On August 15, 2007, USC celebrated the opening of the Parkside Arts and Humanities Residential College (PRB).
Parkside A&H was designed to create a space where students and faculty can form a strong scholarly community centered on the arts and humanities. Although intended for students of all disciplines, its theme allows for special interest floors dedicated to music, the visual arts, poetry and architecture. Living in Parkside Arts & Humanities Residential College is not limited to majors in the arts and humanities. Everyone who appreciates the role of culture and the exploration of ideas is welcome.
Joining its two sister structures, Parkside International Residential College (IRC) and Parkside Apartments, to complete the Parkside Community, Parkside A&H is home to 440 primarily freshmen residents and three Residential Faculty members and their families. Together, Residential Faculty and Residential Education staff work to develop programs for residents that maximizes their college experience and provides added layers of support. Residents live in suite-style apartments, amidst state-of-the-art study lounges, music study rooms, recreation room with ping-pong, foosball and air hockey tables, and a Performance Café, all designed in response to student requests for more shared space.
Parkside Arts & Humanities Staff
Residential College Coordinator
Abigail Mesgana is the Residential College Coordinator for Parkside Arts and Humanities Residential College. Abigail received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of California, Merced where she served as a Resident Assistant for first generation college students. It was then that she confirmed her passion for helping students navigate through college successfully. After working at an educational tech company, Abigail went on to complete her Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Student Affairs and Organizational Leadership at University of the Pacific. While at Pacific, Abigail served as a Residence Director. Abigail has a passion for helping students create a sense of belonging, leadership development, and advising. In her free time, Abigail enjoys going to the beach, running, exploring new places, and spending time with family and friends.
Brett Sheehan is a professor of Chinese history at the University of Southern California, and director of USC’s East Asian Studies Center. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1997 and has been at USC since 2006. Teaching Chinese history is actually his second career. He turned to academics after obtaining a degree in Finance and spending six years working as a commercial banker. He researches and teaches about Chinese and East Asian history, especially the history of business and capitalism. One of the highlights of his year is taking students to China to learn about globalization. For fun, he loves working out, hiking, playing board games, and hanging out with Parkside students. Look for him in the dining hall and join him for a meal if you like. He is the author of Trust in Troubled Times: Money, Banking and State-Society Relations in Republican Tianjin, 1916-1937 (Harvard University Press, 2003), Industrial Eden: A Chinese Capitalist Vision (Harvard University Press, 2015), and numerous articles and book chapters. He is currently working on a book exploring business in fiction and film over China’s long twentieth century.
Check out his author page at Amazon.com: www.amazon.com/author/brettsheehan
Professor, USC Dornsife College
Heather Berg is a lecturer in the gender studies department at USC Dornsife College. She teaches classes on social justice, feminist theory, gender history and labor studies. Her research explores how workers navigate and resist late capitalism, and her current book project is on labor in the porn industry. She holds a bachelor’s degree in individualized study from New York University, a master’s degree in women’s studies and public policy from George Washington University, and a PhD in feminist studies from UC Santa Barbara. Berg loves to mentor students and think together about ways to build a better world. She also enjoys hiking, cooking, and listening to records. She lives at Parkside with her partner, Kit (a historian) and their dog, Gus (an expert snuggler).
Faculty In Residence, Parkside Arts & Humanities
Associate Professor of French and Italian and American Studies and Ethnicity
Edwin Hill’s research seeks to highlight the marginalized intellectual and cultural traffic between France and the Americas. He has published and/or presented on contemporary Caribbean writers, Sub-Saharan francophone literature, African American popular music, French chanson, and francophone hip hop. Similarly, his teaching interests, while focused on black vernacular culture and France, extend from the poetry of Negritude writers to postcolonial explorations of contemporary francophone writers and musicians. His first book Black Soundscapes White Stages: The Meaning of Sound in the Francophone Black Atlantic (Johns Hopkins UP, 2013) considers the torn aesthetic and ideological relationships between Antillean music and literature from the 1920s to 1960s to be a colonial struggle over the meaning of Caribbean vernacular culture. Informed by an interdisciplinary formation (Bachelor Degree in Music Performance, PhD in French and Francophone Studies), Black Soundscapes White Stages relocates the marginalized voices of the black diaspora through the discursive matrix of French imperialism and the cultural history of the French West Indies. The book has enjoyed positive reviews in French Studies: A Quarterly Review 68.3 (summer 2014), Comparative Literature Studies 52.3 (2015), and Contemporary French Civilization (Spring 2015). Professor Hill’s current book project, Black Static, locates rage as an sonic/affective vibration routed through the circuits of African diasporic musical culture, travel, and communication. It focuses on a range of musicians and writers, from Nina Simone and militant rap artist Casey to Frantz Fanon and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Professor Hill is also at the beginning stages a third book project: a critical biography of Léon Gontran-Damas.
Parkside Arts & Humanities Signature Events
These are weekly dinners hosted by Parkside Faculty in Residence. In collaboration with IRC and Apartments, Arts & Humanities hosts a weekly Faculty Dinner with a specially designed weekly menu with cuisines from across the world. Each dinner has a guest speaker who has achieved a level of mastery and who speaks on the subject of his/her choice. Following dinner, residents convene at the faculty master’s home for dessert.
Arts in the PAHRC
A day-long celebration of resident work in the fine arts, film, dance and comedy held during the Spring Semester. Previous activities at Arts in the PAHRC have included a full line-up of resident musicians, an art showcase, and various arts and craft activities.
Ongoing series of professional development lectures, discussions and Q&As. Previous programs have included a Resume Workshop, free professional headshots, a Q&A session with Parkside alumni seniors, Networking Advice, Career Fair & Interview Tips and Tricks, and a session on how to land a summer internship or research position at USC.
Talks and Treats
A bi-weekly discussion series where residents can get together informally and discuss recent hot topics in the news and in their lives.
An overnight camping trip to Leo Carillo State Park during the Spring.
Party at the Darkside
A Halloween party hosted by Parkside area Building Governments. Parkside A&H residents host a costume contest and transform the Parkside Performance Cafe into a Haunted House for the bravest souls to enjoy.