Congratulations Jujuana Preston on receiving the 2018 USC Dornsife Staff Achievement Award for your amazing work done at USC!

Since arriving in ASE in 2009, Jujuana has gone above and beyond the call of duty on countless occasions, managing departmental events, situations, faculty, campus colleagues and student workers with grace and ease as she serves as the first person encountered by anyone who visits the department. She has continued to grow as an employee and as a person, adding skills and expertise both within and outside the traditional scope of her job duties. Each time one of her co-workers have been out on medical leave, she stepped in to ensure the smooth running of the office, providing service well above her pay grade, with a team spirit that transcends the status quo. Her professionalism and attention to detail set her apart from her peers and we are so very fortunate to have her as part of Team ASE.  We Love You!

Juajuana Preston smiling in a selfie

ASE Memorial for Ntozake Shange (1948-2018)

The faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity remember today the wonderful work of Ntozake Shange, author of the Obie-award winning play, for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf, and numerous other plays, novels, and poems. A leading figure in the Black Arts movement, Ntozake Shange earned her M.A. in American Studies from the University of Southern California in 1973. We mourn the loss of this remarkable author with her family, friends, readers, and audiences.

Portrait of Ntozake Shange facing the camera in black and white in traditional African jewelry

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American studies and ethnicity and a minor in Spanish from USC Dornsife. She will serve as an English teaching assistant in Mexico, where she hopes to create an after-school literacy program for children in the community.

“I hope this program makes it easier for them to get access to books and other reading materials,” she said. “Overall, I am looking forward to the learning exchanges between my students, the community, and myself.”

“Nguyen is among 213 notables elected this year to the prestigious academy, which honors exceptional scholars, leaders, artists and innovators, and engages them in sharing knowledge and addressing challenges facing the world. Other 2018 awardees include former President Barack Obama, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, author Ta-Nehisi Coates and actor Tom Hanks.”

Congratulations to the newest University Professor Viet Nguyen!

Viet Thanh Nguyen, University Professor, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and MacArthur Fellow. Professor Nguyen is internationally known for his groundbreaking works in fiction and non-fiction, providing key insight and perspective to a global audience and exploring critical issues related to the immigrant experience, both historical and current, across generations, races, and political divides.

Among other accolades, his debut novel The Sympathizer has emerged as one of the most celebrated works of fiction in the past twenty-five years, winning the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Carnegie Medal for Literary Excellence from the American Library Association, and a California Book Award. Acclaimed for its compelling and inventive narrative of the Vietnam War, the novel was a New York Times bestseller and named to over thirty best-of-the-year lists. His collection of stories, The Refugees, was a bestseller, and his nonfiction Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War was a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award.

Professor Viet Nguyen receives award

Contact Us

Department of American Studies & Ethnicity

Located in Kaprielian Hall on the University Park campus, ASE faculty, graduate students, and staff are available to assist you with information and resources about our academic programs and research specialties.


University of Southern California

3620 South Vermont Avenue

Kaprielian Hall 462

Los Angeles, California 90089-2534