African Studies Book Club: “His Only Wife” by Peace Adzo Medie, a Pitt African Studies alumna
Noon-1:30 p.m. Feb. 5
The African Studies Book Club will discuss “His Only Wife” by Peace Adzo Medie, a Pitt African Studies alumna and advocate for women's rights. The book follows Afi Tekple, a young seamstress in Ghana, who agrees to marry a wealthy man she doesn’t know. Afi is not prepared for the shift her life takes when she is moved from her small hometown of Ho to live in Accra, Ghana’s gleaming capital, where she has days of nothing to do but cook meals for a man who may or may not show up to eat them. She has agreed to this marriage in order to give her mother the financial security she desperately needs, and so she must see it through. Or maybe not? Register here.
“Authors and Anecdotes” Book Club with Caroline Kim, 2020 Drue Heinz Literary Prize winner for “The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories”
Noon, Feb. 11
Caroline Kim book explores what it means to be human through the Korean diaspora. Kim’s wide-ranging stories explore themes of culture, communication, travel and family. Ultimately, what unites these characters in the book across time and distance is their longing for human connection and a search for the place — or people — that will feel like home. Click here to learn more about “The Prince of Moral Thoughts and Other Stories”, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Five random attendees will receive a free copy of the book. Participants must register for this event.
“The Life of a Pest: An Ethnography of Biological Invasion in Mexico” (University of California Press, 2020), by Emily Wanderer, assistant professor, Department of Anthropology
“The Life of a Pest” tracks the work practices of scientists in Mexico as they study flora and fauna at scales ranging from microscopic to ecosystemic. Amid concerns about climate change, infectious disease outbreaks, and biotechnology, scientists in Mexico have expanded the focus of biopolitics and biosecurity, looking beyond threats to human life to include threats to the animal, plant, and microbial worlds. Emily Wanderer outlines how concerns about biosecurity are leading scientists to identify populations and life-forms either as worthy of saving or as “pests” in need of elimination. Moving from high security labs where scientists study infectious diseases, to offices where ecologists regulate the use of genetically modified organisms, to remote islands where conservationists eradicate invasive species, Wanderer explores how scientific research informs, and is informed by, concepts of nation.