University of Southern California


Arts and Humanities

To add or update a center/institute, please fill out our Research Centers & Institutes Form.

Center for Advanced Genocide Research

Since its founding in 2014, the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research has concentrated its efforts on developing an innovative research agenda. While it welcomes and supports creative and interdisciplinary research that focuses on genocide in general, the Center’s own research programs focus on three distinct areas:

Center for Law and Philosophy

Devoted to advancing interdisciplinary scholarship in legal, moral and political philosophy, the center is a partner in the peer-reviewed, online Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy. A joint project of USC Gould and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the center also holds conferences, workshops and other activities that enhance the study of law and philosophy.

Center for Religion and Civic Culture

The USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture explores how religions change and make change in Southern California and across the globe. As a research center at USC, the Center for Religion and Civic Culture is committed to developing knowledge about how religion shapes people and the world. CRCC’s work is grounded in the empirical study of religion, bringing together a creative team of researchers, journalists and religious leaders in a collaborative environment.

East Asian Studies Center

In 1975, the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences established the East Asian Studies Center (EASC) in order to provide dedicated leadership, coordination and support for the growing interdisciplinary education, research activity, and community outreach concerning East Asia. In addition to being an academic department, EASC has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading centers for the development of East Asian area studies with over 110 USC faculty in 39 departments and schools affiliated with EASC today.

Emergent Cities Research Group

The USC Emergent Cities Research Group has been exploring what research into evolving cities and urbanism could look like with the input and expertise of faculty from the Roski School of Art & Design, the School of Cinematic Arts, and the School of Architecture the Price School of Public Policy, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and Dornsife College.

Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West

The Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West (ICW) is a center for scholarly investigation of the history and culture of California and the American West. Through sponsorship of innovative scholarship and research, ICW draws on the resources of the University of Southern California and The Huntington Library to build an innovative and unique collaboration between a research university and a research library.

Institute for Theatre & Social Change

The Institute for Theatre & Social Change (ITSC) at the USC School of Dramatic Arts provides a research and development forum for expressive and interactive dramatic art practices, relative to education, therapy, and social justice, that disrupt oppression and engages communities in meaningful dialogue for social change. The interdisciplinary collaboration of dramatic arts, fine arts, and media offers a powerful creative weapon for artists, academics, healers, activists, and community organizers to ignite critical cultural dialogue.

Korean Studies Institute

The vision of the USC Dornsife Korean Studies Institute (KSI) is to become the most influential academic institution educating the world about US-Korea and US-Asia relations. Established in 2005 with the goal of explaining Korea to the world through research and teaching, KSI has rapidly grown into a leading center for Korean Studies in the world. With over 50 graduate and undergraduate affiliates, five Korean Studies faculty, and dozens of Korea-related courses, KSI is an active center for scholarship and learning at USC and beyond.

Levan Institute for the Humanities

The Levan Institute for the Humanities serves as a hub for the humanities and humanistic social sciences at the University of Southern California, connecting faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students across disciplines, departments, programs and institutes.

Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities

The Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities was founded in 1998 to create an intellectual center for our city by bringing together academics and writers, musicians and dancers, curators and critics, journalists and poets. The Institute’s broad purpose is to stimulate a cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas.

Polish Music Center

The Polish Music Center at the USC Thornton School of Music is the only institute of its kind outside of Poland. An exceptional resource for research in Polish music and culture, it houses a unique collection of manuscripts by leading Polish composers (Lutoslawski, Penderecki, Bacewicz and many others), in addition to over 10,000 library items, including scores, books, periodicals, and recordings of Polish music.

USC Choreographic Institute

The USC Choreographic Institute is an international platform for innovative initiatives in choreographic research, practice and mentorship. Working closely with partner schools at USC, including the Schools of Cinematic Arts, Gerontology and Music, the Institute engages artists, scientists, gamers and humanists in exploring the intersections of movement, creative technologies and wellbeing.

USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture

The Ito Center’s mission is to promote the study of Japan at USC. The center fosters this area of study through support of faculty-led research and publications, public conferences and events, supporting graduate students, offering postdoctoral fellowships and hosting visiting scholars.

USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study

The USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study offers a series of conversational encounters intended to intensify polymathic (integrated interdisciplinary) awareness. These discussions are anchored in and structured by the Four Quadrants of Polymathic Inquiry: critical and integrative thinking, study of the great polymaths, tapestry, and communication.

USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute

The USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute (EMSI) supports advanced research and scholarship on human societies between 1450 and 1850. The Institute’s range is global. Unlike existing centers that focus on particular regions, the Institute aims to advance knowledge of the diverse societies in and around the Atlantic and Pacific basins.

Visual Studies Research Institute

Funded primarily by USC Dornsife and building on the success of the Visual Studies Graduate Certificate, the VSRI focuses on the nature, analysis and evaluation of visual evidence in order to interrogate the relationship of seeing, believing, and proving from Antiquity to the present.

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