University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is the heart of the University of Southern California. The largest, oldest and most diverse of USC’s 19 schools, USC Dornsife is composed of more than 30 departments and dozens of research centers and institutes. USC Dornsife is home to approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and more than 750 faculty members with expertise across a spectrum of academic fields.

Our frontline scholars are working to find solutions to society’s toughest challenges by advancing human health, preserving and improving our environment, and strengthening our communities. Together, we are defining scholarship of consequence for the 21st century.

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Displaying 21 - 40 of 78 articles

King of a technologically advanced country, Black Panther is a scientific genius. Marvel Studios

The hidden superpower of ‘Black Panther’: Scientist role models

Seeing black lead characters who are accomplished scientists could be just the thing to help inspire future generations to follow in their footsteps.
President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

3 key quotes from Trump’s first State of the Union, explained

Trump touted his administration's economic successes and laid out his immigration plan in an 80-minute speech to Congress. Our experts weigh in.
North Korean women work at the cashier table of a bookstore in Pyongyang, North Korea. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Inside North Korea’s literary fiction factory

The state-produced stories, which include tales about apartment lotteries, theme parks and the Clintons, might seem absurd. But they offer a window into the regime's priorities and anxieties.
Searching for victims after a rain-triggered mudslide that blanketed a village and killed at least 178 people in north China’s Shanxi province, Sept. 13, 2008. AP Photo/Andy Wong

Global toll from landslides is heaviest in developing countries

While the Montecito, California mudslides took 20 lives, landslides kill far more people in developing countries. Tighter construction standards and early warning systems could help reduce their toll.
Science is one thread of culture – and entertainment, including graphic books, can reflect that. 'The Dialogues,' by Clifford V. Johnson (MIT Press 2017)

New ways scientists can help put science back into popular culture

You might not think much about science topics as part of your everyday life. But science – like art, music, religion – is part of our culture, and scientists can help it reclaim its rightful place.
The tomb of Abelard and Héloise. Alexandre Lenoir, via Wikimedia Commons

What a medieval love saga says about modern-day sexual harassment

An affair between a philosophy professor and his teenage student became the subject of ballads in the streets of Paris in the 12th century. A scholar asks: Why wasn't it called sexual harassment?
Worshippers depart a church service at the Crystal Cathedral megachurch in Garden Grove. Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters

How California’s megachurches changed Christian culture

California megachurches played a significant role in how millions of people - Christian or not - understand Christianity.
A small – but powerful – Latino middle class has emerged in California, led by elites like State Senator Kevin de Leon. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Latino elites are paying the California dream forward

Scholars say elites are critical to helping ethnic communities thrive. So, who are the Latino elites and what work are they doing for their community?
Is the California Dream still alive and well? Ivan Aleshin/shutterstock.com

Imagining the ‘California Dream’

Millions of people have imagined California, but only one man was its historian.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is applauded at a performance in Pyongyang. KRT via AP Video

Disarming North Korea means making concessions

A former Department of Defense and State Department official explains why a hardline approach on North Korea will likely fail, as it did with Iran.
The Roman army at the Battle of Cannae. The painting depicts the death of Roman consul Paulus Aemilius. John Trumbull (The Athenaeum / Yale University Art Gallery), via Wikimedia Commons

A trans soldier in the ancient Roman army?

An ancient Roman fable imagines a cinaedus, well-known for his brazen effeminacy, fighting heroically. The story raises concerns over gender identity in the military -- much like those seen today.
When school gets tough, do you think it’s worthwhile? Or time to give up? Pavlin Plamenov Petkov/Shutterstock.com

Do challenges make school seem impossible or worthwhile?

A high school science test, a Psych 101 course, long job applications: Sometimes it's hard to be motivated to succeed. As it turns out, how you respond to difficulty and ease can make all the difference.
U.S. President Donald Trump stands with Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. after delivering keynote address at commencement in Lynchburg, Virginia, May 13, 2017. Yuri Gripas/Reuters

Revisiting the legacy of Jerry Falwell Sr. in Trump’s America

Falwell Sr. was a pastor who founded the Moral Majority, a conservative Christian political lobbying group. He changed the way American Christians think about their faith and politics.

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