May 1, 2015

Contact: Katie VanMeter

Cal Poly History Professor Honored by Historical Society of Southern California 

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly History Professor James Tejani was honored by the Historical Society of Southern California for his article “Dredging the Future: The Destruction of Coastal Estuaries and the Creation of Metropolitan Los Angeles, 1858-1913.” 

Tejani won the Doyce B. Nunis, Jr. Award for “best article by a rising historian” that appeared in the Southern California Quarterly in the spring 2014 edition. 

“Dredging the Future” explores the interaction between technology, ideas and the environment that motivated the creation of modern-day Southern California. In the essay, Tejani provides another way of looking at the area’s development, alongside previously addressed social and cultural perspectives. 

The same article also earned the 2014 Ray Allen Billington Prize for best essay from the Western History Association in October 2014. 

Another article by Tejani,“Harbor Lines: Connecting the Histories of Borderlands and Pacific Imperialism in the Making of the Port of Los Angeles, 1858-1908,” received honorable mention by the American Society of Environmental Historians for the Alice Hamilton Award for Best Article outside the Environmental History publication. The article appears in the summer 2014 edition of the Western Historical Quarterly. 

Tejani has been at Cal Poly since 2009. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from UC San Diego in 1998 and a doctorate in history from Columbia University in 2009.

- The Historical Society of Southern California:
- American Society of Environmental Historians:
- Cal Poly History Department:
- Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts:

About the Cal Poly History Department
Students in Cal Poly’s History Department acquire multiple perspectives on the complexity and diversity of the past and present while developing effective methods of research. Students learn historian methodologies — the ability to gather, synthesize, analyze and interpret evidence and present conclusions in a lucid and logical manner. These skills are put into practice with the student-produced and award-winning historical journal The Forum and are preparation for a variety of professions.

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