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Lindsay O'Neill, Associate Professor (Teaching) of History
My book The Opened Letter: Networking in the Early Modern British World (Philadelphia: University of Pennsyvania Press, 2015) explores the way networks formed through letter writing helped bind together an increasing vast British world during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. During this period it became both easier to send a letter, as the postal system expanded, and more necessary, as the British settled across the globe. Understanding how the British used their letters illuminates how they thought about their society and how they navigated their changing geographic and communicative worlds.
Beyond letters, I am also interested in how news flowed and how the British thought about and used the information that surround them. This interest informed my article, “Dealing with Newsmongers: News, Trust, and Letters in the British World, c. 1670-1730,” which came out in the Hunting Library Quarterly in the summer of 2013.
My second project, “Barbarous Country: Delagoan Princes and the British Empire, 1715-1725,” traces the journey of two princes from south east Africa who are sold into slavery, free themselves, end up in London, and manage to manufacture a voyage home. Besides simply being a thrilling tale, the story of these two men and those who become involved with them allow us to question the way we see British global power in the early eighteenth century.
At USC I teach courses on British History ranging from the 18th Century to the 20th Century. I also lead courses that explore the Early Modern World, global expansion and the print revolution. Finally I enjoy teaching a course on historical methodology and the history of history.
Emilio Ferrara, Associate Professor of Communication and Computer Science
Emilio Ferrara is an associate professor of communication and computer science at USC Annenberg and at the USC Viterbi Department of Computer Science. His research focus has been at the intersection between developing theory and methods for network analysis and applying them to study socio-technical systems and information networks. He is concerned with understanding the implications of technology and communication networks on human behavior, and their effects on society at large. His work spans from studying the web and social networks, to collaboration systems and academic networks, from team science to online crowds.
Ferrara has published more than 150 articles on social networks, machine learning and network science that have appeared on venues like the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences and Communications of the ACM. His research is supported by DARPA, IARPA, the Air Force and the Office of Naval Research.