USC Dornsife at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

The 2011 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books comes to the USC campus on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them.

Join faculty from USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences for a number of panels and events at the festival. In the schedule below, USC Dornsife faculty, students and alumni are noted in bold. To attend panels, you must purchase tickets through the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Web site in advance for $1.

Follow us on Twitter at @USCDornsife and Facebook as we broadcast live from the festival. Also, be sure to visit the USC Dornsife booths. We look forward to seeing you there!

For a full list of events and more information about the festival visit



USC Dornsife Faculty Program Schedule


Saturday, April 30

10:00 a.m.

Peter Guber and Peter Bart in Conversation with David L. Ulin
Interviewer: David L. Ulin, Peter Bart, Peter Guber
Location: Bing Theatre
Panel Code: 1131

10:30 a.m.

People Power: The Rise of a New Middle East
Moderator: Reza Aslan, Laurie Brand, Tom Hayden, Parag Khanna
Location: Bovard
Panel Code: 1111

11:00 a.m.

Daniel Tiffany reads from Privado and The Dandelion Clock.

Location: Poetry Stage

11:30 a.m.

T.C. Boyle with an Introduction by Janet Fitch
Introducer: Janet Fitch, T.C. Boyle
Location: Bing Theatre
Panel Code: 1132

11:40 p.m.

Funny But True
Storytelling-based performance hosted by Prince Gomolvilas featuring Josh Feldman, Erin La Rosa, Krishna Narayanamurti and Tesia Walker
Location: USC Stage

11:45 a.m.

A Reading by Aimee Bender
Location: Harris
Panel Code: 1142

12:00 p.m.

The Poet’s Responsibility: Poetic Tradition, Social Values, and Contemporary Culture
Moderator: Carol Muske-Dukes, Henri Cole, Amy Gerstler, Craig Santos Perez, Ed Roberson
Location: Annenberg Auditorium
Panel Code: 1122

Writing Creative Lives
Moderator: Jon Thurber, Barbara Isenberg, Tom Nolan, Laura Skandera Trombley, Kenneth Turan
Location: Andrus Gerontology Center
Panel Code: 1022

12:30 p.m.

Amy Newlove Schroeder and Dorothy Barresi read from The Sleep Hotel and American Fanatic
Location: Poetry Stage

Patti Smith and Dave Eggers in Conversation with David L. Ulin
Interviewer: David L. Ulin, Dave Eggers, Patti Smith
Location: Bovard
Panel Code: 1112

Science: Behind the Microscope
Moderator: M.G. Lord, Oren Harman, Terry McDermott, Lauren Redniss
Location: Seeley Mudd 124
Panel Code: 1022

12:55 p.m.

Writing the Ineffable: Memoir & Disability
Dinah Lenney
, Tim Page, Mark Richard
Location: Harris
Panel Code: 1143

2:00 p.m.

Fiction of the Middle East
Moderator: Gina Nahai, Reza Aslan, Assaf Gavron, Laila Lalami
Location: Norris
Panel Code: 1073

The Many Paths of Publishing
Moderator: Donna Wares, Betsy Amster, Brad Inman, Brighde Mullins, Jack Shoemaker
Location: Seeley Mudd 124
Panel Code: 1023

2:15 p.m.

A Reading by Carol Muske-Dukes
Location: Harris
Panel Code: 1144

3:25 p.m.

The Brokeback Book: From Story to Cultural Phenomenon
Chris Freeman
, William Handley, Susan McCabe, James Morrison, Kenneth Turan
Location: Harris
Panel Code: 1145

3:30 p.m.

Carol Muske-Dukes hosts various poets reading from Crossing State Lines: An American Renga
Location: Poetry Stage

4:00 p.m.

The Pale King: David Foster Wallace
Moderator: David L. Ulin,D.T. Max, Bonnie Nadell, Michael Pietsch
Location: Campus Center Ballroom
Panel Code: 1094

4:45 p.m.

From Henry Hudson to California Dreams: Explorations and Discovery in Regional U.S. History
William Deverell
Peter Mancall, Kevin Starr
Location: Harris
Panel Code: 1146




Sunday, May 1


10:00 a.m.

Science: How We Invent the World
Moderator: Margaret Wertheim, Mike Brown, K.C. Cole, Antonio Damasio
Location: SAL 101
Panel Code: 2041

Teaching Kids Writing
Amie Longmire
, Melinda MacInnis, Michelle Meyering, Brighde Mullins, Krishna Narayanamurti
Location: Harris
Panel Code: 2141

11:30 a.m.

Memoir: Living in a Shadow
Moderator: Dinah Lenney,  Jill Bialosky, Meghan O’Rourke, Linda Gray Sexton, Alexandra Styron
Location: SAL 101
Panel Code: 2042

Reading and Writing in the Digital Age
Erik Loyer, Mark Marino, Holly Willis
Location: Harris
Panel Code: 2142

12:00 p.m.

Ted Danson in Conversation with M.G. Lord
Interviewer: M.G. Lord, Ted Danson
Location: Bing Theatre
Panel Code: 2132

12:30 p.m.

Fiction Inside Out
Moderator: Tod Goldberg, Chris Adrian, Aimee Bender, Grace Krilanovich, Charles Yu
Location: Norris
Panel Code: 2072

Los Angeles: Myth & Memory
Moderator: Patt Morrison, William Deverell, Leo Braudy, Lawrence Culver, D.J. Waldie
Location: Taper 101
Panel Code: 2052

Memoir: Lost & Found
Moderator: Orli Low, James Brown, Samantha Dunn, Mark Richard
Location: Andrus Gerontology Center
Panel Code: 2032

The Poet’s Journey: Personal Reflection and Public Revelation
Moderator: David St. John, Nick Flynn, Dana Goodyear, Yehoshua November, Matthew Zapruder
Location: Annenberg Auditorium
Panel Code: 2122

1:00 p.m.

The Magic of Museums
K.C. Cole, Selma Holo, Charmaine Jefferson, Michael Quick
Location: Harris
Panel Code: 2143

1:30 p.m.

Matthew Shenoda and Cecilia Woloch read from Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone and Carpathia
Location: Poetry Stage

2:30 p.m.

Anna Journey and David St. John read from If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting and The Face: A Novella in Verse
Location: Poetry Stage

Hollywood Icons
Lois Banner
, Leo Braudy, M.G. Lord, Karen Sternheimer
Location: Harris
Panel Code: 2144

3:00 p.m.

Fiction: L.A. Stories
Moderator: Tod Goldberg, Janet Fitch, Seth Greenland, Meg Howrey, Eric Puchner
Location: Taper 201
Panel Code: 2064

4:00 p.m.

Publishing as a Writer of Color
Dana Johnson
, Oliver Mayer, Viet Nguyen, Jervey Tervalon
Location: Harris
Panel Code: 2145


USC Dornsife Booths at Los Angeles Times Festival of Books


USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies
Booth 36

The USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, housed in USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, supports marine and environmental science research and education at the University of Southern California. Learn about the educational programs offered at the Wrigley Marine Science Center in Catalina for families and students from the elementary-school level through college and beyond. The booth will also feature research and publications by renowned faculty from the institute.

USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Booth 180

Learn about USC Dornsife’s more than 60 majors and nearly 80 minors in the humanities, social sciences and sciences, leading to bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees. Admission and advising staff will provide information about the educational programs and research opportunities at USC Dornsife. Visitors will also have the opportunity to learn about faculty and peruse recent faculty publications. Come by and pick up the latest issue of USC Dornsife Magazine.

USC Department of English
Booth 181

The USC Dornsife Department of English, home to one of the first Ph.D. programs in creative writing and literature, offers a broad range of courses in English, American and Anglophone literature of all periods and genres.  Students can also take courses in creative and expository writing, popular culture, literature and the visual arts, ethnic literature and cultural studies, the history of the English language, and literary and cultural theory. 

The English Department offers bachelor of arts degree programs in English literature and English with an emphasis in creative writing.  It also offers two Ph.D. programs, one in literary criticism and one with a dual emphasis in literature and creative writing.  To develop as scholars and writers, students can combine their coursework in English with other areas such as journalism or cinema-television critical studies. 

The department’s wide-ranging faculty includes published poets, novelists, cultural critics, essayists and literary historians.  The department has earned a national reputation for its embrace of diverse approaches and its encouragement of interdisciplinary studies.

Visit the USC Dornsife Department of English booth (181) to learn more.

Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics
Booth 182

Festival attendees will have the opportunity to use iPad-based programs to view actual USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll questions, respond to them in real time and graphically view how their answers compare to those of actual poll respondents.

The poll project was a series of six statewide public-opinion polls that began November 8, 2009, and continued throughout California’s crucial 2010 elections for governor and the U.S. Senate. Polls were taken at regular intervals and designed to survey California residents’ attitudes on a wide range of political, policy, social and cultural issues, with the goal of better informing the public and encouraging discourse on key political and policy issues.

The mission of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, which is housed in USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, is to motivate students to become active in the world of politics and encourage public officials to participate in the daily life of USC. 

USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education
Booth 183

Search the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive, which contains nearly 52,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses. Visitors will also be able to explore the institute’s Web site, which provides a microsite for educators, and signup for the institute’s e-newsletter. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to assist the public and to share general information about the institute’s educational work.

The mission of the institute, which is housed in USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, is to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry—and the suffering they cause—through the educational use of its visual history testimonies. Today the institute reaches educators, students, researchers, and scholars on every continent, and supports efforts to collect testimony from the survivors and witnesses of other genocides.

Joint Educational Project
Booth 184

Readers of all ages are invited to participate in the International Reading Festival presented by USC ReadersPlus, a literacy and math tutoring program administered by the Joint Educational Project, and Project Books and Blankies. USC ReadersPlus will introduce children and families to folk and fairy tales from around the world through readings and activities. Every two hours festival goers are invited to listen to stories from Japan, Italy, Kenya, Guyana and Morocco, and engage in literacy activities.

In addition, the booth will host two guest authors. Anna Carey will lead writing exercises and read from her books The Sloane Sisters and Eve. Ryan Lederer, a freshman at USC, will read from and give away copies of his book Captain Candy, which he wrote in 2007 when he was 10 years old.

The booth will offer a free book, donated by DK Publishing, to each child attending one of our USC ReadersPlus partner schools who comes to the festival sporting an International Reading Festival T-shirt. Students at our schools who have never attended the International Reading Festival (or who can’t find their T-shirts!) can pick up coupons at school that can be presented at the booth for their free books.

The Joint Educational Project, housed in USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, is one of the oldest and largest service-learning programs in the United States.

USC Dornsife Master of Professional Writing Program
Booth 185

On Saturday, April 30, screenwriter Syd Field, lecturer in MPW, will be signing copies of his books, which include The Definitive Guide to Screenwriting, The Screenwriter’s Workbook and Going to the Movies. Also, stop by Saturday and Sunday to enter your name in a raffle!

Saturday’s prize

The Janet Fitch Collection: White Oleander (book and DVD) and Paint It Black, signed by the author.

Sunday’s prize

Memoir Kit: Memoirs by Mark Richard, Dinah Lenney, M.G. Lord and Bernard Cooper — signed by the authors! Prize includes a leather journal and a fountain pen.

The USC Dornsife Master of Professional Writing Program fosters the development of an individual voice through craft and workshop classes, and addresses the writer’s capacity to make his or her living through writing.