Tuesday, March 25, 2008

April 2: Lecture "Ritual and the Spectator"

Program for Cultural Studies


Departments of Religious Studies and Theatre Arts


_Dennis Kennedy_
Beckett Professor of Drama Emeritus in Trinity College Dublin

_Assisting belief: ritual and the spectator_

Cathedral of Learning 142 (Yugoslav Room) at 5.00 pm Free and open to the public

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

The dominant approach to ritual in performance studies was established by Richard Schechner under the influence of the anthropologist Victor Turner.
Through the concepts of "efficacy" and "restored behavior," Schechner emphasized ritual as a performative action, that is, an action whose value depends on the proper expression of the behavior, "despite the duplicity, or worse, of those undertaking them." What happens when a participant does believe? How does belief affect the experience of attending a performance of any type? This talk investigates the relationship of belief and the spectator through two religious rituals: teyyam from Kerala (a divine-possession performance) and the Christian eucharist (a divine-appearance performance).

Dennis Kennedy is Beckett Professor of Drama Emeritus in Trinity College Dublin. His books include The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance; Looking at Shakespeare: a visual history of twentieth-century performance; Foreign Shakespeare; and Granville Barker and the Dream of Theatre. The Spectator and the Spectacle: audiences in modernity and postmodernity is due in 2008 from Cambridge, and Shakespeare and the Director in 2009 from Oxford. He has held distinguished visiting professorships at the Chinese Central Academy of Drama, the National University of Singapore, the Salzburg Seminar, McMaster University, the University of Victoria, the University of Wisconsin, and in 2008 at UCSB.
He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and Academia Europaea. He is also a professional playwright and dramaturg. In the last few years he directed As You Like It in Beijing, The Caucasian Chalk Circle in Dublin, and is currently preparing to direct The Merchant of Venice in a collaboration with the Estonian scenographer Lilja Blumenfeld.

Medieval and Renaissance Studies Essay Contest

The University of Pittsburgh Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program is pleased to announce a new annual award for


$500 in prize money will be awarded!

Papers written for an undergraduate course in any discipline are eligible as long as they focus on topics concerning the medieval and/or early modern periods. The relevant dates might extend from the 7th century through the 17th. Papers should be between 8 and 15 pages.

Please turn in three copies by 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 10th to the mailbox of Professor Jennifer Waldron. The mailbox is located in CL 501, on the right as you go in. Include a cover sheet with the following information: 1) your name, 2) title of paper 3) course name and semester taken, and 4) instructor’s name. Note that only the title of your paper (not your name or the course name) should appear in the body of the paper.

Questions? Please contact MRST Director Jennifer Waldron (jwaldron@pitt.edu)

Monday, March 24, 2008

March 27: Medieval and Renaissance Studies Lecture

The University of Pittsburgh Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program

(Professor Emerita of History, City University of New York)

"Was Jesus' Foster-Father a Martyr?
Constructing the Death of Joseph the Carpenter"

Thursday, March 27th at 4:00
The University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning, Room 501

The death of Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary and foster-father of
Jesus, goes without mention in canonical texts, leaving a gap that
intrigued some medieval writers and artists. This paper examines their
attempts to complete the shape of Joseph's life, especially the
construction of Joseph as a martyr.

Pamela Sheingorn is Professor Emerita of History at Baruch College and
Professor Emerita of History and Theatre at The Graduate Center, both part
of the City University of New York. She specializes in the European
Middle Ages, especially in visual, cultural, and women's history. Her
research areas include hagiography, drama, and visual culture. Her most
recent books include: Myth, Montage, and the Visible in Late Medieval
Manuscript Culture: Christine de Pizan's Epistre Othea (2003, co-authored
with Marilynn Desmond), and Writing Faith: Text, Sign, and History in the
Miracles of Sainte Foy (1999, co-authored with Kathleen Ashley). Her
current research projects focus on representations of the late medieval
family, medieval masculinities, a cultural history of Joseph the
Carpenter, and illuminations in medieval drama manuscripts.

An open reception will follow the talk, which is generously co-sponsored
by the Department of Religious Studies and the Department of History.

Questions? Please contact MRST Director Jennifer Waldron

Sunday, March 23, 2008

ESSAY & PHOTO CONTEST: China in My Eyes – Entry Deadline 4/15/08

The members of Lenovo Project IMUSE 2008, a non-profit program founded by a group of Harvard students and sponsored by Lenovo Computers, would like to inform you of a national essay contest open to all North American undergraduates. Officially approved by the Beijing Olympics Committee and supported by the Harvard Asia Center, IMUSE has designed the "China in My Eyes" creative work competition to encourage individual students to share their own views on modern China either in an essay or through photography.

A group of university professors on IMUSE's advisory board will select winners who may choose between two grand prizes: an all-expenses-paid two-week trip to Beijing and the opportunity to work as specially trained 2008 Beijing Olympics volunteers before and during the Olympics, or a new Lenovo laptop .

There is no cost to apply. Electronic submission ends at midnight on April 15th, 2008. More details about this competition and IMUSE 2008 may be found at: http://www.imuse2008.org/competition.php

Teaching Opportunity in China

Yearlong volunteer teaching opportunity in China with WorldTeach!

Since 2003, WorldTeach has partnered with the Hunan Provincial Education Department to bring volunteer English teachers into the Province's public schools in south central China, giving students from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds the opportunity to learn from a native English speaker. Volunteers will build students' confidence in English through creative, orally-focused English lessons.

Among the benefits volunteers receive are a living stipend, health insurance, and extensive in-country training and support. Successful volunteers are flexible, mature, and genuinely interested in teaching, but Chinese language ability and teaching qualifications are not required. To learn more about this great opportunity visit http://www.worldteach.org/programs/china_year/.

Apply for this experience of a lifetime! You can do so at: http://www.worldteach.org/apply. Applications are due on April 15 for an early August departure. Please contact us at info@worldteach.org with any questions. We hope to see you in China in 2008!

WorldTeach Recruiting
c/o Center for International Development
Harvard University
79 John F. Kennedy St., Box 122
Cambridge, MA 02138, USA


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Registration Note: Religions of the West

10 seats in the 11 am recitation and the 1 pm recitation under the RELGST 0105 # are being held back for freshmen (along with 20 seats in the RELGST 0105 lecture).

If you want to register for the 11 am or 1 pm recitation, register with the HIST 0125 CRN for both the lecture and the recitation.

And yes, HIST 0125 counts for the major just as much as RELGST 0105. (See previous post about cross-listing.)

Registration Note: Religious Studies 1903

We had a technical glitch on Wednesday and Religious Studies 1903 now has a different CRN: 34954.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

March 21: Info Session on Study Abroad in Korea


Information Session--Konkuk University Summer Study in Korea Information Session
12:00 p.m. (p.m.)- 1:00 p.m.
WWPH 4130

Learn about Summer 2008 study abroad opportunities at Korea's Konkuk University during this information session. Summer program applications are due Friday, March 28, 2008 - applications and more information can be found on the Asian Studies Center website at http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/asc/konkuk.html! For more information, contact Dr. Ebru Turker - turker@pitt.edu
Sponsored by: Asian Studies Center, Study Abroad Office, Dept. of East Asian Languages & Literatures

March 27: Lecture: Rhetoric of Vision in the New Testament

Dr. Edith Humphrey
William F. Orr
Professor of New Testament,
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Speaking on her Book:
“And I Turned to See the Voice: The Rhetoric of Vision in the New Testament”

Dr. Bogdan Bucur
Assistant Professor of Theology,
Duquesne University, Department of Theology

Please join us on
Thursday, March 27th
4:30 -6:00
in the John Knox Room
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
followed by dinner and discussion from 6:00-7:30 in the Seminary Cafeteria
RSVP to Brandon Locke at blocke@pts.edu by March 21
PTS students, dinner is $5.00;
Guests from other schools please join us for a free meal

Questions Please Contact: lscott@pts.edu

March 25: Reading by Joshua Cohen

Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and
the Pittsburgh Jewish-Israeli Film Festival present
a reading of the acclaimed new novel,
A Heaven of Others

by one of contemporary literature’s leading young voices,
Joshua Cohen

"A breathless flight of controlled delirium,
an exquisitely blasphemous tour of an afterlife where
earth's dominion, in all its terror and glory, trumps the miraculous and overturns the world to come... It's a brave book that should earn its young author the reader's profound and enduring admiration."
-- Steve Stern, author of The Angel of Forgetfulness

Tuesday, March 25th @ 7:30pm
Kiva Han Café South Craig Street
FREE Admission light refreshments

Cosponsored by Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh and the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh

March 24: Lecture: "Differences Among Dalit Women"

Women’s Studies Program

Brown Bag Lecture Series

“Differences among Dalit Women: Intersections of Gender with Ethnicity, Occupation, and Community."

Sambriddhi Kharel

Doctoral candidate, Sociology, and recipient of Women’s Studies Research fund

The research examines the differences in women's status and meanings of gender across occupational and ethnic communities among Dalits in Nepal. Where ownership and occupation are male-dominated, women are more dependent and enjoy less autonomy and suffer more inequality. The impact of religious casteism also determines the autonomy and inequality experienced by women, with some ethnic groups having more rigid systems of religious adherence. Finally, some anecdotal references will be made to how individual female Dalit leaders, who move beyond the everyday worlds of the majority of respondents, are forced to negotiate multiple and sometimes conflicting levels of identity.

Monday, March 24
2201 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
For more information on this and other events on our calendar, please call: 412-624-6485, email: wstudies@pitt.edu
or visit our website: http://www.pitt.edu/~wstudies

Monday, March 17, 2008

Reminder: Advising and Registration

Advising Appointments are available by signing up on the sheets outside my office door, 2603 CL.

Registration for the fall begins Thursday for seniors and Monday for everyone else. Summar registration is on-going.

March 27: Lecture: Liberal Democratization in the Muslim World

Dr. Merve Kavakci will be giving a lecture on Liberal Democratization in the Muslim World: A hope or A Futility in the Prospects?

Date: Thursday, March 27th
Time: 6.30pm-- Refreshments served.
7.00pm--Lecture begins.
Place: Dining Room A (1st Floor) William Pitt Union, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Merve Kavakci is a Lecturer of International Affairs at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. She is a consultant for US Congress Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, a columnist for Turkish daily Vakit newspaper. Prior to her academic career she served as the head of foreign affairs of Welfare-Virtue Party's Women's Commission. Kavakci was elected to the Turkish Parliament, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in 1999. However she was prevented from serving her term due to her headscarf. Kavakci's political party was closed down, her Turkish citizenship was revoked, banning her from politics for a period of five years. She took her case to European Court of Human Rights and won in 2007.

For more info about her: http://www.mervekavakci.net/icsayfa/biography.asp

For more info about the event: e-mail pittmsa@gmail.com or
check out our Website: http://www.pitt.edu/~sorc/muslim/announcements.htm

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fall Course Descriptions now on-line

From the Advising Center:
"The fall 2091 course offerings are now available at www.courses.as.pitt.edu. Some descriptions in Arts and Sciences are still in progress and we expect ongoing changes as usual."

Don't forget to check Peoplesoft for the most complete information.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Summer Yiddish Program in Lithuania

The 2008 Vilnius Summer Program in Yiddish

Vilnius, Lithuania; 7/27/2008 - 8/22/2008

The four-week annual European Summer Program in Yiddish was founded by Professor Dovid Katz at Oxford in 1982 and transferred to Vilnius in 1998. Since 2001, it has been an integral part of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute at Vilnius University. The program is internationally known for superb academic instruction and a rich program of cultural events. An unmatchable flavor derives from its location in the heart of the city famed in history as the Jerusalem of Lithuania. The program offers four courses in Yiddish language and literature, ranging from beginners to advanced. The cultural program offers a broad array of activities designed to acquaint participants with modern Yiddish civilization. This year the Summer Program celebrates its 10th anniversary in Vilnius. Join us!

For further information, please contact:
mailto:Loreta Paukstyte at summer@judaicvilnius.com

A Reminder About Cross-Listed Courses

When you take a cross-listed course, any section of the course fulfills any
requirement that any other section of the course requires. It is the same
course. This is the definition of cross-listing. Please repeat that to 10
of your fellow undergraduates and ask them to repeat it to 10 others.

Summer School on Jewish Identity in Czech Republic

Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic
Department of Sociology

Summer School Seminar
Course 2008

Vision,Culture,& Identity
July 1 – 10, 2008

*Seminar is taught in English at both undergraduate and graduate levels

Czech Visual Culture:
Negotiating Modernity Through Photography
Jewish Identity In Central Europe:
Post-holocaust Narratives
The Past Through The Present:
Memorizing Communism In Post-communist Film
The Symbolic Power Of Resentment:
Identities And Memories In Central Europe

Seminar Fee: 550 US Dollars / 375 Euros
(accommodation from July 1 -10 is included in fees)

JUNE 1, 2008
Contact Information:
Laura Anne Bunt, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology,
Masaryk University
Joˇ stova 10, Brno 60200, Czech Republic
Email: bunt@fss.muni.cz
Phone: +420 775 197 200

Indian Philosophy Conference: Call for Papers

Not sure if undergraduates are eligible for this, but since it was sent to me, I am posting it to the blog. AS

JANUARY 6-9, 2009
Bethany College, West Virginia

Call for Papers
Deadline: April 10, 2008

Topic: Self, Identity and Culture: East and West

Some Suggested Topics: Self and Personal Identity, Artificial Intelligence, Qualitative Aspects of Consciousness, Phenomenology of Consciousness, Theory of Action and Agency, Time Consciousness and Memory, Self Consciousness and Language, Consciousness, Knowledge and Reality, Social and Political Dimensions of Consciousness, Ethics, Alterity and the Phenomenology of Obligation, Technology and Consciousness, Consciousness of Self and Others, Imagination, Dreaming and Altered States of Consciousness, Consciousness and Cognition, Physicalist/reductive vs. Non-physical/non-reductive Accounts of Consciousness, Atomistic and Holistic Aspects of Consciousness, Mediations of Consciousness: Race, Gender and Ethnicity, Post-modern Selfhood, Relativism and Absolutism, Cultural Relativism, Singularity of Culture, Culture and Hermeneutics, Text and Interpretation, Sociology of Knowledge, Reductionist Theory, Empirical Self and Transcendental Self, Cultural Self, Self, Culture and Globalization, Tradition and Modernity, Dualism, Parallelism, Materialism, Split Personality, Individualism and Collectivism, Society, Culture and Religion, Personal Immortality, Cybernic Immortality, Immortality and Freedom, Yoga and Self realization, Atman and Brahman, Self-Consciousness and Identity, Consciousness and Unconsciousness, Cultural Relativism, Deconstructionism, Culture and Meaning. Selected papers from the conference will be published (subject to editorial review) in a special volume of the Journal of Indian of Indian Philosophy & Religion.

The Advisory Board Comprises: Kisor K. Chakrabarti (USA), Kate Bemis (USA), Wayne Borody (Canada) Thomas Brooke (UK), Linda B. Elder (USA), Ashoke Kumar Ganguly (India), Gordon Haist (USA), Laurent Metzer(France) Isaac Nevo (Israel), David Rose (UK), G.T.Smith (USA), Andrew Ward (UK), Bill Wyllie (UK)

Special arrangements have been made with local hotels for a limited number of hotels at a special conference rate.
There will be also two trips for conference participants and
interested scholars before and after the conference. “Encounter India” program will be offered before and after the conference. Kindly visit our web page for details. Detail information about publication of papers, hotel booking, registration, pre-conference and post-conference trip will be available on January 25, 2008.In addition to the main program, the meeting will also host book launches, artistic and cultural activities, exhibitions, plenty of space and opportunity for informal networking and alliance building.

If you are interested to submit a paper proposal, please send by email an abstract (150 words) by April 10, 2008. Please include title of your paper, Full Name, Current affiliation, phone number and an email address. If you want to participate without presenting a paper, i.e., chair a session; organize a panel, conduct a round table session or any other offer please get in touch with Dr. Chandana Chakrabarti, Director Center for Spirituality, Ethics and Global Awareness, PO Box M, Bethany, WV 26032
Email: cchakrabarti@bethanywv.edu; cchakrabarti@yPhone: 304-829-752, Fax: 304-829-7926


The Society for Indian Philosophy and Religion has commenced publishing the Journal on Indian Philosophy and Religion annually from Fall, 1996. The Journal covers the wide range of philosophies and religions which are indigenous to South Asia. It includes scholarly work of comparative and critical studies of Eastern and Western philosophies and religions. The journal also includes sections on discussion articles and book reviews.
The Chief Editor: Kisor K Chakrabarti (USA). The editorial Board includes: Karuna Bhattacharyya (India), Ashoke Ganguly (India), Jay Garfield (USA)), Steve Laylock (USA), J. N. Mohanty (USA), Steven Phillips (USA), Karl Potter (USA), Sukharanjan Saha (India), J. L. Shaw (New Zealand), and Mark Siderits (USA).
Scholars interested in submitting manuscripts may kindly contact: Dr. Chandana Chakrabarti, Society for Indian Philosophy &Religion, PO Box M, Bethany, USA. E-Mail cchakrabarti@bethanywv.edu or cchakrabarti@yahoo.com Phone: 304-829-4261. Individual Journal Subscription: $25.00. Institution: $55.00.
Checks should be made payable to Society for Indian Philosophy and Religion. All inquiries, payments, and manuscripts should be mailed to the Associate Editor: Chandana Chakrabarti, Society for Indian Philosophy & Religion, Po Box M, Bethany, West Virginia 26032, USA.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

March 17: Lecture: The Renaissance Interpretation of Dreams

Meredith Howland Pyne Professor of French
Princeton University

"Rabelais and the Renaissance Interpretation of Dreams"

Monday, March 17th at 4:00 p.m.
Cathedral of Learning, room 501

In the enormous corpus of classical, medieval and early modern writings
about the interpretation of dreams, the questions of truth and falsehood,
predictability and indeterminacy, are recurring concerns: under what
conditions are nocturnal visions prophetic or deceitful? are they inspired
by God or by the Devil, by longings for certainty or by the power of our
earthly desires? can they tell us something about our own future or are they
simply the product of our fertile imagination? Many early modern books tried
to address these questions in a various ways and different genres. As a
literary critic, Francois Rigolot will turn to Francois Rabelais's fiction,
and analyze the representation of an exemplary dream, which may shed at
least some light in a comic way on a larger issue: the problematic
interpretation of dreams during the Renaissance.

François Rigolot is an authority on stylistics and poetics and on the
literature of the Renaissance. Of his many publications, some of the more
recent include his critical edition of Montaigne's Journal de voyage, based
on a newly discovered manuscript (Presses Universitaires de France, 1992), a
new edition of Les Langages de Rabelais (1996), and Louise Labé Lyonnaise ou
la Renaissance au féminin (Champion, 1997), which addresses the problems of
a middle-class woman writer in the age of humanism. In 2002, he published
two books, one on the concept of "error" before Descartes (L'Erreur de la
Renaissance, published by Editions Champion), and Poésie et Renaissance
(Éditions du Seuil). His critical edition of Sainte-Beuve's Causeries sur
Montaigne was published by Éditions Champion in 2004. He is the recipient of
numerous awards, including the MLA's James Russell Lowell Prize (1990), and
in 2002 he was knighted into the Ordre National du Mérite by President
Jacques Chirac.

An open reception will follow the talk, which is generously co-sponsored by
the Department of French and Italian

Entrepreneurship Contest

The Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Association of Carnegie Mellon University is pleased to invite your school to participate in the 2008 Tepper School of Business Venture Challenge (TVC). The Tepper Venture Challenge is an annual, undergraduate-only business plan competition held at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The competition encourages entrepreneurial thinking and creativity while challenging students to strive for greater achievements.

The Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Association at Carnegie Mellon University has hosted the annual Tepper School of Business Venture Challenge ever since its inception back in 1998. The competition has been steadily growing over the years from a university based event, into a strong regional competition drawing students from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

This competition brings together undergraduate students from all majors to compete in a business plan competition. This year, we are pleased to announce that the competition's total prize money for this year has been increased to $15,000. Past winners of the Tepper Venture Challenge have included Luke Skurman, co-founder of College Prowler, which produces college guidebooks and has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN.

1st Prize: $5,000 & $5000 in Legal Services from Meyer, Unkovic &Scott.
2nd Prize: $3,000
3rd Prize: $2,000

Important Dates:
Deadline for Submission: March 24th, 2009
Finalist Presentation: April 6th, 2008

Registration and more information can be found at our website

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,
The UEA Board

Job Info

Tony Novosel, the History advisor, passes along the following e-mail:

"Wanted you to share this with you and this is for your Seniors who are in the job hunt. My sister is in HR for PrimeSource and is coming personally to do the interviews here with our students. They have targeted Pitt specifically. Last year, they offered three students positions with the company. They were from Econ, Psy and Communications. So, PLEASE share this information with all your graduating seniors!

Below is the information. I am also CCing my sister and another HR Manager, Vickie Lynch, in case you or your students have any questions.

On March 27 - ALL DAY - PrimeSource -http://www.primesourcebp.com/ A building products international company, will conduct interviews in the Career Services Center. They are recruiting for Management Trainee Positions, and they are also looking at ALL Majors. They are opening a new facility in Cleveland fro those lookign to stay close to Pittsburgh.

To register for this contact the Careers Center at: 412-648-7130 and tell them you want to register for the interviews by PrimeSource on March 27, 2008.

For more information on this company you can contact Tony Novosel pugachev@pitt.edu, as his sister is one of the recruiters."

Monday, March 03, 2008

REMINDER: Advising Appointments

Remember to sign up for an advising appointment on the sign-up sheets outside 2603 CL.

REMINDER Dept. Lecture March 5

The Department of Religious Studies
University of Pittsburgh


New Trends in Buddhism in Modern China

WEI Dedong

Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Renmin University of China
Postdoctoral Fellow, Baylor University

Wednesday, March 5, 2008
2628 Cathedral of Learning

–Refreshments served–

WEI Dedong specializes in the sociology of religion and the scientific study of religion. Among his publications in English are "The Cultural Experience of Chinese Buddhism Today" (2008), "The Social Science of Religion: Connotation and Value" (2007), "Buddhist Ecological Ideas and Practices" (2005), and "The Bailin Buddhist Temple: Thriving under Communism" (coauthored, 2005).

Cosponsored by the Asian Studies Center and China Council of the University Center for International Studies, Program in Cultural Studies, and Departments of Anthropology, History and Sociology.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner