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Projects & Collaborations

Faculty and graduate students in the Literature Program cultivate interdisciplinary and interdepartmental relationships, as well as relationships across universities and communities. These are some of the collaborative projects that contribute to our teaching and learning. 

Glowing Games and the Vibrant Media Lab

New collaborators are welcome at the Vibrant Media Lab on the fourth floor of the Cathedral of Learning. The Glowing Games initiative recreates the earliest known video and computer games, from the 1950s and 1960s. Long before video games were produced for commercial purposes, they were developed within advanced research labs and academic institutions during the Cold War as experiments in human-machine interaction, demonstrations of cutting edge computer research, and public relations gambits. Created before the advent of standardized hardware or software platforms, these gaming devices had to reinvent the wheel each time, cobbling together experimental vector displays often repurposed from military hardware. Produced on massive hardware, these games were animated by glowing vacuum tubes. Glowing Games is bringing these long-lost games back to life using vintage, rebuilt hardware and original schematics and notes from various archival sources. Glowing Games is directed by Dr. Zachary Horton and housed in Pitt's Vibrant Media Lab, sponsored by the Department of English. It is open to any interested faculty, graduate students, and undergrads. Please contact Zachary Horton at z.horton@pitt.edu for more information.

boundary 2  

boundary 2 is an international journal of literature and culture that approaches problems in these areas from a number of politically, historically, and theoretically informed perspectives.  Extending beyond the postmodern, boundary 2 remains committed to understanding the present and approaching the study of national and international culture and politics through literature and the human sciences.  Contact Paul Bové at bove@pitt.edu for more information.

Critical Quarterly

Critical Quarterly is an internationally renowned journal focusing on a unique blend of literary criticism, cultural studies, poetry, and fiction. The journal addresses the whole range of cultural forms, so, for example, discussions of cinema and television appear alongside analyses of the accepted literary canon. Contact Colin MacCabe at maccabe@pitt.edu for more information.

The Fantasy Studies Fellowship

The Fantasy Studies Fellowship is a reading and discussion group for University of Pittsburgh undergraduates who are dedicated to the study and appreciation of the Fantastic in literature and film.  Started in 2005, the group meets about once per month to discuss readings chosen by its members, including works in all subgenres as well as criticism of literary fantasy.  Contact Lori Campbell Tanner at lmc5@pitt.edu for more information, or find “Fantasy Studies Fellowship” on Facebook.

The Humanities Center

The Humanities Center fosters advanced research in the humanities, both by University of Pittsburgh faculty and by leading scholars from around the world, who visit as long- and short-term fellows. It cultivates interdisciplinary and collaborative study, programming, and teaching. The center presents many events, both small and large, including conferences, colloquia, and lectures. More information is available on the Humanities Center website, or by emailing the Humanities Center at humctr@pitt.edu

Caribbean Reading Group

The Caribbean Reading Group is a multi-disciplinary faculty and graduate reading group co-founded in 2007 by faculty in English and History. The group meets semesterly to discuss classic or significant new texts in Caribbean Studies, sometimes with the authors or guest-scholars present. Contact Shalini Puri at spuri@pitt.edu for more information.

Childhood Studies Reading Group

The Childhood Studies Reading Group is a collection of faculty and graduate students interested in children's literature, young adult literature, the history of childhood and youth, and other related issues. It generally meets once a month over the summer and periodically during the academic year to discuss either a children’s book or a work of criticism or theory. Its members also make a point of attending the Children’s Literature Program's speaker series, which brings distinguished speakers to campus to talk about various topics related to Childhood Studies.  Contact Courtney Weikle-Mills at caw57@pitt.edu for more information.

Digital Media Reading Group

The Digital Media Reading Group was created to bring together faculty and students from literature, composition studies, and film studies who share research interests in digital media and technology. We read contemporary scholarship in digital media studies as well as foundational works on theories of computing, mediation, communication, and technology. The reading group meets at least once per semester. Contact Annette Vee at annettevee@pitt.edu for more information.

Medieval Latin Reading Group

The Medieval Latin Reading Group is sponsored by the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program and the Humanities Center. It is open to graduate students and faculty (and advanced undergraduates) in the Pittsburgh community. A recent project focused on Fasciculus Morum, a fourteenth-century preaching manual. We meet every other Tuesday from 3–5 p.m. One hour is devoted to prepared reading, the other to sight reading. Contact Ryan McDermott at mcdermott.pitt@gmail.com for more information.

Race and Justice in Design and Technology Reading Group 

Affiliated with the Digital Narrative and Interactive Design program, the Race and Justice in Design and Technology Reading Group discusses texts about the intersection of technology and design fields with questions of diversity, inclusion, systemic bias, and power hierarchies. Participants consider the stories we compose and circulate about technology and its communities (and why those stories matter). Readings also offer group members tools and best practices to consider instituting in their own pedagogy and research. During the 2021-22 academic year, the group is discussing Sasa Costanza-Chock’s Design Justice (MIT, 2020) and Ruha Benjamin’s Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (Polity, 2019). Email DNID Director Jessica FitzPatrick at JLF115@pitt.edu to join the group or request additional details.

Pitt Prison Education Project

Formed in 2016, The Pitt Prison Education Project (PPEP) is a network of Pitt faculty members from across the disciplines who teach courses in prisons in the western PA region. Courses are taught every semester on a variety of topics at SCI Fayette, Laurel Highlands, and Somerset. The courses are modeled on the Inside-Out prison exchange program that enables incarcerated and non-incarcerated people to encounter one another as human beings. In addition to Inside-Out offerings, PPEP has offered Inside-Only courses, such as "Discovery Series: Intro to University Studies." During COVID-19, it has also offered remote inside-only instruction. Contact Shalini Puri at spuri@pitt.edu