Carnegie Mellon University

Lectures & Events

Kathy Newman Talks Banned Books

Monday, Sept. 16, 4:30 to 6 p.m., 501 Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh

Carnegie Mellon's Kathy Newman will give a talk, "Banning Books Means Banning Children's Literature." The talk stems from Newman's course “Banned Books,” which she has been teaching for the last 10 years. Newman has learned from this class that books in the U.S. are most often banned and/or challenged by parents/adults ostensibly on behalf of children, and the target is often children’s and/or young adult literature. The issue of censorship and banning books is an issue for the field of Children’s Literature, and, ultimately, it’s an issue of power. In this talk, Newman will feature a few recent incidents in which children’s literature was challenged, towards some suggestions about how we can think about (and combat) book banning in a difficult time.

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Kathryn H. Anthony presents: "Defined by Design: The Surprising Power of Hidden Gender, Age and Body Bias in Everyday Products and Places" 

Monday, Sept. 16, 5 to 6 p.m., Kresge Theatre, College of Fine Arts Building

"Defined by Design: The Surprising Power of Hidden Gender, Age and Body Bias in Everyday Products and Places" is an eye-opening overview of how the design of everyday objects that we encounter each day impacts and shapes our lives in ways most of us would never imagine. In an increasingly diverse population where many body types, age groups and cultures interact, it is time our environments caught up. Anthony is an ACSA Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The event is sponsored by the School of Architecture and co-sponsored by the School of Design and the University Lecture Series.

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CMNI Lecture: The Encoding of Speech Sounds in Human Temporal Lobe

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 12 to 1 p.m., Mellon Institute 348

The Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute presents Edward Chang, the Jeanne Robertson Distinguished Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco.  His research focuses on the discovery of cortical mechanisms of high-order neurological function in humans.

Carbon Dioxide Removal: An Essential Element to Meet Global Climate Goals 

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 12 to 1:30 p.m., Marquis Conference Room, Scott Hall 5201

Join the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation for a lunchtime tech talk featuring Scott Institute Professor of the Practice and Energy Futures Initiative Principal Joseph Hezir. The Carnegie Mellon Heinz College and Chemical Engineering alumnus will discuss carbon dioxide removal's role in climate change mitigation.

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Ariane Tabatabai: "Iranian Global Relations: Strategic Thinking in the 21st Century"

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 4:45 to 5:45 p.m., Margaret Morrison 103

Ariane M. Tabatabai is an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation and an adjunct senior research scholar at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). She is also a Truman national security fellow and a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) term member. 

Sponsored by the Center for International Relations and Politics and the Institute for Strategic Analysis.

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CMU Night @ The Pirates

Tuesday Sept. 17, 7:05 to 10 p.m., PNC Park

CMU Night at the Pittsburgh Pirates game is Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 7:05 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $18 and $23 at — and every ticket gets a free CMU Pirate hat! Undergraduate seniors can buy discounted tickets as part of Senior Year Experience on

Undergraduate Business and Economics Minor and Additional Major Open House

Wednesday, Sept. 18, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Tepper Building 3808

The Tepper Undergraduate Programs (Business Administration and Economics) will be holding a joint open house for students who are interested in the Business or Economics minor or additional major. At this open house you will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about business and economics degree options
  • Ask advising questions
  • Hear from current students
  • Get Tepper swag
  • Enjoy a sweet buffet

Open to current and prospective minors and additional majors.

CMU Washington Semester Program Information Session

Wednesday, Sept.18, 4:15 to 5:15 p.m., Porter Hall 223D

Undergraduates from any course of study who would value firsthand policy experience are invited to learn more about the Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program (CMU/WSP), sponsored by the university's Institute for Politics and Strategy. In this semester-long program, students live, work, and study in Washington, DC, coming into direct contact with political, business, and community leaders and learning about the most pressing policy issues of the day.

Constitution Day 2019 “A New Birth of Freedom: The Post-Civil War Constitution and the Unfinished Quest for a More Perfect Union”

Wednesday, Sept. 18, 4:30 to 5:45 p.m., Citrone Conference Center, Tepper Building 

Speaker: William M Carter, Jr., Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

In recognition of Constitution Day 2019, the University Libraries and the Division of Student Affairs invites you to learn more about the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments of the United States Constitution. Collectively known as the Civil War Amendments, these rights were designed to give recently emancipated slaves equality by banning slavery, granting citizenship regardless of race and prohibiting governments from denying citizens the right to vote based on race, color or creed. In this lecture, Professor William M. Carter Jr. will address the Civil War, Reconstruction and the Nation’s “Second Founding” embodied in these amendments. The lecture will discuss the history and law of slavery; the constitutional provisions and judicial decisions that enabled the slave system; the history, original meaning, and judicial interpretation of the post-Civil War Amendments (with a particular focus on the Thirteenth Amendment); and the applicability of the Thirteenth Amendment to contemporary racial issues.

Paws to Relax 

Wednesday, Sept. 18, 7 to 8 p.m., Mindfulness Room, 1st floor of West Wing

Join us for therapy dogs in the Mindfulness Room. Volunteers from Animal Friends' Therapets program visit us each week. Be sure to practice some gratitude and thank them for their time.

Brought to you by CaPS.

Speaker Series: Shannon Gibney

Thursday, Sept. 19, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Tepper Building Room 2700

Writer Shannon Gibney will give a reading of her new novel, “Dream Country,” as part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards Fall Speaker Series at Carnegie Mellon University. A 1997 alumna of Carnegie Mellon, Gibney writes and speaks extensively about the intersection of race, gender, class, family, power and identity. “Publishers Weekly” described Gibney’s widely praised second novel, “Dream Country” as “a necessary reckoning of tensions within the African diaspora — an introduction to its brokenness and a place to start healing.” Gibney is the co-editor of the literary collection “What God Is Honored Here: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss by and for Native Women and Women of Color,” which will be published in October. Sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, English Department, Modern Languages Department, Office of Student Affairs and Vice Provost for Education.

Learn more about the Speaker Series

GCC Workshop: Creating Effective PowerPoint Presentations

Thursday, Sept. 19, 5 to 6 p.m., Ideate A (Hunt Library)

Have you ever sat through a tedious or confusing PowerPoint presentation? This workshop will help you create effective PowerPoint presentations that present your research in a clear and compelling way. We will introduce innovative research on designing visually effective slides that increase audience engagement. We will also practice constructing and revising PowerPoint slides and discuss other strategies for organizing and delivering your PowerPoint presentation.


Guided Meditation

Thursday, Sept. 19, 6 to 7 p.m., Mindfulness Room, 1st floor of West Wing

Includes both a practice in formless meditation and a metta meditation. All are welcome.

Philosophy Colloquium: Natural language imperatives as actions

Friday, Sept. 20, 3:30 to 4:45 p.m., Baker Hall A53 (Steinberg Auditorium)

New York University's Chris Barker will present "Natural language imperatives as actions." Imperatives ("Sit down!") are instructions for changing the world in a certain way. Various logics associated with Pratt, Hoare, Segerberg and others formalize the behavior of computer programming languages in terms of actions, modeled as relations over states. Barker will argue that Segerberg's Dynamic Logic in particular is a promising candidate for describing natural language imperatives. For instance, "Sit down!" would denote the set of pairs <a,b> such that b is a continuation of a in which the addressee of the imperative has sat down. Then conjoining imperatives corresponds to dynamic sequencing, so that "Sit down and shut up!" is the set of pairs <a,c> such that there is some b with <a,b> in the denotation of "Sit down!" and <b,c> in the denotation of "Shut up!". Disjunctions of imperatives naturally correspond to set union, which means that Dynamic Logic validates free choice inferences ("Eat an apple or eat a pear" can be obeyed by eating an apple), without validating Ross' Paradox (the set of actions denoted by "Mail this letter" will not include the set of actions denoted by "Mail this letter or burn it").  The right way to handle negation ("Don't be sad!") is less clear, but the treatment of negation in Krifka's more general conception of speech acts as index space shifters points the way. 

Center for Print Networks & Performance: Visiting Speaker Sarah Werner 

Monday, Sept. 23, 4:30 to 6 p.m., Baker Hall 255B (Swank Room)

The Carnegie Mellon Center for Early Modern Print, Networks, and Performance (CPNP) is a distinctive research hub for early modern cultural studies, 1500-1800, built around the unique strengths of facultyM.A. and Ph.D. students in the Carnegie Mellon Department of English Literary and Cultural Studies program.

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"After the Fire" Screening

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 4 to 6 p.m., McConomy Auditorium, Cohon University Center

Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos will share the powerful documentary "After the Fire," and tell their story of survival to reinforce the importance of fire safety.

Dangerous Ideas in Difficult Times: Rob Rogers and Yona Harvey on the Problems of Censorship

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 6 to 9 p.m., Main Lecture Hall, Carnegie Library

In honor of Banned Books Week, Rob Rogers and Yona Harvey will present a talk on censorship. Rogers was fired him his political cartooning position at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2018 for his cartoons that frequently criticized President Trump. Rogers will address the kind of overt censorship he has experienced as a cartoonist. Harvey is a poet, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh and has contributed to the Marvel comic series "Black Panther and the Crew." Harvey will talk about more subtle forms of censorship, including self-censorship.

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Human Right to Water and Water Justice

Wednesday, Sept. 25, 4:30 to 6 p.m., Danforth Conference Room, Cohon University Center

Farhana Sultana will present “The Human Right to Water,” as part of the Sawyer Seminar “Bread and Water: Access, Belonging and Environmental Justice in the City.” Sultana’s book, “The Right to Water: Politics, Governance and Social Struggles” was published by Rutledge in 2012. Sultana is an associate professor in the Department of Geography at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. The lecture is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, CMU’s Humanities Center, Department of History, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and University of Pittsburgh’s Asian Studies Center.

LCE Colloquium Lecture: "International law, faith and critique"

Thursday, Sept. 26, 4:30 to 6:15 p.m., location TBA.

Richard Joyce, Faculty of Law at Monash University in Australia will give a talk as part of the Law, Culture and Ethics Colloquium.

Check the Dietrich College calendar for more upcoming events.