We think of Southern California as arid and drought-ridden, but from 1861 to ’62, much of it was underwater after a series of deadly winter storms caused widespread devastation and flooding. USC Dornsife history scholar Will Cowan says it could happen again. [12¾ min read]


On Nov. 20, 1969, a group of activists attempted to reclaim the location of the infamous prison for the native people who had once occupied it. USC Dornsife faculty discuss the implications of the event, which kicked off nearly two years of protest that would shape Native American land rights activism for the next five decades. [4 min read]


From the Victorians’ morbid fascination with death to the Civil War’s profound influence on American mourning rituals to our current tendency to ignore or deny the inevitability of our eventual demise, USC Dornsife scholars explore our dramatically evolving attitudes toward death and mortality.

Social Impact

USC Dornsife’s William Deverell will lead the new project that will bring scholars and collections together to allow researchers to build on current studies in areas such as Los Angeles and California history, Holocaust studies and LGBTQ history and culture.


Hailed as a sci-fi capital, Los Angeles has long served as an inspiration and backdrop for some of the best science fiction ever produced in literature or film. A conference organized by William Deverell of history and David Ulin of English explores the city’s profound and complex relationship with the genre.


Seeking to further encourage and support research and teaching in the humanities, USC and The Huntington reaffirm their partnership with the Early Modern Studies Institute and the Institute on California and the West.