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Sarah Schrank, Ph.D.

Professor of History
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90840
562 985-2293 | Fax: 562 985-5431 | Office: FO2-204


Ph.D., History, University of California, San Diego, 2002.
M.A., History, University of California, San Diego, 1997.
B.A. (Honors), History, McGill University, Montréal, Canada, 1994.
Baccalauréat Français, Lycée Marcelin Berthelot, Saint Maur des Fossés, France, 1990.

Selected Publications


Naked: Natural Living and the American Cult of the Body. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press (Nature and Culture in America series), under contract.

Urban History Goes to the Movies: The City in the American Popular Imagination, New York and Oxford: Routledge/Taylor and Francis, under contract.

Art and the City:  Civic Imagination and Cultural Authority in Los Angeles. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009 (released in paperback, 2011).

Edited Volumes:

Co-Editor (with Didem Ekici, University of Nottingham), Healing Spaces, Modern Architecture, and the Body, Surrey, UK: Ashgate, under contract.

Co-Editor (with Sally Webster, CUNY Graduate Center), Public Art Dialogue: The Mural Issue 4:1 (April 2014).

Articles and Essays:

“American Yoga: The Shaping of Modern Body Culture in the United States,” American Studies 53:1 (March 2014), 169-181.

“Under a Golden Sun: The Cultural Politics and Industrial Development of Southern California,” Journal of Urban History 39:1 (January 2013), 130-138.

“Naked Houses: The Architecture of Nudism and the Rethinking of the American Suburbs,” Journal of Urban History 38:4 (July 2012), 635-661. Nominated by the Journal of Urban History for the Urban History Association’s 2012 Best Article Award.

“Sunbathing in Suburbia: Health, Fashion, and the Built Environment,” Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture, edited by Giovanna Borasi and Mirko Zardini. Montreal, Quebec: Canadian Centre for Architecture and Lars Müller Publishers, 2012: 364-83.

“Public Art at the Global Crossroads: The Politics of Place in 1930s Los Angeles,” Journal of Social History 44, no. 2 (Winter 2010): 435-57.

“Modern Urban Planning and the Civic Imagination: Historiographical Perspectives on Los Angeles,” Journal of Planning History 7, no. 3 (August 2008): 239-51.

Nuestro Pueblo: The Spatial and Cultural Politics of Los Angeles’ Watts Towers,” The Spaces of the Modern City:  Imaginaries, Politics, and Everyday Life, ed. Gyan Prakash and Kevin Kruse, Princeton University Press, 2008: 275-309.

“The Art of the City: Modernism, Municipal Censorship, and the Emergence of Los Angeles’ Postwar Art Scene,” American Quarterly 56, no. 3 (September 2004): 663-91.

“Picturing the Watts Towers: The Art and Politics of an Urban Landmark,” Reading California: Art, Image, and Identity, 1900-2000, ed. Stephanie Barron, Ilene Fort, and Sheri Bernstein, University of California Press, 2000: 372-86.



The Wolfsonian-Florida International University Research Fellowship, 2011.

John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation Fellow of the Huntington Library, 2008-2009.

John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation Summer Research Grant, 2005.

Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies Fellow, Princeton University, 2004-2005.


Associate Editor, American Quarterly and Editorial Board, Public Art Dialogue

Book Review Editor, Southern California Quarterly.


HISTORY 468/568
Public Art, Monuments, and Memory

California History

History and Culture of the American City

Los Angeles History

Women in the U.S. Since 1850

Literature of History: Historiography of the Body

Literature of History: Historiography of the City

Graduate Research Seminar

California Culture


Photo of Watts Towers


Photo of Watts Towers