Thematic Option/Dornsife Honors Programs

“The aim of human life is doing something, not just being a certain sort of person.  Though we consider people’s characters in deciding what sort of person they are, we call them successful or unsuccessful only with reference to their actions” – Aristotle, Poetics

Aristotle’s Poetics is the oldest example of literary theory in the West and still influences how literature is both taught and written today (ever heard of tragic flaw, reversal of fortune, or catharsis?). The Poetics is influential not only because it explains what makes a story work well (plot matters more than character), but also because it explains why reading literature is important, both in our private and our political lives.

In this Salon, we’ll discuss how Aristotle’s theory of literature emerges in response to his teacher Plato’s argument that art merely indulges our emotions, is a waste of time, and makes us politically irresponsible. In the Poetics, Aristotle closely analyzes how literature actually works, and in the process, shows that good literature is closer to philosophy than history because it presents what is “necessary” rather than “accidental.”  Literature thus teaches us how “the real world” works and enables us to imagine “what might be possible,” thereby enhancing our ability to engage in political action and be responsible citizens.

Excerpts from the Poetics will be made available ahead of time. Students are asked to come to the Salon with favorite works of literature or film in mind that we can discuss in relation to Aristotle’s theories. We’ll use Aristotle’s ideas to discuss not only how specific novels, films, and TV shows work, but also what they teach us about “the real world” and how we might want to act in it.

To get the most out of the Salon, read this excerpt of  Poetics before you attend.

Link: http://dornsife.usc.edu/assets/sites/1/docs/honors/AristotlePoeticsExcerpt.pdf

RSVP Link: https://goo.gl/forms/3ZIHHiM8wmoCz1tC2

The USC Wrigley Institute Sustainability Prize

Soci Cinema Presents: In Sickness and in Wealth — 10/25 — 3pm — HSH 201

HSH 201 – 3pm

Soci Cinema Screening — In Sickness and In Wealth

Pizza will be served.

Summary: What connections exist between healthy bodies, healthy bank accounts and skin color? Follow four individuals from different walks of life to see how their position in society – shaped by social policies and public priorities – affects their health.

Celebrating the Life and Work of H.T. Tsiang

Kaya Press is re-publishing Tsiang’s final novel — And China Has Hands — this month, and Editor Floyd Cheng, and New Yorker Culture writer Hua Hsu, who recently wrote an autobiography of Tsiang, will be leading a reading and discussion about Tsiang’s work and life.

More about Tsiang: An immigrant from China to the US in the 1930s, Tsiang was self-publishing work as part of the downtown communist scene in New York City–then, later in his life, he moved to Los Angeles and became a Hollywood actor and extra with roles in major television shows like Bonanza and My Three Sons and in films like (the original) Ocean’s Eleven.

This event will take place:
 Wednesday Oct. 19th

2 – 4 p.m.
KAP 445

* Light refreshments will be provided

Jumpstart & Rossier Minor Info Session!

The Rossier School of Education is offering two exciting opportunities for undergraduate students – our minor program and Jumpstart. We invite you to join us at one of our info sessions to learn more about exploring education both in the classroom and in the community. Pizza will be served!

Date: Thurs, August 25th
Time: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Location: SOS B49

Date: Tues, August 30th
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Location: SOS B49

Date: Wed, August 31st
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Location: WPH 403

Jumpstart Recruitment Flyer.JPG

Welcome Back, NGOs! — 9/13, 11:30am, HSH 201

Welcome back!

We hope your Fall semester is off to a great start! The Department of Sociology would like to invite you to lunch on Tuesday, September 13th at 11:30am in HSH 201. Come to learn what’s new and meet your fellow majors, Soci Faculty and graduate students!

Please RSVP HERE by Friday, September 9th. Have great days!

Welcome Back, Sociology — 9/8, 12pm, HSH 201

Welcome back!

We hope your Fall semester is off to a great start! The Department of Sociology would like to invite you to lunch on Thursday, September 8th at 12pm in HSH 201. Come to learn what’s new and meet your fellow majors, Soci Faculty and graduate students! Please RSVP here by Tuesday, September 6th.

Have great days!