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“Figueroa Spectres, 1935-1997,” a photo montage by Philip J. Ethington.

Ghost Stories

July 30, 2015

For Philip J. Ethington, it’s been more séance than research — this long journey back to raise old ghosts and their attendant stories. Ethington, professor of history and political science at USC Dornsife,…

Living the California Dream

Living the California Dream

July 1, 2015

When the USC Dornsife undergraduates picked their way across the stepping stones spanning the koi-filled pool and walked through the glass doors of John Lautner’s Sheats-Goldstein Residence, there was a collective intake…

Freeway collapses were among the damage from the 1994 Northridge quake, caused by a previously unknown fault. Photo courtesy of FEMA, by Robert Eplett.

Little-known Faults

June 1, 2015

Beneath Los Angeles rise peaks of staggering height — an unnamed mountain range standing nearly 2 miles tall. Though they rival the San Gabriels in stature, you can’t see them: They’re hidden beneath…

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…

Alumna Angela Johnson Meszaros works in environmental justice, focusing on air quality, as general counsel for the organization Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles. Photo by Ana Mascarena.

Helping Us Breathe Easier

July 14, 2014

In Los Angeles and Orange counties in the past year, the oil industry has used more than 45 million pounds — 22,500 tons — of toxic air pollutants as part of its 477 hydraulic fracturing (fracking), acidizing and…

USC Dornsife professor Manuel Pastor (from left), talk show host Tavis Smiley; Maria Brenes, executive director of Inner City Struggle; and Jonathan Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, participated in Smiley's kickoff for a four-year initiative to address poverty in America. Photograph by Zon D'Amour.

Pastor Speaks on Poverty

July 3, 2014

Sharing bleak statistics during a recent kickoff for Tavis Smiley Foundation’s Ending Poverty initiative, professor Manuel Pastor pointed to the need to raise the public’s awareness about the high poverty levels in…

USC Dornsife's David Ulin of the Master of Professional Writing program (far right) moderates a discussion about how the literary perception of Los Angeles architecture helped shape the city's identity. Ulin is book editor of the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>. From left: Jon Christensen, Alice Kimm and Christopher Hawthorne. Photo by  Gary Leonard.

Tales from Two Cities

March 6, 2014

For nearly 90 years, Los Angeles’ architecture has been seized upon by the city’s critics as an easy target, a way to reinforce its reputation as a shallow place without roots. Unjustly so, argued USC…

Joseph Hawkins is a professor of anthropology at USC Dornsife and director of ONE Archives at USC Libraries. But in a former life, he was at the epicenter of fine dining in Los Angeles. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

The Corner Booth

January 24, 2014

For students of USC Dornsife anthropologist Joseph Hawkins, fieldwork could require a reservation at Spago. Fortunately, Hawkins has the connections to make those kinds of arrangements. Wolfgang Puck’s legendary…

Residents of low-lying Southern California communities, such as San Pedro, would be most affected by flooding, according to a USC Dornsife study. Photo by Philip Belfer.

High Tide Predicted

January 9, 2014

Los Angeles, a metropolis perched on the edge of a coast, can expect to experience a sea level rise of as much as two feet by 2050 due to climate change, according to current projections. In anticipation, a team from USC…

The USC Korean Studies Institute

Explaining Korea to the World

November 27, 2013

USC Dornsife's Korean Studies Institute nurtures future generations of scholars through classes, programs and activities designed to increase interest in the East Asian territory and encourage a wider public discussion about…