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Drawing courtesy of the Granger Collection, New York.

At the Edge of the Known World

June 1, 2015

Imagine what it was like for the first African to explore the New World in the 16th century. For Estebanico, a Moroccan slave, arriving from Spain in 1527 to what is now the United States’ Gulf Coast was bittersweet.…

On the Banks of the Yalu River

On the Banks of the Yalu River

June 1, 2015

Two years ago, I stood on the easternmost section of China’s Great Wall looking across a narrow sliver of the Yalu River. There it was: North Korea — an empty landscape of white-capped mountains and snow-covered…

Illustrations by Nigel Buchanan for <em>USC Dornsife Magazine</em>.

The Great Explorers

June 1, 2015

Score one, make that two, for women in the workforce. Although born generations apart, Virginia Carter and Alexia Tsotsis let their passions be their guide and broke through in male-dominated fields. Carter earned her wings in…

Illustration by Bryan Christie Design for <em>USC Dornsife Magazine</em>.

Layer By Layer

June 1, 2015

Part meticulous study, part eloquent homage, Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man is considered not only a seminal work of art, but the very embodiment of the boundary-breaking, outward-looking curiosity of the Renaissance…

Psychology alumna Kina Grannis is a 29-year-old singer-songwriter who runs her own music label. Photo by Yoni Goldberg.

In Her Element: Kina Grannis

June 1, 2015

In the era of vinyl records, when the album’s lyrics were printed in full on the back cover, it was easy to see what a singer wanted to express. Even cassette tapes included a printed insert of lyrics. These days, with…

China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television limits the number of foreign films shown each year in the country to 34. Fourteen of these must be either IMAX or 3-D. Illustrations by Justin Renteria for <em>USC Dornsife Magazine</em>.

Wild for Movies

June 1, 2015

Marketing rule No. 1: When trying to make a buck, don’t alienate one of your largest audiences. Case in point, in 2012, when MGM planned a remake of the 1984 Cold War film Red Dawn, in which a midwestern town is invaded…

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…

The yellowing and torn pages of an 18th-century manuscript, some shown in this illustration, are from an unpublished recipe book written by Pennysylvanian Ann Ellis and her English mother, Bettee Saffin. Illustrations by Stephanie Dalton Cowan for <em>USC Dornsife Magazine</em>.

Brave New World

December 2, 2014

Despite its handsome, embossed, brown-calfskin cover and imposing size, the unpublished 18th-century manuscript had been overlooked by academics until Juliette Parsons, a doctoral student in history at USC Dornsife, discovered…

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,…

What will happen when the world population expands to 9.6 billion by 2050 and twice as much food is needed? Researchers are studying ways to feed the world. Illustrations by The Heads of State for <em>USC Dornsife Magazine</em>.

Appetite for Change

November 19, 2014

Walking into the supermarket, browsing the seemingly endless rows of fresh produce and canned goods, it’s hard to fathom a food shortage. But with the current world population of 7.2 billion expected to explode to 9.6…