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Maymester News

Maymester course takes students from the lettuce fields of Ventura County to ethnic food stalls in the Pacific Northwest, and restaurants and markets in between. Photos by Brittany Thompson, Karen Tongson and Linda Wang.

Let’s Dig In

November 24, 2014

With a farmer’s knife in hand, Richard Martinez knelt by a line of bright green heads of lettuce and cut off one. He snapped off the crispy leaves from the spine. Blanketed by a brilliant blue sky over Oxnard,…

At the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea, New York, Maymester art history course student Matthew Solomon visits the show, “No Problem: Cologne/New York 1984-1989.” Photos courtesy of Suzanne Hudson.

Sweet Trip

August 27, 2014

In the abandoned Domino Sugar Refinery on the Brooklyn waterfront — an iconic New York landmark — a monumental sphinxlike sculpture made of white sugar gazed out impassively over the East River. This…

Students in Lori Meeks’ “Introduction to Buddhist Literature” Maymester class visit the Zenshūji Sōtō Mission, a Japanese Sōtō Zen Buddhist temple in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo district. Here the Rev. Shūmyō Kojima speaks about his personal experiences as a Zen priest. Photos by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

The Many Faces of Buddhism

July 10, 2014

Lights low, the meditation room gives off an aura of peace. After removing their shoes, the students quietly file in. Each stands before a zafu, or meditation cushion, placed on top of a zabuton, or square mat. Guided by a…

At times, students traveled by camel during their research trip this summer for the "Field Geology" course taught by Meghan Miller, assistant professor of earth sciences at USC Dornsife. Photo courtesy of Meghan Miller.

Shaking it up in Morocco

July 31, 2013

The dusty Land Cruiser bumped and rumbled along the Moroccan desert floor as our caravan approached the village of Merzouga under the light of a waxing moon.  A long day of travel behind us, the dunes in the distance…

Students in the Maymester contemporary art course visited Jeff Koons’ <em>Gazing Ball</em> exhibition at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York City — one of many exhibits during their research trip. Photo courtesy of Art21.

Course is Work of Art

July 8, 2013

When Rocio Peña-Martinez walked into the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea on Manhattan’s Westside, her eyes followed the hand-blown, blue glass balls. Each ball balanced atop white plastic casts of classical…

A dramatic view of Singapore’s Marina Bay at night as seen by students in USC Dornsife's inaugural Maymester trip to that part of Southeast Asia. The ArtScience Museum, which is frequently compared to a lotus flower, is on the left. Photo courtesy of Vivan Wu.

The View From Southeast Asia

June 26, 2013

As political and economic focus shifts from Europe and the West toward the emerging powers of the East, the 21st century is being dubbed “America’s Pacific Century.” However, the United States position on…

USC Dornsife junior and senior geology majors in Malaga, Spain. Photo courtesy of John Platt.

Spain Rocks

July 13, 2012

For some people, rocks are those pesky objects that sometimes find their way into your shoes. But for aspiring geologists, who study how rocks came to be, the aggregate of minerals provide a looking glass into the past. Was…

USC Norman Topping scholars in USC Dornsife’s Japan Immersion Program pack the more than 300 books they collected from schools across campus to donate to Japan’s American studies libraries affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Students carried the books with them when they traveled for their two-week Maymester trip to Japan.

Restocking Hope in Japan

June 12, 2012

For the past few months, 13 students in USC Dornsife’s Japan Immersion Program have collected 300 American studies books from schools across campus. The students carried the books on a plane for Japan for their two-week…

A USC Dornsife student on a scientific dive in Guam with a Hawksbill sea turtle in the foreground during a past Maymester trip. Photo by Gerry Smith.

Taking the Plunge

May 23, 2012

USC Dornsife students are diving into this year’s Maymester courses. After taking a Spring semester course on the physics, physiology, safety and methodology of scientific diving, 26 undergraduates will dive in the…

Ojibwe indians in Minnesota use a birch bark canoe for transport circa 1910. USC Dornsife's David Treuer fuses historical facts, reportage and memoir in his new book <em>Rez Life</em> to give a detailed history of Indian reservations in the U.S. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Center.

Life on the Rez

February 8, 2012

In the 1950s in the small village of Ball Club, Minn., a school lunch program created a nasty rift. The area was mostly populated by Indians, recounted David Treuer. Students who resided on tribal land were entitled to a free…