Senior Faculty Fellow 2018-2019
David Marshall is an intellectual historian focusing on the period since about 1500. Early in his career, his research was concentrated on texts and contexts around the Italian thinker Giambattista Vico, and that research produced Vico and the Transformation of Rhetoric in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2010). Following that book, he pivoted to twentieth-century German materials, and he recently finished a second book, The Weimar Origins of Rhetorical Theory (Chicago, forthcoming). Trained as a historian, Marshall migrated disciplines twice, first as an Assistant Professor of Humanities at Kettering University between 2006 and 2013 and then as a historian and theorist of rhetoric in the Department of Communication at Pitt since 2013. He is committed to working in a number of different disciplinary traditions, and his next research project focuses on a tradition of inquiry running through the art historian and art theorist Aby Warburg, a tradition that stretches from early modern artifacts to contemporary computational domains.
As a Senior Fellow in the Humanities Center, David has seeded the Creativities project, which bring together thinkers and makers from a wide variety of fields to examine the character, process, and societal impact of creativity in the twenty-first century. In an age in which “creativity” is a buzzword that extends well beyond the arts, the Creativities Project asks questions about the role of creative practice in our political economy: whose labor is recognized, in what forms is it compensated, how do intellectual property and citation practices structure such recognition, and what choices are we making about legal and cultural infrastructures that render some forms of creative production valuable or legible and others valueless or invisible?
To answer these questions requires us to renew investigations of creativity in light of changing practices in music, writing, and the visual arts, as well as the sciences, law, and business. On account of its historical contingency, examining creativity in its contemporary moment also entails historical inquiry into its origins. Those investigations are the objects and subject of the Creativities Project.
The Creativities Project emerges from interdisciplinary conversations. Contested concepts and competing theories on creativity’s array of practices emerge from this dialogue. Theoretically, investigating contemporary creativity stimulates conversation about how individuals, groups, and objects generate new and salient matter. Pragmatically, the results of these investigations can guide industry actors, academic and cultural institutions, law, and public policy that shape how people work and live. The Creativities Project aims to convene conversations and experiences that push us to understand and practice the concept of creativity in ways that are better suited to our contemporary moment.
Past Senior Faculty Fellows
Adam Lowenstein is Professor of English and Film/Media Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Dreaming of Cinema: Spectatorship, Surrealism, and the Age of Digital Media (Columbia University Press, 2015) and Shocking Representation: Historical Trauma, National Cinema, and the Modern Horror Film(Columbia University Press, 2005). His essays on topics as diverse as Alfred Hitchcock, Japanese cinema, the art film, David Cronenberg, and Ben Wheatley have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. He has been interviewed on issues of cinema and culture in The New York Times and in Adam Simon’s documentary The American Nightmare.
As a Senior Fellow in the Humanities Center, Adam has organized a number of special events focused on the 50th anniversary of the landmark independent American horror film Night of the Living Dead (1968) and the career of its Pittsburgh-based director, the late George A. Romero. “The Legacies of George A. Romero: Genre, Politics, and Independent Film” was a two-day symposium co-sponsored with the Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Museum of Art. It brought the filmmakers Peggy Ahwesh and Adam Simon, along with the scholars Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare, Tom Gunning, Joan Hawkins, Isabel Pinedo, and Kristopher Woofter to Pittsburgh for screenings and discussions. “Reflections on Romero” assembled a distinguished group of Romero’s key creative collaborators – actors, artists, writers, and family members – to speak about the significance of the director’s work across all phases of his long career. Additional Romero-related programming includes visits from the philosopher Noël Carroll and the art historian Maria Loh, along with collaborations involving Pitt’s University Art Gallery and Center for African American Poetry and Poetics.
Adam also serves on the steering committee for Romero Lives: Pittsburgh Celebrates George A. Romero (www.romerolives.net), an ongoing city-wide tribute to the director with participants ranging across universities, museums, small businesses, the George A. Romero Foundation, and the Office of the Mayor. The tribute launched officially on October 1, 2018, precisely 50 years to the day since Night of the Living Dead had its Pittsburgh premiere. In a press conference, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto proclaimed this date “George A. Romero Day.” Romero Lives events have attracted widespread coverage in both the local and national news media.
Jennifer Whiting (Ph.D. Cornell) taught at Pittsburgh from 1986-97 and rejoined the department in 2015. She has also taught at Harvard, Cornell, and the University of Toronto (where she was Chancellor Jackman Professor of Philosophy). She has been a fellow at Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and Cornell's Society for Humanities; the recipient of ACLS and Howard Foundation fellowships, as well as several NEH grants (including one, with Steve Engstrom, for the conference that resulted in their co-edited volume Aristotle, Kant and the Stoics, Rethinking Happiness and Duty; and one, with Rutgers psychologist Louis Sass, to run a summer institute on Mind, Self, and Psychopathology); and winner of the Humboldt Stiftung's Konrad Adenauer Prize. Though her teaching interests range widely -- including at times philosophy of literature and feminist philosophy -- she has published primarily in ancient philosophy (especially Aristotle) and contemporary moral psychology. Three volumes of her papers are forthcoming with Oxford University Press (USA):  First, Second, and Other Selves: Essays on Friendship and Personal Identity (Oxford);  Thinking and Acting Together: Essays on Aristotle's Ethics; and  Body and Soul: Essays on Aristotle's Hylomorphism.