Thursday, August 31, 2006

Office Hours

My walk-in (no appointment needed) office hours this semester are Mondays, 1-2:30 pm, 2610 CL.

Since this Monday is Labor Day and the university is closed, I will have a special make-up walk-in hour, 12:30-1:30 pm, on Wednesday.

As always, feel free to e-mail to set up an appointment if you can't make the Monday 1-2:30 time and you need to see me.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Another reason to use your address

Starting in October, the Library will send overdue notices, recall notices, and book available notices to Pitt e-mail addresses rather than by campus mail or US mail. If you don't use your address and don't get an overdue notice, you could be looking at some hefty fines.

Already your professors try to contact you by Pitt e-mail through Courseweb and Peoplesoft; and when people look you up on the directory, they find your Pitt e-mail.

So if you are not regularly checking your address, you should be!

And if it's full of old messages and over quota so that messages to you bounce back to their sender, it's time to clean it out.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Reza Aslan talk


Reza Aslan is a popular writer, speaker and scholar of comparative religions.
His first book, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam, has been translated into half a dozen languages. He studied at Santa Clara and Harvard Universities and the University of California, and was visiting assistant professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Iowa. He’s been widely published, and is a frequent contributor to the national press. Co-sponsored by the Center for West European Studies/European Union Center of Excellence, Consortium for Educational
Resources on Islamic Studies (CERIS), Department of Religious Studies, Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, Muslim Student Association, Global Studies, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh


from Annabelle Clippinger at PITT ARTS:

1. PITT ARTS has a program called the Cheap Seat Program, wherein we sell to Pitt people greatly reduced tickets to cultural venues. Several times a year, starting this fall, we will send you a flyer with the current shows for sale. You can post and distribute this. Cheap Seats are available to students of all kinds and almost always to staff and faculty, and they may buy up to four tickets per show (there are some exceptions), and they may even buy tickets for non-Pitt people if the purchasing Pitt person attends. We take exact cash, checks, debit and credit cards. Lastly, this is a self-serve ticketing service; students, faculty and staff can reserve tickets anytime the Union is open—the instructions and reservations forms are located outside our office at 929 William Pitt Union in a very prominently marked display.

We sell about 9,400 Cheap Seats a year to the following organizations:

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, $12 for students and $17 for faculty and staff

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, $12 for students and $17 for faculty and staff

Pittsburgh Opera, $16-$33 for students and $26-$43 for faculty and staff

Pittsburgh CLO, $12 for students, $14 for faculty and staff

CLO Cabaret, $12 for students, $14 for faculty and staff

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, students only, $5.50-$34.50

Pittsburgh Public Theatre, $12.50 students, $25.50 for faculty and staff

Quantum Theatre, students $15, $22-$25 for faculty and staff

Guitar Society of Fine Arts, students $10-$15, $14-$20 for faculty and staff

MCG Jazz, $20-$25 students, $32-$35 for faculty and staff

Renaissance & Baroque Society, $10 for students, $15 for faculty and staff

In addition, we program a number of Pitt Nights, which for a great price (only $17 for Pitt Night at the Pittsburgh Symphony for Scheherazade on September 29th, as low as $18 for Pitt Night the Opera for Pagliacci on October 20th, only $17 for Pitt Night at the Ballet for Swan Lake on October 27th, and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Pitt Night for Sweet Honey in the Rock on January 14th costs only $17 ) Pitt students, faculty and staff can get optional free transportation with us, enjoy a free dessert reception, and meet the cast and Artistic Directors. These events are splashy and fun. People celebrate their Pitt pride and their love for the arts by participating. PITT ARTS also co-sponsors with the Pittsburgh Symphony two on-campus concerts with the Pittsburgh Symphony’s Chamber Orchestra to take place in Bellefield Auditorium on Those wishing to participate in these special Pitt Nights buy through the Cheap Seats Program in our office at 929 William Pitt Union.

2. Don’t miss Attack of the Cheap Seats on September 14th. Not only will there be great entertainment, but also you can buy cheap tickets for the entire season (or any parts thereof!) to the Opera, Ballet, Symphony, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Public Theatre and the Pittsburgh CLO—and it’s cheaper than subscribing! It takes place from 12-3 PM on 9/14 in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room.

3. PITT ARTS sponsors its annual Art Fair on September 21st in the William Pitt Ballroom. Stop by for a free lunch starting at 11:30 AM and visit with contacts from over thirty arts organizations. Win prizes, and chat with great people as you find out all about what is happening in the arts this academic year.

4. Free Visits: All Pitt students with valid Pitt ID’s, part-time, full-time, grad/undergrad, get in free during the academic year and over holiday break to: The Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, the Mattress Factory, and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. All students need to do is swipe their ID at the admissions desk. Check out or or or for more information. Free admissions are suspended during the summer months.

5. Artful Wednesdays: PITT ARTS and Residence Life have been lively partners for a fantastic program that takes place nearly every Wednesday in the fall from noon to 1 PM in the Litchfield Towers Lobby, and includes a free lunch and a free exciting performance. Here are but two of the ten features from Artful Wednesdays this year. Come up to the PITT ARTS office at 929 WPU to pick up the complete brochure.

September 27th, Besame

Jorge Delgado brings the sounds of Columbia to Pitt with guitar, percussion, soprano saxophone and tuba while his original instrumentation explores Columbian musical styles of cumbia and vallenato.

October 4th, Elie Kihonia with members of Wacongo Dance Company

Celebrate the energy and life of Congo! Wacongo is a traditional ensemble of master drummers, musicians and dancers from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who perform the ancestral songs and dances of Central Africa.

6. We have MUCH in the way of literature regarding current arts information, including quite literally, hundreds of press releases, and promotional information about current shows in the arts community. From time to time we may send pertinent/ applicable information to you through interoffice mail or email. If you have a student with an arts-related question, and you don’t know the answer, feel free to:

Call us at 4-4498

Go to our website at, which has tons of information.

7. Free Arts Encounters

PITT ARTS is not a club and students do not join our organization; however, undergraduate students can sign up to be on our email distribution list by visiting our website at and signing up to be on our D-List by clicking the “Get Involved” button to register. Students will then receive our weekly e-calendar of events from which they can choose to participate simply by going on-line to register for a program. They will subsequently be notified about their RSVP status and will be given program confirmation details. We will offer 110 free arts programs to undergraduates this year, ranging from symphony to film to ballet, to opera, and so on, all art. Transportation, food and tickets are pre-arranged and are COMPLETELY FREE to the undergraduate student.

8. PITT ARTS does not sell: Pitt Theatre tickets, Pitt Theatre semester passes, Kuntu Repertory Theatre tickets, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre (PICT) tickets or Music Department tickets of any kind. Students can call 624-PLAY for theater tickets, 4-4125 for Music tickets, and 624-7298 for Kuntu tickets. PICT tickets can be purchased by calling ProArts Tickets at 412-394-3353.

9. The #61, #71, #500 and #501 buses run back and forth from Pitt to the downtown Cultural District. We have a great directions sheet in our office on how to get to and get around in the Cultural District and to the amenities of the North Side.

If you have any questions about this campus briefing, feel free to call me directly at 4-4462.

All Best-- Annabelle

Annabelle Clippinger, M.F.A.
929 William Pitt Union
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
tel: 412-624-4462
fax: 412-624-1662

Islamic Studies Undergraduate Research Symposium

from Elaine Linn at the Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies (CERIS):

... On 31 March 2007, at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, CERIS will sponsor an undergraduate research symposium entitled "Islam: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives." Students from over twenty-seven member institutions are invited to submit abstracts of research papers and then present their findings before a panel of jurors. The event day will include a luncheon, a keynote address, and a reception at which cash prizes will be awarded to the most noteworthy participants.

Initially, papers should be prepared for an academic course, seminar, or independent study; they should relate to Islamic history, economics, politics, languages, literature, philosophy, theology, law, arts or sciences from the seventh century to the present and from any of the broad geographical areas of the world. Student applicants must have a faculty mentor to assure the quality of their research and to assist them in preparing abstracts, revising their papers, and preparing a 10-15 minute presentation of their research.

Information about the 2007 CERIS Undergraduate Research Symposium (including deadlines, submission details, guidelines for abstracts, and judging criteria) are available at . We will accept abstract submissions from 15 November 2006 through 15 February 2007.

Feel free to contact me with questions or e-mail Dr. Therese Bonin, Symposium Chair (

With best wishes,

Elaine Linn

Elaine E. Linn
Assistant Director, Global Studies Program
University Center for International Studies
4102 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260 USA
Tel: 412 648-2113
Fax: 412 624-4672

Monday, August 14, 2006

New Yiddish Club

This is from Elliot Bergman, a grad student in German:

Dear colleagues:
I am writing to announce some good news. Last year a group of graduate
students from various disciplines (History, Russian and East European
Studies, Linguistics, Germanic Languages and Literatures, Slavic Studies,
etc.) and undergraduates participated in an Introductory Yiddish course
that was a great success. Many of us also met as part of a weekend study
group at Kiva Han. As the class came to a close, we decided to found a
I am pleased to announce that the SORC has approved our application to
become a campus organization. So that’s the good news. The Yiddish Club
at the University of Pittsburgh will serve as a point of contact for those
interested in Yiddish Studies and sponsor events designed to promote
Yiddish language and culture (e.g. film screenings, study groups, and
lecture series). The club has no religious affiliation and anyone with
interest is encouraged to join and/or attend events. The elected club
officers are as follows:
Elliott Bergman (President) (Germanic Languages and
Julie Draskoczy (Vice President) (Slavic Languages and
Scott Goldman (Director of Undergraduate Affairs/ Manager)
(Jewish Studies major)

Faculty Advisor:
Prof. Ilya Prizel (Russian and East European Studies, Political Science)
Faculty Affiliates:
Prof. Alex Orbach (Jewish Studies)
Prof. Clark Muenzer (Germanic Languages and Literatures)
Laurie Cohen (Librarian, Hillman Library, Collection Development)
Thank you for your support and feel free to contact either Julie or I
should you have any questions.
Elliott Bergman
Julie Draskoczy
P.S. If you would like to have your name removed from our mailing list or
you know somebody who would like to be added, please let us know. Feel
free to forward this e-mail to interested students and faculty.
"the Yiddish language [is] a language of exile, without a land, without
frontiers, not supported by any government?" from Isaac Bashevis
Singer’s 1976 Nobel Prize Lecture

Away from the office

The Office of Religious Studies Advising will be closed until Monday August 28, 9 am.

If you have an add/drop issue, please come to my office (2610 CL) on Monday the 28th or Tuesday the 29th.

If you plan to add a class but are not able to add the class formally before the first session on Monday or Tuesday, you should go to the class anyway. We can process the add after that.

If you have not registered for the fall term, you need to go to Thackeray Hall and ask about late registration.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


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