University of Southern California

Festival of Books 2013

Living and Writing Los Angeles: About the Panelists

William Deverell has published numerous books and papers on the history of California and the American West. Recent books include Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of its Mexican Past, which examines the historical relationship between the growth of Los Angeles and Southern California’s complex history of racial and ethnic conflict and accommodation. With USC’s Greg Hise, he recently edited Land of Sunshine: An Environmental History of Metropolitan Los Angeles. A Professor of History at USC, Deverell is also the Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West.

Dana Johnson is the author of Elsewhere, California and Break Any Woman Down, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her work has appeared in the literary journals SlakeCallaloo and The Iowa Review, among others, and anthologized in Shaking the Tree: A Collection of New Fiction and Memoir by Black Women, The Dictionary of Failed Relationships and California Uncovered: Stories for the 21st Century. She is Associate Professor of English at USC.

Brighde MullinsBrighde Mullins (Moderator) is a playwright and poet. Her most recent plays are The Bourgeois Pig and Rare Bird. Her work has been performed in New York, London, San Francisco and she has worked at Mabou Mines, Lincoln Center, the Public, La MaMa ETC and New York Theatre Workshop. She received a 2012 Guggenheim for Playwriting and has also received Fellowships from United States Artists, the Whiting Foundation and the NEA. She is Professor of the Practice at USC, and directs the Master of Professional Writing, a multi-genre creative writing program.

Laura PulidoLaura Pulido is a Professor in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity where she researches and teaches on race, political activism, Latina/o Studies, critical human geography and Los Angeles. Her books include Black, Brown, Yellow and Left: Radical Activism in Los Angeles and A People’s Guide to Los Angeles. In addition to her teaching and research, she is committed to making USC a more democratic institution.

Richard Rayner is the author of Drake’s FortuneThe Cloud SketcherThe Associates and several other books. His writing appears in The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times and more. He teaches in USC’s Master of Professional Writing program.