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An image made by Aztec artists from the Codex Mendoza, an early cultural encyclopedia dating from ca. 1542 that traveled widely in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Scholars gain insight from the geographical and cultural movement of artifacts

November 19, 2015

When preserved specimens of birds of paradise — prized throughout 17th-century Europe for their vivid plumage, rarity and distant origins — were exported from their native Papua, New Guinea, by the Dutch, their…

“Eye Window” (detail) by Lorie Novak.

Through the Lens

November 16, 2015

Mirrored Images By Geoff Dyer Two related questions: How long do we have to go back to trace the origins of what happened last year in Ferguson, Mo.? And when does the aftermath of what happened begin? In terms of narrative…

Gridlock Solvers

Gridlock Solvers

October 8, 2015

It probably does not come as a major shock that results of a USC Dornsife/California Community Foundation/Los Angeles Times poll released Oct. 7 reveal traffic and congestion to be the point of greatest concern among L.A.…

American sailors faced multiple perils at sea as they struggled to gain recognition of their rights as citizens during the turbulent age of revolution.

American Identity at Sea

September 14, 2015

“Now sir, you are dished!” These were the mocking words an 18th-century British boatswain addressed to a captured American sailor as he ripped up the seaman’s identity papers and tossed them overboard. This…

Sari Siegel earned a prestigious 2015-16 Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Fellowship to further her ground-breaking studies of Jewish prisoner-physicians in Nazi Germany. Photo courtesy of Sari Siegel.

Between Coercion and Resistance

August 25, 2015

In 1930s Cologne, Germany, Maximilian Samuel was a beloved obstetrician-gynecologist and decorated World War I hero. He was also Jewish. Deported to Auschwitz in 1942 with his family, Samuel was selected to become a…

“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,…

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.…

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…

Greek and Armenian refugee children near Athens, Greece, in 1923, following their expulsion from Turkey. Photo courtesy of USC Shoah Foundation.

A Century of Voices

April 7, 2015

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in April, USC Shoah Foundation — The Institute for Visual History and Education will debut a month-long series of testimony clips from survivors and witnesses…

Richard Antaramian (third from left) is presented with a crystal book to honor his installation as the Turpanjian Early Career Chair in Contemporary Armenian Studies. From left: Michael Quick, interim university provost; Lilia Ambartsumyan, Antaramian's wife; Antaramian; Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian, the chair's donors; and Steve Kay, dean of USC Dornsife. Photos by Steve Cohn.

Cultivating Curiosity

March 23, 2015

At a ceremony honoring his installation as the inaugural holder of the Turpanjian Early Career Chair in Contemporary Armenian Studies, Richard Antaramian delineated two reasons why Armenian studies is a crucial field. The…