UCLA History faculty have been doing amazing work. The following are some recent honors they have received.

Professor Brenda Stevenson has been appointed the inaugural Hillary Rodham Clinton Chair in Women’s History at St John’s College, Oxford University. Dr. Stevenson’s work explores the intersections of gender, race and politics, putting women – and particularly women of color – at the center of accounts of political and social developments. She will serve from November 2021 to June 2023.

When asked about this appointment, Dr. Maggie Snowling, President of St. John’s College, said,

I am delighted to welcome Brenda Stevenson to St. John’s as the inaugural Hillary Rodham Clinton Chair in Women’s History. This appointment is a wonderful culmination to our year-long celebration of ’40 Years of Women’, which has marked the 40th year since the first admission of female students in 1979. Marking the contribution of women to the life of the College, past and present, is key to the understanding of our own history and ethos, and is integral to our continued commitment to broadening equality, diversity and inclusivity. Professor Stevenson will be joining an intellectually stimulating and egalitarian community, with a very strong tradition in history and a powerful commitment to its future.

To learn more about this inaugural appointment and about Dr. Stevenson, click HERE.

Professor Stephen Aron will become President and CEO of the Autry Museum of the American West on July 1, 2021, upon his retirement from UCLA. Dr. Aron has been a member of the history department faculty since 1996, and for many of those years served concurrently as Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of the American West and then Chair of Western History at the Autry Museum. Dr. Aron said: “I’ve spent more than three decades researching and writing about the confluences and confrontations of peoples and cultures that shaped the history of North American frontiers and borderlands, but it was my time at the Autry that truly transformed how I think and teach about the American West. At the Autry, I learned the power of arts and objects, the joy of collaborations, and the imperative of public history. I’m so honored now to rejoin the Autry family, and I’m excited to embrace the challenge of making our museum matter more to more people.”

 

Professor Kelly Lytle Hernandez was named to the Pulitzer Prize Board. She is also one of eight UCLA faculty recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies. Dr. Lytle Hernandez was awarded a 2020 MacArthur Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which said her research on “the intersecting histories of race, mass incarceration, immigration, and cross-border politics is deepening our understanding of how imprisonment has been used as a mechanism for social control in the United States.”

 

 

 

Professor Muriel McClendon won the Distinguished Teaching Award for Senate Faculty and received the added honor of the “Eby Award for the Art of Teaching,” in light of her contribution to learning at UCLA and in a number of domains.

 

 

 

Assistant Professor Hollian Wint was awarded an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) faculty fellowship, to further her work on Mobile Households: The Intimate Economies of Obligation Across the Indian Ocean, c. 1860-1960. ACLS invites research proposals from scholars in all disciplines of the humanities and related social sciences. The fellowship helps academics devote their full time to their major piece of scholarly work, which can take the form of a monograph, articles, digital publication(s), critical edition, or other scholarly resources. To learn more about this fellowship, click HERE.

 

Associate Professor Katherine Marino has been awarded a Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship. This major fellowship, bestowed by the Trustees of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is described as follows: “Serious interdisciplinary research often requires established scholar-teachers to pursue formal substantive and methodological training in addition to the PhD. New Directions Fellowships assist faculty members in the humanities and humanistic social sciences who seek to acquire systematic training outside their own areas of special interest. The program is intended to enable scholars in the humanities to work on problems that interest them most, at an appropriately advanced level of sophistication. In addition to facilitating the work of individual faculty members, these awards should benefit scholarship in the humanities more generally by encouraging the highest standards in cross-disciplinary research.” Dr. Marino will take the fellowship in 2022-23 and will pursue advanced training through UCLA law school toward her new project.

As summer 2021 approaches, LA Social Science will be highlighting some of the summer courses being offered within the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA.

UCLA Summer Courses are open to BOTH UCLA Students and NON-UCLA Students. All Summer 2021 courses will be offered online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can enroll as long as you are 15 years of age or older by the first day of summer and you do NOT have to be enrolled in an academic institution in order to participate in UCLA Summer Sessions. For more information, click HERE.

The UCLA Communication Department is offering “Careers in Communication” (Comm 188) course with Professor Kerri Johnson featuring guest lectures with some of the department’s star alumni. The course will be offered during session XA from June 21-July 9, 2021 (3 week course) on Tuesdays / Thursdays 4-5:50pm. It is a 1 unit Pass / No Pass course. Register HERE or enroll HERE today!

Just one day after a Minnesota jury took the unusual step of convicting a white police officer for the hyper-mediated, brutal killing of an unarmed Black man, police officers shot and killed another unarmed Black man in North Carolina. And these events had followed the shooting death of yet another unarmed Black man the week before — less than 10 miles from where the killer of George Floyd was on trial. Such is the reality of race and policing in America.

Our nation now finds itself at a critical juncture with respect to its enduring history of white supremacy and related struggles with police brutality. Social movements like Black Lives Matter and DIVEST/INVEST recently have surged to the forefront of our consciousness, demanding that we respect the sanctity of Black (and brown) life by fundamentally rethinking how we invest in public safety in America.

Here in the UCLA Division of Social Sciences, we are committed to advancing this conversation. We are dedicated to supporting research that helps us to better understand the structural factors underlying the great social justice issues of our time, such as our struggles with race and policing. Embedded in the #1 public university located in one of the most diverse cities in the world, we are ideally positioned to address the critical issues facing our communities. Through the work of our world-class faculty and our students — who will become the leaders of tomorrow – we strive to be a leading agent for change across the nation and around the world. Our voice matters.

Movements for Social Justice motivate many of the division’s researchers to gain a better understanding of the forces that shape the world. LA Social Science is pleased to share this video highlighting two such researchers, Drs. Kelly Lytle Hernandez and Abel Valenzuela, and the important, action-oriented research they are leading in the social sciences.

As a public institution, our work is ultimately in service of the diverse communities we represent. By engaging LA, we are changing the world.

UCLA Big Data and Politics Seminar Series

Legislative Communication and Power:

Measuring Leadership in the U.S. House

of Representatives from Social Media

Daniel Ebanks

ABD, California Institue of Technology

R. Michael Alvarez

Professor, California Institute of Technology

with

Hao Yan (Facebook)

Sanmay Das (GMU)

Betsy Sinclair (WUSTL)

Friday, April 30, 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM PT

Zoom Link: https://ucla.zoom.us/j/95015937122

Abstract:  Who leads and who follows in Congress? By leveraging the Twitter accounts of members of the U.S. House of Representatives, this paper develops a new understanding of House leadership power using innovative natural language processing methods. Formal theoretic work on congressional leadership suggests a tension in legislative party members’ policy stances as they balance between a coordination problem and an information problem. When their coordination problem is more pressing, the model predicts that legislative members will follow their party leaders’ policy positions. But when the information problem is more acute, party members coordinate and effectively give their leaders direction for the party’s agenda. We test these hypotheses with novel and dynamic policy influence measurements. Specifically, we exploit the network structure of retweets to derive measures of House leadership centrality within each party. We then employ Joint Sentiment Topic modeling to quantify the discussion space for House members on Twitter. Our results partially support the theoretical insights. For policies where there is an information problem, House leaders do not generally initiate policy discussion on Twitter, although they do so more often than rankandfile members. Moreover, increases in House leaders’ propensity to discuss a sentimenttopic results in meaningful increases in rankandfile members’ propensities to discuss those same sentimenttopics. In line with the theoretical prediction, we also find that as the barriers to coordination in policy stances within a party increases, House party leaders hold more central and arguably more powerful roles within their party. Nonetheless, in contrast both to the theoretical predictions as well as to the existing scholarship on House congressional leadership, we find that rankandfile members exert influence over House party leaders, and moreover that rankandfile influence is larger in magnitude than that of House party leadership.

Pictured here (from left to right): Dr. Randall Akee, Dr. Stephanie Russo Carroll, and Dr. Chandra Ford

Dr. Randall Akee along with Dr. Stephanie Russo Carroll, and Dr. Chandra Ford, guest-edited a special issue of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal (AICRJ), entitled, “COVID-19 and Indigenous Peoples: Impact of and Response to the Pandemic.” This is notable given that the special issue is led by American Indian scholars and researchers on COVID-19 and racism, and the AICRJ is published by the American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. Please access the special issue HERE. This is the first issue of a two-special issue companion.

 

In November 2019, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office Civic Memory Working Group convened its first meeting consisting of 40 historians, indigenous elders and scholars, architects, artists, curators, designers, and other civic and cultural leaders. Many of UCLA’s brightest minds were at the table. The charge for those present was to produce a series of recommendations to help Los Angeles engage more productively and honestly with its past, particularly where that past has been whitewashed or buried.

UCLA Members of the Mayor’s Office Civic Memory Working Group:

Advisors to the Working Group:

The Working Group’s report, including a print volume and an accompanying website, was released on April 15, 2021. The report has specific policy recommendations throughout, yet below are 18 key recommendations for moving forward:

The Hollywood Sign in Ruin

Continue and Expand the Conversation

1. Spend the second half of 2021, virtually or in person as the COVID-19 pandemic allows, discussing these recommendations and other materials in this report with a range of Los Angeles communities. These listening sessions should explore, among other subjects, how the City can shift its focus in stewarding civic memory from acting as a gatekeeper to a facilitator, giving fuller voice to community memory and bottom-up representation. Use these sessions to begin to turn the recommendations on this list into policy or built markers of civic memory.

2. Develop programs to train all city employees in civic history and Indigeneity, as they are hired and on an ongoing basis.

Carlos Diniz: A History of Drawing the Future

Increase Access and Share Information

3. Create a new City Historian position, or a three-person council of historians and community elders, on a rotating two-year basis, looking to the City’s Poet Laureate position as a model and potentially drawing from the ranks of college and university history departments and independent scholars.

4. Organize a task force of museum professionals, working artists, historians, Indigenous and other community leaders, and others to explore the creation of a Museum of the City of Los Angeles, with the understanding that this group may recommend instead supporting similar work inside museums and other cultural institutions already established.

5. Complete and publish an audit of the monuments and memorials in Los Angeles on public and publicly accessible land.

6. Broaden the accessibility and impact of the Los Angeles City Archives and Records Center as a basis for new civic memory initiatives.

7. Create a room or other space inside City Hall, open to the public, to celebrate civic memory and the Indigenous history of the site and its surroundings. This room should include both historical records and archives and rotating exhibits and displays related to civic architecture and the history of Los Angeles.

1871 Anti-Chinese Massacre

Recognize Indigenous History

8. Begin the process of adopting an Indigenous Land Acknowledgement Policy for the Mayor’s Office and for the City, in close collaboration with the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission (NAIC), as outlined in the summary appearing later in this volume from the Indigenous Land Acknowledgement subcommittee.

9. Create a new, full-time staff position within the Mayor’s Office to serve as official liaison to the NAIC and the broader Indigenous community.

10. Embed historians and Indigenous leaders on a compensated basis in City-led planning efforts, for example the Taylor Yard/G2 Equity Plan for a site along the Los Angeles River. Preserve or Acknowledge the Various Histories Embedded in the Built Environment

11. Take steps to protect the architecture and civic memory of the recent past, beginning with an effort to extend the Department of City Planning’s SurveyLA initiative from 1980 to the year 2000.

12. Strengthen financial and other penalties for the prohibited demolition of significant architecture, particularly residential architecture.

13. Pursue the expansion of Historic-Cultural Monument status to include thematic or non-contiguous designations, for example the Bungalow Court, and to protect the body of work of a single prominent firm or social or cultural movement.

14. Consider a City-led effort to mark and make visible the boundaries of racially exclusive zoning and lending practices in housing, e.g. redlining, or the communities displaced or disfigured by freeway construction.

6710 La Tijera Blvd.

Reconsider Memorials and Difficult Histories

15. Create a garden or series of gardens dedicated to the essential workers of Los Angeles.

16. Arrange specific community-engagement sessions during the remainder of 2021, guided by the recommendations in this report, to solicit ideas for commemorating the 30th anniversary, in 2022, of the 1992 civic unrest in Los Angeles. The goal should be a range of commemorative approaches, rather than a single event or memorial.

17. Work with the leadership of the Chinese American Museum and a range of community groups to develop citywide commemorations, considering both ephemeral and permanent forms, to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1871 Anti-Chinese Massacre on October 24, 2021.

18. Develop strategies to recontextualize outdated or fraught memorials as an alternative to removal—although removal will, in certain cases, remain the best option.

To read the full report, click HERE.

In his new book The Amorites and the Bronze Age Near East: The Making of a Regional Identity, Dr. Aaron Burke, Kershaw Chair of Ancient Eastern Mediterranean Studies and Professor of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures at UCLA, traces the complex collective identity of Amorites through space and time. He challenges traditional notions of identity and offers a more complex and historical understanding of identity.

Interview Chapters:

0:04 – Intro

0:36 – What is the main argument/contribution of the book?

4:30 – How do the Amorites challenge the traditional notions of identity?

8:48 – How does your analysis account for nuanced understandings of Amorites not formed before?

15:47 – What does this account of Amorites tell us about groups today, and why should someone read this book?

To learn more, check out Professor Burke’s book, The Amorites and the Bronze Age Near East: The Making of a Regional Identity.

 

Subscribe to LA Social Science and be the first to learn more insight and knowledge from UCLA’s Division of Social Science experts and other faculty about upcoming video/audio sessions and posts about current issues.

As summer 2021 approaches, LA Social Science will be highlighting some of the summer courses being offered within the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA.

UCLA Summer Courses are open to BOTH UCLA Students and NON-UCLA Students. All Summer 2021 courses will be offered online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can enroll as long as you are 15 years of age or older by the first day of summer and you do NOT have to be enrolled in an academic institution in order to participate in UCLA Summer Sessions. For more information, click HERE.

UCLA’s Department of Economics has amazing courses this summer. Check out the summer courses HERE and the pre-collegiate summer institutes HERE. Register/enroll HERE Today!

For Summer 2021, all Summer Session courses will be held online. Economics welcomes enrollments in their summer courses from all college students. Economics summer sessions courses attract a diverse student body, with students from UCLA, from two- and four-year universities in the United States, and from international schools. Economics welcomes enrollments in Economics 1 and 2 from students attending high school in the United States.

UCLA Precollege Summer Institutes provide highly-motivated high school students the opportunity to earn college credit while advancing their skill set in one area of study. During these one- to three-week concentrated programs, students experience lectures, hands-on learning, field trips, group projects, and other activities that provide an intensive and engrossing study of their chosen subject.

As summer 2021 approaches, LA Social Science will be highlighting some of the summer courses being offered within the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA.

UCLA Summer Courses are open to BOTH UCLA Students and NON-UCLA Students. All Summer 2021 courses will be offered online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can enroll as long as you are 15 years of age or older by the first day of summer and you do NOT have to be enrolled in an academic institution in order to participate in UCLA Summer Sessions. For more information, click HERE.

UCLA Department of African American Studies is offering amazing courses this summer. For more information about these courses, click HERE, and register/enroll HERE Today!

As summer 2021 approaches, LA Social Science will be highlighting some of the summer courses being offered within the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA.

UCLA Summer Courses are open to BOTH UCLA Students and NON-UCLA Students. All Summer 2021 courses will be offered online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can enroll as long as you are 15 years of age or older by the first day of summer and you do NOT have to be enrolled in an academic institution in order to participate in UCLA Summer Sessions. For more information, click HERE.

UCLA’s Communication Department has amazing courses this summer. Check out the courses listed below and click on each link to read the full course description. Register/enroll HERE Today!

**ALL 2021 SUMMER A and C COURSES ARE ONLINE**

Summer Session A: June 21-July 30 (Six Week)

COMM 1 – Principles of Oral Communication [West]
COMM 10 – Introduction to Communication [Suman]
COMM 100 – Communication Science [Jones/Bryant]
COMM 114 – Understanding Relationships [Suman]
COMM 157 – Celebrity, Fame, and Social Media  [Peterson]
COMM 166 – Inside Hollywood [Peterson]
COMM 188A – Sex and the Cinema [Hurwitz]
COMM 195 – Summer Internship Course [Johnson/Svenson]

Summer Session XA: June 21-July 9 (Three Week Intensive)

COMM 187 – Ethical and Policy Issues in Institutions of Mass Comm [Newton]

Summer Session C: August 2-September 10 (Six Week)

COMM 1 – Principles of Oral Communication [West]
COMM 105 – Media Conspiracy Theories in U.S. and the Middle East [Arbabzadah]
COMM 109 – Entrepreneurial Communication [Peterson]
COMM 110 – Gender and Communication [Kicenski]
COMM 140  – Theory of Persuasive Communication [Suman]
COMM 148 – Integrated Marketing [Feramisco]
COMM 156 – Social Networking [Peterson]
COMM 170  – Legal Communication [Huppin]
COMM 195 – Summer Internship Course [Johnson/Svenson]