University of Pittsburgh


Faculty Seminar

Every year during the week after Pitt's commencement, a distinguished short-term fellow will lead a seminar for Pitt faculty on a topic of wide interest that cuts across departments and disciplines. As space permits, graduate students and faculty members from other local institutions may also participate.

Spring 2012 Seminar

From April 30-May 4, 2012, Wai Chee Dimock, the William Lampson Professor of English and American Studies at Yale, will lead a seminar, titled “American Literature in the World.” Detailed information will be circulated in fall term.

American literature in the world explores the different ways this familiar corpus might be opened up, mapped against a larger horizon: as institutions of print; as vernacular pathways accompanying the migrations of human bodies; as the commingling as well as the conflict of faiths; and as the spreading and remixing of genres and media.  It is impossible to read the work of Washington Irving and Mark Twain, Gertrude Stein and Langston Hughes, Junot Diaz and Edwidge Danticat, Dave Eggers and Jhumpa Lahiri without seeing that, for all these authors, the reference frame isn't solely the United States, but a larger, looser, more tangled set of coordinates, populated by generational sagas, memories of war; the sounds of spoken tongues; the taste and smell of foods and spices.  This seminar explores the worldly dimensions of American literature across several scales, from macro history to the small details of sensory input and psychic life.

Wai Chee Dimock's university Web site

May Faculty Seminar Reading List

May Faculty Seminar Sequence of Readings

Spring 2011 Semiar

From May 2-6, 2011, George Lipsitz, Professor in the Department of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, led a seminar, titled “Music, Race, and Place.”

Spring 2010 Seminar

From May 3-7, 2010, Bruce Robbins, Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, led the first seminar, titled “Rethinking Cosmopolitanism.”