William Deverell

University of Southern California


William Deverell is Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West and Professor of History at USC.  He earned his undergraduate degree in American Studies from Stanford and his M.A. and Ph.D. in American history from Princeton, where he studied under the supervision of James McPherson.  Prior to coming to USC, Professor Deverell taught at the California Institute on Technology and the University of California, San Diego.

Professor Deverell is the author of numerous studies on the 19th and 20th century American West.  Recent publications include Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican Past (University of California, 2004) and Land of Sunshine: The Environmental History of Metropolitan Los Angeles (Pittsburgh, 2005), which he co-edited with Greg Hise.   He is the editor ofThe Blackwell Companion to the American West (Blackwell, 2005).  With David Igler of UC Irvine, he is editing The Blackwell Companion to California (Blackwell, forthcoming 2008) and with Greg Hise, he is editing The Blackwell Companion to Los Angeles (Blackwell, forthcoming 2009). Previous publications include Eden by Design: The 1930 Olmsted/Bartholomew Plan for the Los Angeles Region (University of California, 2000); Railroad Crossing: Californians and the Railroad, 1850-1910 (University of California, 1994); the co-edited volumes Metropolis in the Making: Los Angeles in the 1920s (University of California, 2001)and California Progressivism Revisited(University of California, 1994).  Deverell is also the co-author of an 8th grade United States history text (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2006), and he frequently consults and lectures to students and teachers in the K-12 educational community.

Professor Deverell has held fellowship appointments at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Getty Research Institute.  In 2007-2008, he was the Fletcher Jones Foundation Fellow at the Huntington Library.  While serving as the Beinecke Senior Fellow, he will be at work on a book examining the post-Civil War American West.  He lives in Pasadena, California with his wife, Jennifer A. Watts (Curator of Photographs at the Huntington Library),  and two children, Helen and John. 

Frederick W. Beinecke Senior Fellow in Western Americana
September 2009 - May 2010
Visiting Fellow


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