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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 269 articles

The love story of Psyche and Eros − also known as Cupid − has survived since the days of Rome and Greece. Bettman via Getty Images

Love may be timeless, but the way we talk about it isn’t − the ancient Greeks’ ideas about desire challenge modern-day readers, lovers and even philosophers

Conventional stereotypes about romance portray it as a passionate, irrational game. Ancient philosophers, on the other hand, viewed love as something dangerous − but also enlightening.
Climate marches and protests, like this one in Santa Monica, Calif., often aim for local impact. Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

From throwing soup to suing governments, there’s strategy to climate activism’s seeming chaos − here’s where it’s headed next

With international climate talks failing to make progress fast enough, activists are radically rethinking how to be most effective in the streets, political arenas and courtrooms.
Israeli army soldiers take up positions near the border with the Gaza Strip on Dec. 11, 2023,. Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

Israel can and will ignore US appeals to minimize casualties in Gaza

Conflict has escalated between Joe Biden and Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu over the conduct of the Israel-Hamas war. But a national security veteran says the US has little leverage over Israel.
Israelis whose relatives are being held hostage demonstrate on October 26, 2023 in front of the Defense Ministry building in Tel Aviv, demanding the government to bring back their loved ones. Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu via Getty Images

‘I see no happy ending’ − a former national security leader on the Gaza hostage situation

No government wants to have to deal with a hostage crisis. A former US national security official explains that there is no winning without losing in such situations.
Delegates attend the opening of the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on Oct. 4, 2023, at the Vatican. Vatican Media via Vatican Pool/Getty Images

Hot-button topics may get public attention at the Vatican synod, but a more fundamental issue for the Catholic Church is at the heart of debate

Pope Francis’ Synod on Synodality is attempting to move the church toward a more dialogue-based model of authority, a scholar of Catholicism explains.
Lizi Rosenfeld, a Jewish woman, sits on a park bench bearing a sign that reads, ‘Only for Aryans,’ in August 1938 in Vienna. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum /Provenance: Leo Spitzer

How individual, ordinary Jews fought Nazi persecution − a new view of history

Finding the stories of individual Jews who fought the Nazis publicly and at great peril helped a scholar see history differently: that Jews were not passive. Instead, they actively fought the Nazis.
El fundador del grupo Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, fotografiado el 24 de junio de 2023, en Rusia. Anadolu Agency via Getty Images. Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Siniestro del avión de Yevgeny Prigozhin, del Grupo Wagner: otra posible muerte sospechosa de alguien enfrentado a Putin

La lección de la presunta muerte del líder mercenario dos meses después de su motín contra Putin: no te conviertas en enemigo del líder ruso.
Wagner group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, photographed on June 24, 2023, in Russia. Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Wagner group’s Yevgeny Prigozhin reportedly died in private jet crash – if confirmed, it wouldn’t be first time someone who crossed Putin met a suspicious demise

The lesson in the presumed death of the mercenary leader two months after his mutiny against Putin: Don’t make yourself an enemy of Russia’s leader.
The Herschel Museum in Bath, England, has a new display of a handwritten draft of Caroline Herschel’s memoirs. Internet Archive Book Images via Wikimedia Commons

Caroline Herschel was England’s first female professional astronomer, but still lacks name recognition two centuries later

Astronomer Caroline Herschel’s work discovering and cataloging astronomical objects in the 18th century is still used in the field today, but she didn’t always get her due credit.
The fossil deposits at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles have well-preserved remains of many prehistoric animals that got stuck in natural asphalt seeps over the past 60,000 years. Cullen Townsend, courtesy of NHMLAC

A changing climate, growing human populations and widespread fires contributed to the last major extinction event − can we prevent another?

New findings from the La Brea Tar Pits in southern California suggest human-caused wildfires in the region, along with a warming climate, led to the loss of most of the area’s large mammals.
We feel rewarded by reactions to information we share, and that can lead to good and bad habits. Linka A Odom/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Social media can in fact be made better: Research shows it is possible to reward users for sharing accurate information instead of misinformation

Fighting misinformation doesn’t have to involve restricting content or dampening people’s enthusiasm for sharing it. The key is turning bad habits into good ones.

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