Event Details

A Case of Hysteria? The Altogether Shocking History of Women's Mental Health

For thousands of years, a wide range of women’s physical and mental health issues have been routinely dismissed and mischaracterized as “hysteria.” The word originates from hystera—Greek for uterus. In the fifth century BC, Hippocrates believed the organ floated through women’s bodies, causing all manner of symptoms to which women were believed to be uniquely susceptible. Even into the twentieth century, doctors postulated that disorders could be caused by mysterious imbalances in the womb, abdomen, nerves, ovaries, brain, psyche, or soul. As the field of psychiatry developed, oppressive forces—often embodied by husbands and fathers—used the threat of institutionalization to punish or exert control over wives and daughters who refused to adhere to traditional gender roles. 

While the related science has advanced in recent decades, systematic and institutional changes in women’s mental health have been slower. It remains a struggle for many women to obtain proper psychiatric treatment. Women remain more likely to be misdiagnosed, mistreated, and hospitalized in institutions where they are subject to physical restraint, electroconvulsive therapy, and psychosurgery. A Case of Hysteria? presents books, newspapers, photographs, personal letters, and other archival materials documenting the practices, consequences, and harm of the misapplication of science and pseudoscience in women’s mental healthcare. The items on display come from the USC Libraries collections as well as a group of partner institutions, including the Patton State Mental Hospital in San Bernardino and the now-closed Rockhaven Sanitarium in Glendale. 

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SoCal MesoNet Conference

SoCal MesoNet works hard to involve scholars as well as members of the general public that engage in meaningful research in Mesoamerica. The goal of this conference is to create a space where the many Mesoamericanists across Southern California can come together to share their research and get to know each other. For more information, please contact Prof. Kirby Farah at kirbyfar@usc.edu.

Follow SoCal Mesoamerica Network on Facebook to stay updated and engage with their scholarly community!

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Night in the City: L.A. After Dark (USC ICW)

Night in the City: L.A. After Dark is a three-part series co-produced by The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County and the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. Topics will include the noir landscapes of films and novels, nocturnal adaptations, the science of our evening L.A. skies, and more. What is it about Los Angeles that has so captivated writers and filmmakers, and what can we learn when we throw shade on our famed sunshine to investigate the city in darkness? L.A. doesn’t sleep at night, so join us for two evenings and a full-day symposium as we unmask our city after sunset.

This series is supported by the Collections Convergence Initiative and the Harman Academy for Polymathic Study of USC Libraries.



10/15, 6-9pm, Natural History Museum: Shining Light on the Night Shift

Join us for a screening of the new hour-long documentary, NIGHTSHIFT, which follows five Los Angeles residents in their routines as night shift workers. The film will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A and guests may enjoy a reception before the talk with an opportunity to see rare collections on display. 

This event is a joint effort between The Natural History Museum, The Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, KCET, and Artifact Nonfiction.


10/29, 6-9pm, Natural History Museum: L.A. on the Grid: The Benefits and Costs of Lighting up the Night

Join us for a conversation that brings to light the history of electricity in Los Angeles and the positive and negative impacts it has on all living things. Enjoy a reception before the talk with an opportunity to see rare collections on display.  


11/16, 9am - 4pm, USC: Symposium

Join us for a full-day symposium at Doheny Memorial Library, University of Southern California, where scholars, writers, and artists unite to shine a light on the night. Topics will include investigations of the night sky over Los Angeles across thousands of years, nighttime migrations of mammals, cyclists and street racers, those who seek safety under the cover of darkness and those who see night as a cloak to cover deeds and misdeeds, and the many unique ways in which Los Angeles chases night away through innovative uses of light.

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Rockhaven Sanitarium Tour

Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning Wednesday, October 16, at 9 a.m.


In conjunction with “Hysteria or Misogyny: Women, Madness, and Mental Health,” a panel discussion and exhibit presented at the USC Libraries, this private tour of the derelict grounds and patient rooms of the Rockhaven Sanitarium will be led by Joanna Linkchorst, a local historian and president of Friends of Rockhaven. Linkchorst will share the history and significance of the former women-only sanitarium, a feminist institution for mentally ill women that was founded in 1923 as an antidote to the prison-like atmospheres of the asylums of the time, and expand upon the legacy of founder Agnes Richards.

Joanna Linkchorst is a lifelong resident of the Crescenta Valley, CSUN alum, member of the Los Angeles Breakfast Club, and founder and president of Friends of Rockhaven. Alongside her fellow board members, Linkchorst formed the nonprofit organization with support from the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley to help preserve the historical location. Linkchorst regularly leads tours of the property, manages preservation efforts, and serves as a liaison to the City of Glendale to rehabilitate Rockhaven and open it as a public park and community center.

Related Event:
Hysteria or Misogyny? Women, Madness, and Mental Health
Thursday, November 14, 2019, at 4 p.m.
Friends of the USC Libraries Lecture Hall, Doheny Memorial Library Room 240
For more info, click here.

Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Organized by Anne-Marie Maxwell, Alyssa Brissett, and Megan Rosenbloom (USC Libraries).

Admission is free. Reservations required.

USC Dental Hygiene Open House

The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC cordially invites you to our Annual Dental Hygiene Open House 2019. Come and learn about our Dental Hygiene Program, take a tour of the school and attend a reception where you will have a chance to meet with current students, faculty and staff. 


Edgar Melendez - DMA Saxophone

Free and open to the public.
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The Met in HD: Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly

The Met in HD: Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly
12 p.m.: Pre-Opera Discussion
1 p.m.: HD Opera Broadcast

Admission is free. Reservations required.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts will host a series of satellite broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera presented in spectacular HD digital projection and 5.1 surround sound.

Following a pre-opera discussion hosted by Ken Cazan, chair of vocal arts and opera/resident stage director at the USC Thornton School of Music, we will present a delayed satellite broadcast of Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Leading sopranos Hui He and Ana María Martínez share the heartbreaking title role of the doomed geisha, with tenors Piero Pretti and Andrea Carè as the American naval officer who abandons her. The great Plácido Domingo makes his role debut as Sharpless, alternating with Paulo Szot and Markus Brück. Pier Giorgio Morandi is on the podium for Anthony Minghella’s sweeping production, a perennial audience favorite.

Related Event:
The Met in HD: George Frideric Handel’s Agrippina

Saturday, March 7, 2020, at 12 p.m.
Norris Cinema Theatre
For more info, click here.

Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Organized by the USC School of Cinematic Arts in conjunction with the USC Thornton School of Music and the Metropolitan Opera.

Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Admission is free. Reservations required.

Off the Page: The Story Behind The Stanzas

Free poetry reading featuring Long Beach area poets sharing the stories behind their poems.

Off the Page: The Story Behind the Stanzas is a poetry storytelling event. Three celebrated poets from the greater Long Beach area will read poems and tell the stories of how they came to be, revealing the secrets of their inspiration to an intimate audience in the brand new Miller Room at the Billie Jean King Main Library.

Presented by the Long Beach Public Library & Surprise the Line. This event is free and open to the public. Enjoy this unique opportunity to hear the poets speak about their work and their process.


Alexandra Umlas

Gustavo Hernandez

Michelle Brittan Rosado

and open mic

Each of these poets is a unique part of the Long Beach poetry community with a published book. Come hear them share stories about their milestones, challenges, and triumphs on the poetic road!

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Spencer Artwick - Classical Guitar DMA, Jazz Guitar Minor Field

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Spotlight Tours @PAM

Join USC PAM’s Student Educators in dynamic discussions of works of art in our collection!

Specially trained USC students will lead in-depth conversations about one object of their choosing designed to deepen your understanding and appreciation of the many cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Free with purchase of admission
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