Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities @ USC schedule for 2018-19


All events are in 241 Doheny Memorial Library unless otherwise noted.


Sept. 21 – Dr. Marianne Wolf will be speaking on her new book, The Future of the Deep Reading Brain in a Digital Culture. Her presentation will describe the formation of the reading brain and the important role of deep reading processes like critical analysis and empathy in its development. Emphases will be placed on why and how the reading brain is changing in positive and worrisome directions as the result of the digital medium and its implications for the next generation and a democratic society.

Oct. 5 – Artist Alexandra Grant will be speaking about how she uses language and exchanges with writers as a source for imagery in sculpture, painting, drawing, and video.


Oct. 19 – Fellow Sasha Anawalt will be speaking on the subject “Los Angeles: The Cradle of American Modern Dance.”

Nov. 2 – Field trip to the Wende Museum of the Cold War, 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City. Exhibitions to include War of Nerves: The Psychological Landscape of the Cold War in collaboration with the Wellcome Collection (London), and Red Shoes: Love, Politics, and Dance during the Cold War. Luncheon at Café Laurent at 4243 Overland Ave, Culver City.

Nov. 16 – In his overview detailing the work of The Science & Entertainment Exchange, program director Rick Loverd will discuss the collaborative connections The Exchange fosters with entertainment industry professionals and top scientists and engineers to create a synergy between accurate science and engaging storylines in popular film and television programming—among them Criminal MindsThe Big Bang TheoryThe Good WifeCovert Affairs and Black Panther.

Dec. 7 – Field trip to the USC Fisher Museum of Art: Curator Tim Wride will provide a talk and a tour of Earthworks: Mapping the Anthropocene. The exhibition features new and recent works by Justin Brice Guariglia, a transdisciplinary artist who, in 2015 and 2016, flew seven times with NASA as part of Operation Ice Bridge (a survey mission of Greenland) to study how melting glaciers affect the rise of sea levels. Luncheon will be held at the Fisher Museum.

Jan. 11 – On the heels of the Oscar nomination announcements, Nancy Wang Yuen will discuss findings based on her book, Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism.

Jan. 25 – Fellow Patt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times discusses her new book, Don’t Stop the Presses: Truth, Justice, and The American Newspaper in which she showcases the importance of newspapers—in both words and startling imagery—and documents the impact of the medium.

Feb. 8 – Literary scholar and biographer Zachary Leader discussing his latest work, The Life of Saul Bellows, sharing notes from unprecedented access to the novelist’s papers, including much previously restricted material, as well as interviews with more than 150 of Bellow’s relatives, close friends, colleagues, and lovers, a number of whom have never spoken to researchers before.

Feb. 22 – Annual lunch at the Getty Museum with the Getty Research Institute Fellows.

March 8 – Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor of The Planetary Society, shares insights related to her research on Mars curiosity.

March 22 – Nicola Twilley co-host and co-producer of Gastropod, a popular and award-winning podcast about the history and science of food, on “Exploring the Artificial Cryosphere.”

Over the past century, we have built a network of thermal control that has remade our entire relationship with food, for better and, in some ways, for worse. It is the invisible backbone of our food system—a man-made, distributed, and perpetual winter of mechanical refrigeration—it is the many mysteries of the artificial cryosphere that beckon, from banana ripening rooms to sleeping fish, and from reefers to juice tanks. What have we gained and lost, in our wholehearted embrace of artificial cold? And what can we do to make sure its many benefits outweigh its enormous costs, going forward?


April 5 – Kit Rachlis, Senior Editor for The California Sunday Magazine, to discuss “Journalism Under Siege: What’s Its Future?”

April 19: Fellow Henry Jenkins on “Sometimes My Kids Seem Like a Bunch of Kangaroos!: Permissive Parenting and Post-War Children’s Culture”

This talk explores some of the ways ideas about childhood and parenting changed after the Second World War, shaped by the writings of, among others, Margaret Mead, Benjamin Spock, and Dorothy Baruch, who described the ways the family and the culture more generally needed to be reshaped to accommodate children’s passions, curiosity, and creativity. How might this new paradigm help to explain such archetypical post-war children’s texts as The Cat in the Hat, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Dennis the Menace, Johnny Quest, and Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood?


May 3 – Field trip to Union Station. Fellow Bill Deverell will speak about Union Station and what lies beneath it. Our lunch to be held at 12 noon at La Golondrina Café & Historical Landmark at W-17 Olvera St., Los Angeles, 90012 across from Union Station.

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University of Southern California
Doheny Memorial Library 241
Los Angeles, California