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Newsletter and Department Title

Thursday, January 19, 2017




May 1 - 5, 2017

Spring Faculty Seminar: Atmospheres and Inscriptions

John Durham Peters, Yale University

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM 

Humanities Center, 602 CL 



**See more information on our events below**



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Lecture: "Political Rights, Social Rights, and the Decolonization of Africa"


Fred Cooper (New York University) 


Thursday, January 26, 2017 

5:00 - 7:00 PM 

Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning


Part of the "Humanizing the global, globalizing the human" lecture series. 


Frederick Cooper is Professor of History at NYU. His interests include slavery and labor in 19th- and 20th- century East Africa, the shifting nature of colonial thinking and practices, and the relationship of social change and conflict to decolonization in French and British Africa. His work seeks to counter both the national and the modern bias of most historical studies through the study of empires.

Humanities Center Visiting Fellow: Robert Reid-Pharr


(City University of New York) 


A Distinguished and Presidential Professor of English and American Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Robert Fitzgerald Reid-Pharr holds a Ph.D. in American Studies and an M.A. in African American Studies from Yale University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A specialist in African American culture and a prominent scholar in the field of race and sexuality studies, Reid-Pharr has published three books: Conjugal Union: The Body, the House, and the Black American (Oxford University Press, 1999); Black, Gay, Man: Essays (NYU Press, 2001); and Once You Go Black: Choice, Desire, and the Black American Intellectual (NYU Press, 2007). His essays have appeared in, among other places, American Literature, American Literary History, Callaloo, Afterimage, Small Axe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Women and Performance, Social Text, Transition, Studies in the Novel, The African American Review, Feminist Formations, Art in America, and Radical America.



Please note the changes below: Robert Reid-Pharr will now be lecturing on James Baldwin and reading from "Archives of Flesh: African America, Spain, and Post-Humanist Critique" during his colloquium. 



LECTURE: "Effective/Defective James Baldwin"

Monday, January 30, 2017
5:00 - 7:00 PM
Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning

Robert Reid-Pharr's book, Archives of Flesh: African America, Spain, and Post-Humanist Critique, will be available for signing following the lecture. 

COLLOQUIUM: "Archives of Flesh: African America, Spain, and Post-Humanist Critique"

Thursday, February 2, 2017
12:30 - 2:00 PM
Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning

With response by: Autumn Womack (Department of English, University of Pittsburgh)


Robert Reid-Pharr is the recipient of a 2016 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for his work, Archives of Flesh: African America, Spain, and Post-Humanist Critique, from which he will be reading during this colloquium. You can access the reading on our webisite here or you may request the reading by emailing humctr@pitt.edu.


Faculty and graduate students in Pitt Humanities departments can access colloquium papers two weeks before events by logging in to my.pitt.edu, then going to "My Resources Humanities Center" then "Humanities Center". 



Humanities Center Visiting Fellow: Heonik Kwon


(Trinity College and University of Cambridge) 



Heonik Kwon is professorial Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, and an APJ associate. The author of The Other Cold War, he co-authored North Korea: Beyond Charismatic Politics (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012) and is currently engaged in a five year international research project Beyond The Korean War, funded by the Korean Sciences Academy.



LECTURE: "Remembering the Cold War"


Tuesday, February 14, 2017
5:30 - 7:30 PM
Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning



COLLOQUIUM: "Peace Under The Orange Tree: Civil War and The Amity of Kinship"


Thursday, February 16, 2017

12:30 - 2:00 PM 

Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning

Humanities Center Visiting Fellow: Ta-Nehisi Coates



Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of The Beautiful Struggle and Between the World and Me, which won the 2015 National Book Award, the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, and was a finalist for the Book Critics Circle Award. A former writer for the Village Voice and a National Correspondent for The Atlantic, Coates has been awarded the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism and the George Polk Award for his 2012 article “The Case for Reparations." He is the recipient of a 2015 MacArthur Fellowship, and was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2016. He recently wrote eleven issues of Marvel Comics's Black Panther series, which when it first appeared in the 1960s was the first comic book to feature a black superhero.



COLLOQUIUM: “Mythic Register: Political Contradictions and the Battle Between Good and Evil in Ta-Nehisi Coates' Black Panther


Monday, March 20, 2017
3:00 PM

Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning


With responses by Yona Harvey (Department of English, University of Pittsburgh) and Tony Norman (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)



LECTURE: "Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series Presents: Ta-Nehisi Coates" 


Monday, March 20, 2017
8:30 PM
William Pitt Union Ballroom 

Humanities Center Visiting Fellow: Dana Gioia


(Poet Laureate of California)


Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet. Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia is a native Californian of Italian and Mexican descent. He received a B.A. and a M.B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. Gioia currently serves as the Poet Laureate of California. (Gioia is pronounced JOY-uh.)


Gioia has published five full-length collections of poetry, most recently 99 Poems: New & Selected. His poetry collection, Interrogations at Noon, won the 2002 American Book Award. An influential critic as well, Gioia’s 1991 volume Can Poetry Matter?, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, is credited with helping to revive the role of poetry in American public culture. In 2014 he won the Aiken-Taylor Award for lifetime achievement in American poetry.


Gioia’s many literary anthologies include Twentieth-Century American Poetry, 100 Great Poets of the English Language, The Longman Anthology of Short Fiction, Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, and Literature for Life. His poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared in many magazines including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Washington Post Book World, The New York Times Book Review, Slate, and The Hudson Review. Gioia has written three opera libretti and is an active translator of poetry from Latin, Italian, and German.



COLLOQUIUM: “Poetry Reading and Conversation with Dana Gioia”


Thursday, March 23, 2017

12:30 - 2:00 PM
Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning



LECTURE: "Dana Gioia at the 2nd Pittsburgh Humanities Festival" 


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Trust Arts Education Center in Downtown Pittsburgh


For more information: www.trustarts.org/pct_home/events/festivals/humanities/

Spring Faculty Seminar with Humanities Center Visiting Fellow: John Durham Peters


(Yale University) 


"Atmospheres and Inscriptions"

May 1 - 5, 2017
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning


This year’s visiting fellow and seminar leader, John Durham Peters, who will begin a position as Professor of Film and Media Studies at Yale University this month, January of 2017, is A. Craig Baird Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa, where he has taught for the past 30 years.  An intellectual historian and philosopher of media and communication, Professor Peters has published books and essays on such varied topics as the history of communication research, the philosophy of technology, pragmatism, the public sphere, and media and religion.  His first book, Speaking into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication was published by the University of Chicago Press in 1999.  The winner of the James A. Winans-Herbert A. Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address from the National Communication Association, Speaking into the Air has been translated into eight different languages and earned Professor Peters wide recognition as an intellectual and cultural historian.  His second book, Courting the Abyss: Free Speech and the Liberal Tradition, was published by University of Chicago Press in 2005.  His most recent book, The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media, which explores a range of media infrastructures—from television transmitters to the sun—was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2015.


If you are interested in participating in this seminar, please RSVP to the Humanities Center to confirm.  Although all are welcome, these seminars have filled in the past, so an early confirmation is recommended to help guarantee your space in the seminar. We will hold a series of preparatory discussions through the spring term to begin conversation on its topics.  Please address questions about the seminar to Brent Malin, the center’s Associate Director.



Faculty Collaborative Research Grants


Applications for the 2017-2018 Academic Year are due by Monday, January 30, 2017.


The Humanities Center supports projects that foster research across departments or institutions, including conferences, lectures, and more, bringing together faculty from different departments and/or institutions through Faculty Collaborative Research Grants. We seek collaboration that enriches intellectual activity on campus and leads to results which can be specified. We do not grant funding support for the purchase of equipment or travel from Pitt's campus.


To apply for the Faculty Collaborative Research Grant, please fill out and submit our online form.


There is a second application deadline for the 2017-2018 year which is Monday, September 28, 2017, but it is in the best interest of the applicant to plan in advance, since funds may be more limited in September than in January.

Postdoctoral Fellowship Program


Applications must be received by 5 p.m. EST on February 13, 2017. 


The University of Pittsburgh Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences is offering three postdoctoral fellowships in the humanities for the academic year 2016-2017. Fellows will teach one course each semester, complete scholarly work, and participate in the academic and intellectual communities of the departments with which they are affiliated and across the Dietrich School.

Find out more about the Dietrich School Humanities Center Fellowship here.

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. EST on February 13, 2017. Letters of recommendation must be received by 5 p.m. EST on February 20, 2017.


No exceptions to deadlines are granted!


Humanities Media Fellowship


Applications must be received by Friday, February 24, 2017.


Please click here for a full description of this new Humanities Center Fellowship opportunity.







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Email the Humanities Center by Friday at 12pm for your chance for the event to appear in next week's edition!

Lecture: “Aristotle Meets Sei Shonagon: Figures of Speech in Japanese Advertising”


Patricia Wetzel (Portland State University) 


Friday, January 20, 2017 

4:00 PM

4130 Posvar Hall


It would not come as a surprise to the fields of marketing and consumer research that language—specifically rhetoric—is crucial to effective advertising. But just how might linguistics look at the same figures of speech that fascinate the world of commerce? A meeting of the minds between business and marketing on the one hand and linguistics on the other is taking place through their mutual interest in semiotics and classical rhetoric.

The questions I wish to address here are: What are the common rhetorical devices of Japanese advertising? And how do they compare with their western counterparts? The umbrella of rhetoric has a broad scope which may have to be expanded even further to accommodate tropes and schemes that may not be present in western texts.


Light refreshments will be served. 

Lecture: "Facebook for the Dead: Social Network Analysis with Historical Actors"


Jean Bauer (Princeton University) 


Monday, January 23, 2017

4:30 - 6:00 PM 

Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning


This lecture focuses on network analysis, a powerful and increasingly popular tool for historians to explore the social and institutional worlds of their subjects. Using her own work in the early American foreign services, Bauer discusses the payoffs and pitfalls of using network analysis to explore the past.


This lecture is free and open to the public. Please join us for a reception following the lecture. 


About the Speaker: Dr. Jean Bauer is the Associate Director of the Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton University. Through a combination of formal training and curiosity, Dr. Bauer is an early American historian, database designer, and photographer. At the University of Virginia, where she earned her graduate degrees, she developed and built The Early American Foreign Database, www.eafsd.org. For more information,
please visit www.jeanbauer.com.


Sponsored by the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of History, the Humanities Center, and Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Lecture: "Erotic Encounters of an Extra Judicial Kind: The Liminal Worlds of Law and Crime in Indian Cinema"


Lawrence Liang (Yale University) 


Friday, January 27, 2017
12:00 PM
501 Cathedral of Learning


Lawrence Liang is a professor of Law at Ambedkar University and currently Rice Scholar at Yale University. He co-founded Alternative Law Forum (ALF), a public interest and human rights lawyering group in Bangalore with whom he worked for fifteen years. ALF has engaged in strategic litigation on various socio-legal issues, and Liang's work lies at the intersection of law, technology, and culture. He is a member of the Kafila collective and a co-founder of two online video archives: indiancine.ma and pad.ma


Refreshments will be served following the lecture. 


An event by the University of Pittsburgh Asian Studies Center South Asia Initiative 2017 Speaker Series.

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