What is the essential value of the humanities to us and to others? We will explore the evolution of the modern research university, and how the humanities in particular are struggling to define their relevance and essential roles. Does a liberal society depend upon the liberal arts? Is technical training incomplete without poetry and music? Given the best realities of our global economy, who should study subjects such as art, literature, history, and philosophy, and why? How best can we as a society remind ourselves of their value?
We invite your ideas for events, speakers and collaborative efforts. Please write Levan director Lyn Boyd-Judson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs announces its first Trans-Pacific Student Contest, a unique experiment in U.S.-Asia collaboration. Winners will receive a trip to New York City.
Each entry must be a collaboration between a student who is a citizen of the United States and a student who is a citizen of one of the following: Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, North Korea, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, or Vietnam.
The contest is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students only, and entries must be in English.
The entry can be either an essay or a video. Essays should be written in op-ed style (not academic, footnoted papers) with a length of 2,000-3,000 words. Videos should not exceed 10 minutes.
CONTEST PRIZE: Contest winners will receive a free trip to New York City in November 2013, to attend a 3-day Carnegie Council Global Ethics Network Annual Meeting.
Deadline: April 30
The Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics invites applications for 10 USC undergraduates to serve as Levan Undergraduate Scholars. Scholars act as a student advisory board, initiating programs and events.
For more information, write the Levan Institute director at email@example.com.
Professor Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Law School and Philosophy Department of the University of Chicago. She also holds associate appointments in classics, divinity, and political science. Her recent publications include Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (2010), Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach (2011), The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age (2012) and Philosophical Interventions: Book Reviews 1986-2011 (2012). She is currently writing Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice, which will be published by Harvard in 2013.
NEW DATE: Thursday, April 11, 5 PM
Professor Lee teaches Securities Regulation and Regulatory Law and Policy at USC Gould. His interests include securities regulation, administrative law, corporations, contracts, consumer protection law, and antitrust. Before joining USC Law in 2012, Professor Lee served as senior council in the Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Professor Lee clerked for the Honorable Thomas B. Griffith, where he drafted opinions for large-scale administrative cases and cases involving Fourth Amendment violations. He also has extensive teaching assistant and research experience at Yale University, Yale Law School, and Harvard University. Professor Lee received his B.A. in Mathematics from Harvard College, where he graduated summa cum laude, and his M.A. in Mathematics from Cambridge University. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his Ph.D. in Economics from Yale Graduate School. Free lunch served.
Thursday, April 11, 12:30PM – 1:10PM
Rebecca Skloot is an award-winning science writer whose work has been widely anthologized. Her debut book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, took more than a decade to research and write, and instantly became a New York Times best seller. The book tells the story of a young black woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951 and left behind an inexplicably immortal line of cells known as HeLa. Harvested without her knowledge or consent, Henrietta Lack’s cells contributed to scientific advancements as varied as the polio vaccine, treatments for cancers and viruses, in vitro fertilization and our understanding of the impact of space travel on human cells. The story is also about her children, who were later used in research without their consent and who have never benefited from the commercialization of HeLa cells, though the cells have helped biotech companies make millions of dollars. Part detective story, part scientific odyssey and part family saga, Immortal Life raises fascinating questions about race, class and bioethics in America.
Organizers: Pamela Schaff (Pediatrics and Keck Educational Affairs), Erin Quinn (Family Medicine) and Lyn Boyd-Judson (Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics). Co-sponsors: Keck School of Medicine’s Program in Medical Humanities, Arts and Ethics; the USC Pacific Center for Health Policy and Ethics; Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics.
Thursday, April 4, 4 PM
Norberto Grzywacz is Professor of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering. His area of research is Neuroengineering. His recent work has focused on both retinal coding of natural images and the re-engineering of degenerating retinas. Norberto is currently the Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, having been previously the Director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program. He was a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a postdoctoral fellow and a research faculty at MIT, and a scientist at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute.
Wednesday, April 3, Noon
A majority of Americans today report dissatisfaction, even disgust, with Congress, largely because of its perceived inability to pass what all acknowledge to be needed legislation. Yet we are part of the electorate responsible for the composition of our dysfunctional Congress. If we elect representatives on their promise that they will not compromise on the issues we care about, and our opponents do as well, who is responsible for the ensuing paralysis of our government?
Is it ethical to vote solely on the basis of our personal interests and our particular ethical or religious values—even as it threatens gridlock in a pluralistic society like ours? Or does morality require us to vote on the basis of our society’s common interest in functioning government in common matters, recognizing that others in our free society will disagree with our personal and particular values, and that ours may lose out?
Robert K. Rasmussen joined USC Law as dean and as Carl Mason Franklin Chair in Law in August 2007. Dean Rasmussen's scholarly expertise is focused on the interaction of market forces and corporate reorganization law, and his most recent work addresses fundamental changes in corporate reorganization practice. He teaches Contracts and Realities of Commerican Lending. Rasmussen earned his J.D. cum laude from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was comment editor of the University of Chicago Law Review, and received his B.A. magna cum laude from Loyola University of Chicago. He clerked for the Honorable John C. Godbold, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, and worked on the Civil Division Appellate Staff at the U.S. Department of Justice, handling litigation in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and University of Michigan law schools.
Tuesday, March 12, 12:30PM
The Ethics Essay Contest aims to recognize the best-written work on ethics by USC undergraduates across the curriculum. The contest will award a cash prize to an overall winner and runner-up.
Winning essays will be submitted for publication by USC's literary journal, Scribe, a publication showcasing the finest works penned by USC students. For more information you can visit scribe.usc.edu.
Deadline: Friday, March 8
Program CoDirectors Carol Muske-Dukes, Professor of English, USC Dornsife, and Lyn Boyd-Judson, Director of the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics
Malala Yousafzai, as the whole world now knows, is a 15-year-old Pakistani girl who became an outspoken advocate for education rights for young women in that country. In 2012 she survived an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen who shot her in the head and neck in order to “silence” her brave advocacy. Miraculously, Malala survived this murder attempt and is recovering--and she is still committed to women's educational rights in Pakistan and all over the world. Malala’s courage, perseverance and eloquence make her an inspiration to young women and to women of all ages who struggle for equality in education and self-determination.
MALALA/MYSELF is an outreach program that will focus on interviews with young women all over the world resulting in book and video documentation of the stories of young (often “silenced”) lives.
Join English/creative writing professor and former California poet laureate Carol Muske-Dukes, along with the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics, for a 2013 MALALA/MYSELF brain-storming session. We will discuss how to build the program and initiate procedures. Discussions will also address funding -- small stipends may be available to participating students studying overseas. A half-day interview and narrative training session with the Levan Institute, the Shoah Foundation Institute and faculty members will be mandatory for future participants.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a space.
Information Session: Thursday, March 7, 11:30 AM
Hannah Garry is the clinical associate professor of law and founding director of USC Gould School of Law's International Human Rights Clinic. Professor Garry specializes in international human rights law, international criminal law, international humanitarian law and international refugee law. Professor Garry's legal practice has included being a legal advisor in 2011 to 2012 to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. From 2004 to 2007, she was legal officer and deputy chef de cabinet in the Appeals Chamber and Office of the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. She hs worked on international human rights and international criminal law issues since 1994 in Africa, Asia, Europe with a number of international human rights organizations. Professor Garry obtaine her J.D. from Berkeley Law in 2002, her master's in International Affairs from Columbia University in 2001 and a graduate certificate in Forced Migration Studies with distinction from Oxford University, UK, in 1996.
Wednesday, March 6, Noon
Cosponsors: Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics, Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, Jewish World Watch
The rise of human rights has transformed the way we think about the ethics of international relations. In the past decade, the doctrine of Responsibility to Protect has successfully entrenched a conditional understanding of state sovereignty that makes human rights the touchstone of sovereign rights. While there have been genuine advances, the current theory and practice of humanitarian intervention is at an unstable resting point in its development. How are ethical, philosophical, political and policy considerations impacted by developments in this doctrine? Join us for an interdisciplinary discussion.
Moderator: Steven Lamy, Vice-Dean and Professor of International Relations, USC Dornsife
Panelists: David Rodin, Senior Research Fellow and Co-Director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, Carnegie Global Ethics Fellow; Edwin Smith, Leon Benwell Professor of Law, International Relations and Political Science, USC Gould School of Law; Lynn Ta, Human Rights lawyer, experience in Cambodia; Naama Haviv, Jewish World Watch, experience in Congo and Darfur; Rebecca Wertman, Undergraduate, School of International Relations, USC Dornsife
Wednesday, February 27, 10-11:20 AM
In the not-too-distant past, there was a fairly clear line separating journalists from mere consumers of media. With the recent proliferation of media outlets, magnified by the rise of consumer-generated and disseminated “news,” the distinction between reporter and consumer has been blurred, if not entirely obliterated. We are all members of the media. Should we embrace a perfectly free “marketplace of ideas” totally unconstrained by moral values of honesty, fairness and concern for the welfare of others? Or is an entirely new ethical standard needed? Free lunch and open dialogue.
Niels Frenzen specializes in immigration law and is director of the USC Law Immigration Clinic. He has been teaching at USC since 2000 and practicing law since 1985. Prior to joining USC, Professor Frenzen practiced with nonprofit law offices in Los Angeles and Miami. His work experience includes serving as directing attorney of the Immigrants' Rights Project at Public Counsel in Los Angeles; as supervising attorney at the Haitian Refugee Center; and as legislative coordinator of the Iowa Civil Liberties Union. He received his B.A. from Beloit College and his J.D. from Drake University Law School. He also has taught at the University of California, Los Angeles and Southwestern Law School.
Tuesday, February 19, 12:30 PM
Presenting sponsor: Shoah Foundation Institute
World-renowned intellectual Howard Gardner will join USC's Mary Helen Immordino-Yang in conversation on literacy, learning and emotions in the digital age. Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Immordino-Yang is an assistant professor of education at USC Rossier School of Education, an assistant professor of psychology at the Brain and Creativity Institute and a member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program faculty at the University of Southern California.
Monday, February 11, 6-7:30 PM
Cosponsor: USC School of Cinematic Arts
Directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
Written by Guy Davidi
An extraordinary work of both cinematic and political activism, Cameras was shot almost entirely by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son. The footage was later given to his Israeli co-director Guy Davidi to edit. The filmmakers’ collaboration, structured around the violent destruction of each one of Burnat’s cameras, follows one family’s evolution over five years of village turmoil. Burnat watches from behind the lens as olive trees are bulldozed, protests intensify and lives are lost. “I feel like the camera protects me,” he says, “but it’s an illusion.”
“[A] rigorous and moving work of art.” — A. O. Scott, New York Times
2012 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection and winner, World Cinema Directing Award
Monday, February 4, 7 PM
The Teaching Ethics Program is a meaningful and engaging service-learning opportunity for USC undergraduates. In its third year, TEP is exclusively a teaching experience that places USC teams in high school social science classes to team-teach four class sessions. The first two “core lessons” establish three ethical perspectives where students must apply competing ethical principles to different moral dilemmas. Then the team can pick among the TEP collection of lessons to plan the last two sessions. The idea is to provide an ethics framework that high school students can take with them as a tool for more critical decision-making. A TEP team member must attend a two-hour training, meet with an advisor to explain interactive teaching strategies, and write a web-board report for each session about how students responded.
TEP course credit is available in PHIL 140g, PHIL 340 and PHIL 437 for Spring 2013. With all other courses, you must check with your professor if you would like to participate for credit.
Students new to TEP outreach must attend one of the training sessions to be eligible for sign-ups, which begin January 24. Sign-ups are on a first-come, first-served basis for 30 volunteers each semester. TEP veterans are not required to attend a training session.
Tuesday, January 22, 7-9 PM, THH 214
Program Director James Collins, Assistant Professor of Classics, USC Dornsife
First produced around 429 BCE at the City Dionysia in Athens, Sophocles' much-celebrated Oedipus Tyrannus tells the story of a man who unwittingly commits unspeakable crimes and searches for the culprit. Participants of Greek Tragic Poets (GR345) lead a performance workshop on the play's themes of responsibility and the virtues of self-possessions and reverence in daily life.
(Date and Venue TBA)
Join us for an evening with director Steve James and two Chicago members of Ceasefire, Eddie Bocanegra and Ameena Matthews
Winner of over a dozen awards including Best Documentary, 2012 Independent Spirit Awards and voted top documentary of 2011 by National Critics Polls
The Interrupters tells the moving and surprising stories of three "violence interrupters" who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they themselves once employed. The film, from acclaimed director Steve James and bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz, is an unusually intimate journey into the stubborn persistence of violence in our cities. The Interrupters follows Ameena, Cobe and Eddie as they go about their work, and while doing so reveals their own inspired journeys of hope and redemption. The film's titular subjects work for the innovative organization CeaseFire. It was founded by epidemiologist Gary Slutkin, who believes that the spread of violence mimics the spread of infectious diseases, and so the treatment should be similar: Go after the most infected and stop the infection at its source. One of the cornerstones of the organization is the Violence Interrupter program created by Tio Hardiman. The Interrupters- who have credibility on the streets because of their own personal histories- intervene in conflicts before they explode into violence.
Levan Cinema of Substance Series
The RSVP list will begin accepting reservations on Thursday, November 1st at 12pm
How should we live in light of the fact that we are vulnerable to misery and death, and that we cannot rely on gods to do right by us? Paul Woodruff develops the concept of "tragic ethics" in order to answer this question. The philosophy of Plato repudiates Greek tragic poetry as supporting beliefs in impulsive and shameless gods, and in doing so turns away from virtues like compassion, reverence and good judgement, which often show favorably in tragic poetry.
Paul Woodruff is a philosopher and dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. He is one of America's foremost interpreters of Plato, Thucydides and other Greek thinkers from the ancient world. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War.
Wednesday, November 28, 4 PM
This two-day workship conference will discuss topics of common interest around continuing questions of global justice raised by our first collaborative conference in April 2011 at USC. We aim to move beyond describing problems and toward developing themes of responsibility in creating justice and remedying justice.
Sadness is a medical condition. Addiction is a medical condition. Shyness is a medical condition. Lack of concentration, anxiety, fear, sleeplessness, hyperactivity- it's as if to lead a successful life, we must first get a medical diagnosis, locate causal factors in toxins and chemical imbalance. Rather than problems to be medicated, are these conditions simply personality features that can be improved by personal effort? What remains of personal responsibility? Free lunch and open dialogue.
Wednesday, October 24, Noon
Shannon Brownlee is the acting director of the New America Foundation's Health Policy Program in Washington, D.C., and is an instructor at the Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at Dartmouth Medical School. A nationally known writer and essayist, her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Atlantic, BMJ, the New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Slate, Time, Washington Monthly and the Washington Post. Her book Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer exposes wasteful flaws in our health care system and was named the best economics book of the year by New York Times economics correspondent David Leonhardt.
Organized by Pamela Schaff (Pediatrics and Keck Educational Affairs), Erin Quinn (Family Medicine) and Lyn Boyd-Judson (Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics). Cosponsored by the Keck School of Medicine's Program in Medical Humanities, Arts and Ethics, the USC Pacific Center for Health Policy and Ethics, and the USC Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics.
Shannon Brownlee Lecture
Student lunch with Shannon Brownlee by reservation only
From facing down riot police to tweeting, our ways of protesting have evolved from the Vietnam era to the present. The sixties saw sit-ins and the burning of draft cards, in the eighties we had economic boycotts of apartheid-era South Africa, while the recent Arab Spring protesters took it to the street with Twitter and other social media. And then there's WikiLeaks, flash mobs and the Occupy movement. Voting seems almost passé. Are the demands of active citizenship changing? Or, in this post-Citizens United era, have all but superwealthy citizens become irrelevant to the political process?Free lunch and open dialogue.
Wednesday, September 26, Noon
Jesse Sisgold is the founder of the corporate and entertainment law firm Sisgold P.C., which is based in Beverly Hills, CA. Previously, he worked at Heller Ehrman LLP and Valle Makoff LLP. Active in public interest matters, he serves as a director of Angels at Risk, a nonprofit organization offering substance abuse counseling to at-risk teens and their families, and a director of SOL-LA Music Academy, a nonprofit organization offering free musical training and concerts for kids. He earned his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and received his B.A. from the University of California, San Diego.
The Spirit of the Law features legal professionals discussing how they find meaning, purpose and identity in the law; how they use their law degrees in creative and innovative ways; and how they connect the personal and the professional in their lives.
Monday, September 24, 12:20pm-1:20pm
The Teaching Ethics Program (TEP) trains teams of talented USC undergraduates to introduce competing ethical perspectives and ethics case studies in area high schools. It's based on the innovative and successful USC Dornsife service-learning model developed by the Center for Active Learning in International Studies (CALIS). Interested students are encouraged to attend a training session.
Training Sessions: Tuesday, September 18, 6:30pm-8:30 & Wednesday, September 19, 6pm-8pm