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A modern, electric city is born: a 1958 image of Los Angeles at night. Photo by Joseph Fadler, courtesy Huntington Library, San Marino.

Electric City

May 23, 2013

A towering electricity pylon dominates a moody black-and-white nightscape of 1950s Los Angeles. Silhouetted center stage, it straddles the landscape, its looping power cables carving up the artificially illuminated sky. At…

The Fulbright Scholarship was established to increase the mutual understanding between the United States and other countries. USC Dornsife students and alumni who are 2013-14 Fulbright Scholars will study and teach throughout the world. Clockwise from top left is Joshua Rivkin, Italy; Travis Glynn, India; Megan Rilkoff, Laos; Andrew Ju, South Korea; Jonathan Truong, Vietnam; Molly Levine, Thailand; Jasneet Aulakh, India; Ana Lee, Portugal; Juan Espinoza, Mexico; and Abhishek Verma, Switzerland.

The Fabulous Fulbrights

May 10, 2013

Ten exceptional USC Dornsife students have been selected for the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship, which awards them for academic achievement and commitment to cultural engagement. USC has been recognized as one of the top 40…

Priscilla Leiva, Ph.D. student in American studies and ethnicity, is exploring the role sports stadiums play in creating civic identity, as well as their interaction with their surrounding communities of color. Here, Leiva stands at a window overlooking downtown Los Angeles. Photo by Michelle Salzman.

Homing in on a Ph.D.

May 9, 2013

Imagine a day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles: The checkered pattern of freshly cut grass outlines the red-brown dirt that makes up the baseball diamond. As you settle in for the game, you tear open a bag of salty, shelled…

Peter La Chapelle ’02 takes a cue from Woody Guthrie and finds his own way to persevere.

In My Opinion

May 7, 2013

Most historians start off not with a rich vein of sources, but with some basic information and a hunch. That is where historical imagination makes its entrance. R.G. Collingwood’s turn of phrase “historical…

Historian Deborah Harkness breathes life into the mysteries of the past by embroidering fiction onto gaps in the historical record. At the centerpiece of her <em>All Souls Trilogy</em> of books is the perplexing, real-life manuscript Ashmole 782, originally donated to the Bodleian Library at Oxford University in 1858. Photo by John Livzey.

The Dark of Harkness

May 7, 2013

Deborah Harkness believes the pages of centuries-old manuscripts are enchanted. Like clues to a mystery, they hold the key to unraveling the chronology, ambitions, failures and successes of those who lived before us. And…

Jacob Soll, professor of history who arrived Summer of 2012, has a joint appointment with the USC Leventhal School of Accounting. A MacArthur fellow in 2011 and Guggenheim fellow from 2009 to 2010, Soll was recruited from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Illustration by Bill Sanderson.

Hire Purpose: Jacob Soll

May 7, 2013

You’re at a dinner party and the vichyssoise is a mere memory, the smoked velouté of partridge is gone and you’re deep into the butterscotch budino. What’s the one subject that has not been broached?…

Adorned with sandalwood paste and roses, this white marble statue of a Jain Tirthankara, or Jina, an enlightened being who teaches Jainism, is from a temple in Bikaner, Rajasthan, Northwest India. Photo courtesy of James McHugh.

Sense and Sensuality

April 9, 2013

Uproar, Moon Juice, Outrage and Who’s He? Despite their deceptively avant-garde names, these are in fact medieval Indian perfumes, created and titled almost a thousand years ago at a time when the sense of smell played a…

USC Dornsife Professor of History and Accounting Jacob Soll (left) and Nathan Perl-Rosenthal, assistant professor of history, are approaching their research in innovative ways. Soll photo by Geraldine Bruneel, Paris. Perl-Rosenthal photo by Ben Pack.

New Stars of Yore

January 22, 2013

One of the top-20 history departments in the nation just got stronger. USC Dornsife’s Department of History has recruited MacArthur Fellow Jacob Soll from Rutgers University, who is using his innovative talents to…

Deborah Harkness, professor of history in USC Dornsife, has been named a "Woman of Influence" by Mount Holyoke College. Her recent novels, <em>A Discovery of Witches</em> and <em>Shadow of Night</em>, are <em>New York Times</em> bestsellers. Photo by Vania Stoyanova.

An Influential Woman

October 23, 2012

Deborah Harkness remembers the “ah-ha” moment that set her off on her intellectual journey. She was an undergraduate Renaissance studies major at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., when one day in class…

The Arch of Sorrow marking the entrance to the museum built on the site of The Akmolinsk Camp for the Wives of the Traitors of the Fatherland (ALZHIR). Photo by Azade-Ayse Rorlich.

Steppes Ahead

October 1, 2012

Descending from the upholstered comfort of their van into the vast, windswept steppe of Northern Kazakhstan, six USC Dornsife students gazed about them at an abandoned guard tower and the futuristic-looking Arch of Sorrow…