David Ulin wins Guggenheim Fellowship

School News

David Ulin wins Guggenheim Fellowship

April 29, 2015

USC Architecture faculty David Ulin has been awarded a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship. 175 scholars and artists were recognized this year out of 3,100 applicants.


"I don't know what to say about the Guggenheim Fellowship. It is such an overwhelming honor, I haven't processed it yet,” said Ulin. "Partly, it is meaningful because it gives me the resources to dig deeply into a project that will require a good deal of attention, and I am grateful for that. But even more, to be recognized by the Foundation is a huge honor and validation. It is—personally,  creatively, emotionally—an astonishing gift.”


Ulin plans to use his fellowship to work on a book he describes as “a memoir about family, assimilation, identity, filtered through the experience of a year off I took when I was 18.”


Ulin teaches ARCH 440, “Literature and the Urban Experience” with Professor Alice Kimm, who originally hired him to teach the class, when she was the Director of Undergraduate Programs at the School of Architecture. This was part of an effort to elevate elective courses to help students understand the relationship between architecture and other art forms. Under Ulin’s influence, the focus of the course changed to Los Angeles.


“David is perfect for the class, because not only is he a literature expert, but he is an interdisciplinary thinker,” said Kimm. “He really understands Los Angeles’s urban development better than most urbanists I know. The fact that he can teach that to students through the lens of literature is priceless."


In his day job, Ulin is book critic for the Los Angeles Times. He has authored or edited eight books, including Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a California Book Award. He will be serving as chair of the fiction panel for the 2015 National Book Awards. Ulin also teaches in the Master of Professional Writing Program at USC Dornsife.