News and Events

If you have any news or an event you'd like us to share, please email

Congratulations to Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine was awarded the 2015 Forward prize for the Best poetry collection of the year for her most recent book, "Citizen: An American Lyric." A powerful reading of this award-winning collection of poems can be seen here.

Fall 2015 Poetry & Fiction Readings

Please join the PhD Creative Writing & Literature program and the USC Dept. of English for a series of poetry & fiction readings this fall.
Afaa Michael Weaver, reading from his newest collection of poems, City of Eternal Spring

Thursday, 10/01, 12:00 PM
ENGL Dept. Ide Commons Room (THH 420)
A light lunch will be served.  Book signing to follow.

Jeff Griffin, reading from his newest collection of poems, Lost and

Tuesday, 10/13, 9:30AM
ENGL Dept. Ide Commons Room (THH 420)
Light refreshments will be served.

T.C. Boyle, reading from his newest novel, The Harder They Come

Tuesday, 10/20, 4:30 PM
Doheny Memorial Library, Room 240
Light refreshments and book signing to follow.

Gregory Donovan, reading from his newest collection of poems, Torn From the Sun

Wednesday, 10/28, 5:00 PM
Doheny Memorial Library, Room 241
Light refreshments and book signing to follow.

Susannah Nevison, reading from her debut collection of poems Teratology

Wednesday, 11/04, 1:30 PM
ENGL Dept. Ide Commons Room (THH 420)
Light refreshments and book signing to follow.

Francine Prose, reading from her newest novel, Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932

Tuesday, 11/10, 4:00 PM
ENGL Dept. Ide Commons Room (THH 420)
Light refreshments and book signing to follow.

Hannah Sanghee Park, reading from her debut collection of poems The Same-Different

Thursday, 11/12PM, 3:30 PM
ENGL Dept. Ide Commons Room (THH 420)
Light refreshments and book signing to follow.


Hardcover Editions of Robin Coste Lewis's Books Available for Pre-Order,204,203,200_.jpgProvost's Fellow in Poetry and Visual Studies, poet Robin Coste Lewis has hardcover book editions of Voyage of the Sable Venus and Other Poems available for pre-order through Penguin Random House. The release date of her collection of poems is September 29, 2015.

Ruskin Art Club/USC Co-Sponsor 16th Annual "Ruskin" Lecture, Thursday, September 3

The Ruskin Art Club, founded in 1888, and LA’s oldest cultural and arts association, hosts its annual “Ruskin” Lecture this year at the University of Southern California’s Doheny Library. Prof. Clive Wilmer, the Master of the St. George Guild in the UK, a charity founded by art and social critic John Ruskin in 1871, and a distinguished poet, literary critic, translator, and Ruskin scholar, will speak on the topic: “Ruskin’s Language: How a Victorian Prophet Uses Words” on Thursday, September 3 at the USC’s Doheny Library (#240). A reception at 7pm, which will include an exhibition of rare historic Ruskin Art Club books and documents from the Doheny Library Special Collections along with a selection of fine California food and wine, will be followed by the lecture at 8pm. Admission is free.


On Wednesday, Sept. 2, the Ruskin Art Club will partner with the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics at USC in hosting a timely lecture on Ruskin and environmentalism. Prof. Clive Wilmer will speak on the topic: “Human Nature and Natural Abundance: John Ruskin and the Environment” at the Doheny Library (#241) from 12 noon-1:30. Lunch is included. The public is welcome. Admission is free.


In addition, on Sept. 4, Beyond Baroque in Venice will host a poetry reading with Clive Wilmer at 8pm in the theater. General admission is $10/$6 students and seniors/BB members free. Beyond Baroque is located at 681 Venice Blvd., Venice, CA 90291.


For more information, please call (310) 640-0710.

Since 2009, Clive Wilmer has been Master of St. George Guild, the charity founded by John Ruskin in 1871. He is also Emeritus Fellow in English at Sidney Sussex College Cambridge, an Honorary Fellow of Anglia Ruskin University, and an Honorary Patron of the William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow. In the first half of 2015, he was a Visiting Professor at Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. In 1985 he edited “Unto This Last and Other Writings by John Ruskin” for Penguin Classics, and is the author of several books of poetry, including “New and Collected Poems” (Carcanet, 2012).

Upcoming Fall 2015 Readings

Afaa Michael Weaver will be doing a lunch time reading for students (lunch provided) on Thursday, October 1 in the Ide Room.

Gregory Donovan will be reading on Wednesday, October 28 at 4:30p.m. in Doheny Memorial Library 241.

Francine Prose will be reading on Tuesday, November 10 at 4p.m.

More information about each of these events to come.

Claudia Rankine is the New Aerol Arnold Professor of English at the University of Southern California

Claudia Rankine was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and educated at Williams College and Columbia University. She is the author of many collections of poetry: Don't Let Me Be Lonely (Graywolf Press, 2004), Plot (Grove Press, 2001), The End of the Alphabet (Grove Press, 1998), and Nothing in Nature is Private (Cleveland State University Press, 1994). Her most recent collection, Citizen: An American Lyric, has been called one of the most important books in recent years for its profound moral vision and candor about race relations in America. In 2014-2015, Citizen was awarded The National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, The Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry, and The PEN Open Book Award.

In addition to poetry, Professor Rankine has written plays including The Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue (commissioned by the Foundry Theater) and Existing Conditions (co-authored with Casey Llewellyn). She is co-editor of several anthologies including American Poets in the Twenty-First Century: The New Poetics (Wesleyan University Press, 2006) and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind (Fence Books, 2015). She has been awarded fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Lannan Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2013, she was elected as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Among her most recent distinctions are the 2014 Morton Dauwen Zabel Award, presented by the American Academy of Arts & Letters and the Poets & Writers $50,000 Jackson Poetry Prize.

In Memory of James Tate

Our heartfelt thoughts go out in memory of James Tate, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and professor of English at University of Massachusetts-Amherst, who passed Wednesday at the age of 71. We were honored to welcome him to our department in 2013 for the Magill Poetry Reading.

Congratulations to USC Dornsife Fulbright Recipients

This year, fourteen USC Dornsife students and alumni have been selected for the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship, including Maria Fish (Narrative Studies major), Todd Fredson (PhD candidate in creative writing and literature), and Ani Misirian (English minor). Congrats to all recipients for their excellent academic achievements and commitment to cultural engagement.

Faculty News and Updates

Professor Joseph Boone's well-received book, The Homoerotics of Orientalism, is now available on paperback.

Also, help us congratulate Professor Teresa McKenna who was awarded the designation of Associate Professor Emerita of English at USC. Wonderful news!

Congratulations to Carrie Moore

Join us in congratulating Carrie Moore, B.A. in English with an emphasis in creative writing, who is the salutatorian for the class of 2015. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours.

Congratulations to Faculty and Students on Recent Awards

Congratulations are due to Michelle Gordon, who has received the Mellon Mentoring Award in the category Faculty Mentoring Undergraduate Students.

Congratulations also to Heather James, who has been elected President of the Shakespeare Association of America. This 3 year position comprises the offices of Vice President, President, and Immediate Past President of the SAA.

At the annual Academic Honors Convocation on April 15th, two of our faculty will be honored: Joe Boone is receiving the Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award and Percival Everett will be receiving the Presidential Medallion. Superb news.

Also, Diana Arterian, a graduate student in Literature and Creative Writing will awarded the Phi Kappa Phi Student Recognition Award, and both of the students receiving the Phi Kappa Phi Undergraduate Award are majors in English or Creative Writing: Jackson Burgess and Sara Worth.

This continues to be an exceptional year for the department in terms of faculty and student awards, fellowships, and acclamation.

Once again, congratulations to all!

Congratulations on Faculty Awards

Please join us in congratulating our colleagues on these recent distinguished awards and fellowships:
Professor Rebecca Lemon was awarded the Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies essay prize for her article, “Compulsive Conviviality in Early Modern England.”
Professor Heather James has been awarded a long-term fellowship for the 2015-2016 academic period for a year in residence at the Huntington Library.
Professor Kate Flint was also awarded a long-term fellowship for the 2015-2016 academic period for a year in residence at the Huntington Library.
James and Flint were two of only nine recipients, drawn from almost one hundred and twenty applicants.
Professor Kate Flint was also invited to be a Fellow at the National Humanities Center during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Annual Marathon Reading of Paradise Lost

This year's annual marathon reading of John Milton's epic Paradise Lost will be on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 from 9a.m. to 5p.m. in the Ide Memorial Common Room, THH 420. Stop by and read—for twelve lines, or twelve minutes, or twelve books—or just sit and listen to the Muse sing. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

The Oxford Wells Shakespeare Lectures

The 2014 series of the Oxford Wells Shakespeare Lectures will be given by Dean's Professor of English and Professor of Theatre Bruce R. Smith. These lectures will be held at the University of Oxford on Tuesday, October 21; Thursday, October 23; Tuesday, October 28; and Thursday, October 30. The theme of the series is "Shakespeare | Cut: Forms and Effects across Four Centuries." See more information at the series website.

The Voice of Women in American Poetry

Thursday, September 18th at 7p.m. see Professor Carol Muske-Dukes in discussion with Cyrus Cassells and Maggie Nelson in "The Voice of Women in American Poetry" at the Pasadena Central Library Auditorium. See more information at

Polaris Call for Submissions

Polaris, Ohio Northern's undergraduate journal of literature and art, is now accepting submissions for its 65th issue, slated for release in May 2015. Polaris is committed to publishing the work of undergraduates in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and all art genres. The deadline is February 1, 2015, and our submissions guidelines can be found at our website

Lecture: Donald E. Pease, "Between the Camp and the Commons: Rights of Bio-Political Passage in Douglass and Melville"

Join us for a lecture by Donald E. Pease, Ted and Helen Geisel Professor at Dartmouth College, on Thursday, September 18, at 4p.m. in the Ide Memorial Common Room (THH 420). Sponsored by John Carlos Rowe, USC Associates' Professor of the Humanities, in his series: American Cultures.

"The Poet as Citizen"

The Library Foundation of Los Angeles invites you to "The Poet as Citizen" on Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 7:15p.m., featuring Ph.D. in Creative Writing & Literature student Robin Coste Lewis and Claudia Rankine in conversation with Maggie Nelson. The event is part of LFLA's ALOUD series, and more information and the RSVP can be found at

"Homer... the Rewrite"

The Library Foundation of Los Angeles invites you to "Homer... the Rewrite" on Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 7:15p.m., featuring Madeline Miller and Zachary Mason in conversation with Molly Pulda, USC Provost's Postdoctoral Scholar in the Humanities. The event is part of the LFLA's ALOUD series, and is presented in association with The L.A. Odyssey Project. See more information and RSVP at

USC Dornsife Student Special Services presents the "Work it" Series!

Planning and preparing for a career after USC is one of the most important things you can do while at USC. USC Dornsife Student Special Services presents the "Work it" series. This series provides workshops, learning socials, and guides to help USC Dornsife students prepare for their career.

See full calendar and RSVP on the Career Pathways website.

Department of English Faculty in Visions & Voices, 2014-2015 Season

On Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 7p.m. at the Fisher Museum of Art, USC Professor of Poetry and Public Culture Dana Gioia will introduce musical and theatrical performance This, and My Heart: A Portrait of Emily Dickinson.

Professor of English and Gender Studies Karen Tongson organized with Roski School of Fine Arts professor A.L. Steiner "The Art of the Empty Orchestra: Creativity in a Karaoke Culture." A roundtable discussion, participatory karaoke event and week-long exhibition will explore karaoke as a technology, an aesthetic, and a participatory cultural practice. The roundtable discussion and karaoke event will be at the Roski MFA Gallery on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 from 7p.m. to 11p.m.

Professors Alice Gambrell, Dana Johnson, and Jeff Solomon organized "Drawing Out of Order: An Evening with Marjane Satrapi and Chris Ware," featuring graphic novelists whose difficult, beautiful storytelling combines visual pleasure with subject matter of the highest seriousness. The Saturday, November 8, 2014 discussion will be moderated by Dana Johnson and Jeff Solomon at 7p.m. in Bovard Auditorium.

David St. John, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, will be featured in this year's Provost's Writers Series on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 6:30p.m. in Doheny Memorial Library 240.

Undergraduate Alumni Updates

Laurel Ann Bogen '71 was appointed to the board of directors of Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center, a prominent independent literary foundation located in Venice, CA.

H. Gavin Long '96 has been appointed to the board of directors of the Consumer Attorneys of California.

Noah Margo '90 was installed as president of the Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Trustees.

John William Parker III '90 is the new vintner and proprietor of Parker Wine. He launched his inaugural wine in 2013.

S.L. “Sid” Stebel '49 gifted his manuscripts and materials dealing with his career as a writer and educator to the USC Libraries.

Faculty Announcements

Distinguished Professor of English Percival Everett has been awarded a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship to conduct research in Algiers and Corsica for his next book. He was recently named one of five finalists for the 2013 PEN/Faulkner award for fiction for his novel Percival Everett by Virgil Russell.

Provost Professor of English and Art History Kate Flint is completing a book on the cultural history of flash photography.

Professor of English Carol Muske-Dukes recently gave a reading at Elliot Bay Books in Seattle. She also recently gave a talk titled “Is the Imagination Dead or Just Faking It?” at the Malibu Library Speaker Series, and was a keynote speaker for the grand opening of Santa Monica Public Library’s new Pico branch.

Florence Scott Professor of English Emerita Marjorie Perloff has received the 2014 Washington University International Humanities Medal.

eBook Editions of Carol Muske-Dukes's Books Available Now

USC Professor, poet and author Carol Muske-Dukes has eBook editions of several of her novels, essay collections and poetry collections available now through Open Road Media.

Graduate Student and Alumni Updates

Alumna Ava Chin, author of Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love and the Perfect Meal, was featured in Elle magazine and Martha Stewart magazine. She was also on KCRW's "Good Food" in discussion with Evan Kleiman.

Student Megan Herrold has a review of Berkeley Rep's Pericles, Prince of Tyre in the March 2014 issue of Theatre Journal. Also featured in the March 2014 issue are students Patricia Nelson, for her review of Andrew Davis's Baggy Pants Comedy: Burlesque and the Oral Tradition, and Devin Toohey, for his review of Madhavi Menon's Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to the Complete Works of Shakespeare.

Alex Young co-edited and wrote (with Erik Altenbernd) the introduction for May 2014's issue of Settler Colonial Studies, "The Significance of The Frontier in An Age of Transnational History." In November, he won the "Comparative Ethnic Studies" prize from the American Studies Association.

Student Thomas Winningham presented a paper titled "The Net's the Thing: Internet Infrastructure as a Limit to Free Expression" at the Why Things Matter conference at CSU Fullerton in March. His flash fiction piece "Andy Dick Defenestrated!" is forthcoming in Drunken Boat: An Online Journal of Art and Literature.

Student Amanda Weldy Boyd presented papers at the ASECS (American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies) conference in March 2014 and the PAMLA (Pacific and Modern Language Association) conference in November 2013. She recently received the 2013 USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute summer fellowship, as well as the departmental summer fellowship to work at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

  • USC Dornsife Department of English
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Taper Hall of Humanities 404
  • University Park
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0354
  • Fax: (213) 741-0377