Monday, December 1

Lecture -- Excrement as a Commodity?
David Howell
12:00 pm
4130 Posvar Hall
Asian Studies Center
Department of History, Japan Iron and Steel Federation Endowment

Excrement was a hot commodity in the cities of nineteenth-century Japan. The widespread use of night soil as an organic fertilizer meant that residents of big cities such as Edo (Tokyo) and Osaka could sell their waste rather than dispose of it themselves. Thanks to this trade, early modern Japanese cities enjoy a reputation as remarkably green spaces, in which residents lived in salubrious harmony with nature.  Let us put poop into the modernizing city. Night soil remained an important fertilizer until after World War II, but poop’s place in the urban landscape changed a great deal in the decades after the Meiji Restoration of 1868. City officials worried that night soil haulers might offend the sensibilities of Western visitors to the city. They also feared cholera, a disease new to Japan. By 1920, the rapid growth of Tokyo had completely disrupted the market for night soil and other organic refuse. 

Panel Discussion -- ISIS and US Intervention in the Middle East
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
3703 Posvar Hall
Global Studies Center

What is ISIS and what is the impact of this radical Sunni insurgent group in Iraq, Turkey, and Syria? Can continued US involvement in the region bring sustained peace or will it propel continued inter-sectarian bloodshed?
Three experts will share their opinions along with time for Q&A.

Lunch is provided.

Expert Panel includes:

Ross Harrison is on the faculty of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he teaches strategy. He also teaches Middle East Politics at the University of Pittsburgh, and is a frequent contributor of articles on strategic issues facing the Middle East. He is the author of Strategic Thinking in 3D: A Guide for National Security, Foreign Policy and Business Professionals (Potomac Books, 2013), which is a required text at the U.S. National War College.

Dr. Luke Peterson is the AY2014-15 Visiting Professor in Contemporary International Issues. Broadly, Dr. Peterson’s work has focused on contemporary representations of Palestine-Israel in print media in Great Britain and the United States. He is the author of Palestine-Israel in the Print News Media (Rutledge Press, 2014). Dr. Peterson’s research interests are reflected in the courses he is teaching at Pitt including “The US in the Middle East,” both as an undergraduate history course and as a graduate course in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. His spring 2015 course offerings are expected to include a history course on “The History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict” and a graduate seminar focusing on Modern Iran.

Dan Simpson is a retired, 35-year, career diplomat who served as U.S. Ambassador to the Central African Republic, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His Middle East assignments included Lebanon and Libya. He is currently Associate Editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, writing daily editorials and a weekly column on international affairs.

Tuesday, December 2

Workshop -- High School Model EU
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
European Studies Center, European Union Center of Excellence

The EUCE/ESC will be hosting the 2014 High School Model EU, which allows students the opportunity to participate in a simulation of a recent European Council meeting. For more information, please contact EUCE/ESC Assistant Director for External Affairs, Kate Bowersox, at

Lecture Series / Brown Bag -- The Evolution of EU Citizenship in the European ‘Federalizing’ Process
Gabriella Saputelli, EUCE/ESC Center Associate; Researcher of Public law, Institute for the Study of Regionalism and Self Government (ISSiRFA) of the National Research Council (CNR) in Rome; and Adjunct Assistant Professor, European Citizenship, University of Teramo
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
4209 Posvar Hall
Center for International Legal Education, European Studies Center
Free, but please register for lunch in advance by emailing

Center Associate Dr. Gabriella Saputelli will explore the characteristics and the evolution of EU citizenship 20+ years after the Maastricht Treaty. She will consider EU citizenship in light of the finding by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that it “…is intended to be the fundamental status of nationals of the Member States”. In fact, the way in which EU citizenship and ECJ case law function raises questions about its future development. In a multilevel system, the federalizing process influences aspects of citizenship, and a comparison with the US experience might allow us to better understand the special path of EU citizenship construction. Lunch will be served. To register, please email

Workshop -- Web 2.0 Tools for Language Teaching
Dr. Olga Klimova, University of Pittsburgh/Duquesne University
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Henderson Language Media Center G-17 Cathedral of Learning
Center for Russian and East European Studies
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Olga Klimova

Discussant: Meiyi Song, Center for Instructional Development & Distance Education, University of Pittsburgh

Description: In this workshop, you will be introduced to a variety of Web
2.0 tools, such as VoiceThread, EduCanon, Twitter, Diigo, for creating interpretative, presentational, and communicative assignments for language classes.

Sunday, December 7

Cultural Event -- Nationality Rooms Open House
E. Maxine Bruhns
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Cathedral of Learning Commons Room; Nationality Rooms
Nationality Rooms
Nationality Rooms Committees
Free to attend
Cristina Lagnese

The Annual Nationality Rooms Open House will occur on December 7th, 2014 and it will feature Nationality Rooms Committees selling food and cultural objects to benefit the Nationality Rooms Scholarship Program. The Rooms will be open and costumed Quo Vadis guides will continuously present in each Room information pertinent to the Room and its wintertime holiday traditions. Musical and dance performances will occur every fifteen minutes.
The performers scheduled to attend are:
Pittsburgh Taiko Drummers
Slippery Rock Afro-Colombian Dance Ensemble
Ljeljo Folk Ensemble
Shona Sharif African Drum and Dance Ensemble
Poltava Ukrainian Dance Company
Amun Raqs Band
Balmoral Pipes and Drums Band
Sanskruti School of Dance
Isartaler Pittsburgh

In addition to the performances and Committee vendors, Quo Vadis guides will be selling beverages to benefit their club's activity fund and the Nationality Rooms Information and Gift Center will be open for sales of fine souvenirs and publications.

Tuesday, December 9

Award Ceremony -- TiE Pittsburgh $10K Startup Award and BMR Showcase
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
University Club, Ballroom A
International Business Center
Carnegie Mellon University, Jarus, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, Pittsburgh Business Times, TiE-Pittsburgh, Tucker Arensberg, Waldron
varied, see web announcement
Jacqueline Saslawski

Featuring the companies TiE-Pittsburgh met with and mentored through its Business Mentoring Roundtable program over the last year.

Apply for the TiE Pgh 10K award by visiting the event website.

Register for the event by visiting the event website.

Thursday, February 12

Lecture -- Let's Talk Africa!- Alejandro Trelles
Alejandro Trelles, PhD candidate in political science at the University of Pittsburgh
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
4130 WWPH
African Studies Program
Eric Swetts

Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) regulate access to power in most countries by organizing and implementing elections. His research aims to answer the following questions: a) When do political elites decide to create formally and informally autonomous electoral institutions to regulate elections? And b) when (if ever) do autonomous electoral institutions aid in stabilizing or building democracy?

Friday, March 27

Conference -- Graduate Student Conference: Still United? The EU through Enlargement, Crisis, and Transformation
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
European Studies Center, European Union Center of Excellence

In 2005 Mark Leonard postulated, "Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century.” Ten years later, the EU has seen the rejection of European Treaty, stalled enlargement, the inability of European soft power to affect the Arab spring, a weak response to Russian dismantling of Georgia and Ukraine, and the Eurozone crisis. The rise of nationalist parties threatens the very integrity of the Union. In contrast, the ECB has responded to the crisis with concerted action, Croatia joined the Union as the 28th member, and the final institutional changes of the Lisbon Treaty are taking effect. After such a tumultuous decade, is there still cause for optimism regarding the European project? The Organizing Committee of the Tenth Annual Graduate Student Conference on the European Union welcomes submissions from all disciplines and topics including, but not limited to, EU politics, governance, economics, history, security studies, institutions and behavior studies, as well as policy, enlargement, immigration, development, trade, and foreign policy. Papers addressing the theme of the conference will receive special consideration.


Abstracts should be 250-300 words in length. Preference will be given to abstracts that clearly specify the research design of the paper, including its theoretical approach and methods. Abstracts must be submitted on-line at Please also upload a current CV with your submission. Participation is limited to authors enrolled in degree-granting graduate or professional programs at the time of the conference. Housing is provided for accepted conference participants

The University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh houses one of the largest and most complete archives of primary and secondary documents on the European Union, dating back to the beginnings of the European Coal and Steel Community. Conference presenters are given access to the archive for research during their stay.

Wednesday, April 1

Cultural Event -- Placeholder INPAC Event
Rachel Jacobson
12:00 pm
4130 Posvar Hall
Indo-Pacific Council
Department of Music
Rachel Jacobson

This placeholder event is created to demonstrate how it would look to display only INPAC events on a page within the Asian Studies Center website.

Thursday, April 2

Lecture -- Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers' Series: Peter Hessler
Peter Heslsler, 2014/15 William Block Sr. Award Winner
8:30 pm
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Asian Studies Center
Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series, University Store on Fifth

Peter Hessler has received the 2008 National Magazine Award for Excellence in Reporting, a 2011 Macarthur Fellowship, and the 2001 Kiriyama Prize. He is the author of River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze; Country Driving: A Chinese Road Trip; Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West; and Oracle Bones: A Journey through Time in China, a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award. He is a contributing writer for National Geographic and a staff writer at The New Yorker, for which he has served as the Beijing, China correspondent from 2000 to 2007 and currently covers Egypt.