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Newsletter and Department Title

Monday, February 6, 2017

FEATURED EVENT: Call for Proposals: Consuming Nature Workshop 

May 1 - 5, 2017

Application deadline: Friday, February 24, 2017


THIS THURSDAY, FEB. 9TH: Avital Ronell Colloquium: "Complaint: Grievance Among Friends"

12:30 PM, Humanities Center 


What is Authority? Speaking from the Museum, with Avital Ronell 

7:00 PM, Carnegie Museum of Art Theater


**See more information on our news and events below**


Check out our Spring Events Calendar for a full listing of upcoming events, and make sure to follow us on Facebook to stay updated!


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Call for Proposals: "Consuming Nature: Landscapes through the lens of the Anthropocene"


May 1 - 5, 2017

In Summer 2017, the History of Art and Architecture department is  working with museums and galleries across Pittsburgh to present a one-week collection-based workshop for Pitt faculty and graduate students to explore visual and material cultures from the landscape tradition, as well as locations whose physical form have been shaped by shifting human attitudes towards nature and its management.


Co-leaders: Alex Taylor and Isabelle Chartier (History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh)

- 10 participants receive $2,000 each to participate and develop research or community engagement projects. 
- Faculty will also be eligible to apply for a paid course release to develop or redesign a course.

Presented as part of Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Application deadline: February 24, 2017



More information can be found here or email alex.taylor@pitt.edu

Two Feb. 9th Events with Avital Ronell


(New York University)


Avital Ronell is an American philosopher who contributes to the fields of continental philosophy, literary studies, psychoanalysis, feminist philosophy, political philosophy, and ethics. Avital taught at the University of California at Berkeley from 1984-1995 and at New York University from 1995 to the present. She is currently serving as the Acting Chair of Comparative Literature, and served as Chair of the Department of German from Spring 1997 to Spring 2005. She taught an annual seminar in Literature & Philosophy at NYU with Professor Jacques Derrida and has taught with Professor Helene Cixous at Université of Paris VIII. She regularly teaches at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland and in Mexico. She was invited by the Humanities Council to offer a seminar at Princeton University in spring 2006. Her books include: The Uber Reader: Selected Works of Avital Ronell (Ed. Diane Davis. Forthcoming 2006); The Test Drive (2005); Stupidity (2001); (Translations in Progress: Paris: Galilée; Berlin: Brinkmann und Bose); Finitude's Score: Essays for the End of the Millennium (1994); Crack Wars: Literature, Addiction, Mania (1992); The Telephone Book: Technology, Schizophrenia, Electric Speech (2001); and Dictations: On Haunted Writing (1986) (paperback with new introduction 1993).



COLLOQUIUM: "Complaint: Grievance Among Friends"

Thursday, February 9, 2017
12:30 - 2:00 PM
Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning


With response by: Carol M. Bové (Department of English, University of Pittsburgh)


You can download the piece of writing for this colloquium here and here



LECTURE: "What is Authority? Speaking from the Museum, with Avital Ronell"


Thursday, February 9, 2017
7:00 - 8:00 PM 
Carnegie Museum of Art Theater


In a time when fundamental democratic institutions are under assault, the question of cultural authority-its conditions of appearance and disappearance-is critical. As a trusted civic institution, a museum draws its legitimacy and interpretive authority from the academy and the disciplines it names and organizes. The legacy of the culture wars has eroded much of this intellectual authority. What remains of the politicized public space? What form can creative resistance take when institutions of authority disintegrate?


Join us for an evening of devastating insights and ironic affirmations with Avital Ronell, considered "one of the most original, bold and surprising" thinkers "in the contemporary academy." Followed by a Q&A with life-long colleague and collaborator, Christopher Fynsk (pictured with Avital above).


Free, but registration recommended. You can learn more about this lecture and register here

Upcoming Humanities Center Events

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


With responses by: Kirk Savage (Department of History of Art & Architecture, University of Pittsburgh) and Philip Kao (Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh)

Two Feb. 23rd Events with Monica Popescu


(McGill University)


Monica Popescu ia Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar of African Literatures in the English Department at McGill University. Her current research includes a book project on the Cold War in postcolonial writing, and a co-edited special issue of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing entitled Alternative Solidarities: Black Diasporas and Cultural Alliances during the Cold War. Her articles in preparation include: representations of the Angolan war in South African Literature; representations of Transylvania in travel literature.



COLLOQUIUM: "Rethinking Postcolonial Studies through a Cold War Lens"


Thursday, February 23, 2017
12:30 - 2:00 PM
Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning


With responses by: Anita Starosta (Penn State University) and Shalini Puri (Department of English, University of Pittsburgh)



LECTURE: "Literary Battlegrounds: African Literature and the Cold War" 


Thursday, February 23, 2017
4:30 PM
501 Cathedral of Learning



Click here to view the Monica Popescu events flyer. 

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)


As there is very limited space in the Humanities Center, at this time, this colloquium is only for invited guests. If additional space becomes available, we will open up RSVP's to the university and public on a first come, first serve basis. If you would like to add your name to the wait list, please email humctr@pitt.edu.



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


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


Please Note: This event is free and open to the public. No tickets, reservations or RSVPs are needed.


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 began a position as Professor of Film and Media Studies at Yale University in 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.



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. 






Do you have an event that you'd like featured?



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

A Free Reading & Post-Show Discussion: Detroit '67


Play by: Dominique Morrisseau (Winner of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History) 

Directed by: Reginald L. Douglas (Artistic Producer, City Theater) 


Monday, February 6, 2017 

7:00 PM 

The University Club, Conference Room A, 2nd Floor 


In 1967 Detroit, Motown music is getting the party started, and Chelle and her brother Lank are making ends meet by turning their basement into an after-hours joint. But when a mysterious woman finds her way into their lives, the siblings clash over much more than the family business. As their pentup feelings erupt, so does their city, and they find themselves caught in the middle of the '67 riots.


Food provided! Plus post-show response with scholar Le'Mil Eland.


Funding for this event is made possible by support from the  A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund at the Pittsburgh Foundation, The University of Pittsburgh Provost Year of Diversity, the Humanities Center and the Department of History. 

Lecture: "How to Misunderstand Central Asian Islam (and How to Do Better)"


Dr. Morgan Liu


Friday, February 10, 2017

12:00 PM 

4130 Posvar Hall 


Dr. Morgan Liu is a cultural anthropologist studying Islamic knowledge and practice in post-Soviet Central Asia, focusing on Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. He is interested in ethnographic approaches to the state, post-socialism, space, and agency. Liu takes a comparative look at notions of just society across the Middle East, Russia, and Asia.


Event Contact: Kiersten Walmsley: kmw152@pitt.edu or 412-648-7407

Film Screening and Discussion: "Son of Saul" and New Perspectives on the Shoah


Special Guest: Lead Actor Géza Röhrig


Thursday, February 16, 2017

2:00 PM

O’Hara Student Center Dining Room

"Winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and Golden Globe, Son of Saul is Hungarian director László Nemes’ blistering debut feature, a courageous and unflinching reimagining of the Holocaust drama. Saul Ausländer is a member of the Sonderkommando, the Jewish prisoners forced to assist in the machinery of the Nazi concentration camps. While at work, he discovers the body of a boy he recognises as his son. As the Sonderkommando plan a rebellion, Saul vows to carry out an impossible task: to save the child’s body from the flames and to find a rabbi to recite the mourner’s Kaddish and offer the boy a proper burial. Anchored by a riveting and intensely brave performance from newcomer Géza Röhrig, Son of Saul is a remarkable exploration of one of humanity’s darkest moments. Visceral, gripping and immensely powerful, it is one of the boldest and most remarkable debuts in recent memory - and is already being heralded as a masterpiece of world cinema.”

Source: Curzon Artificial Eye


Sponsored by the Center for Russian and East Eurpoean Studies

Event Contact: Kiersten Walmsley: kmw152@pitt.edu or 412-648-7407

2/6/2017 Copyright 2017 Communications Services

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