James Duesing has been named director of the Center for the Arts in Society (CAS), a research center in the Dietrich College and College of Fine Arts that investigates the role of arts in societies. Duesing, professor of art in the School of Art, succeeds Paul Eiss, who will remain at CMU as an associate professor of history. Duesing, a member of the CMU faculty since 1997, is an award-winning animator who has worked in many forms, from traditional hand-drawn and early digital work to 3-D and motion capture. His work has been exhibited and broadcast worldwide, and he has received numerous prestigious grants and awards. He has been a vital member of CAS from its earliest days and was co-organizer — along with Kathy Newman of the Department of English — of the CAS Media Initiative from 2011 to 2014. "CAS is at an exciting place," Duesing said. "The initiative format has been effective at challenging faculty to think in long-term interdisciplinary ways about their work and research. I especially value the ground up approach the center takes in developing the multifaceted aspects of faculty research to work in the university and with external communities. I look forward to the innovations the new Performance Initiative will reveal and hope everyone in the university will join in and be part of the thought-provoking events and dialogue." Read more.
In recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Academy Award-winning film "On the Waterfront," Associate English Professor Kathy M. Newman, a labor issues expert, reflects on the film in "Revisiting 'On the Waterfront,'" an opinion piece published in "Jacobin Magazine." Newman notes that the movie's central theme — oppressive and dangerous working conditions for dock and other laborers — still persists today. "For most people 'On the Waterfront' is just a great film, but if you go deeper and know how [Director Elia] Kazan snitched on his friends and made the politically conscious movie to justify actions that can't be justified, it becomes much more," Newman said. "But even more so, that view pushes aside the real fundamental labor problems that it brought to life — some that still plague dock and other labor workers. We've lost sight of the film's true origins, which were trying to do something to get Americans focused on the dangerous working conditions and unfair hiring processes that led to corruption." Read Newman's piece.
President Emeritus Jared L. Cohon, University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy, presented one of the keynote addresses at the American Society of Civil Engineers' (ASCE) first Shale Energy Engineering Conference earlier this week at Pittsburgh's David Lawrence Convention Center. His talk was titled "Working Together to Address the Water Impacts of Shale Gas Development." Hundreds of industry professionals attended the event to converse about the latest advances in shale energy. The conference featured workshops, networking sessions and keynote presentations pertaining to four program tracks — geological and geotechnical aspects of hydraulic fracturing, regulatory policy, infrastructure development and water resources management. Jeanne VanBriesen, professor of civil and environmental engineering, chaired the water resources management track. Learn more about the conference.
Vice President and General Counsel Mary Jo Dively was recently honored by officials from Children's Hospital of UPMC for her 15 years of service as chairwoman of the hospital's board of trustees. She stepped down as chairwoman but will remain on the board. Officials named the auditorium in the hospital's John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center the Mary Jo Howard Dively Auditorium. "Children's Hospital is just so important to our region. I'm a mom; I know how much it's needed. I want to do what I can to make sure it stays as superb as it is," Dively told the Tribune Review.
Daniel Teadt, assistant teaching professsor of voice, will perform a benefit concert for Renaissance City Choir (RCC) in the courtyard of East Liberty Presbyterian Church at 3 p.m., Sunday, July 27. The concert features songs of Ned Rorem, Benjamin Britten, Marc Blitzstein, Ricky Ian Gordon, and Stephen Sondheim. Joining Teadt will be RCC's pianist William Larson and members of the choir will be guest artists with him during the second half of the program. Tickets are $20 for general admission ($25 at the door) and $10 for students with valid ID. Learn more.
Jay Kadane tackles the immigrant children situation in his latest blog post for the Huffington Post. Kadane, the Leonard J. Savage University Professor of Statistics and Social Sciences, wrote, "The arrival of large numbers of children on our doorstep is not a physical menace to us. Nor is it an unsustainable financial burden. It is not a legal or bureaucratic matter either. Instead, it is a moral issue of how we choose to define ourselves as a country." Read "Who Are We, Anyway?"
Barbara Johnstone, professor of rhetoric and linguistics in the Department of English and author of "Speaking Pittsburghese: The Story of a Dialect," is the dialect coach for the Steeltown Film Factory’s production of "Franksgiving." In this role, Johnstone is teaching Pittsburghers how to speak with a Pittsburgh accent.