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Humanities News

Nayan Shah joined USC Dornsife from the University of California, San Diego and began his post as professor and chair of American studies and ethnicity this Fall. Photo by Ben Pack.

Fighting for Inclusion

September 6, 2012

Nayan Shah was in South Africa on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship during the most intense period of struggle against apartheid. Black resistors were being beaten, tortured and murdered. It was 1989, a year before South African…

Denis Mitchell, here pictured in his younger years, was well known for his research on animal behavior. Photo courtesy of Kitling Mitchell.

In Memoriam: Denis Mitchell

September 5, 2012

Denis Mitchell, retired associate professor of psychology in USC Dornsife, died Aug. 21, 2012, after a five-year battle with brain cancer. “Denis was a humanitarian with exceptional talents, character and a sense of…

During his research trip, USC Dornsife undergraduate Reid Lidow enjoys a weekend excursion to Bagan in Upper Burma. The city's prosperous economy built over 10,000 temples between the 11th and 13th centuries. Photo courtesy of Reid Lidow.

Exceeding Expectations

September 4, 2012

Reid Lidow, a junior political science and international relations major in USC Dornsife, had just arrived in Burma. Raindrops were creating quite a cacophony as they pelted the tin rooftop overhead. He was starting to get…

Problems Without Passports: Politics and Security in the Arctic

North Pole Politics

August 31, 2012

The Arctic is the land of the midnight sun, ice-covered ocean and permafrost. Here, at the tippy top of the northern hemisphere, is a remote and beautiful landscape at the heart of a complex situation. As polar ice caps are…

USC Dornsife's Michael Messner receives the 2012 Jessie Bernard Award from Judith Howard, professor and divisional dean of social sciences at the University of Washington's College of Arts & Sciences, during a ceremony in Denver, Colo. Photo courtesy of the American Sociological Association.

Messner Receives 2012 Jessie Bernard Award

August 21, 2012

Michael Messner, professor of sociology and gender studies in USC Dornsife, is the first man to be honored with the Jessie Bernard Award, given in recognition of scholarly work that has broadened the horizons of sociology to…

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…

"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…