Jonathan Arac returned to Pitt in 2006 as Andrew Mellon Professor of English after five years at Columbia University, where he served as a department chair. Since 1979, he has served on the editorial group of boundary 2, an international journal of literature and culture edited at the University of Pittsburgh, and since 2001 he has chaired the Advisory Committee for the Successful Societies Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He is the author of six books and many essays on American and British literature. He has also edited six volumes of original essays by many hands on topics in criticism and theory. His current work focuses especially on the novel in the United States and on questions of language in American writing.
Through his experiences at other institutions, Professor Arac has seen the benefits a humanities center brings to university faculty. It offers a showcase to honor and to disseminate the most exciting and innovative work, and by this means it inspires and strengthens ongoing projects.
Brent Malin is Associate Professor of Communication and Affiliate Faculty in the Cultural Studies Program. He studies media history, theory, and criticism with concentrations in cultural studies, critical theory, intellectual history, technology studies, and the rhetoric of inquiry. His research covers a range of contemporary and historical topics in order to understand the myriad ways in which people's identities are constituted by and through the media. Malin's first book, American Masculinity Under Clinton: Popular Media and the Nineties "Crisis of Masculinity", explores conceptions of masculinity offered by a wide range of sources from the 1990s and early 21st century. His second book, Feeling Mediated: A History of Media Technology and Emotion in America, investigates how new developments in communication technology change how people think about emotion. Focusing primarily on the early 20th century U.S., and exploring such diverse technologies as radio and the psycho-galvanometer, this book demonstrates how a set of assumptions about emotion came to dominate popular and academic thinking about the media, as well as how these assumptions continue to shape our understanding of communication. His articles have appeared in such national and international journals as Media, Culture & Society, Technology & Culture, Communication Theory, Media History, New Media & Society, Journal of Social History, Explorations in Media Ecology, the Quarterly Journal of Speech, and the Journal of Communication Inquiry. In addition to his teaching at Pitt, Malin has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Iowa, St. Olaf College, Allegheny College, and San Francisco State University.