Bill Deverell to USC

An L.A. Times piece today by Stuart Silverstein reports on USC's recent academic hiring binge. Among the new professors is respected L.A. historian William Deverell, who is moving over from Caltech.

William Deverell, 41, [is] a historian specializing in 19th- and 20th-century California and the West. He also is chairman of the California Council for the Humanities.

Deverell said he had been drawn both by the chance to work with graduate students again Caltech has no doctoral program in the humanities and by USC's "great strides in recent years."

His latest book, due out this spring, is "Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of its Mexican Past." It focuses on the historical tensions and ties between white Californians and those of Mexican backgrounds.

Deverell is being assigned to develop an institute teaming USC and the Huntington Library in San Marino, whose archives he has mined for much of his scholarly work. Deverell once worked at the Huntington, and his wife, Jennifer Watts, is its curator of photography.

The story frames Erwin Chemerinsky's recently announced departure as an exception in the midst of USC spending $100 million to enhance its faculty.

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