Catherine Gudis


I am a public humanities scholar with a practice that focuses on connecting people and place, using the past to explore and cultivate conversation about socially pressing issues today. As a history professor and director of the Public History Program at the University of California, Riverside, my research and teaching is broadly situated in 20th-century U.S. and public history, especially related to Southern California.

Relevant Projects

My recent work focuses on issues of public engagement and social change. Project 51 is a public humanities collective that I co-founded, which invited audiences to reimagine and reclaim the 51-mile Los Angeles River as a public space. We’re currently grappling with how to best engage diverse publics in advocating for principles of inclusive and equitable development. Some of the same issues inform my work with another collective, the Bureau of Goods Movement, which investigates the history and impact of logistics on Southern California. At UCR, I’ve worked with the Humanities Action Lab on States of Incarceration (a traveling exhibit, website, and public programs) and the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, as well as the related exhibit Geographies of Detention. Most of my energy and thinking right now, though, is focused on a partnership between UCR and the California State Parks to prototype strategies for more critical (and relevant) engagement of historic sites, through the lens of migration/immigration.


University of California, Riverside


Humanities, Academic