USC President C. L. Max Nikias has appointed USC Dornsife’s Viet Thanh Nguyen and Jacob Soll as University Professors.
“These exceptional faculty members have brought immense honor to the university,” USC Provost Michael Quick wrote in a memo announcing the appointments.
The honor of University Professor is awarded based on multidisciplinary interests and significant accomplishments in several disciplines.
Viet Thanh Nguyen
University Professor Nguyen is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and MacArthur Fellow. Nguyen is internationally known for his groundbreaking works in fiction and nonfiction, 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 (Grove Press, 2015), has emerged as one of the most celebrated works of fiction in the past 25 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 more than 30 best-of-the-year lists. His collection of stories The Refugees (Grove Press, 2017) was a bestseller, and his nonfiction Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (Harvard University Press, 2016) was a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award.
University Professor Soll is an early modern historian with a research focus on the history of politics, Renaissance humanism, accounting and information systems. Soll has been credited with elucidating the mechanics of how modern governments came into being, how they work or fail, and how accounting has been used to create modern, sustainable states. An expert on the history of financial crises, his research explains the necessity for governments to properly manage financial numbers and the importance of accounting and history as part of a leadership culture.
The recipient of numerous prestigious prizes, including two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, the Jacques Barzun prize, a Guggenheim fellowship and the MacArthur Fellowship, Soll is currently meeting with political and financial leaders across the globe to promote the humanities along with accounting standards and financial transparency as tools for effective statecraft.