Elaine Lewinnek


Voice: 657-278-3860
Fax: 657-278-5820
Dept: 657-278-2441


Dept of American Studies, UH-313

800 N. State College Blvd

Fullerton, CA 92831

Office Address: UH-412

Elaine Margaret Lewinnek

professor of American Studies


2005, Ph.D, Yale University

Research Areas

Urban history, including the history of suburbs in Chicago and Orange County, California history, theories of cultural studies, and public memory.

Courses Regularly Taught

  • AMST 101 Opens in new window , Online Introduction to American Cultural Studies
  • AMST 201, Introduction to American Studies
  • AMST 345, The American Dream
  • AMST 350, Theory and Methods of American Studies
  • AMST 395, California's Cultural History
  • AMST 401T, Research Seminar in Suburban Culture
  • AMST 401T, Research Seminar in Stories of Los Angeles
  • AMST 444, The Built Environment

selected Blog posts and popular history

Elaine Lewinnek and Tom Zoellner, "Seeing Orange County," Boom California

Ryan Reft, Elaine Lewinnek, and Thuy Vo Dang, "Forthcoming People's Guide Unpeels Orange County History," KCET 

Elaine Lewinnek, "First Drafts of History," Public Seminar


Some reviews of my first book,  The Working Man's Reward: Chicago's Early Suburbs and the Roots of American Sprawl Opens in new window  (Oxford University Press, 2014):

Scholarly Work


Elaine Lewinnek, Gustavo Arellano, and Thuy Vo Dang, A People’s Guide to Orange County (under contract at University of California Press).

Elaine Lewinnek, The Working Man's Reward: Chicago's Early Suburbs and the Roots of American Sprawl (Oxford University Press, 2014) 


“Social Studies Controversies in 1960s California: The Fight for Public Memory and the Rise of the New Right,” Pacific Historic Review (Feb. 2015).

“The New Metropolitan History,” commentary for special section of Journal of Urban History (Jan. 2014), pages 3-5.

 “‘I Consider It Un-American Not to Have a Mortgage’: Historic Perspective on the Housing Crisis” in Peter Paik and Mary Wiesner-Hanks, ed.s,  Debt: Ethics, the Environment, and the Economy  (Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2013).

“Mapping Chicago, Imagining Metropolises: Reconsidering the Zonal Model of Urban Growth” Journal of Urban History 36 (March 2010), pages 197-295.

 “The Kaweah Co-operative Commonwealth and the Contested Nature of Sequoia National Park,” cover story in Southern California Quarterly 89:2 (Summer 2007), pages 141-167.

“Better than a Bank for a Poor Man?: Home Financing in Chicago, 1870-1930” Journal of Urban History volume 32 (December 2006), pages 274-301.


Office Hours

Vary every semester. Email me to make an appointment.