A Letter from the Provost

Dear Friend of USC,

I am pleased to announce the 2015–2016 season of USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Created by President Nikias ten years ago, this annual series of performances, lectures, exhibitions, and discussions has become a centerpiece of campus life and a hallmark of a USC education. In honor of this milestone tenth year, we will offer special opportunities and celebrations to complement our exciting slate of events.

USC’s utmost responsibility is to serve the global public good. Our students and faculty answer this calling by bringing a wide array of perspectives to the challenge of solving the most difficult problems of our time. And the arts and humanities play a critical role. They shape our understanding of the human condition, give expression to the full range and diversity of human experiences, and, as a result, are integral to addressing the wicked problems faced by people all over the world. Just as USC’s commitment to the arts and humanities permeates our curriculum, you will find that Visions and Voices extends that commitment beyond the classroom, providing abundant opportunities for students in any major to engage, reflect, and design a better world. Trojans have a distinct opportunity here—one that cannot be found with such scope, scale, or depth at any other major university. Take advantage of this enormous privilege.

This year’s signature events offer a variety of charismatic speakers and performances. In September, we host Pulitzer Prize–winning author Junot Díaz for a discussion on his writing and influences. Much of Díaz’s work is shaped by his own experiences as an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who came of age in some of America’s most colorful, yet disenfranchised, neighborhoods. His early work earned him a spot on The New Yorker’s list of “Top 20 Writers of the 21st Century,” and he continues to impress with his unique talent and authentic tone. Later in the year, Visions and Voices brings the Martha Graham Dance Company to Bovard Auditorium. This celebrated troupe is well known for breathing new life into the enduring masterworks of its namesake and her peers. They offer not just a dance performance, but a vivid experience that uses the body and movement to explore connections between past and present.

These are just a few of our many outstanding Visions and Voices offerings. Please read through our calendar and consider attending the events that spark your interest as well as those that will expose you to ideas, genres, or cultures you’ve never explored before. I plan to attend several Visions and Voices events this year, and I encourage you to do the same.


Michael Quick
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs