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USC 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 1 - 20 of 145 articles

The Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol building. Matt H. Wade via Wikimedia Commons

What happens when senators die or are incapacitated?

With several senators testing positive for the coronavirus, and many older than 65, political scientists look at 1954, when senators' deaths changed control of the chamber.
Manger beaucoup de fruits et de légumes renforce le système immunitaire. Stevens Fremont/Getty Images

Bien manger peut contribuer à éloigner la Covid-19 (et d’autres maladies)

Un régime qui ne comprend pas assez de vitamines et de minéraux, et contient trop de calories vides provoque, du moins en partie, un dysfonctionnement du système immunitaire.
Sage burning as a spiritual cleansing ritual is common at Black Lives Matter protests. Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Far from being anti-religious, faith and spirituality run deep in Black Lives Matter

BLM has been accused of being 'Godless' and operating in a 'demonic realm.' But scholars of religion see a deep spirituality at work in the movement.
Plimoth Plantation, in Plymouth, Mass., is a living museum that’s a replica of the original settlement, which existed for 70 years. Wikimedia Commons

The complicated legacy of the Pilgrims is finally coming to light 400 years after they landed in Plymouth

Descendants from the Pilgrims were keen to highlight their ancestors' role in the country's founding. But their sanitized version of events is only now starting to be told in full.
Jerry Falwell Jr., right, during commencement ceremonies at Liberty University in May 2017. AP Photo/Steve Helber

Jerry Falwell Jr. will leave behind a very different legacy from his influential father

The appeal of Jerry Falwell Jr., who resigned as president of Liberty University following a sex scandal, came from his family legacy. His late father, Jerry Falwell Sr., wielded enormous influence.
The Mississippi state flag, with a representation of the Confederate battle flag, is raised one last time over the state Capitol building on July 1, 2020. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Hit ’em where it hurts – how economic threats are a potent tool for changing people’s minds about the Confederate flag

Public officials and individual citizens alike are more likely to oppose the presence of Confederate symbols when informed it may be bad for local business.
Incubus, a male demon, was said to prey on sleeping women in mythological tales. Walker, Charles: The encyclopedia of secret knowledge

The belief that demons have sex with humans runs deep in Christian and Jewish traditions

Stella Immanuel, who made headlines recently regarding a false coronavirus cure claim, has many beliefs related to how demons are a threat to humans. An expert explains their long religious history.
Staff of the House of Representatives review Illinois’ Electoral College vote report in January 2017. Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Electoral College is surprisingly vulnerable to popular vote changes

Mathematically speaking, the Electoral College is built to virtually ensure narrow victories, making it very susceptible to manipulation and disinformation.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus arrives at a press conference at WHO headquarters in Geneva on July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The WHO often has been under fire, but no nation has ever moved to sever ties with it

The WHO is a health agency, not a political one. Yet political leaders have often criticized it. Still, the move by the US to pull out from the organization is unprecedented.
Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump appointee, surprised many court watchers by authoring the decision to expand the Civil Rights Act. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

When Supreme Court justices defy expectations

Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the Supreme Court as a conservative. But his ruling in a major civil rights case is part of a pattern of justices setting aside ideology to address historic injustices.
In Minneapolis, the memorial near the spot where George Floyd died while in police custody. Getty Images / Kerem Yucel

Coronavirus deaths and those of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery have something in common: Racism

Racism – and the chronic stress it causes – leads to poor health among African Americans. It may change the way genes are expressed, leading to increased levels of dangerous stress hormones.
Workers leave Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant on May 20, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty

With the coronavirus, where government stumbles, litigation will step in

American ambivalence about government has left the courts to play an outsized role responding to public health crises like lead poisoning, asbestos-related illnesses and now, the coronavirus pandemic.
New research hints at why Germany’s death toll from COVID-19 was relatively low while Italy’s and America’s spiked. Piero Cruciatti/AFP/Getty Images

Fast-acting countries cut their coronavirus death rates while US delays cost thousands of lives

Over the first 100 days of the pandemic, countries that quickly implemented strong policies successfully lowered their death rates faster. There were also some surprises in the successes and failures.
It takes roughly 90 years for the living memory of an event to disappear. Anurag Papolu/The Conversation via AP Images

As collective memory fades, so will our ability to prepare for the next pandemic

A global pandemic might be at the forefront of everyone's minds. But we can't assume that future threats will get the attention they deserve from people living in an information-saturated world.
Students without computers are having a rougher time with the new normal. damircudic/Getty Images

Not all kids have computers – and they’re being left behind with schools closed by the coronavirus

This real-time snapshot of the digital divide illustrates why education experts are concerned that school closures could increase achievement gaps.
Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, right, has his temperature taken as he arrives at Ruhenda airport in Butembo in eastern Congo, June 15, 2019. AP Photo/Al-hadji Kudra Maliro

Why the WHO, often under fire, has a tough balance to strike in its efforts to address health emergencies

The World Health Organization is not a disease police force but more of a diplomatic group, aiming to bring countries together to stop disease. Still, it comes under fierce attack.
In places where children die with tragic frequency, the collective grief of parents affects all society. Mary Long/Shutterstock

Measuring maternal grief in Africa

In many sub-Saharan African countries, 20% of mothers have suffered the death of a child, a new study finds. In Mali, Liberia and Malawi, it's common for mothers to lose two children.

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