Briefly Noted

Issue Date: 
October 10, 2011

Oct. 12 CRSP Lecture to Address Affirmative Action

The University of Pittsburgh Center on Race and Social Problems (CRSP) continues its Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC Fall 2011 Speaker Series Oct. 12 with a noon lecture by Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University.

Katznelson’s talk, “When Affirmative Action Was White: Further Reflections,” will take place in the School of Social Work Conference Center, 20th floor, Cathedral of Learning. It is free and open to the public, and registration is not required; lunch will be provided. For more information, call 412-624-7382.

Katznelson is the author of When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequity in Twentieth-Century America (W. W. Norton & Company, 2006). In it, Katznelson argues that many additional economic disparities between White and Black America were created during the New Deal and that the policies that occasioned those disparities remained for years. Programs, the author says, were set up deliberately to exclude underrepresented groups. Laws like the GI Bill were administered by local governments, which often prevented Black veterans from receiving the benefits they had earned.
Katznelson also coauthored Liberal Beginnings: Making a Republic for the Moderns (Cambridge University Press, 2008), and he is currently completing Fear Itself, a book dealing with American democracy from the New Deal to the Cold War, and Liberal Reason, a collection of his essays on the character of modern social knowledge.

—By Sharon S. Blake

"Getting a Plum Internship in Media, Publishing, and PR" Panel Set for Oct. 18

The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of English and The Pitt News, Pitt’s daily student newspaper, will cosponsor a panel discussion titled “Getting a Plum Internship in Media, Publishing, and PR: Meet the Experts” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18 in the William Pitt Union Ballroom.

During the event, the winner of the annual McDowell Award In Nonfiction, named in honor of the late Pittsburgh broadcasting pioneer Al McDowell (A&S ‘52), will be announced. A dessert reception will round out the evening.

David Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, will serve as moderator for the panel discussion. Panelists include Stan Wischnowski, editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer; Regan Morris, West Coast producer at BBC News; Rich Holden, executive director for the Dow Jones News Fund; Mike Bothwell, WPXI-TV director of coverage and content; Jennifer Knerr, vice president and executive editor of Paradigm Publishers; Ron Davenport Jr., president of the American Urban Radio Network; Jessica Bayer, senior director at Qorvis Communications; and Erik Hinton, interactive software engineer for The New York Times.

For more information about the panelists or the Oct. 18 event, contact Pitt Writing Internship Coordinator Caren Marcus at 412-624-1737 or

—By Kerry Byrnes

Derricotte and Martin to Be Featured in Oct. 20 Reading

University of Pittsburgh poets and professors Toi Derricotte and Dawn Lundy Martin, in the School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of English, will present their work as part of the University of Pittsburgh Writing Program’s Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 20 in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

A renowned poet, Derricotte has had more than a thousand poems published in anthologies, journals, and magazines. She is the cofounder of the Cave Canem Foundation, an organization that has been offering workshops and retreats for African American poets since 1996.

Derricotte is the author of five books of poetry—The Undertaker’s Daughter (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), Tender (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997), Captivity (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989), Natural Birth (Crossing Press, 1983), The Empress of the Death House (Lotus Press, 1978)and the memoir The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey (W.W. Norton & Co., 1997). In 1997, The Black Notebooks was named to The New York Times Book Review’s “Notable Books of the Year” and won the 1998 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Non-Fiction.

Martin’s first full-length collection, A Gathering of Matter/A Matter of Gathering (University of Georgia Press, 2007), was selected for the 2007 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Her second collection, Discipline (Nightboat Books, 2011), won the Nightboat Books Poetry Prize. She also is the author of three chapbooks Candy (Albion, forthcoming November 2011), The Undress (Belladonna Books, 2006), and The Morning Hour (Poetry Society of America, 2003), selected for the Poetry Society of America’s National Chapbook Fellowship. In 2004, she coedited, with Vivien Labaton, The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism (Anchor Books, 2004), a collection of essays on modern theories of activism in America. She also wrote the Afterword, titled “What, Then, Is Freedom,” to Harriet Ann Jacobs’ 19th-century slave narrative, Incidents of a Slave Girl (Signet Classics, 2010).

Martin is cofounder of the Third Wave Foundation in New York, a national grant-making organization led by young women and transgender youth, which focuses on social justice activism. She is also a member of the Black Took Collective, a group of experimental Black poets embracing critical theory about gender, race, and sexuality. Martin has been the recipient of two poetry grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and was awarded the 2008 Academy of American Arts and Sciences May Sarton Prize for Poetry.

In addition to Pitt’s Writing Program, Pitt’s Book Center is sponsoring the 2011-12 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series.

For more information, call 412-624-6508 or visit

—By Patricia Lomando White

Call for Fall 2011 University Senate Plenary Posters

The University Senate’s Community Relations Committee is accepting posters for the Fall 2011 Plenary titled “Community and Campus Partnerships for Health and Wellness.” The deadline is midnight Oct. 15. Community engagement projects must include a mutually beneficial community-academic partnership.

Participants can showcase their community engagement projects during the plenary’s showcase from 3 to 4 p.m. Nov. 10 in the William Pitt Union’s Assembly Room.

Interested parties should e-mail an abstract of fewer than 250 words describing their projects to Denise Chisolm at Submissions should include the names of applicants; departments or organizational affiliations; e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Student applicants should include the name and contact information for their faculty mentors.

Additional information is available at

—By John Fedele