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Humanities News

Peter Berton, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Relations at USC, was born in Poland and at age 6 moved to Harbin, China, one of the largest Jewish communities in the Far East. He studied violin in Japan and after waiting 12 years for a visa to come to the United States, began graduate studies at Columbia University. Berton became a consultant for the Library of Congress one year after his arrival to the U.S. Photo by Jie Gu.

The "Godfather" of Japanese Studies

December 8, 2011

Dapper in a formal tailcoat, Peter Berton stood between American and Japanese flags as he accepted the Order of the Rising Sun. The Japanese government honored the Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Relations…

USC Dornsife alumna Dawn Powell spent her Fulbright year investigating Sino-Brazilian economic relations in Brazil. Powell enjoys the sunset on Sugar Loaf mountain after a day of interviews in Rio de Janeiro. Photo courtesy of Dawn Powell.

Brazil Should Welcome Chinese Investors, USC Dornsife Fulbright Fellow Says

December 1, 2011

On a humid August day in Rio de Janeiro, USC Dornsife alumna Dawn Powell boarded an un-air-conditioned bus bound for Luís Eduardo Magalhães, an agribusiness town in western Bahia. An hour into the trip, the…

What makes you you? Panelists and audience members discuss what it means to find your authentic self during a recent event organized by USC Dornsife’s Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics. 1994 © New Line Cinema/Warner Bros.

Behind the Mask

November 30, 2011

When remembering Shakespeare’s words in Hamlet, “This above all: to thine own self be true,” most don’t consider that the play’s buffoon Polonius delivers the line. “In the context of the…

A view from the iconic Hollywood sign into the expanse of the Los Angeles Basin.

Saga of the Southland

November 17, 2011

There may be few clashes in Los Angeles history that cut as deep as the rivalry between the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins. But this Fall, members of both sides are putting aside any contentions to study the city they call…

Duncan Ryûken Williams is the new director of the USC School of Religion, and the founder and co-director of the newly created USC Center for Japanese Religions and Culture.

Enlightening the West

November 16, 2011

Born in Tokyo to a Japanese Buddhist mother and a British Christian father, Duncan Ryûken Williams believes it is his destiny to serve as a bridge between the religions and cultures of his upbringing. “I’ve…

60-Second Seminars: Ange-Marie Hancock

Rotary-Dial Politics in an iPhone World

November 7, 2011

Picture this scene from an episode of the NBC sitcom 30 Rock: Two characters Tracy Jordan and Jenna Maroney face off, both of them fuming. Tracy, a black male, is wearing a woman’s wig and a hot pink blazer, his face…

Follow Your Inspiration

Follow Your Inspiration

November 3, 2011

Introduction by Pamela J. JohnsonProfiles by Ambrosia Viramontes-Brody   So you’re undecided. That’s OK! Finding your place in the world has just become easier. Launched officially this Fall, First-Year…

Illustration by Joel Kimmel

First-Year Investigations: Brendan Dugan

November 3, 2011

Brendan DuganSummit, New JerseyMathematics As others may rush by abstract paintings, Brendan Dugan methodically observes the seemingly nonsensical swirling lines and bold dots on display. Abstract art reminds the 18-year-old…

Illustration by Joel Kimmel

First-Year Investigations: Katherine Montgomery

November 3, 2011

Katherine Montgomery Montclair, New Jersey Creative Writing A woman walking briskly down the street. A man donning a fedora. These uncomplicated sights inspire Katherine Montgomery in her fiction writing. Montgomery realized…

From left, Christina Zdawczyk, Francisco Rios Casas and Shamoiya Washington. Illustrations by Joel Kimmel

FYI Peer Mentors

November 3, 2011

Christina Zdawczyk La Cañada, California Neuroscience and East Asian Languages and Cultures Before Christina Zdawczyk heard about her grandfather slinging a medical bag over his shoulder and making house calls on…