Claremont Discourse: The Practical Use of History: A Panel Discussion of the Puente Hills Preserve Project

Wednesday, March 5, 4:15 PM
Honnold/Mudd Library • Founders Room
Janet Farrell Brodie, Professor of History, Claremont Graduate University
with CGU History Students

The practice of scholarly history has much intrinsic value to recommend it: as a way to tell us who we were and how things turned out the way they did; as the only real time travel machine we have, letting us escape to another time and converse with the past and its citizens; as information corrective to current politics and culture; and not least, as fascinating and entertaining pastime. The challenge for scholarly historians is how to spread the value of history beyond the university. In January 2005, the Puente Hills Landfill Native Habitat Preservation Authority—a public organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of park lands and biological diversity in a large area formally used and abused commercially—contracted with the CGU History Department to provide student researched papers about the history of the Puente Hills. The History Department believed that such a sponsored research project would be an ideal way to acquaint the public with the Preserve area and also provide graduate students in the doctoral and master’s programs with professional experience in producing local history for a sponsor. The paper topics include a natural history of the region, a local history of recreation, the role of oil and livestock in the hills, and a history of the land’s native inhabitants, the Tongva tribe. This panel will discuss the project and the unique opportunity it presented to faculty and graduate students.

Full Claremont Discourse schedule.

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