The Enduring Allure of Shakespeare
Saturday, April 13 at 10:30am to 11:30am
In the preface to the First Folio, Ben Johnson famously deemed Shakespeare to be “not of an age, but for all time.” Why is Shakespeare so enduring, and how did this come to pass? A world-class collection of Shakespeare scholars and artists will consider the enduring impact and allure of Shakespeare today.
Emily Anderson is a professor of English at USC, where she specializes in eighteenth-century British literature and culture. She has published widely on topics such as the connections between the eighteenth-century novel and drama; the emergent celebrity culture of eighteenth-century theatre; Shakespearean forgeries and adaptations; and artistic representations of ghosts. Her most recent book is Shakespeare and the Legacy of Loss (2018).
Rebecca Lemon is an associate professor in the department of English at USC. She specializes in early modern literature, with particular interests in theatre, law, political theory, and the history of religion and medicine. She is the author of three books: Addiction and Devotion in Early Modern England (2018), King Richard III: Language and Writing (2018), and Treason by Words: Literature, Law, and Rebellion in Shakespeare’s England (2006).
Natsuko Ohama heads voice progression for the MFA Acting Program at USC. One of the premier voice teachers in the world, she is a founding member and permanent faculty of Shakespeare and Company and senior artist at Pan Asian Rep New York. The Drama Desk–nominated actress has portrayed roles ranging from Juliet and Lady Macbeth to Hamlet and Prospero, and also appeared the action movie Speed, cult TV series Forever Knight, and American Playhouse on PBS.
Andrew McConnell Stott is USC Dornsife College Dean of Undergraduate Education and a professor of English at USC. The award-winning writer and academic has been a fellow of both the British Academy and the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and his most recent book is What Blest Genius? The Jubilee that made Shakespeare (2019).
David Bridel (moderator) was appointed Dean of the USC School of Dramatic Arts on April 15, 2016. He is the inaugural holder of the Braverman Family Dean’s Chair. Prior to his appointment as dean, he served as interim dean of the School of Dramatic Arts, associate dean of global initiatives, and director of the school’s MFA in Acting program. Under his leadership, the school is prioritizing new contemporary programs, an emphasis on new media, professional partnerships, and a focus on equity and inclusion.
Feminisms in Motion: Intersectional Voices for Social Change
Saturday, April 13 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm
From 2007 to 2017, Los Angeles–based magazine make/shift published some of the most inspiring feminist voices of the decade on issues like immigration, climate change, prison abolition, and more. The new anthology Feminisms in Motion: Voices for Justice, Liberation, and Transformation documents 10 years of make/shift. Angela Y. Davis calls it “a historical record of significant antiracist feminist interventions and a roadmap for moving us in the direction of freedom and justice.” This lively reunion of Feminisms in Motion co-editors and writers will highlight ten years of intersectional feminist thought and action.
Stephanie Abraham is a non-fiction writer and media critic who was part of the editorial collective that founded make/shift. Her writings have appeared in McSweeney’s, Al Jazeera, Ms., and Bitch, as well as several anthologies. She serves as the marketing and communications specialist at Cal Poly Pomona and the pop culture correspondent and film critic for the radio and television show Rising Up with Sonali.
Randa Jarrar is a professor of creative writing and executive director of RAWI, a literary nonprofit that serves Arab American writers. Her first book, A Map of Home (2008), was published in seven languages and won a Hopwood Award and an Arab American Book Award. Her most recent book, Him, Me, Muhammad Ali (2016), won an American Book Award, a PEN Oakland Award, and a Story Prize Spotlight Award. Love Is an Ex-Country is forthcoming.
Erin Aubry Kaplan is a journalist, author, and columnist who was a regular opinion columnist for the L.A. Times from 2005 to 2007, and was the first African American opinion columnist in the paper’s history. She is a regular contributor to the New York Times opinion pages and the author of two books: Black Talk, Blue Thoughts and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches from a Black Journalista (2011) and I Heart Obama (2016).
Jessica Hoffmann and Daria Yudacufski (moderators) are co-editors of the anthology Feminisms in Motion: Voices for Justice, Liberation, and Transformation (2018). From 2007 to 2017, they co-edited and co-published the independent, intersectional feminist magazine make/shift. Hoffmann is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Bitch, ColorLines, The Scholar and the Feminist, SFAQ, and GOOD. Yudacufski is executive director of USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative.
Print Journalism: Where Do We Go from Here?
Saturday, April 13 at 1:30pm to 2:30pm
In today’s digital world, newspapers and weeklies are thinner than ever, with content and advertising catering more to online consumption and distribution by the day. But the complexity of today’s news and information demands long-form journalism more than ever. Several leading editors, publishers, and journalists will discuss the present and future of print journalism, revealing that print is very much alive.
William R. Hearst III is the editor and publisher of Alta Magazine and chairman of the board of Hearst Corporation, one of the nation’s largest diversified media and information companies. He has been a director of Hearst Corporation for more than 30 years. In addition, he is president of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, and has been actively engaged in the charitable activities and programs of the Hearst Foundation for the last 20 years.
Daniel Hernandez is editor of LA Taco and a contributor to KCRW and KPCC. He is former Mexico bureau chief for VICE News, and former staff writer at the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly. He is also the author of the bookDown & Delirious in Mexico City (2011), which details his experiences in one of the planet’s most electrifying cities.
Norman Pearlstine has worked as a reporter and editor for nearly five decades. Previous to being named executive editor of the Los Angeles Times in 2018, Pearlstine served as chief content officer and then vice chairman ofTime and was Chief Content Officer at Bloomberg. He has also worked for the Wall Street Journal and Forbes, and launched Smart Money. He is the author of Off the Record: The Press, the Government, and the War over Anonymous Sources (2007).
Christa Scharfenberg is CEO of The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR). Since 2003, she has helped it grow from a small nonprofit news organization to a multi-platform newsroom that reaches millions of people. She managed the launch of Reveal, CIR’s award-winning national public radio show and podcast, produced with PRX, and has been executive producer on CIR documentaries, including the Academy Award-nominated film Heroin(e) (2017).
Christina Bellantoni (moderator) is a professor of professional practice and director of the Annenberg Media Center. She joined the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in August 2018 after having served as an assistant managing editor at the Los Angeles Times. Bellantoni has spent over 20 years in journalism, serving as editor-in-chief of the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call and, prior to that, political editor at PBS Newshour.
Publishing Poets: On The Best American Poetry
Saturday, April 13 at 3:00pm to 4:00pm
For over 25 years, the Best American Poetry anthology has been an annual treat for lovers of verse, an honor for its contributors, and conversation starter for the community. This exclusive insiders’ peek into the best-selling series will feature insight, anecdotes, and readings from contributors as well as the guest editor of the latest edition.
Dana Gioia, the most recent editor of Best American Poetry, is a poet and critic whose collections include Interrogations at Noon, which won the 2001 American Book Award, and 99 Poems: New & Selected (2016), which won the Poets’ Prize as the best book of the year. Gioia served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2009 and as California State Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2019. Gioia is currently the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at USC.
Brendan Constantine’s work has appeared in many of the nation’s standards, including Poem-A-Day, Best American Poetry, and Virginia Quarterly. His most recent collections are Dementia, My Darling (2016) andBouncy Bounce (2018). He currently teaches poetry at the Windward School in West Los Angeles. Since 2017, Constantine has worked to create poetry workshops for people dealing with Aphasia.
Sonia Greenfield edits the Rise Up Review and directs the Southern California Poetry Festival. Her work has appeared in the 2010 and 2018Best American Poetry anthologies, Antioch Review, Los Angeles Review,Massachusetts Review, and Willow Springs. Her first full-length collection, Boy with a Halo at the Farmer’s Market, won the 2014 Codhill Poetry Prize; her chapbook, American Parable, won the 2017 Autumn House Press/Coal Hill Review prize; and her collection of prose poems, Letdown, is forthcoming.
Robin Coste Lewis is the poet laureate of Los Angeles and writer-in-residence at USC. Her poetry debut Voyage of the Sable Venus was honored with the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry—the first poetry debut to do so since 1975, and the first debut to win in poetry by an African American. Lewis has published her work widely in various journals and anthologies, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The New York Times.
Callie Siskel (moderator) is a poetry editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books and a Dornsife Doctoral Fellow in Creative Writing and Literature at USC. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, A Public Space, The Yale Review, Ninth Letter, and other journals, and her publication Arctic Revival(2015) was selected by Elizabeth Alexander for a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship.
Entertainment, Information, and Addiction: Our New Digital, Social World
Saturday, April 13 at 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Social media, digital entertainment, online shopping, and apps of all kinds make our lives easier and more fun. They also connect us and create new hybrid cultures in ways that were never imagined even a decade ago. But how much is too much? And what is the cost? This extensive and esteemed panel will discuss our relationships with our beloved digital devices, including ethical implications and issues with addiction.
Ali E. Abbas is professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Public Policy at USC, where he also serves as the Director of the USC Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making. The recipient of multiple awards from the National Science Foundation, Abbas is author of Foundations of Multiattribute Utility (2018) and co-author of Foundations of Decision Analysis. (2015). He is also editor of the forthcoming Next Generation Ethics and editor, associate editor, and guest editor of a wide range of journals and books.
Julie Albright is a digital sociologist and lecturer in the departments of Applied Psychology and Engineering at USC who has spent her career thinking about the digital transformation of society. She is a sought-after keynote speaker, expert, and author whose new book, Left to Their Own Devices: How Digital Natives Are Reshaping the American Dream (2018), explores how digital natives are “untethering” from traditional ways of doing things, while hyper-attached to their devices and social media.
David Craig is a clinical associate professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and a Fellow at the Peabody Media Center. The veteran media producer and executive has been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards and is responsible for over 30 critically acclaimed films, TV programs, and stage productions. He is the co-author of Social Media Entertainment: The New Intersection of Hollywood and Silicon Valley (2019).
Varun Soni (moderator) is the Dean of Religious Life and the Vice Provost of Campus Wellness and Crisis Intervention at USC, where he teaches in the School of Religion and the Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. He holds degrees in religion from Tufts University, Harvard University, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Cape Town, as well as a law degree from the UCLA School of Law.
Creating Safe Spaces: Bullying, Violence, and Safety
Sunday, April 14 at 10:30am to 11:30am
As boundaries between the cyber world and physical world become blurred and society becomes increasingly polarized and pressurized, the potential for bullying and violence escalates as well. This panel of experts will address ways to monitor and moderate threats at all levels, as well as discuss steps to promote safety on campus, at the workplace, and in the public.
Brendesha Tynes is an associate professor of Education and Psychology at the USC Rossier School of Education. Her research focuses on youth experiences with digital media, and how they are associated with academic and socio-emotional outcomes. She is currently principal investigator on three primary projects: The Teen Life Online and in Schools Project (TLOS), the E-Cope Project, and the Digital Equity Project. The TLOS Project is a longitudinal study of online racial discrimination—also called race-related cyberbullying—and the assets and resources youth possess that buffer its effects on mental health, problem behavior, and academic outcomes.
Ron Avi Astor is the Stein-Wood Professor of School Behavioral Health in the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and USC Rossier School of Education. Astor has co-authored three books examining the role of the physical, social-organizational, and cultural contexts related to bullying and school violence: Welcoming Practices: Creating Schools That Support Students and Families in Transition (2018); Mapping and Monitoring Bullying and Violence: Building a Safe School Climate (2018); Bullying, School Violence, and Climate in Evolving Contexts: Culture, Organization, and Time (2019).
Patrick Prince is the associate vice provost and chief threat assessment officer for USC. He is responsible for providing oversight and guidance in the recognition, assessment, and management of potentially dangerous persons who may pose a risk of targeted violence toward the USC community. In addition to his role with USC, Prince is a standing member of corporate threat assessment teams for several Fortune 500 companies as well as numerous cities and government agencies.
Erroll G. Southers (moderator) is Professor of the Practice of National and Homeland Security, director of the Safe Communities Institute, and director of Homegrown Violent Extremism Studies at USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. As a former FBI special agent and author of Homegrown Violent Extremism (2013), he is a noted counterterrorism expert and security analyst who lectures and consults around the world.
Aren’t We American? Race, Class, Immigration, and Citizenship
Sunday, April 14 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm
How do race and class impact what it means to be American today? What do citizenship and immigration look like in the current context of “America first” and “nationalism”? A diverse panel of experts will discuss these and other questions in this timely and critical conversation.
Juan De Lara is an assistant professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at USC. His most recent book, Inland Shift: Race, Space, and Capital in Southern California (2018), uses global commodity chains and logistics to examine how race, class, and twenty-first-century capitalism reshaped Southern California between 1980 and 2010. His forthcoming book, Data, Race, and Social Justice, will examine the growing use of data science and integrated technologies by state actors to manage and to mitigate socio-economic differences.
Sam Erman is an associate professor at the USC Gould School of Law and scholar of history of law whose research focuses on race, citizenship, and constitutional change. He is the author of Almost Citizens: Puerto Rico, the U.S. Constitution, and Empire (2018). His work has also appeared in top journals in law and history, including the Michigan Law Review, California Law Review, Southern California Law Review, and Journal of American Ethnic History.
Elda María Román is an assistant professor of English at USC. As a scholar in literary and cultural studies, she researches race and class, examining their effects across ethnic groups and through scholarship across disciplines. She has published articles on Latinx and African American cultural production and is the author of Race and Upward Mobility: Seeking, Gatekeeping, and Other Class Strategies in Postwar America (2017). Her current project examines contemporary narratives about fears of changing demographics.
Duncan Ryuken Williams is professor of Religion and East Asian Languages and Cultures at USC and director of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. Williams is the author of The Other Side of Zen: A Social History of Sōtō Zen Buddhism in Tokugawa Japan (2004) and his latest book, American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War (2019), looks at Buddhism and the Japanese American internment.
Jody Agius Vallejo (moderator) is associate professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity and associate director of the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at USC. Her book, Barrios to Burbs: The Making of the Mexican American Middle Class (2012), examines mobility mechanisms, socioeconomic incorporation, racial/ethnic and class identities, patterns of giving back to kin and community, and civic engagement among middle-class Mexican Americans. A second book, in progress, investigates the rise of the contemporary Latino elite in the U.S.
Food Justice for All? Food Security in L.A.
Sunday, April 14 at 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Los Angeles has a well-earned reputation as a foodie’s paradise, where colliding cultures provide every type of food and flavor in strip malls and on wheels as well as traditional eateries and exclusive restaurants. But there is a major gap between those who eat well and those who go hungry, and this panel of experts and organizers will dissect the problem and discuss steps to address it.
Kris Coombs is in his fifth year of a JD/PhD degree program in Political Science and International Relations at USC. He has been working on issues of food insecurity at USC since fall 2015 by conducting surveys, coordinating food drives, working with administrators, and assisting with the development of the Trojan Food Pantry that opened in 2018.
LaVonna Blair Lewis is a teaching professor of Public Policy and the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. Lewis’s work on cultural competency and health equity has appeared in the American Journal of Public Health, Society and Medicine, Family and Community Health, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and other health management and policy journals.
Sarah Portnoy is an associate professor in the Departments of Iberian and Latin American Studies and American Studies and Ethnicity at USC, where she conducts research and teaches about food culture and food justice in Los Angeles’s Latino communities. She also teaches a yearly course in Oaxaca, Mexico, on food culture, street art, and traditional medicine. Her 2016 book, Food, Health and Culture in Latino Los Angeles, has received recognition for its contribution to furthering the field of food justice.
Breanna Hawkins (moderator) is a PhD student in Urban Planning and Development at USC with research interests in the network and spatial dimensions of urban food movement. The native Angeleno, who loves exploring new ways to leverage food as a vehicle for transformative social change in her hometown, who is also the executive director for the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC), which works to ensure food is healthy, affordable, fair, and sustainable for all.
Showgirls and Superstars: Gender in Music, Dance, and Comedy
Sunday, April 14 at 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Entertainment and popular culture have had a significant impact on the way we think about gender, sexuality, and identity. From pop icons Freddie Mercury and Karen Carpenter to burlesque dancers and stand-up comics, this lively panel featuring scholars, entertainers, and writers will consider issues of gender and sexuality in entertainment and popular culture both historically and today.
Guy Branum is a writer and comedian who hosted and created Talk Show The Game Show on TruTV. Named one of L.A.’s 10 best comedians by Time Out Los Angeles, Branum has been a correspondent on Totally Biased andChelsea Lately and performed stand-up on Last Comic Standing and The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. He has written for The Mindy Project, Another Period, Awkward., and Billy on the Street, and is the author of My Life as a Goddess (2018).
Karen Tongson is associate professor of English, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and American Studies and Ethnicity at USC. She is the author ofWhy Karen Carpenter Matters (2019), Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries (2011) and and has two books in progress: Empty Orchestra: Karaoke, Queer Performance, Queer Theory and NORMPORN: Television and the Spectacle of Normalcy (NYU Press). In addition, she co-edits the Postmillennial Pop book series and talks about pop culture, the arts, and entertainment on the Pop Rocket Podcast.
Allison Wolfe is the co-founder of a punk feminist fanzine Girl Germs, all-girl band Bratmobile, and third-wave feminist punk movement riot grrrl. Wolfe also initiated Ladyfest, an international, non-profit, feminist music festival. Living in Los Angeles and holding a master in specialized journalism in the arts from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, she produces the “I’m in the Band” podcast, still sings in bands, DJs, and is working on an oral history of riot grrrl.
Leslie Zemeckis is a best-selling author and award-winning documentarian who specializes in revisiting and shining a light on formerly stigmatized and marginalized female entertainers. She is the author of Behind the Burly Q(2013), the definitive oral history of burlesque, and Goddess of Love Incarnate: The Life of Stripteuse Lili St. Cyr. (2015). Her current bestseller isFeuding Fan Dancers: Faith Bacon, Sally Rand, and the Golden Age of the Showgirl (2018).