Skip to main content

Humanities News

Nancy Lutkehaus, professor of anthropology and political science. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Institutionalizing the Primitive

August 20, 2015

Walking into the dramatic first-floor gallery of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the visitor is confronted with the towering bis poles collected by Michael Rockefeller on his final expedition to New Guinea.…

Nadya Bair challenges the notion of the “great artist photographer” with her research, instead emphasizing the collaborative role of the network. Photo courtesy of Nadya Bair.

Rewriting Photographic History

August 7, 2015

Nadya Bair has long been entranced by photography. As a child in Moscow, she can remember her grandfather — an aerial photographer during World War II — developing photos in his kitchen. The materiality and…

Ella Watson, a government cleaner, is pictured in her Washington, D.C., home with three grandchildren and her adopted daughter in this 1942 photograph by Gordon Parks.  Photo courtesy of Library of Congress: Farm Security Administration archives.

From Wonder to Detestation

August 3, 2015

Her quiet dignity captured for all time, an elderly African American woman is pictured in her simply furnished but spotless home. Taken by photographer Gordon Parks in 1942, the black and white photograph shows Ella Watson, a…

Poet Claudia Rankine is known for her commitment to social justice. Photo by John Lucas.

Claudia Rankine Joins English Department

July 6, 2015

USC Dornsife has recruited renowned American poet Claudia Rankine as Aerol Arnold Chair of English. She will teach a wide variety of literature and creative writing courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level starting…

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…