University of Southern California

Festival of Books 2013

USC Panels in Hoffman Hall

Saturday, April 20

10:30 to 11:30 am

The Body and the Brain: Food, Health and Self-Care

A conversation will explore the connections between food, health and self-care with neuroanthropologist John S. Allen, author of The Omnivorous Mind: Our Evolving Relationship with Food; Mel Baron, a pharmacist, educator and creator of a fotonovela series aimed at raising awareness of health issues in the Latino community; Francine R. Kaufman, author of the best-selling book Diabesity: The Obesity-Diabetes Epidemic that Threatens America and an internationally known expert on diabetes and obesity; and LaVonna Blair Lewis, director of the USC Diversity in Healthcare Leadership Initiative. Read more about the panelists.


12 to 1 pm

Does Race Matter? Publishing as a Writer of Color

Join us for an insightful and revealing discussion that asks if race matters in the world of publishing. Panelists include distinguished playwright Oliver Mayer (Dark Matters, LABrynth Theatre Company), award-winning fiction writer and novelist Gabrielle Pina (Chasing Sophea), author David Treuer (Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey through Reservation Life) and moderator Prince Gomolvilas, playwright and associate director of USC’s Master of Professional Writing program. Read more about the panelists.


1:30 to 2:30 pm

Why Did the Writer Cross the Genre?

A lively discussion will feature several acclaimed writers whose work defies categorization. Dinah Lenney will moderate a panel with Luis Alfaro, Bernard Cooper and Sandra Tsing Loh, writers who have crossed genres in their celebrated careers, venturing into novels, essays, short stories, plays, poetry, radio and more. Read more about the panelists.


3 to 4 pm

The Role of the Political Cartoon

For over a hundred years, political cartoons have been used to express an editorialized opinion of the politics of the day. Presented in conjunction with the Drawing Conclusions exhibition at the USC Annenberg School, this fascinating conversation about modern political cartoons will feature Dwayne Booth (Go Fish: How to Win Contempt and Influence People), Victor Navasky (The Art of Controversy: Political Cartoons and Their Enduring Power) and Ann Telnaes (Dick, a collection of Vice President Cheney cartoons), and will be moderated by Robert Scheer (, The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street). Read more about the panelists.


4:30 to 5:30 pm

Plants, Maps and Lesbians: Explorations in Early Modern Culture

Explore diverse aspects of early modern culture, including botanical expeditions between Europe and the Americas, the profound impact of early cartography, and lesbian relationships in early modern Spain. USC Professor of History and Anthropology Peter C. Mancall will moderate a panel with scholars and writers Daniela Bleichmar, Sean Roberts and Sherry Velasco.  Co-sponsored by the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute. Read more about the panelists.


Sunday, April 21

10:30 to 11:30 am

Poetry and Place in the 21st Century

Poetry can transport us to various locations while also transcending physical space in its language, imagery and artistry. Join poets Andrew Allport (the body | of space | in the shape of the human), Dana Goodyear (The Oracle of Hollywood Boulevard) and Mark Irwin (Tall If) in a vivid discussion on poetry in the 21st century with moderator Dana Gioia, poet and former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Read more about the panelists.


12 to 1 pm

Sustainability in a Global Economy

Join us for an insightful conversation on the relationship between sustainability and our global economy with scholars in business, communication, architecture and health. Panelists include Paul S. Adler, the Harold Quinton Chair in Business Policy at the USC Marshall School of Business; Sarah Banet-Weiser, a professor at USC Annenberg and the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity and author of Authentic™: The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture; Robert Gottlieb, author of Food Justice: Food, Health and the Environment, an examination of today’s food system—from harvest to consumer habits; and James Steele, author of Sustainable ArchitectureRead more about the panelists.


1:30 to 2:30 pm

Living and Writing Los Angeles

Join us for a dynamic conversation about the multifaceted lives, cultures and experiences of Los Angeles with local authors William Deverell (Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican Past), Dana Johnson (Elsewhere, California), Laura Pulido (A People’s Guide to Los Angeles) and Richard Rayner (A Bright and Guilty Place: Murder, Corruption, and L.A.’s Scandalous Coming of Age), moderated by Brighde Mullins, director of USC’s Master of Professional Writing program. Read more about the panelists.


3 to 4 pm

Gender, Sex and the Politics of Pop Culture

From the outrageous Lady Gaga to queers in the suburbs, new perspectives on sex and gender are reflected in the changing face of American popular culture. A discussion on the contemporary politics of gender and sexuality will feature Sarah Banet-Weiser (Commodity Activism: Cultural Resistance in Neoliberal Times), Jack Halberstam (Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal), Karen Tongson (Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries), Leslie Zemeckis (Behind the Burly Q) and moderator Tara McPherson (Reconstructing Dixie: Race, Gender and Nostalgia in the Imagined South). Read more about the panelists.