Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy, I would like to welcome you to the 2018-19 academic year. This is our second year of existence, and we are looking forward to an expanded roster of activities that builds on last year’s. Among the highlights from 2017-18:

  1. An inaugural class of 7 LCHP Fellows.
  2. A national summit of organizations and individuals working at the cross-section of history and policy.
  3. A research project devoted to a subject of keen regional and national interest that resulted in our first major working paper that was just released: “People Are Simply Unable to Pay the Rent: What History Tells Us about Rent Control in Los Angeles

In looking ahead to the new year, we are excited to continue to foster a receptive environment at UCLA and in the Department for research and teaching that bring history into conversation with the present—and more directly, introduce history into policy deliberations and discussions.

We invite you to join in the work of the Center, as reflected in these main goals:

1) To bring positive change to society through historically informed policy research.

We are pleased to welcome a new set of Luskin Center Fellows, who will be working on collaborative projects that yield historically informed policy working papers by the end of the academic year.  The 2018-19 Fellows are:

“Developing a New Approach to Migration and Policy-Making in Africa”: Tendayi Achiume, Madina Thiam, Anita Vukovic

“Healthcare Rationing and the Ethnic Boundaries of Indigenous People: The Making of Californian Indians, the Ainus, and the Manchu People”: Chien-Ling Zeleny, Chih Chuan Joyce Kuo, Tracy Yijia Tong

Please consider submitting a proposal to the LCHP for funding of a collaborative research project that uses history to solve a problem of present-day relevance. The CfP will go out in the spring.  In the meantime, consult with the LCHP for mini-grants for small-scale projects.

2) To encourage and train historians to address problems of contemporary concern with effective tools.

The Luskin Center is committed to providing historians and other related scholars with the skills necessary to engage in meaningful policy-oriented work.  Toward that end, we are introducing this year a new workshop series intended for graduate students and faculty called “Putting History to Work.”  The monthly workshop will be a forum in which experts from UCLA and beyond impart specific skills relevant to history-oriented policy work, as well as a site for the presentation of work at the juncture of history and policy.  Please consult Lindsay King to find out more about this series at

3) To promote the important role of history and historians in society.

In this time of perplexity and upheaval, it is incumbent upon us to ask: what role do history and the historian have to play in clarifying the present?  What responsibility do we have to help shape a path toward the future?  What is the historian’s place in society at this particular moment?  This series will bring deeply engaged scholars from UCLA and across the country to share with us reflections on these questions.

We very much hope that you will be an active participant in the life of the Center.  Please do share with us any questions you have about our work—or any ideas you have for research or teaching in history and policy that LCHP might be able to support.

We look forward to seeing you soon and often.


David N. Myers                                                                                        Lindsay A. King

Professor and LCHP Director                                                                LCHP Program Associate