Center for the Premodern World

The Center for the Premodern World at USC creates space and offers resources for the study of cultures and civilizations, beginning with the earliest historical eras up to the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the modern world. The Center aims to have a truly global reach in terms of areas of research and as such has the potential to involve over forty faculty on campus in its activities. Already it co-sponsors an interdisciplinary research seminar on the Premodern Mediterranean. The director hopes to expand the number of such seminars and also to bring to campus a series of internationally recognized scholars to offer public lectures and to work closely with faculty and graduate students on their own academic projects. The Center also anticipates inaugurating major initiatives in the digital humanities, including collaboration with Doheney Library’s Special Collections Department to increase access to the university’s collections of medieval manuscripts and early printed books. Finally, the Center will seek ways to promote scholarship which is serious and which also has the potential engage a wide, cultural audience. Few symbols of the ancient world are as powerful, haunting, and evocative as the city of Troy. It is both fitting and ironic that USC, a new Troy in the relentlessly modern city of Los Angeles, would create a space for the study of premodern dreams and their enduring legacies.