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History Student Highlights


On May 24, 2012 at the UCLA Faculty Center, Vincent Anderson was recognized at the UCLA Rose Gilbert Honors Programs Spring Tea reception for receiving the Andrea Rich Honors Scholarship as well as the Irving and Jean Stone Research Award. The Andrea Rich Scholarship is awarded to exceptional undergraduate History majors enrolled in the College of Letters and Science Honor Program. Irving and Jean Stone Research Award provides funding for students completing a departmental honor thesis or research project.

Vince is a Junior at UCLA, Majoring in History with a Minor in Public Affairs. His Honors Thesis is titled “Firefighters, Insurance Companies, and Underwriters: The Historical Implications of Rating Fire Departments. This project is researching the relationship between the Fire Service and various methodologies used by private industry to evaluate Fire Protection Services. Professor Mary Yeager is mentoring Vince for this research project.

After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in History next Spring, Vince intends to enroll in the Emergency Management Master’s Program at Long Beach State University. Graduating from Law school is another academic goal. Vocationally, he plans to progress up the ranks of a municipal fire department to the administrative level. For the second half of his career, Vince envisions himself working as counsel within the FEMA Legal Services Division.

Three history undergraduate majors won the 2012 Library Prize Awards for Undergraduate Research.  They are:

  • Sohaib Baig, Senior, for paper topic:  "Traditional Islamic Learning in Colonial India: The Madrasa through the Eyes of a Twentieth-century Islamic Reformer".  Sohaib is enrolled in History 198 A-C: History Honors Senior Thesis with Professor Nile Green.
  • Ethan Scapellati, Senior, for paper topic:  "Unity at Last:  Protestantism and Politics in the Civil War and Postbellum Period".  Ethan is enrolled in History 198 A-C with Professor Joan Waugh.
  • Stephanie Dyar, Senior, for paper topic:  “The 1933 Dressmakers Strike: An Early Twentieth Century Example of Female Immigrant Unionism”.  Stephanie is enrolled in History 198C with Professor Tobias Higbie. She was also recognized for the Best Research using Library resources related to Los Angeles.

Zoe Rose BuonaiutoOn Saturday April 14 at the Phi Alpha Theta Southern California Conference, undergraduate student Zoë Rose Buonaiuto was awarded 1st prize for her presentation on Simone de Beauvoir, the subject of her undergraduate Honors thesis. Her talk explained philosophical underpinnings of Beauvoir's little-known 1946 essay "Oeil pour Oeil," or "An Eye for an Eye" in which Beauvoir weighed the problems of capital punishment for war criminals and collaborators, ultimately concluding that their executions were justified. The essay, Zoë argues, is an early example of Beauvoir dealing with issues of ambiguity and recognition of consciousness, making the essay an important milestone in her conception of an existentialist ethics.

Zoë will now compete in the national Phi Alpha Theta competition for Best Undergraduate paper. Professor Lynn Hunt advised her project.


Congratulations to all of the 2013-2014 M.A. and Ph.D. recipients.

The UCLA History Department is pleased to announce that Dr. Terenjit Sevea has been awarded the inaugural Thomas Lifka Best Dissertation Prize. The Prize was given by History Board member Tom Lifka, a trained historian and former UCLA administrator, as a way of recognizing and furthering the high quality scholarship produced by our Department’s graduate students. The initial Lifka Prize winner, Terenjit Sevea, is an historian of South and Southeast Asian history who has assumed the position of assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Terenjit’s dissertation, which required extraordinary historical breadth, linguistic range, and conceptual nuance, was written under the supervision of Professor Nile Green. His dissertation focuses upon peripatetic, godly and technologically advanced Muslim miracle-workers or pawangs who operated upon and were pivotal to rice, mining, game and armed frontiers in 19th and early 20th century Malaya.

It is written with an understanding that a study of miracle-workers is fruitful in providing a microcosm of the characteristics of particular socioeconomic strata and socioeconomic trends. Redressing the conspicuous academic silence on these miracle workers, this dissertation explores how a variety of socioeconomic activities in 19th and early 20th century Malaya were premised and dependent upon the miraculous expertise of pawangs; namely agricultural colonization, forest clearing, rice production, alluvial tin and gold mining, elephant trapping and the bearing of hand-held firearms. Moreover, this dissertation uncovers a series of sophisticated cosmopolitan worlds in which miracleworkers capitalized upon their predominance within subaltern communities as spectacular intercessors of eclectic supernatural beings, and in which networks of indigenous and non-indigenous entrepreneurs engaged in extracting the natural resources of the Peninsula.


Jean-Paul De Guzman, a Ph.D. candidate in the field of United States history, is the recipient of the Distinguished TA Award from the UCLA Academic Senate.  His secondary fields of interest focus on Asian American history/historiography, urban/suburban, modern immigration, interracial dynamics in Los Angeles.

Jean-Paul’s work emphasizes twentieth century United States history, with a focus on the overlapping dynamics between race, space, and activism.  His research investigates the ways in which communities negotiate different forms of racialization and asymmetrical power relations in multiethnic and transitional spaces in the 20th century. He studies the histories of the San Fernando Valley, a well-known Southern California region shaped by the intersections of migration, the military-industrial complex, urban development, racial segregation, political and cultural activism, and popular culture, that defies conventional understandings of cities and suburbs. His dissertation examines different flashpoints in the metropolitan history of the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles since World War II ranging from the struggle for fair housing to the student rebellions at Valley State to the battle over secession just over a decade ago.