In 2011, a group of African Studies students at the University of Pittsburgh participated in the college level Model African Union at the Howard University in Washington DC. After their experience in the simulation, they felt the need to promote the study of Africa among high school students in the Pittsburgh and South-Western Pennsylvania region. With the assistance of The African Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh, the Pitt High School Model African Union (MAU) was launched in 2012 as an experiential pedagogical method of teaching American students about Africa. The Pitt MAU serves as an educational simulation that provides opportunities for high school students to learn about Africa by studying the African Union and its inner workings. Students learn the role, structure, and performance of the African Union (AU) while searching for solutions to Africa’s key economic, social, and political problems. Agenda items and countries are assigned to the participating schools in advance, to allow for adequate preparations for the daylong conference. Under the guidance of their teachers, students study research issues facing the AU member states and prepare to hold debates and vote on resolutions that address these issues. This year, 2018, is the seventh year of the MAU hosted at the University of Pittsburgh.
Events in UCIS
Thursday, March 1
Dusan Makavejev’s Love Affair provides us with an example of cinematic reflexivity, which can be defined as any technique that reminds the viewer that he or she is watching a film. Reflexivity foregrounds the fact that film meaning is a function of a set of codes with ideological implications rather than a transparent reflection of reality. Reflexivity can be achieved through intertextuality, exaggeration of cinematic conventions or conspicuous narration that reminds us of the author’s mark on the text. These techniques are all in evidence in Love Affair, whose textual heterogeneity calls into question the earnestness of cinematic (including socialist) realism as well as the official ideologies of state communism. As Thomas Elsaesser notes, Love Affair juxtaposes three sites of meaning: “the liberating intimacy of a sexual relationship…, the public world of abstract didacticism and cold rationality…, [and] the memory of the Russian Revolution and Tito’s national liberation war”. (Elsaesser, European Cinema: Face to Face with Hollywood, p. 322) Our understanding of Makavejev’s view of 1960s Yugoslavian society depends on our interpretation of the ironic and tragic relationship between these three sites of meaning. (Alex Lykidis, "Love Affair," Critical Commons)
The film will be introduced Dr. Ljiljana Duraskovic, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.
This round-table is a follow-up event to the screening of the Unbearable Lightness of Being (February 28, 2 p.m.) and of Early Works (March 1, 3 p.m.) and is part of the UCIS-wide anniversary series on 1968. The panel will explore (partly based on the films and the book) the question whether 1968 has a universal meaning across geographic space and time. The round-table's contribution to the UCIS-wide event will be to tease out some of the ways in which for 1968 a “kinship system” may exist (to use Wittgenstein’s analogy), but the implications are profoundly different (in the first and second worlds, or in a distribution system that is—essentially—domestic Serbian/film festival vs. US/box-office).
Moderator: Vladimir Padunov, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Discussants: Martin Votruba, Head of the Slovak Studies Program, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Ljiljana Duraskovic, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Randall Halle, Director, Film Studies Program