• “If there were a single word that might be the academy’s proclamation it would be discovery.”

    - Sidney Harman
  • “The idea is to escape the rigidity of classic study.”

    - Sidney Harman
  • “A polymath is one who not only mastered one or several disciplines, but one who uniquely synthesized them, integrated them.”

    - Sidney Harman
  • "polymath n. a person of much or varied learning; a great scholar."

    - Oxford English Dictionary
  • "It's a place for free knowledge."

    - Adeel Mohammadi
  • Introducing the Academy
  • The Quadrants
  • The People of the Academy
  • The Academy and the Library
  • Harman Curriculum

Opening Fall 2016 Polymathic Pizza with Viet Thanh Nguyen


When: 5:00PM - 6:30PM
“A polymath is one who not only mastered one or several disciplines, but one who synthesizes them, integrates them.” Sidney Harman Integrate: Combine (one thing) with another... Read more

When: 12:30PM - 2:00PM
ZYGO [ zygo /ˈzʌɪgəʊ, ˈzɪgəʊ / pref . relating to union or joining] For our spring 2017 opening session of our ZYGO series, we will be exploring the imperative of integrating... Read more
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When: 5:00PM - 6:30PM
Translating is an essential skill for the polymath. To traverse disciplinary languages, to find the common parlances that can speak across scholarly divides—this is an... Read more
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When: 5:00PM - 6:30PM
“Tinkering is fooling around with phenomena, tools, and materials. It’s whimsical, enjoyable, fraught with dead ends, and ultimately about inquiry.” The Art of Tinkering... Read more
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When: 5:00PM - 6:30PM
In a world that with sharp divisions, landscape architecture is a powerful tool to marry social and ecological justice. It has the capacity to address the most pressing and... Read more
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Community  with Viet Thanh Nguyen, Associate Professor of English                

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 5p at the Harman Acadmey, DML 241

“To be capable of seeing things from multiple points of view, to be capable of being sympathetic, not just with our friends but with our enemies, is perhaps not enough to prevent wars or to change the world, but it is certainly necessary if we want those things to happen.”   --Viet Thanh Nguyen

How might the idea of community be understood within an integrative framework, or even as a viable feature of the polymathic life?  Professor Viet Thanh Nguyen helps us explore community as polymathic through a discussion of his recent Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Sympathizer.  The story’s principle character is a Viet Cong spy, who under forced confession to another Vietnamese interrogator, provides the novel’s narrative arc.  Through his unnamed protagonist, Professor Nguyen articulates the historically silenced, albeit fractured and diverse, voices of the Vietnamese people concerning the Vietnam War and its aftermath.  Nguyen’s unique confessional literary formula allows for an unusual dialogue between and among the marginalized.  He artfully conveys through one voice, the varied feelings, memories, and historical interpretations of the war from Vietnamese points of view. Join Professor Nguyen in discussion of what community means for us today in our fractured and divided world.

to rsvp go to www.usc.edu/esvp and enter the code PIZZA0913

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