The Institute for the Study of Los Angeles (ISLA) supports three categories of programs: student research and community interaction; faculty research and course development; and alumni, public and community partner collaboration.

All three spheres of activity overlap and connect the Oxy community to our larger LA community in order to discover, preserve, analyze, and share the culture and history of this region. Learn more about what the Institute can offer Occidental Students and Community Partners.

The central mission of ISLA is to collect, analyze, and share the local history and culture of this region, with a particular emphasis on the multicultural heritage of Northeast Los Angeles, by building upon Occidental students’ energy and enthusiasm, faculty and staff expertise, coordinated archival programs, and integral partnerships with neighborhood, local, regional, state and national organizations.

Funded by a generous grant by the Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, with additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Arts & Urban Experience grant, the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles is dedicated to supporting interdisciplinary student research and collaborative community-based learning on all subjects pertaining to the Los Angeles region.

Meet Our Director

Director, Institute for the Study of Los Angeles

Dr. Axelrod is Adjunct Professor of History, Art History, Urban & Environmental Studies, and Cultural Studies at Occidental College, as well as founding director of the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles. Before arriving at Occidental in 2005, he taught several years in the Film Studies and...

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