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Faculty Research News

USC Dornsife geophysicists Meghan Miller and Thorsten Becker conducting fieldwork in Morocco. Photo courtesy of Meghan Miller and Thorsten Becker.

Why Do the Caribbean Islands Arc?

August 20, 2012

The Caribbean islands have been pushed east over the past 50 million years, driven by the movement of the Earth’s viscous mantle against the more rooted South American continent, new research by geophysicists in USC…

USC Dornsife Academic Domain Vice Deans

Mancall, McKenna and Wood Named USC Dornsife Academic Domain Vice Deans

August 16, 2012

Peter C. Mancall, Charles McKenna and Wendy Wood were appointed academic domain vice deans by incoming dean of USC Dornsife Steve Kay on August 16. Mancall, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities and professor of…

Saving an Endangered Language

Saving an Endangered Language

August 14, 2012

As the old school bus wound its way through the steep mountain passes, the students gazed out the windows at the lush, tropical topography unfolding before them. At the outskirts of the village, the bus shuddered to a halt at…

USC Dornsife's Jack Halberstam explores society's evolving gender roles in his book, <em>Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal</em>, due out this September from Beacon Press. Photo of Halberstam by Assaf Evron.

Feminism Goes Gaga

August 9, 2012

On stage and off, Lady Gaga seems to be an ever-evolving performance piece dominating the media landscape. But in Gaga’s anarchic, gender-bending public persona, Jack Halberstam sees a mirror — one reflecting a…

Philip J. Stephens, professor emeritus of chemistry, was a USC Dornsife faculty member for more than 40 years. Photo by Alexandra Bissonnette.

In Memoriam: Philip J. Stephens, 71

August 7, 2012

Philip J. Stephens, professor emeritus of chemistry in USC Dornsife, who invented and developed two major techniques for characterizing molecular structure, has died. He was 71. Stephens died July 31 in Los Angeles after a…

Sri Narayan, professor of chemistry in USC Dornsife, tests one of his iron-air batteries by using it to power a fan. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

Breaking the Barriers for Low-Cost Energy Storage

August 6, 2012

A team of researchers has developed a cheap, rechargeable and eco-friendly battery that could be used to store energy at solar power plants on rainy days. Led by Sri Narayan, professor of chemistry in USC Dornsife, the team…

More than 2,600 young people in California were surveyed for a report by USC Dornsife sociologist Veronica Terriquez. Photo by Laurie Moore.

Civic-minded Undocumented Youth Dream Big

August 6, 2012

For undocumented youth, involvement in civic organizations appears to enhance aspirations and actual educational attainment, according to a report released by the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration based in USC…

"We want undergraduates, graduates and colleagues not to take their visual surroundings for granted. And to think intelligently and questioningly about what use we make of images. And, in a sense, the use that images make of us." - Kate Flint, Provost Professor of English and Art History, leader of the USC Dornsife 2020 research cluster “Seeing 20/20: The USC Visual Studies Research Institute."

The Future...Not What It Used to Be

August 2, 2012

USC Dornsife 2020 calls for professors to identify a theme of great societal importance for years to come and form research groups to investigate solutions. Each cluster includes faculty, undergraduate and graduate students,…

A leader in the field of women's studies and history, USC Dornsife's Lois Banner has written a new book breaking stereotypes that have haunted Marilyn Monroe since her death at age 36 a half century ago. Banner photo by Roger Snider.

The 50-Year Itch

August 1, 2012

Marilyn Monroe’s biographers haven’t always been kind. Since she was found dead in her Brentwood, Calif., home on Aug. 5, a half-century ago, she’s been portrayed anywhere from bimbo and victim to tempestuous…

Scientists conduct research on vitamin B deficient zones in the ocean aboard a University of Hawaii vessel. Photo by Paul Lethaby.

Vitamin ‘Deserts’ in the Ocean Identified

July 25, 2012

Using a newly developed analytical technique, a team led by USC Dornsife scientists was the first to identify long-hypothesized vitamin B deficient zones in the ocean. “This is another twist to what limits life in the…