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Humanities News

David St. John, poet and professor of English in USC College. Photo credit Roger Snider.

Versed in Matters of the Heart

March 9, 2010

David St. John exudes the grace and aplomb of a holy man, perhaps a monk or sage. He actually does resemble a bit of bespectacled, bearded spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle — especially in his quiet gaze and half…

All Were Aboard on the Magic Poetry Bus

All Were Aboard on the Magic Poetry Bus

March 4, 2010

The stars all aligned for the Magic Poetry Bus on the evening of March 1 to the delight of an appreciative audience in the Davidson Center. The Get Lit troupe, poets, professors and celebrities altogether reveled in the…

USC College professors Tok Thompson (left) and Jon Berliner will host a series of Native American workshops starting March 5. Berliner photo credit Megan Christopher.

Native American Workshops Begin March 5

February 23, 2010

A series of upcoming workshops spearheaded by USC College professors Tok Thompson and Jon Berliner will revive intellectual discussions of essays on Native American history and culture. “I believe that students can…

Holly Payne ’97 today, fully healed 15 years after surviving a drunk driving accident. Photo credit Cindi Kinney.

Writing to Forgive

February 23, 2010

"If I am alive, I am going to write." Holly Payne '97 spoke these words as she lay on the edge of a road beside a cemetery. Seconds earlier, she stopped to assist two stranded cyclists. A passing pickup truck struck all…

Once Upon a Blog

Once Upon a Blog

February 18, 2010

Tell me a story. That edict drives journalism, a craft I chose to pursue when I entered USC in the fall of 1982. Good writing is the backbone of the storytelling done in journalism, along with the good reporting that…

Auteur Rockstar Strikes A Chord

Auteur Rock Star Strikes a Chord

February 11, 2010

Listening to a brooding cello concerto, the writer strikes the keyboard as he begins his short story or book. He begins, yet does not know where it will end until he arrives there. "You know, it's hard for me to do this -- to…

James McHugh of USC College has been offered a Society Fellowship at Cornell University’s Society for the Humanities to complete his book about scent in medieval India. Photo credit Steve Cohn.

The Sweet Smell of Success

February 9, 2010

Imagine a figure wrapped in fine silk, dripping with diamonds and bathed in a cloud of exotic perfume. Is this a celebrity, a diva, the ghost of Liberace? According to James McHugh, assistant professor of religion in USC…

Historian & Author Extraordinaire

Historian and Author Extraordinaire

January 27, 2010

Back in Widener Library at Harvard University during the late ’60s, an American historiographer was born. University Professor and Professor of History in USC College, Kevin Starr researched and wrote five chapters for…

From Barbies to Rockets

From Barbies to Rockets

January 27, 2010

No longer do we live in a world divided into two cultures. The literary artist, like the scientist, must embrace science and technology. Telling science stories is an excellent way to do this, though many writers balk at the…

Illustration by Rick Cortes.

The Magic Poetry Bus

January 27, 2010

I grew up within poetry — the sound of my mother’s voice reciting Great Poems. The poetry she recited was canonical: Shakespeare, Milton, Tennyson, Dickinson, Longfellow — but the way she told these poems…