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Humanities News

Photos courtesy of The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Wonder of the West

June 1, 2015

A sepia Los Angeles carnival image reveals an early 20th- century settlement on the brink of metamorphosis into a cityscape. Country store nostalgia still takes center stage, but encroaching urbanization and ubiquitous utility…

Barbara Duffey laughs while comparing a student’s writing piece to a Taylor Swift song during her creative writing class. Photo by Matt Gade/Daily Republic.

Soul of the Machine

May 19, 2015

Longer than she can quite remember, the writer Barbara Duffey ’02 has been mesmerized by machines: both the gears and levers sort, as well as the mortal, warm-blooded kind. She knows that the working parts of most…

High school student and future USC Dornsife chemistry major Belen Espinoza, far left, asks senior Thomas Do a question about his research project. Photos by Susan Bell.

Symposium Synergy

April 29, 2015

Belen Espinoza listened intently as Thomas Do, a junior majoring in chemistry at USC Dornsife, explained his research into how a cobalt catalyst can be used to convert carbon dioxide into more useful derivatives. Practical…

Greek and Armenian refugee children near Athens, Greece, in 1923, following their expulsion from Turkey. Photo courtesy of USC Shoah Foundation.

A Century of Voices

April 7, 2015

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in April, USC Shoah Foundation — The Institute for Visual History and Education will debut a month-long series of testimony clips from survivors and witnesses…

Known for his acerbic wit, Geoff Dyer is a writer of remarkable range. Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Dyer has made Venice, California, his new home. Photos courtesy of Geoff Dyer.

Dyer Joins English Department

March 27, 2015

USC Dornsife has recruited award-winning British author Geoff Dyer to join its English department faculty as a writer in residence beginning this Fall. Dyer is the author of seven genre-defying works of nonfiction and four…

Dean’s Professor of History Mary Elise Sarotte stands with USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay following her lecture, “A Broken Promise? The 1990 Origins of NATO’s Post-Cold War Expansion.” Photo by Karen Tang.

Investigative Historian

March 16, 2015

How do the behind-the-scenes correspondence among politicians such as Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union, and former United States President George H.W. Bush relate to Russia’s recent invasion of…

Japan, Spies and the Roman Empire

Japan, Spies and the Roman Empire

February 17, 2015

Research into a Hollywood-based Jewish spy ring is one of three USC Dornsife faculty research projects that have been honored with a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant for the academic year 2015-16. Steven…

Lincoln's Body by Richard Fox

Grotesque Yet Beloved

February 13, 2015

Speaking to an 1856 convention of newspaper editors in Decatur, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, never at a loss for a humorous quip or story, told this amusing tale. While riding a horse through the woods, a man Lincoln described…

This is how a mural in the Palace of the Jaguars would have appeared at the height of the ancient Mexican city, Teotihuacan. Illustration by artist Felipe Davalos, courtesy of Justin Underhill.

Art’s Digital Revolution

December 16, 2014

Faded murals line the walls of the Palace of the Jaguars in Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico. But centuries ago, the jaguars glistened — illuminated only by natural sunlight — steeped in vibrant reds, blues,…

The yellowing and torn pages of an 18th-century manuscript, some shown in this illustration, are from an unpublished recipe book written by Pennysylvanian Ann Ellis and her English mother, Bettee Saffin. Illustrations by Stephanie Dalton Cowan for <em>USC Dornsife Magazine</em>.

Brave New World

December 2, 2014

Despite its handsome, embossed, brown-calfskin cover and imposing size, the unpublished 18th-century manuscript had been overlooked by academics until Juliette Parsons, a doctoral student in history at USC Dornsife, discovered…