University of Pittsburgh

Program

Humanities Conference


The Humanities Center at the University of Pittsburgh held its inaugural Conference Friday-Saturday, November 13-14, 2009, in the Frick Fine Arts Center Auditorium.

The topic was “Humanities in a Time of Crisis.” Speakers addressed this general focus of concern through particular attention by some to the United States, and by others to the world at large, the university, or the internal dynamics of disciplines.

The format was four speakers presenting 30-minute provocations, followed in each case by a panel discussion and then wider discussion from the floor. Panelists included invited guests, current Fellows of the Center, and current and past members of the Advisory Committee of the Center.

Speakers:

  • Amanda Anderson (Donovan Professor of English, the Johns Hopkins University and Director of the School of Criticism and Theory)
  • Jonathan Arac (Mellon Professor of English and Director of the Humanities Center at the University of Pittsburgh)
  • Akeel Bilgrami (Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University)
  • Marica Tacconi (Professor of Musicology and Director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, Pennsylvania State University)

Other invited guests:

  • Robert Gibbs (Professor of Philosophy and Director, Jackman Center for the Humanities, University of Toronto)
  • Geoffrey Galt Harpham (Director, National Humanities Center)
  • David Shumway (Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies and Director of the Humanities Center, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Kathleen Woodward (Professor of English and Director of the Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington)

Schedule:

“Humanities in Crisis” Conference, Friday Nov. 13 and Saturday Nov. 14, 2010 

Inaugural Conference of the Humanities Center at the University of Pittsburgh 

Friday, Nov 13: Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

4:00 Opening Remarks, John Cooper, Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean of Arts of Sciences 

4:15 Paper: “'This Will Kill That': Critical Points in Media Ecology," Jonathan Arac (Director of the Humanities Center, English),  

4:45 Responses and discussion from floor

Responses from John Beverley (Hispanic) and Geoffrey Harpham (National Humanities Center)

Session Chair: Adam Lowenstein (English/Film) 

6:00 Wine and Cheese Reception

Saturday, Nov 14 

Morning session in Babcock Room (40th Floor, Cathedral of Learning) 

9:30 Coffee 

10:00 Welcome, Jonathan Arac 

10:10 Paper: “Integration and Collaboration in a Time of Crisis: Perspectives from a Humanities Research Institute,” Marica Tacconi (Penn State) 

10:40 Responses and discussion from floor

Responses from Giuseppina Mecchia (French and Italian/Cultural Studies) and Kathleen Woodward (UWashington)

Session chair: Joshua Lund (Hispanic)

11:45—1:30   Lunch break 

Afternoon sessions in Frick Fine Arts Auditorium 

1:30 Paper: “Explaining the Humanities,”Amanda Anderson (Johns Hopkins)  

2:00 Responses and discussion from floor

Responses from Kieran Setiya (Philosophy) and David Shumway (Carnegie Mellon)

Session Chair: Jerome Branche (Hispanic) 

3:00 Coffee  

3:30 Paper: “Value, Agency, and the Disciplines: A Genealogical Essay,” Akeel Bilgrami (Columbia)  

4:00 Responses and discussion from floor

Responses from Terry Smith (History of Art and Architecture) and Robert Gibbs (Toronto)

Session Chair: Lara Putnam (History)