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Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Places and Cultures of Capitalism: Histories from the Grassroots, Devienne, E., Diamond , A. 22 Mar 2021, In: Transatlantica
  • La ruée vers le sable. Une histoire environnementale des plages de Los Angeles au XXe siècle, Devienne, E. 5 Mar 2020
  • La ruée vers le sable : Une histoire environnementale du littoral de Los Angeles au XXe siècle, Devienne, E. 2020
  • Spectacular Bodies: Los Angeles Beach Cultures and the Making of the “California Look” (1900s-1960s), Devienne, E. Dec 2019, In: European Journal of American Studies
  • Urban Renewal by the Sea: Reinventing the Beach for the Suburban Age in Postwar Los Angeles, Devienne, E. 1 Jan 2019, In: Journal of Urban History
  • The Life, Death, and Rebirth of Muscle Beach: Reassessing the Muscular Physique in Postwar America, 1940s–1980s, Devienne, E. 2018, In: Southern California quarterly
  • « Il y a des lois sur la plage ! »: Régulation et surveillance des comportements sur les plages de Los Angeles, années 1910-1970, Devienne, E. 2017, In: Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales
  • Plages de la discorde, Bidet, J., Devienne, E. 2017, In: Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales
  • La question raciale sur le littoral de Los Angeles (années 1920-années 1970), Devienne, E. 2016, In: Vingtieme Siecle: Revue d'Histoire
  • Shifting Sands: A Social and Environmental History of Los Angeles's Beaches, 1920s–1970s, Devienne, E. May 2016, In: California History


  • History PhD
  • History MA

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Elsa Devienne is Lecturer in US History at Northumbria University. Her research lies at the intersection of urban history, environmental history, and the history of gender, body and sexuality, with a focus on the 20th century. She is particularly interested in the history of Americans’ intense engagement with their coastlines, from the 19th-century beach-bathing boom until today’s climate crisis and its tragic consequences for coastal communities.

Devienne’s first book, The Sand Rush: An Environmental History of the Los Angeles’s Beaches (Sorbonne Editions, forthcoming), traces the transformation of Los Angeles’s beaches in the twentieth century from relatively untouched natural spaces into artificial playgrounds for the wealthy.

Devienne is also the author of several articles published in academic journals in the US and Europe, including in The Journal of Urban History, The European Journal of American Studies, California History, Vingtième Siècle. Revue d'histoire and Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales.

Devienne was previously a postdoctoral Fellow at the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities and an Assistant Professor in American History and American studies at Université Paris Nanterre in France. Her next book project will be a social and environmental history of Spring Break.

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