Thursday, November 29, 2007


Q; If I want to count a course toward the Religious Studies major or minor, do I have to be enrolled in the "RELGST" section of the course?
A: NO!

Q: So it will count toward Religious Studies if I take History of the Holocaust as HIST 1769 or JS 1215?

Q; What if I take History of the Holocaust as RELGST 1252? Can I count it toward the History major too?
A: YES (subject to the limit on overlaps).
Remember: Cross-listing means that a course counts as a course offered by all the departments and programs that sign-on as sponsors. It does not matter what section of the course you are enrolled in--it's the same course and fulfills the same requirements.

Q: So if I take RELGST 1252, it will also fulfill my History gen-ed requirement? I don't have to take it as HIST 1252?

Q; Do all seats for a cross-listed course show up in Peoplesoft?
A: YES AND NO. Peoplesoft can play tricks on you because of cross-listing. If you were to search for RELGST 1145 Greco-Roman Religions right now, you might see it as closed. But look more closely at the total seats. The RELGST 1145 section of this course is closed, but there are still seats in the CLASS 1402 section of this course.
Make sure you look carefully anytime you encounter a closed course to make sure that all seats in all cross-listed sections are gone. Otherwise, you might miss an opportunity to take something you wanted.

Q: So I can register for Greco-Roman Religions as CLASS 1402 and it would count for the Religious Studies major?

Spring Term Religious Studies Courses

If you are still looking for a Religious Studies course for the spring term, here are some with open space:

1257 RUSSIAN JEWRY TH 9:30-10:45

The following courses are closed:


Monday, November 26, 2007

Nov 29: Lecture on Armenian Genocide

Thursday, November 29
4:00 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.
3703 Posvar Hall

Lecture--Van, 1914-1915: From Cooperation to Annihilation - A Local Case Study from the Armenian Genocide

Hilmar Kaiser, a leading expert in his field, will present a case study from the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire.
For more information, contact Christian Gerlach -

Department Colloquium cancelled this week

The Department Colloquium by Amy Slagle, scheduled for this Wednesday (Nov 28) has been cancelled. It will be rescheduled in the spring term.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Change in Office Hours Monday November 26

My office hours on Monday November 26 will be 1-3 pm instead of 2:30-4.
From 3 pm on, I will be at the "Academic Rush" event in the William Pitt Union, representing the Religious Studies major. (If you want to stop by the table and tell prospective majors what a great experience this has been, you are welcome to do so...)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Honors Convocation--I need your help.

Majors: Please send me the following information about yourself (if applicable) by December 1:

1) any university awards (such as a Brackenridge scholarship or a nationality room scholarship) in the last year.

2) any non-university awards or honors received in the last year.

3) if you are a "University Scholar" or have been on a "Dean's List" in the last year.

Please send this information regardless of whether the honor or award is related to Religious Studies.

I know about some of your achievements, but I hope to hear from many of you to get the full picture.

E-mail the info to or leave me a note in my box.

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

November 15: An Introduction to Bon

An Introduction to Bon,
the indigenous spiritual tradition of Tibet
Tempa Dukte Lama

Thursday Nov 15, 7 pm
Carnegie Mellon University, Wright Room, University Center
Bon is the indigenous spiritual tradition of Tibet. The roots of this ancient tradition reach back into the time long before Buddhism came to Tibet. Tempa Dukte Lama will give a brief introduction to the Bon tradition of Tibet and then talk about the threefold path of liberation according to the Bon tradition and how we can use it as a skilful means to overcome the obscurations that afflict the individual:
1. The path of renunciation,
2. The path of transformation and
3. The path of self-liberation.

We will begin with 15 minutes of silent meditation. After the talk there will be the opportunity to ask and discuss questions.

Tempa Dukte Lama is a teacher of the Tibetan Bon Buddhist tradition who trained as a monk at Menri monastery in Dolanji, India from the age of 6 under the guidance of His Holiness Lungtok Tenpai Nyima, the spiritual head of the Bon tradition. Later he lived and taught for five years at the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has taught on a variety of topics, including ‘Being with Dying’ and healing and has also offered meditation teachings and counsel to inmates in Santa Fe county jail.

Lecture November 29: “Magnus Hirschfeld: The Birth and Destruction of Modern German Sexology”

presented by
Ted Phillips, Ph.D., Curator, “The Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals,”
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Thursday, November 29, 2007
6:00 p.m.
Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 6 (4th floor)
School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
Free to the Public
Sponsored by C. F. Reynolds Medical History Society
For additional information contact 412-648-8927 or

This is in conjunction with an exhibit that will open at the Holocaust Center of the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill on Nazi persecution of homosexuals,

Additional Events:

Monday, December 3
The Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals
Exhibition Opening Keynoted by Ted Philips, Exhibition Curator
Dessert will be served.
$5 - Students & Holocaust Center Members,
$10 - Others
JCC Levinson Hall, Kaufmann Building, 5738 Darlington Road Entrance

Monday, December 17
Discrimination in Pittsburgh: Focus on GLBT Youth
Mark Friedman, Assist. Prof., Graduate School of Public Health,
University of Pittsburgh
Including a reception, filmed interviews and discussion with Pittsburgh youth
Presented with The Persad Center and GLSEN Pittsburgh
JCC Levinson Hall, Kaufmann Building, 5738 Darlington Road Entrance

Thursday, December 27
Movie Night: A Love to Hide,
an award-winning film dramatizing the exploits of two gay French men hiding a Jewish woman during World War II. Presented in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Jewish-Israeli Film Festival.
Katz Auditorium, JCC Robinson Building, 5738 Darlington Road
$5 sugested donation

Sunday, January 6, 2008
Faith and Homosexuality: A Jewish-Christian Dialogue
Rabbi Aaron Bisno, Rodef Shalom Congregation and
Rev. Harold Lewis, Calvary Episcopal Church
JCC Levinson Hall, Kaufmann Building, 5738 Darlington Road Entrance

Monday, January 14, 2008
Religion, Refuge and Sexual Deviance: American Immigration Law for Survivors and Sexual Minorities
Rachel Tiven, J.D., Executive Director, Immigration Equality
Presented with the Immigrant Welcome Center, Jewish Family and Children's Services
JCC Levinson Hall, Kaufmann Building, 5738 Darlinton Road Entrance

Thursday, January 24, 2008
Parallel Persecutions? Sodomites and Jews in Medieval Europe
Bruce Venarde, Assoc. Prof. and Associate Chair, Department of History,
University of Pittsburgh
JCC Levinson Hall, Kaufmann Building, 5738 Darlington Road Entrance

Lecture Nov 15: The Bible: 2000 Years of Shaping Lives and Cultures

Dr. William Wright, professor of Theology at Duquesne.
Thursday, Nov 15, 4:00 pm
6th floor, William Pitt Union, Conference room of Cross-Cultural and Leadership Development Center.
"Christians and Culture Lecture Series"

Monday, November 12, 2007

Reminder: Lucia Dolce

Our visiting scholar from London, Lucia Dolce, will give two lectures this week. Scroll down for details.

The first one is "Ritualizing Duality: Secret Iconographies of Empowerment in Medieval Japan," this Tuesday, November 13, at 4:15 PM, in 4130 WWPH.

Nationality Rooms Scholarships for Study Abroad

The Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs

The Nationality Rooms have awarded scholarships for summer study abroad annually since 1948. The purpose of the awards is to enable University of Pittsburgh students to have an in-depth immersion in another culture for at least five weeks. It is important that applicants choose a program that will maximize their contact with the populace abroad and be accepted by the University for credit. It is through the farsightedness and generosity of the Nationality Rooms committees and their friends, who have raised more than $1,500,000 to provide these important intercultural exchange opportunities. It is strongly suggested that students begin the application process in November to allow sufficient time to request references, prepare essays and, if applicable, prepare research proposals.

LAST DAY TO PICK UP APPLICATIONS: Friday, January 18, 2008
COMPLETED APPLICATIONS DUE: Thursday, January 24, 2008

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sunday night November 11 Israeli film: The Lost Band

Professor Orbach alerts us to a "very good Israeli film (The Lost Band) at the Regent Square theater Sunday night, 7:30 PM. A group of Egyptian musicians heading for Petah Tikva get sent to an Israeli development town itself leading to a number of interesting moments highlighting Israeli-Egyptian relations."

Next Department Colloquium November 28

The Department of Religious Studies
Brown Bag Lunch Colloquium Series
University of Pittsburgh


PhD Candidate in Religion, University of Pittsburgh

“A Truth Beyond Black and White:
Conversion Motives Among American Converts to Eastern Orthodoxy”

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
12:00 noon
2628 Cathedral of Learning

Coffee and cookies provided

Amy Slagle is in the final stages of completing a dissertation on “Nostalgia Without Memory: Choice-making and Tradition Among American Converts to Eastern Orthodoxy.” She is author of “Imagined Aesthetics: Constructions of Aesthetic Experience in Contemporary Orthodox Christian Conversion Narratives,” in Aesthetics as a Religious Factor in Eastern and Western Christianity (Leuven, Belgium: Peeters, 2005), and her “Tradition à la carte: Competing Visions of Eastern Orthodox Identity in an American Parish,” is forthcoming (2008) in Transactions of the First Biennial Meeting of the Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture (Slavic Studies Series, OSU Center for Slavic and East European Studies). Ms. Slagle is currently the recipient of a Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship, which supports research on American religion, and has held two Mellon Predoctoral Fellowships and three REES FLAS Fellowships.

Reminder Lucia Dolce lectures next week


Lecture--Ritualizing Duality: Secret Iconographies of Empowerment in Medieval Japan, a talk by LUCIA DOLCE
4:15 PM
4130 Posvar Hall
Audience: All are welcome to attend
Sponsored by: Asian Studies Center, Japan Council, Program in Cultural Studies, Japan Iron and Steel Foundation, Mitsubishi Endowments, Office of Undergraduate Studies


Lecture--The Worship of Celestial Bodies in Japan: Politics, Rituals and Icons, a talk by LUCIA DOLCE 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
104 David Lawrence Hall
Audience: Open to undergraduates only, as described below.
Sponsored by: Asian Studies Center, Japan Council, Program in Cultural Studies, Japan Iron and Steel Foundation, Mitsubishi Endowments, Office of Undergraduate Studies
Please note that this talk is only open to RELGST 1550 & 0505 students, Religious Studies majors and minors and Asian Studies Center undergraduate certificate students.

Lucia Dolce holds a first degree in Japanese Studies from the University of Venezia, Italy, and a PhD from Leiden University, The Netherlands. She is Senior Lecturer of Japanese Religion at the Department of the Study of Religion and Director of the Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her main research interest is Japanese religiosity of the medieval period, in particular, the esotericisation of religious practice, the development of millenarian ideas, and kami-Buddhas associative practices. Dr. Dolce's first book, "Esoteric Patterns in Nichiren's Interpretation of the Lotus Sutra," was awarded the Nakamura Hajime Prize for the best book in religious studies by a younger scholar in 2004. She is currently working on two research projects on rituals in premodern Japanese religion.

Nov 15: Panel Discussion on "India: Culture and Religion"

INDIA: BELOW THE SURFACE at The Mattress Factory 7:00 PM

The Mattress Factory, 500 Sampsonia Way on the North Side
Cost: $10 General Admission; $5 Members & Students
Announced by: Asian Studies Center

How do religion and the arts interact on the classical and popular levels in India? What does Radha, a primary deity in Hinduism, have to do with Mother Meera and Bhakti Poets? What is Sufism and what is its significance in Indian culture? Each panelist will provide a presentation offering insight into these questions.

Moderator and presenter Dr. Fred Clothey will summarize the presentations and lead a discussion that will open up to the audience for further questions and comments.

Moderator and Presenter: Dr. Fred Clothey is a recently retired Professor and former Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. His scholarly interests include the study of myth, symbol and ritual; the role of religion in politics, identity-formation and resurgent nationalisms; and the character of religion in contemporary South Asia.
Presenter: Prajna Paramita Parasher, Associate Professor & Director, Film and Digital Technology, Chatham University.
For more information, contact The Mattress Factory - 412-231-3169

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Latin American Film Festival


(Come and get free tickets for the premiere of "Love in the Times of
Cholera" by Mike Newel, 2007)

Thursday, November 8 / 8.30pm. Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

BRASILEIRINHO by Mika Kaurismäki (Brazil-Finland, 2005).

Portuguese and English (70 min.)

Friday, November 9. 4.00pm - 7.30pm. Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

(I) The Film by Rafael Lyon and Andres Ingoglia (Argentina-USA. 2006)

Spanish, English subtitles (60min.)

Coffee Break

5.15 pm. Historia de los Noticieros de Televisión en Colombia 1960 -1980 by
Fabio López de la Roche (2007). Spanish (50 min.)* Presented by the Film

Coffee Break

6.30pm - 7.30pm. .Nuestro Pueblo /Our People by Juan José García - Ojo de
Agua (Oaxaca, 2000-06). Spanish, English subtitles (27min.)

Slavery to Freedom by Jeff Imig and Pan Left Productions (2004). AM.
McDonals el Tomate y tu / Con Estas Manos... by CIW (Immokale, Florida.
2006) & Immokalee: From English (35min.)

Saturday, November 10. 2.00pm - 4.00pm. Hamburg Hall 237. Carnegie Mellon

- A través de tus Ojos (Through Your Eyes). Guillermina Buzio & Eva Urrutia
(Argentina-Canada, 2002) Spanish with English subtitles. (15 min.)

- Karma (Drama) by Adriana Babinski (USA, 2005)

English (16 min.)* Presented by the film maker

- The Other Side by Bill Brown (USA. 2006).

English (25min.)

- Terminal by Andres Tapia-Urzua (Chile-USA, 2005)

English. (15min.)* Presented by the film maker

Lecture Nov 15: Eric Lott

boundary 2, an international journal of literature and culture

Eric Lott
Professor of English, University of Virginia

"The Truman Show: Cold Wars of the Mind in the Neoliberal Present"

4:00 p.m., Thursday, November 15, 2007

501 Cathedral of Learning

Eric Lott received his Ph.D. from the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in 1991. His first book, Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class (Oxford, 1993), won three major awards in 1994: Best First Book Prize, Modern Language Association; the Avery O. Craven Award for Best Book on the Period of the Civil War and Reconstruction, Organization of American Historians; and the Outstanding Book Award, Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights. He has also won the : Constance Rourke Prize for Best American Quarterly Article, given by the American Studies Association (1992).

In 2006, he published The Disappearing Liberal Intellectual (Basic Books) and he is completing a new manuscript, Tangled Up in Blue: The Cultural Contradictions of American Racism. In recent years, he has published more than twenty-five major articles on race, whiteness, liberalism, popular music, and American literature. His journalism appears in such places as The Nation, The Village Voice, and the Times Literary Supplement.

Lecture Nov 14: Ramie Targoff

The Pittsburgh Consortium for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the University of Pittsburgh's Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies present

(Brandeis University)


4:00 in the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning, room 501

Ramie Targoff is Associate Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies at Brandeis University. Her first book, Common Prayer: Models of Public Devotion in Early Modern England (Chicago, 2001) won the prize for best book of the year from the Conference on Christianity and Literature. Her second book, John Donne, Body and Soul, will be published by Chicago University Press in 2008. She is currently at work on a book-length study of love in the Renaissance.

This talk has been generously co-sponsored by the Department of English.

Graduation Application for Spring

If you are graduating in April 2008, get your graduation application in now.

The deadline is still November 16, but the Student Records Office in Thackeray Hall (A&S Undergraduate Dean's office) encourages you to get them in before then.

This is from Susan Crain, Director of Student Records, to advisors:
"FYI. We did not change the November 16, 2007 deadline to apply for April 2008 graduation. We are informing students when they pick up the application to return as soon as possible. If they picked them up last week, we asked students to return by today. The Deadline did not change. It is to their benefit to apply before the November 16 deadline. If the student has a graduation problem, they will find out sooner. Normally, we have 800 students applying on the last two days. We are trying to avoid that chaos."

You do not need to inform me or get me to sign the graduation application--as part of the process, I will be contacted later by the Dean's office to certify your major or clarify issues with your minor.

Graduate Fellowships at JTS-New York

From: "Maud Kozodoy"
Subject: New PhD Fellowships at JTS
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 4:37 PM

New PhD Fellowships at The Graduate School of the Jewish Theological

The Graduate School of JTS now offers five-year PhD fellowship
packages worth significantly over $50,000 per year. These include:
* Full tuition
* Annual stipends of $23,000 and up
* Health insurance
Deadline to apply is January 2, 2008.

Our competitive MA-level fellowships include awards of full tuition
and additional stipend support. Deadline to apply for these is March 1,

JTS offers Master's and Doctoral Degrees in:

Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages
Jewish History
Jewish Literature
Jewish Philosophy
Talmud and Rabbinics

Ancient Judaism
Jewish Art and Visual Culture
Jewish Women's Studies
Medieval Jewish Studies
Modern Jewish Studies
Interdepartmental Studies

Jewish Studies and Social Work (MA/MS) with Columbia University
School of Social Work (CUSSW)
Jewish Studies and Public Administration (MA/MPA) with Columbia
University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) (New!)

The Graduate School offers programs leading to the degrees of MA,
DHL, and PhD in Judaic Studies. Need-based assistance is also
available to those who qualify.

Find us at


Office of Admissions
The Graduate School
The Jewish Theological Seminary
3080 Broadway, Box 74
New York, NY 10027-4649
Tel: (212) 678-8022

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Yiddish Book Center Internships

Immerse yourself in Yiddish this summer! The National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA announces an outstanding 2008 internship opportunity for college students. The Steiner Internship Program is now accepting applications for this seven-week summer program.

Study Yiddish language, literature, history and culture and pursue a research or translation project. Work every day with the Center's own collection of a million Yiddish books. The program runs from June 11 -- July 30, 2008. No prior knowledge of Yiddish is required. Our interns receive a generous stipend, up to six college credits, and apartment-style housing is provided.

Visit for complete information and an on-line application. Deadline: February 1, 2008.

For additional information, please contact:

Janet Kannel
Internship Program Coordinator
National Yiddish Book Center
1021 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
413-256-4900 x131

Monday, November 05, 2007

Volunteers in China during the Olympics

Original Message -------- Subject: China Olympic Game Time Volunteer Program
Date: Fri, 02 Nov 2007 12:29:59 -0500
From: community collaborations
To: community collaborations

Applications for this program are due by December 1, 2007
China Olympic Game Time Volunteers
CC International is recruiting 160 volunteers to participate in the Olympic Game Time Volunteer Program. Volunteers will be completing projects in Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games.
Follow this link for a complete PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
Click here to download the POWERPOINT PRESENTATION
And go here to complete the ONLINE APPLICATION
Please forward this message through your mailing list to students and faculty so they won't miss out.
Applications must be submitted by December 1, 2007
Please contact me if you have any questions.
Thank you,
Steven Boisvert
Community Collaborations International
212 208 2522

Friday, November 02, 2007

Lecture November 5: Samurai Legends

Lecture--Legends of the Last Samurai: Apocryphal Suicides and Invented Traditions 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm Thaw Hall, Room 11
Audience: Open to all members of the Pitt community
Cost: Free
Sponsored by: Asian Studies Center, Global Studies Program, Japan Iron and Steel Federation Mitsubishi Endowments, the Japan Council, Department of History

A lecture by Mark Ravina, Associate Professor of Japanese History, Emory University. On September 24, 1877, Saigo Takamori, the Japanese rebel and revolutionary, committed ritual samurai suicide on the hills of Shiroyama" or so it is said. Dr. Ravina will be discussing accounts of Saigo's suicide, linking his story to the rise of modern Japanese nationalism via popular culture, legends, and historiography.
For more information, contact Dr. Martha Chaiklin -

Kristallnacht Commemoration November 7

Department of German Languages and Literatures and the Jewish Studies Program
Tenth Annual Commemoration of

Susanne Ortner, clarinetist
Erich Blaustein, survivor

Wednesday, November 7, 2007
5:00 PM
208B Cathedral of Learning

This is an annual event commemorating the terrible events of the "Night of Broken Glass" in 1938. It is always a moving experience in a way that is quite different than most academic events.

Be a Language Tutor

Volunteer to be a Language Tutor
If you are a student of or a native speaker of French, Spanish or German and enjoy working with kids, consider being a language tutor at a City of Pittsburgh school. The time commitment is one hour per week. If interested, please contact the tutoring coordinator, Professor Neal Galpern, at or 412-648-7451.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Seniors: A Great Opportunity in Washington DC

2008 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Junior Fellows Program

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing cooperation among nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States. As one of the world’s leading think tanks specializing in international affairs, CEIP conducts programs of research, discussion, publication and education.

The CEIP Junior Fellows Program is designed to provide a substantive work experience for students who have serious career interests in the area of international affairs. Approximately 8-10 students will be selected to work at the CEIP in Washington, DC on a full-time basis for a period of one year.

Applications are accepted only from graduating college seniors or individuals who have graduated within the past academic year. No one will be considered who has started graduate studies. Applicants should have completed a significant amount of course work in international affairs, political science, economics, history or Russian, Chinese or Middle East studies.

All application materials must be received by the Office of Experiential Learning (OEL) no later than 12pm on Friday December 14, 2007. The OEL will send the materials to the Washington, DC. Finalists in the selection will be invited for personal interviews in spring 2008. The selection of the Junior Fellows for 2008 will be made no later than April 15. All fellowships begin on August 1, 2008. Junior Fellows are responsible for their own housing.

The monthly salary is $2,916.66 subject to federal, state, and local taxes. Benefits include medical, dental, and life insurance as well as vacation leave. A $500.00 allowance (less taxes) will be given to individuals relocating to the Washington, DC area.

Below you will find the link to a webpage with more information, as well as application materials:

Sarah Kerin
Information and Events Coordinator
Office of Experiential Learning
The University of Pittsburgh
B-4 Thaw Hall

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner