Announcing Our Fall Opening Event: The Arrow of Time

Alice asked, “What is the matter? Have you pricked your finger?” “I haven’t pricked it yet,” the Queen said, “but I soon shall—oh, oh, oh!” —Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 

The late Stephen Hawking said, “nothing cannot exist forever.” One might have to read this a few times to grasp his meaning, but the line leads one to reflect on the expanding universe. For the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study’s Fall 2018 opening event, Academy Director TARA McPHERSON leads a conversation with professors SEAN CARROLL, KATE FLINT, and CLIFFORD JOHNSON to expand our understanding of that malleable and mysterious concept—time. Multiverses, string theory, representations of time, flashes, and infinity are just a sampling of the topics that will be explored as we grapple with historical, artistic, and theoretical approaches to time and its various meanings.


Doheny Memorial Library, Friends of the USC Libraries Lecture Hall, Room 240 

RSVP at with the code: PIZZA0822

SEAN CARROLL is a physicist and author. His research at Caltech focuses on fundamental physics and cosmology. His latest book is The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. He has been featured on television shows such as the Colbert Report, National Geographic’s Known Universe, and Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman.

KATE FLINT is Provost Professor of Art History and English at USC. She previously taught at Bristol and Oxford Universities. Her areas of specialization include Victorian and early-twentieth-century cultural, visual, and literary history; the history of photography; women’s writing, and transatlantic studies. Her most recent publication is Flash! Photography, Writing, and Surprising Illumination.

USC Professor of Physics and Astronomy CLIFFORD JOHNSON researches ways to understand the origin, past, present, and future of the universe. He mainly works on (super) string theory, gravity, gauge theory, and M-theory, as well as space-time, quantum mechanics, black holes, the big bang, extra dimensions, quarks, and gluons. Johnson’s newly released The Dialogues: Conversations About the Nature of the Universe is a graphic novel-style nonfiction science book featuring his own illustrations.