Carnegie Mellon University
Welcome to CAUSE at Carnegie Mellon University

Founded in 1995, CAUSE is an interdisciplinary research and education center in the Department of History, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University. Focusing on African American urban life and history since the transatlantic slave trade, the Center encourages scholarship that addresses the historian’s interest in understanding socioeconomic, political, and cultural change over time... [Read more]

Next Event:
Dr. Andrew E. Masich
"Civil War in the Borderlands: Reflections on War and African Americans in the Southwest"
February 9th, Friday 2018
Steinberg Auditorium, Baker Hall A53 (Basement)
4:30pm - Reception
5:00pm - Lecture and DIscussion

November 3rd, 2017
"Black Women, Convict Labor, and the Carceral State: Chained in Silence and No Mercy Here"
Dr. Sarah Haley, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies, UCLA
Dr. Talitha LeFlouria, Lisa Smith Discovery Associate Professor, African and African-American Studies, University of Virginia
Chair: Dr. Kevin Mumford, Professor of History, University of Illinois

September 22, 2017
CAUSE Annual Fall Reception
Opening Lecture
Dr. Edward E. Baptist

Events for 2017-2018

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Friday, September 22, 2017
CAUSE Annual Fall Reception & Opening Lecture
Edward E. Baptist, Professor of History, Cornell University

Singleton Room, Roberts Hall, CMU

Event Details

Friday, November 3, 2017
Panel event: "Black Women, Convictt Labor, and the Carceral State: Chained in Silence and No Mercy Here"

Event Details

Masich image

Friday, February 9, 2018
Andrew Masich Lecture
"Civil War in the Borderlands: Reflections on War and African Americans in the Southwest"

Event Details

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Friday, April 6, 2018
CAUSE Postdoctoral Fellow Lecture
Waverly Duck

Event Details

Requiem for Rice Project

Thursday, September 21
Mellon Institute Auditorium (4400 Fifth Avenue, CMU)

Join us for a staging of ‘Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked’ by string ensemble, a dramatic reading of excerpts from Requiem for Rice libretto by Vanessa German, and discussion of the score (in development) and libretto by Dr. Trevor Weston, composer, and Dr. Edda L. Fields-Black, librettist.  The event will take place on Thursday, September 21 at 7pm in CMU's Mellon Institute Auditorium (4400 Fifth Avenue, 15213, enter on Bellefield Avenue).

‘Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked’ is inspired by the history of African and African American forced laborers who cultivated rice in the Lowcountry. Colour of Music Festival commissioned Dr. Trevor Weston to compose ‘Unburied’, ‘Unmourned’, ‘Unmarked’. This piece for string orchestra takes inspiration from traditional African music and traditional African American folk music, fiddle music, long-meter hymns and Gullah spirituals. The string work will eventually become a longer dramatic work for voices and full orchestra, Requiem for Rice.

On this special evening, Pittsburghers can attend a staging of ‘Unburied’, Unmourned’, ‘Unmarked’ by a string quartet one month before its world premiere at Colour of Music Festival in Charleston, SC. The audience is also invited to participate in a discussion afterwards with composer, Dr. Trevor Weston, and librettist, Dr. Edda L. Fields-Black.

Supported by Opportunity Fund and Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE), School of Music, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean’s Office, Center for Diversity and Inclusion,and Center for the Arts in Society.

Out of the Shadows: A Colored Solidarity

An original work of Bharatanatyam, an Indian classical dance form, this performance tells the story of a prominent Indian feminist and anti-colonial activist, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya, as she confronts racism in Louisiana in 1940. A powerfully moving work of dance that blends forgotten history with original music, poetry, and motion, Out of the Shadows will be performed by renowned dancer and choreographer, Anjal Chande. Free and open to the public.

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Cities Tour in Pittsburgh feature

Director, Joe William Trotter, Jr. was featured in C-SPAN's 2016 Local Content Vehicles (LCVs) Cities Tour in Pittsburgh.

Race and Renaissance Joe Trotter talked about his book, Race and Renaissance: African Americans in Pittsburgh since World War II, about the lives and contributions of Pittsburgh African Americans since World War II, including their significance in the second Great Migration, the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, and other historical events.