Faculty Fellows

Meet our 2022-2023 Pitt Faculty Fellows!

Marcie Persyn Classics

Marcie Gwen Persyn received her PhD in Classical Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2019, and currently holds the position of Lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Classics. Her research examines cultural, literary, and linguistic exchanges evident within Roman literature of the late Republic, centering on the presence of multilingualism and multiculturalism evident within the poetic fragments of this time period. Her recent publications include: “Lucilius Philosophos? Manipulation of Greek Philosophy in the Early Roman Satires.” Classical Outlook 93.5 and “Which the Greeks Call…”: The Rhetoric of Code-switching in De Architectura 3.1.” Classical World (forthcoming). Persyn will analyze the textual history of the poet Lucilius, a ground-breaking literary figure whose 30-book Satires established the genre of Roman satire yet now survives only as a mere fifteen-hundred scattered fragments. She will explore the fate of Lucilius’ earliest works, tracing evidence of their earliest transmission in order to determine how early the first Roman satirist fell out of circulation. Most of all, Persyn will consider anew the revolutionary potential that fragments had within the ancient Roman context, analyzing the fragmentation process itself as not simply a matter of attrition, but also of innovation and ultimately resurrection. 

John Walsh French & Italian

John Patrick Walsh is Associate Professor in the Department of French and Italian. His teaching and research take shape at the intersection of Caribbean Studies, especially the literature and history of Haiti, Francophone African Literature, and the Environmental Humanities. He is the author of two books: Free and French in the Caribbean: Toussaint Louverture, Aimé Césaire, and Narratives of Loyal Opposition (Indiana UP, 2013) and Migration and Refuge: An Eco-Archive of Haitian Literature, 1982-2017, (Liverpool UP, 2019). He is currently at work on a third book project on urban imaginaries and climate fictions around the Global South. Walsh aims to write an article on Atlantique, by the Franco-Senegalese filmmaker, Mati Diop. The article will be a part of a chapter of a current book project, “Dérèglements: Climate Fictions of the Global South.” Atlantique is a climate fiction that decries the deaths of the Senegalese who attempt the perilous migration to Europe. The film portrays laborers who toil in Diamniadio, the lavish urban centerpiece of President Macky Sall’s vision for “Emerging Senegal.” He contends that the film’s focus on inequality and changing climates, seen in overlapping shots of unfinished construction sites, urban sprawl, and the shoreline casts doubt on the gleaming project of Diamniadio.

Barbara Weissberger Studio Arts

Barbara Weissberger was born in New Jersey, lived in San Francisco and New York before moving to Pittsburgh. Awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, national and international artist residencies including MacDowell, Yaddo, Ucross, VCCA, Camargo and Bogliasco, and the Drawing Center’s Open Sessions. Exhibitions include such venues as Silver Eye, PS1/MoMA, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, The Drawing Center, The Mattress Factory, ADA Gallery, and The Missoula Art Museum. Collaborations include: choreographer Staycee Pearl, composer Eric Moe, and an ongoing collaboration with visual artist Eleanor Aldrich, ALDRICH+WEISSBERGER. Her improvisational photographs, photo quilts and soft sculptures are concerned with bodies, perception, and sensation. When things break down, fragmentation occurs. I will research the anxieties of the fragment and the reconfiguration and reassembling of fragments as a restorative gesture. This will take the form of a series of large-scale photographic textiles, sewn collages pieced from fabrics printed with my staged photographs, and old clothing. Creation and destruction, linked parts of the artist’s work, both produce and use fragments. Natural disaster, war, and social upheaval all produce fragmentation. Linda Nochlin calls the fragment a metaphor for modernity, it marks a “loss of wholeness, a shattering of connection, a destruction or disintegration of permanent value…” In other words, breakdown. The work of my proposal will embody this theme. Intact materials will be broken down and reassembled, physically manifesting breakdown and wondering if new assemblages constitute repair.

See past fellows: