Natale Zappia

Assistant Professor of History
Department of History

Hoover 201
562.907.4200, ext. 4824





Academic History

Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz
M.A. Claremont Graduate University
B.S. Cornell University

Professor Natale Zappia specializes in colonial/revolutionary North America with an emphasis on the early modern borderlands of the Atlantic World, Pacific Rim, and Native America. His research and teaching explores the intersection of continental trading networks, food pathways, and ecological transformations in colonial North America.

Zappia is also very interested in and working on several public history and community-based outreach projects related to California, food systems, and the American West.

Selected Publications:

Book manuscript:  The Interior World: Trading and Raiding in Native California, 1540-1859 (forthcoming, University of North Carolina Press)

“Captivity and Economic Landscapes in Native California,” in James Brooks and Bonnie Martin, eds., Uniting the Histories of Slavery (under review, School of Advanced Research Press)

"Indigenous Borderlands:  Livestock and Power in the Native Far West," Pacific Historical Review (May, 2012)

"Reclaiming the Soil: Gardens and Communities in South Los Angeles," in Josh Sides, ed., Post Ghetto: Reimagining South Los Angeles, University of California Press (Fall, 2012)

"The United States and the World: A Globalized U.S. History Survey," (co-author) in Carl Guarneri and James Davis, eds., Teaching American History in a Global Context, M.E. Sharpe (2008)

The Many Faces of Edward Sherriff Curtis: A Collection of Portraits and Stories from Native North America (with Steadman Upham), University of Washington Press (2006)

Selected Grants and Fellowships:

Franklin Research Grant, American Philosophical Society (2013)

Visiting Scholar Fellowship, Autry National Center (2013)

NEH Summer Research Stipend (2012)

Charles Redd Center for Western Studies Research Grant (2012)

Mellon Fellowship, Huntington Library (2011)

William Clark Memorial Library Fellowship (2010)

Selected Conferences and Presentations:

CSUN Whitsett Annual Symposium, “Reimagining South Los Angeles”  (2013)

Southern Methodist University (SMU) Annual Public Symposium, “Captivity and Economic Landscapes in California and the Far West” (2013)

American Historical Association (AHA), “Empires through the Lens of Food” (2013)

Western Historical Association (WHA), “Indigenous Landscapes in the Far West Borderlands” (2012)

Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS),  “Teaching about Colonial Food Systems” (2012)

NEH Teaching American History Workshop, "Early Exploration in the American West" (2012)

Autry Western History Workshop, "Foodways in Colonial California" (2012)

School of Advanced Research (SAR) "Uniting the Histories of Slavery" Symposium "Indigenous Slave Networks in the Far West" (2012)

Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) Annual Conference "Food Frontiers: How Native Consumers, Producers, and Pathways Forged the Early American Republic" (2011)

Pacific Coast Branch-American Historical Association (PCB-AHA) Annual Conference "Native Histories and Interregional Identity in Early California" (2011)

World History Association (WHA) Annual Conference "Chinese Porcelain, Mexican Identity, and the Early Modern World Economy" (2010)

California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) "Grow, Prepare, and Share: English Language Acquisition through Food" (2010)

Center for Southern California Studies Annual Conference, "Urban Inequality and Nutritional Access" (moderator, 2009)

UC Davis/Robert Mondavi Institute, Tasting Histories Conference, "World History through Food: Globalized Food Narratives" (commentator, 2009)

Social Science History Association Annual Conference "Visualizing California: Case Studies of Land Use and Environmental Change, 1750 to 2000" (2009)

Public History Projects: 

Lead Coordinator/Project Manager, Early California Cultural Atlas Project:, Huntington Library (2009-current)

Visiting Scholar, NEH "Early California History" Workshop (2011)

Campus and Community Projects:

Whittier College Sustainable Urban Farm (SUrF) (2010-current)

Whittier Boys & Girls Club Garden Program (2011-2012)

Salvation Army Bell Shelter Garden Program (2011-current)

Executive Director, Garden School Foundation (2008-2010)

Master Gardener, University of California Extension Program (2007-current)