Briefly Noted

Issue Date: 
March 26, 2007

PITT ARTS Presenting Concert By Chilean Classical Guitarist

PITT ARTS, the Pitt program that introduces students to the city’s cultural life, is presenting Chilean classical guitarist Carlos Pérez in a free public concert at 8 p.m. April 5 in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. Pérez will perform a program featuring the music of the late Antonio Lauro and other Latin American composers. For more information, call 412-624-4498.

Prior to the concert, at 7:45 p.m., Alejandro Bruzual, a Pitt doctoral student in Hispanic Languages and Literatures and author of The Guitar in Venezuela/A Concise History to the End of the 20th Century (Doberman-Yppan, 2005), will conduct a discussion from the stage about Antonio Lauro, a Venezuelan guitarist considered to be one of the foremost South American composers of the 20th century. The Pérez concert commemorates the 90th anniversary of the late virtuoso’s birth.

On April 4, Pérez will conduct a master class at 4:30 p.m. in Room 123 of Pitt’s Music Building. For more information or to register, contact Phil Thompson at 412-624-4125.

Born in Chile, Pérez has garnered top prizes in six major international competitions in Europe and South America. He took first place in the 2006 Joaquín Rodrigo Competition in Madrid, one of the world’s most prestigious guitar performance competitions.

PITT ARTS, founded in 1997, sponsors more than 110 free outings via its Arts Encounters programs and sells about 9,000 discounted tickets to Pitt students, faculty, and staff through its Cheap Seats program. Pitt students can use their IDs for free visits to the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Mattress Factory. Each year, PITT ARTS connects more than 40,000 Pitt students with the arts. —Sharon S. Blake

European Experimental Film Subject of University Conference

Changes in the European political landscape have had a dramatic effect on film production in Europe. The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures in Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences will host a conference titled “After the Avant-Garde: European Experiments With the Moving Image,” March 30 and 31 in 232 Cathedral of Learning.
The goal of the conference is to address dramatic changes in policy, production, technology, and aesthetics in European film production and to explore how these changes shape the aesthetics and politics of the moving image in Europe today.

Titles of conference sessions will include “Post-Neo-Avant-Garde: The New Visual Artists,” “The Post-Cinematic and the Avant-Garde,” “Established Filmmakers and the Continuing Significance of the Avant-Garde,” “Popular Culture and the Avant-Garde,” and “After the Cold War: Avant-Garde and (Post) Socialism”; the conference will culminate with a session titled “Reflections on the Avant-Garde: A Conversation With Filmmaker Birgit Hein.” Hein, one of Germany’s most significant filmmakers, is University Professor in the Institute for Media Research at the Academy of Fine Arts Braunschwieg.

A complete schedule is available online.

In addition to Hein, visiting conference participants will include Thomas Elsaesser, research professor at the University of Amsterdam and general editor of the series Film Culture in Transition, published by Amsterdam University Press (1994-2007); Rembert Hüser, author of a forthcoming book on Alfred Hitchcock and associate professor in the Department of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch at the University of Minnesota; Alice Kuzniar, professor of German and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Richard Langston, assistant professor in the Department of German at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Reinhild Steingröver, associate professor in the humanities department in the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester.

Pitt participating faculty will include Lucy Fischer, professor of film studies and English and director of the Film Studies Program; Randall Halle, the Klaus W. Jonas Professor of German and Film Studies; Marcia Landy, Distinguished Service Professor of English and Film Studies; Adam Lowenstein, associate professor of English and film studies; Vladimir Padunov, associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and associate director of the Film Studies Program; and Phillip Watts, assistant professor of French and Italian languages and literatures.

The event will be sponsored by a grant from Pitt’s Faculty and Research Scholarship Program, European Union Center of Excellence, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, and Film Studies Program.
For more information, contact Randall Halle at 412-648-2614 or, or visit the Web site. —Patricia Lomando White

Pitt Dance Ensemble to Present Spring Performance March 29-31

The University of Pittsburgh Dance Ensemble will present its spring performance, titled “Unhinged,” featuring the premiere of guest choreographer Meredith Koloski’s “Too Many People” and student choreography in jazz, hip hop, ballet, and modern styles of dance. Performances will be presented at 8:15 p.m. March 29-31 in the Trees Hall Dance Studio.

Koloski’s “Too Many People” was choreographed while in residence with the Dance Ensemble in February and March 2007. It combines modern dance with hip hop styles and was inspired by a study done on human gesture. Since her arrival in Pittsburgh, Koloski has performed with Attack Theater and is a codirector/choreographer of Flux, an umbrella company of choreographers across the United States who explore collaboration and the creative process.
Pitt student choreographers include Stephanie Brenner, Alisha Ebling, Kristin Haughney, Sarah Kabatt, Mara Mandradjieff, Dyana Murrell, Christa Robinson, Erik Roth, Michele Sabol, and Kathryn Yarnot.

The Pitt Dance Ensemble is a student dance group that performs theatrical dance and provides classes, workshops, and master classes for University students. The students choreograph, perform, and work behind the scenes to produce this and other concerts throughout the year.

Tickets are $6 for general admission and $3 for students with student ID. Tickets also may be purchased at the door. For more information, contact Susan Gillis-Kruman at 412-648-8262 or —Angelica Duggins

William Pitt Debating Union Qualifies for National Debate Tournament for 10th Year

Pitt’s William Pitt Debating Union (WPDU) will head to the 61st National Debate Tournament (NDT) in Dallas, Texas, from March 30 to April 2, qualifying for the national competition for the 10th consecutive year.

School of Arts and Science senior Melina Forte, majoring in history and philosophy, and first-year student Michael Mangus, majoring in computer science and linguistics, won the District VII qualifying tournament’s final six consecutive ballots, defeating opponents from Clarion University and the United States Naval Academy to finish among the top eight teams in the region. At the District VII qualifying tournament, hosted by the University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Va., Forte and Mangus argued that the U.S. Supreme Court should overrule its decision in U.S. vs. Morrison, which held that Congress lacked authority, under either the Commerce Clause or the 14th Amendment, to enact the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. Forte and Mangus won earlier elimination rounds hosted by Miami University in Ohio, The U.S. Naval Academy, and the University of Richmond in Virginia.
Each year, the NDT brings together the top 78 debate teams in the nation for five days of intense analysis on a common topic. This year’s debates will focus on U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

The NDT began at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1947. For the first 20 years the tournament was organized and conducted by the academy. The tournament still holds many traditions, including the “big board”, oral announcement of round pairings, cadet escorts for each team, teams for each debate meeting under the banner of the affirmative team, and team signs in the rooms.  —Angelica Duggins

Senate Meeting Will Explore Dangers of Outside Interests On Scientific Discovery

The dangers that outside interests may pose to scientific discovery  will be the topic of the University Senate’s spring 2007 plenary meeting, titled “Protecting Science from Bias by Private Interests,” 2-5 p.m. March 28 in the William Pitt Union’s Assembly Room.

Keynote speakers will include Pitt alumna and trustee Catherine DeAngelis, editor in chief of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and Sheldon Krimsky, a Tufts University professor of urban and environmental policy and adjunct professor in public health and family medicine.

The session will be moderated by Herbert Needleman, a Pitt professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, and will feature comments by Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg; James V. Maher, Pitt provost and senior vice chancellor; and Arthur S. Levine, senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and dean of Pitt’s School of Medicine.

In addition to editing JAMA, DeAngelis is a professor of pediatrics in Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received her M.D. from Pitt’s medical school in 1969. —John Fedele

Author of Leading Treatise on Patent Law to Speak at Pitt

Donald S. Chisum, a leading authority intellectual property rights in technology, will deliver the Pitt School of Law’s second annual Distinguished Lecture in Intellectual Property Law at 3 p.m. March 28 in Room 113 of the University’s Barco Law Building.

Titled “Heavy Hands on Hard Clay: The Supreme Court as an Instrument of Patent Law Reform,” the free public lecture will be followed by a reception.

Chisum is author of the leading treatise on patent law, Chisum on Patents (Matthew Bender, 1978) and coauthor with Michael Jacobs of the textbook Understanding Intellectual Property (Lexis Nexis/Matthew Bender, 2004). Chisum continually supplements and revises the patents treatise, comprising 26 volumes, to include patent law developments.
His lecture has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Board for 1.5 hours of CLE credit. The cost for 1.5 hours of CLE credit is $25, payable at the door by cash or check made out to the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. For more information about intellectual property law at Pitt, visit the Web site or e-mail professor of law Janice Mueller at —Patricia Lomando White