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News & Events

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Documentary filmmaker Steve James

Documentary filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters, Life Itself) will be speaking at both the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival and the Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival. MORE
Friday, March 24, 2017

Pittsburgh Humanities Festival 2017

The Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Humanities Center of Carnegie Mellon University, is a three-day gathering of internationally-renowned academics, artists, and intellectual innovators in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. MORE
Thursday, March 23, 2017

2017 Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival

Entering its 11th year, the CMU IFF will encourage and provoke contemporary conversations about race, sexuality, gender, and ethnicity through its 2017 theme, “Faces of Identity.” MORE
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Unlocking Everyday Treasures

The talk will discuss the vital cultural mission of the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture and the ways in which the transition from analog sources to digital media affects all that mission.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Less Than Zeros and Ones

The talk will discuss various aspects of animation technique, as well as the changes wrought by the move from analog to digital methods of production and exhibition, and will include excerpts of Duesing’s work. MORE
Thursday, November 3, 2016

Arclights and Zoom Lenses

This talk featuring Professor Eric Hoyt will discuss various aspects of Digital Humanities research methods including the ways in which the choice of approach illuminates some sources but not others, and how toggling between larger and smaller scales of data may both enlighten and obscure our vision. MORE
Thursday, October 13, 2016

Copyright & Culture

The central theme of this panel is an examination of issues of copyright, especially in relation to visual media. Of particular interest are the ways in which the transformation from analog to digital environments has altered the balance of competing interests, and the ways in which copyright law may address those changes in the future.​ MORE
Thursday, September 22, 2016

Living on the Internet

This lecture will be the first based on our theme, “Digital Futures: Bringing the Analog Past to a Digital Age,” the general purpose of which is to encourage a discussion of the ways in which the advent of digital media has influenced scholarship across the Humanities (with a particular emphasis on film and media studies). MORE
Monday, March 28, 2016

Harbingers of Future War

In recent years, many of the difficulties encountered in strategic decision making, operational planning, training, and force development stemmed from neglect of continuities in the nature of war. MORE
Tuesday, March 1, 2016


The Humanities Center presents “Unmanned,” a staged reading of a play by Robert Myers. MORE
Thursday, February 18, 2016

Horses of the Apocalypse

Norman M. Naimark is Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies in the History Department at Stanford University, and is Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman-Spogli Institute. MORE
Friday, November 20, 2015

(T)ERROR Film Screening with Co-Filmmaker, Lyric R. Cabral

(T)ERROR, shot in our very own Pittsburgh, goes undercover to follow an FBI informant on an assignment to befriend a Wilkinsburg man suspected of being a Taliban sympathizer. MORE
Monday, November 9, 2015

From Total War to Perpetual Interwar

What range of meanings is covered by the expression total war? What do we know about its origin and mutations? Does it have any currency in 2015? This talk traces the expression’s first use during the First World War, follows its coded elaboration by 1920s air power theorists, and tracks it from its reemergence in the shadow of the Second World War to its apogee in the nuclear condition. MORE
Thursday, October 29, 2015

War in the Age of Antisocial Media

Jan Mieszkowski received his B.A. summa cum laude from Yale University in 1990 and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1998. He has also studied in Paris and Berlin MORE
Thursday, October 8, 2015

War and the Humanities

Rick Atkinson is a best-selling author, Pulitzer Prize winner, and Washington Post journalist. He is the author of the Liberation Trilogy, a narrative history of the liberation of Europe in World War II. MORE
Friday, March 27, 2015

Fresh Perspectives with NEH Chair Dr. William Adams

The Humanities Center welcomes National Endowment for Humanities Chair Dr. William Adams to Carnegie Mellon. MORE
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pittsburgh Humanities Festival

Carnegie Mellon University and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust are teaming up to bring new ideas and engaging conversation to the city with the inaugural Pittsburgh Humanities Festival from March 26-29. MORE
Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why Nature is Musical

David Rothenberg has long been interested in the musicality of sounds made by inhabitants of the animal world. He has jammed live with lyrebirds, broadcast his clarinet underwater for humpback whales, and covered himself in thirteen-year cicadas to wail away inside a wash of white noise. MORE
Monday, February 2, 2015

A Panel on Music and Politics

Historically, most people probably regarded music as having little to do with politics, since music is not representational. Yet there have long been connections drawn between the two, and, more recently, popular music and musicians have been understood as making significant contributions on controversial issues. MORE
Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rock Stardom and Listening

Rock Star: The Making of Cultural Icons from Elvis to Springsteen is an informal history of rock stardom. It looks at the careers and cultural legacies of seven rock stars—Elvis Presley, James Brown, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell, and Bruce Springsteen. MORE
Thursday, October 9, 2014

Phonographc Music

Alex Ross writes about classical music, covering the field from the Metropolitan Opera to the downtown avant-garde. He has also written essays on pop music, literature, 20th century history and gay life. MORE
Thursday, September 11, 2014

Decolonizing the Ear

It is a study of the dramatic transformations in vernacular musics that take place around the world in the years between 1925 and 1931 in the wake of electrical recording... MORE
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Faces of the Humanities

How might a focus on race and ethnicity in the postcolonial world be articulated to the "crisis" in the humanities we keep hearing about in the media today? What kinds of faces does the humanities have, and how do these faces speak? MORE
Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Humanities as the source of Restless Freedom

When we attended more carefully and seriously to the motto, “Liberty-Work-Dignity,” pronounced by the under-employed university graduates who inaugurated the Tunisian Revolution in 2010...
Thursday, March 20, 2014

Delinking From the Global University

Walter Mignolo lectures on the meaning of today’s responses to the coloniality of knowledge (in general terms, including art, religions, the disciplines) created and maintained by Western universities from the Renaissance through the Enlightenment to the Global/Corporate University. MORE
Tuesday, March 4, 2014

MOOCs From Many Angles

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are often posed as a means to fix the problems of higher education. The best education money can buy seems to be only a click away for students all over the globe. Not surprisingly, this new model of higher education has generated great controversy for the teachers and students in more traditional programs and universities.
Thursday, December 5, 2013

Origins of the American Campus

The unique spatial form of the modern American campus originates as a product of the late nineteenth century socio-economic struggle between labor and capital. MORE
Thursday, October 24, 2013

Humanities on the Edge

The spread of Western knowledge in the age of globalization that began in the nineteenth century was in its own way as powerful a force as the political and economic transformations of imperialism. MORE
Thursday, September 26, 2013

Global or World Universities?

At the height of the millennial frenzy announcing the imminent advent of globalization and the reign of a knowledge economy, a number of universities launched expansion projects, entering into partnerships with foreign universities, and, increasingly, building new campuses, from Asia to the Middle East. MORE
Thursday, April 11, 2013

Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle

Raiford analyzes why activists chose photography over other media, explores the doubts some individuals had about the strategies, and shows how photography became an increasingly effective, if complex, tool in representing black political interests. MORE
Monday, March 4, 2013

Neuroscience and the Literary History of Mind: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Attention in Jane Austen

Natalie Phillips, Assistant Professor of English at Michigan State University, specializes in 18th-century literature, the history of mind, and cognitive approaches to narrative. MORE
Thursday, February 7, 2013

Too Big to See: The Visual Culture of Economic Rights

This talk features the work of our 2012-2013 CMU Humanities Center Senior Research Fellow, Leshu Torchin. MORE
Friday, November 9, 2012

When Homeland Terror Passes for Bureaucratic Security: The Wire Meets The Office

Do you know what the NBC comedy The Office has in common with the HBO series, The Wire? The idea that in a hierarchy every employee rises to his or her level of incompetence. MORE
Monday, October 8, 2012

The Media are a Force…but for What?

Brooke Gladstone is managing editor and co-host of On the Media. After working in print media, she joined NPR in 1987 as senior editor of Weekend Edition. MORE
Thursday, April 26, 2012

Anne Balsamo Lecture

In response to the “Imagining Planetarity” project, Anne Balsamo will address one of its key questions:  “how might the world to come be thought into existence constructively?” MORE
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Right to Look; Or, Why We Occupy

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Istvan Csicsery-Ronay

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Ecology of Everyday Life

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Arts of the Planet: National Conference, October 27-30, 2011

ASAP LogoAs part of its program for 2011-2012 on the them of Imaging Planetarity, the Humanities Center will a host the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present MORE