Under L.A.: Subterranean Stories

November 11, 2017
Doheny Memorial Library

Saturday, November 11, 2017
9:00am to 4:30pm
USC Doheny Memorial Library, Room 240

We ask that all who wish to attend RSVP (for free) at www.usc.edu/esvp, code: UNDERLA. 

For more information (including the full schedule of panels and parking), please see http://dornsife.usc.edu/icw/underla/

What lies beneath our Los Angeles feet? What is the connection between our terra firma and all that lies below? This conference explores the worlds below us and the inextricable ties that bind us to the mysteries of the subterranean. Hydrology, seismology, petroleum engineering - each of these fields will have a voice at this conference - as will folklorists, cemetery scholars, and poets and writers. Together, we will navigate the underworlds of LA past, present, and future...real, imagined, metaphorical.

Speakers will include Robert de Groot of the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning Program, Dr. Emily Lindsey of the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, author and critic M.G. Lord, writer Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG, Urban Planning professor Michael Manville, culture journalist Carolina Miranda, former Lockheed Martin Skunk Works president Sherman Mullin, entomologist Joe Parker, L.A. County Public Works civil engineer Dan Sharp, historian David Sloane, queer performance artist Ron Athey, historian of science and technology Peter Westwick, and others. Attendees will also enjoy a screening of KCET’s “Lost L.A.” documentary on the lost tunnels of Downtown Los Angeles with host Nathan Masters.


9:00 am           Coffee/donuts

9:30 am          Welcome/ William F. Deverell and David L. Ulin

9:45 am          The Natural Underground

                       Moderator: William Deverell; Panelists: Robert de Groot (Seismicity), Joe Parker (Insects), Emily Lindsey (The Tar Pits)

11:15 am         The Public Underground

                        Moderator: Geoff Manaugh; Panelists: Dan Sharp (Public Works), David Sloane (Burial), Mike Manville (Parking)

12:30 pm         Lunch / LOST LA's “Lost Tunnels”

1:45 pm         The Militarized Underground

                       Moderator: Nathan Masters; Panelists: Sherman Mullin (Missiles), Peter Westwick (Bomb Shelters), M.G. Lord (Ideological Underground)

3:15 pm         The Cultural Underground

                      Carolina Miranda in conversation with Ron Athey

4:30 pm         Closing remarks, Karin Huebner

Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West
USC Dornsife College
USC Libraries Collections Convergence Initiative
USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study