Lecture spotlight: Soviet nuclear industry; end of life issues; and more

The fall term brings with a flurry of important lectures on campus, both from Pitt faculty and guest speakers. Here’s some you might want to catch in the next two weeks.

“Producing Power: The History of the Soviet Nuclear Industry,” with Sonja Schmid, associate professor in the Virginia Tech Department of Science, Technology and Society
4-5:30 p.m. Sept. 12, 4217 Posvar Hall

The Chernobyl disaster immediately comes to mind when we think of the Soviet nuclear industry. What about the history of Soviet nuclear power in the four decades prior? This live interview with Sonja Schmid will explore the development of the Soviet nuclear industry from the 1950s to Chernobyl to shed light on its institutional, technological, social, and political development.


“Writing and Finding Meaning in the End of Life” by physician and clinical researcher Haider Warrich
5-6:30 p.m. Sept. 16, 601 Cathedral of Learning

Warrich, associate director of heart failure at the Boston VA and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, will discuss his new book “State of the Heart: Exploring the History, Science, and Future of Cardiac Disease” (2019) and his 2017 book, “Modern Death: How Medicine Changed the End of Life.” You can hear interviews of Warrich by NPR’s Terry Gross here and here. Co-sponsored by the Humanities Center and Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology.


Anatomy of Antisemitism: Jews, Cadavers, and the Politics of Medical Discourse in East Central Europe,” by Natalia Aleksiun, professor of Modern Jewish History at the Graduate School of Jewish Studies, Touro College, New York City
Noon-2 p.m. Sept. 13, 602 Cathedral of Learning

This talk examines the conflict over dissections at European universities in the interwar period. Beginning in the early 1920s, Christian and nationalist student organizations began to demand that Jewish communities provide “Jewish bodies” for dissections as a condition for admitting Jews to medical schools. They appealed to university authorities, and the broader public for support, organized demonstrations and engaged in violence targeting Jewish medical students at universities in Austria, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. This talk explores the relationship between modernity and the antisemitic imagination, arguing that the increasing visibility of Jews in medical schools constituted a challenge not only to the nation-building aspirations of new states, but also exposed intergenerational rifts between religious and secular elites within Jewish communities themselves. Co-sponsored by the Humanities Center and Jewish Studies Program.


Larry E. Davis's Parting Lecture: “A Conversation on Race”
Noon Sept. 18, 2017 Cathedral of Learning

Center for Race and Social Problems Director Emeritus and Donald M. Henderson Professor Larry E. Davis discusses the past, present and future of race in America in this kickoff to the center’s Fall 2019 Speaker Series. After the lecture, the new Larry E. Davis Award for

Excellence in Race Research, an annual award to be given to an emerging scholar producing impactful research on race in America, will be announced No registration required; but seating is limited.