Paul Sandul

Paul Sandul, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
University of California, Santa Barbara & California State University, Sacramento
Public History, Cultural Memory, Cultural History, Oral History, Suburban and Urban History, and Rural Studies


Telephone: 936.468.6643
Office: 363 Vera Dugas Liberal Arts North


I teach courses in American history, suburban and urban history, and memory. I’ve recently decided to tackle neoliberalism as well. But my main gig is public history. I am privileged to teach undergraduate and graduate courses that deal with oral history, museums, preservation, and archives. This further means I get to work on a lot of public history projects. And these projects often provide opportunities and work experience for students. To learn more about SFA’s dynamic public history program, visit our website.


But I do more than teach. My true passion has been working with students individually. I often direct undergraduates who work as interns at archives and museums. I have directed many graduate student theses, culminating in a particularly proud moment for me when former student (and friend) Jake McAdams won the Marilyn M. Odom Outstanding Graduate Student Award at SFA in 2014.


I also write. I co-edited and contributed to an anthology called Making Suburbia: New Histories of Everyday America (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) with John Archer and Katherine Solomonson. I am proud to say it won an honorable mention for the Ray & Pat Browne Award for Best Edited Collection in Popular Culture and American Culture from the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (2016). My book, California Dreaming: Boosterism, Memory, and Rural Suburbs in the Golden State, was published by the West Virginia University Press in 2014. My past publications include co-authoring two books for Arcadia Publishing about the California suburbs of Fair Oaks and Orangevale, a chapter contribution concerning suburban development, culture, and memory for River City and Valley Life: An Environmental History of the Sacramento Region (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013), and several articles concerning oral history, memory, race, and suburbia for the Sound Historian, Agricultural History, and East Texas Historical Journal. I also love reading. I have written nearly two dozen books reviews for such journals as Agricultural History, American Historical Review, American Studies Journal, Business History Review, California History, The History Teacher, Journal of Southern History, Material Culture, Pacific Historical Review, Southern California Quarterly, and The Public Historian.


Currently I am co-editing and contributing to an anthology on Texas suburbs for the Oklahoma University Press, tentatively titled Lone Star Suburbs. I am also conducting an oral history project on the East Texas non-religious community. This is part of a broader series of oral history projects I have directed in East Texas: (1) the Charlie Wilson Oral History Project about the famed congressperson; and (2) East Texas African American Oral Histories.


Lastly, I serve on a variety of advisory committees and boards for both professional and local historical societies and journals. Also, I am actively involved in my community, having recently finished a term as an Executive Committee member of our local NAACP.