The Levan Institute for the Humanities serves as a hub for the humanities and humanistic social sciences at the University of Southern California, connecting faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students across disciplines, departments, programs, and institutes.


Book Chats

Conversations celebrating new books by USC scholars in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Each event features the author and guests in conversation about a recently completed publication.

How To…

Practical workshops where humanists discuss how to do the things we do. Each workshop consists of brief comments from three experienced presenters and a longer Q&A session.

Working Groups

Interdisciplinary working groups that foster intellectual exchange and advance research on topics in the humanities (broadly construed) not already addressed by an existing department or program.


The Levan Institute provides modest grants and promotion for public events in the humanities at USC.

Global Collaborations

The Levan Institute aims to foster and facilitate collaborations with scholars and institutions around the globe.

New Books

Congratulations to USC scholars on their recent publications!

Upcoming Events

Book Chat

Diane Winston, Righting the American Dream: How the Media Mainstreamed Reagan’s Evangelical Vision (University of Chicago Press, 2023)

Rescheduling: TBA   |   MORE

The author will be joined in conversation by Darren Dochuk (University of Notre Dame) and Lerone Martin (Stanford University), moderated by Kamy Akhavan (USC). Co-organized by the USC Center for the Political Future. Registration is required.

Book Chat

Karen Tongson, Normporn: Queer Viewers and the TV That Soothes Us (NYU Press, 2023)

March 25, 2024, 12–1pm   |   MORE

The author will be joined in conversation by Scott Poulson-Bryant (University of Michigan) and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro (co-creator of UnREAL), moderated by Tara McPherson (USC). Co-organized by the Division of Cinema and Media Studies and the English Department. Registration is required.

Book Chat

Wolf Gruner, Resisters: How Ordinary Jews Fought Persecution in Hitler’s Germany (Yale University Press, 2023)

April 17, 2024, 1–2pm   |   MORE

The author will be joined in conversation by Avinoam Patt (New York University) and Wendy Lower (Claremont McKenna College), moderated by Steve Ross (USC). Co-organized by the USC Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life. Registration is required.

Book Chat

Christopher Hepburn, Defining Waka Musically: Songs of Male Love in Premodern Japan (Palgrave MacMillan, 2023)

April 29, 2024, 12–1pm   |   MORE

The author will be joined in conversation by Jennifer Guest (University of Oxford) and Stacey Jocoy (Library of Congress), moderated by Kerim Yasar (USC). Co-organized by the USC East Asian Studies Center and the Center for the Premodern World. Registration is required.

Book Chat

Thomas Seifrid, Staging the Absolute: Ritual in Russia’s Modern Era (University of Toronto Press, 2023)

May 6, 2024, 12–1pm   |   MORE

The author will be joined in conversation by Galin Tihanov (Queen Mary University of London) and Nancy Condee (University of Pittsburgh), moderated by Colleen McQuillen (USC). Registration is required.

Header image: Reverse of Postcard of Tram Running Between Venice, Ocean Park and Santa Monica, California, March 31, 193- (date obscured), USC Libraries Special Collections

Contact Us


3501 Trousdale Parkway
THH 348
Los Angeles, CA 90089


Director: Daniela Bleichmar
Associate Director: Zach Mann
Assistant Director: Isabella Carr

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