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Devin McCutchen

Contact Information

Email    devinmccutchen@ucla.edu
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My research focuses on the connections between spatial justice and civic memory in San Francisco from the 1940s through the 1980s in order to tell a longer history of reverse white flight in American cities. My dissertation focuses on the transition to tourism and white collar economies, the effects of urban redevelopment and gentrification, contests over high rise and freeway construction, and the institutionalization of historic preservation and urban design planning. Finally, I attempt to tie these changes to a new lucrative, historically-themed civic identity invented for San Francisco during the post-war decades.

I am very interested in using oral history to understand the personal stories behind bureaucratic decision making and have just concluded a nearly two year long project recording the voices of people involved at all levels with the San Francisco Planning Department over the past fifty years.

I also Tweet about San Francisco @DevinMcCutchen

Fields of Study

20th Century US, California, Western US, Urban, Planning, Cultural, Oral History, Public History


    Oral History:

  • San Francisco Planing Department Oral History Project, funded by San Francisco Planning Department, 2014-16.
  • Mission Street Oral History Project, funded by the San Francisco Planning Department and archived at Acción Latina, conducted as part of the Mission Street Public Life Plan, 2015.
    Public History:

  • Author, "Mission Street History" section of the Mission Street Public Life Plan, San Francisco Planning Department, 2015.
  • Curatorial team member, "Think California" exhibit, California Historical Society, San Francisco, opened September 25, 2009.

Grants and Awards

    UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Program in the Humanities & Social Sciences. 2012.
    UCLA Library Robert B. and Blanche Campbell Student Book Collection Competition, First Place Graduate Prize for the collection, "Imagined California: A Pastiche of Places." 2011.

Conference Presentations


  • "In the Quiet of the Hillside I Heard Voices Inaudible in the Noisy City: Reading Dana W. Bartlett's Los Angeles Environmental Ideology Through to The Bush Aflame", UCLA History Graduate Students Association Conference, Los Angles, October 8, 2011.
  • Co-author, Freed, et. al, "Musical Applications and Design Techniques for the Gametrak Tethered Spatial Position Controller," Proceedings of the 6th Sound and Music Computing Conference, SMC 2009. Sound and music Computing network, 2009. p. 189-194.


    Stephen Aron - Co-Chair. UCLA History Department, Autry National Center Institute for the Study of the American West
    Eric Avila - Co-Chair. Departments of History, Chicano Studies and Urban Planning


    C.Phil. U.S. History. University of California, Los Angeles. 2013.
    M.A. U.S. History. University of California, Los Angeles. 2012.
    B.A. History Major and Music Minor. University of California, Berkeley. 2008.