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“What Matters to Me and Why” represents a creative solution to an important and often unrecognized problem in the university setting: the separation of intellectual life from personal and spiritual issue. The people who shape USC, who teach students the ways of their particular disciplines, and who help them develop marketable skills also have a great deal to pass on in terms of worldly wisdom, moral guidance, and sources of spiritual strength.

This month's speaker is Karen Tongson, associate professor of English, gender & sexuality studies, and American studies & ethnicity. She is the author of Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries (2011), and Why Karen Carpenter Matters (2019). Her writing and cultural commentary have appeared in numerous publications and she has two books in progress. Before coming to USC, Tongson held a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in Literature at UC San Diego, and a UC Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) Residential Research Fellowship at UC Irvine. She received her B.A. in English from the University of California at Los Angeles and her Ph.D. in English from the University of California at Berkeley.

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  • Xiaowei Wu
  • Julie Albright

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