & American Studies, University of Mary Washington; Mark Wild, Associate Professor of History, Cal State LA.

February 16, 2012 – Thursday 7 p.m., USC

“Liberals and the Left in Metropolitan History:  Part II,” roundtable discussion.

Mark Clapson, Reader in History, University of Westminster, UK; Lily Geismer, Assistant Professor of History, Claremont McKenna; Becky Nicolaides, UCLA; Barbara Soliz, Ph.D. candidate, USC.

March 16, 2012 – Friday 12 noon, Huntington Library

“‘Seasoned Long Enough in Concentration’: Suburban Homeownership and Transnational Citizenship in the Inland South Bay,” pre-circulated paper, Hillary Jenks, Assistant Professor, Portland State University

April 20, 2012 – Friday 12 noon, Huntington Library – Clark Davis Memorial Lecture

“Re-imagining Indian Country: American Indians and Los Angeles” lecture, Nicholas Rosenthal, Loyola Marymount University


Huntington Library:     Sessions will be held in Seaver Classrooms 1 & 2 in the Munger Research Center. Parking is free.

USC: Sessions will be held at Doheny Library. Parking is available for $8 on campus, and for $1 at meters on adjacent streets.


If you would like to receive announcements and pre-circulated papers for these sessions, contact Carolyn Powell at the Huntington Library ( to get on the distribution list. Please RSVP through the online form provided in the email announcements of each session. A limited number of meals will be available to attendees on a first come, first served basis.

For more information or to propose a session for 2012-13, contact the co-coordinators:

Becky Nicolaides                                David Levitus          

The L.A. History & Metro Studies Group is generously sponsored by the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West (ICW)


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