Lecture spotlight: ‘Constitution of Enslavement’; ‘Teaching Through Trauma’; ‘Will Race Always Matter?’

The Constitution of Enslavement and the Constitution of Freedom,” with William M. Carter Jr., John E. Murray faculty scholar and professor of Law
12:30-1:30 p.m. Sept. 17, online

This conversation will look at Carter’s scholarship on the 13th Amendment and the amendment’s contemporary relevance, with commentary and reflections by Professor David Harris and visiting Professor Jalila Jefferson-Bullock. Carter was as dean of the law school for six years. Prior to joining Pitt Law, he was professor of Law at the Temple University Beasley School of Law and Case Western Reserve Law School. He is a leading scholar of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

Dean Amy J. Wildermuth will present welcoming remarks and Professor Deborah Brake will moderate. Suggested pre-reading: The Second Founding and the First Amendment and A Thirteenth Amendment Framework for Combating Racial Profiling. Click to register.


“Teaching Through Trauma in the Age of COVID,” with Bridget E. Keown, lecturer in the Gender, Science, and Women's Studies program
12:30-2 p.m. Sept. 17, online

The Humanities Center welcomes Bridget Keown, who is leading the Gender and Science initiative at Pitt. Her research focuses on British and Irish women's experiences of war trauma during World War I, and how the gendered nature of trauma diagnoses influence cultural, medical and military histories. She has published on this topic, as well as on the depiction of gender and trauma in horror novels and film, and the women's rights movement in modern Irish history. Her current projects focus on trauma and kinship during the outbreak of HIV/AIDS, and the development of trauma-informed pedagogy in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19. Get details on the University calendar.


“Will Race Always Matter?” presented by Larry Davis, dean emeritus of the School of Social Work
7-8 p.m. Sept. 22, online

Larry Davis, founding director of the Center on Race and Social Problems, will present the American Experience Distinguished Lecture Series, sponsored by the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law & Public Policy and the University Honors College. Davis is a widely acclaimed author and speaker, who has addressed audiences throughout the country. In his most recent book, “Why Are They Angry With Us? Essays on Race,” he says, “Race is what I always have thought most about. In fact, I have been thinking about race as long as I can remember thinking about anything.” The event is co-sponsored by the School of Social Work, the Center on Race and Social Problems and the Institute of Politics. Register through the University calendar.


“Warsaw's Most Beloved Jew: The Prewar and Postwar Celebrity of Lopek-Krukowski,” with Beth Holmgren, professor of Polish and Russian Studies, Duke University
5:30 p.m. Sept. 24, online

This lecture examines the important role of acculturated Jewish comedians in interwar Poland’s popular culture, focusing on cabaret and film star Kazimierz Krukowski (1901-84). Krukowski regularly played a lower middle-class Jewish merchant named Lopek, who quickly became “Warsaw’s most beloved Jew” in the city's priciest cabarets. Lopek's songs, written by Jewish lyricists and composers, rendered him an ironic commentator on business woes and everyday antisemitism, and made him into Warsaw’s everyman. Holmgren addresses modern Jewish urban identity and comedy, which thrived in interwar Poland, and she asks to what extent those Jewish writers and actors shaped a legacy for the communist period as well. This program is sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program, the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, the Department of Theatre Arts, and the Film and Media Studies Program. Register here.