University of Pittsburgh
January 29, 2013

News of Note From Pitt

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  • Book by University Honors College Director Reviewed in BioScience
  • Law Professor Presents Research in Australia
  • English Professor Awarded Residency Fellowship at International Retreat

PITTSBURGH—Behind the larger stories about the University of Pittsburgh are other stories of faculty, staff, and student achievement as well as information on Pitt programs reaching new levels of success. The following is a compilation of some of those stories.

Book by University Honors College Director Reviewed in BioScience

A book written by the University Honors College’s Edward L. McCord, The Value of Species (Yale University Press, 2012), has been reviewed in the January issue of BioScience. The review, “Saving Species and What It Means to Be Human,” written by Kurt Jax, says, in part: “Author Edward L. McCord’s main argument for protecting all species on this planet—without regard to their usefulness for us—is that saving species is a question of realizing (in both senses of this word) what it means to be a human being. This is basically an anthropological argument for conservation, albeit one rooted in a long philosophical tradition reaching back to Aristotle. McCord, a director at the University Honors College at the University of Pittsburgh, seems to be an ideal person to convey such an argument, having been educated in anthropology, philosophy, and law and teaching interdisciplinary courses in environmental science, inter alia, at Yellowstone National Park.” McCord is director of programming and special projects in the University Honors College, where he oversees the Honors College Yellowstone Field Course and directs activities at Pitt’s Allen L. Cook Spring Creek Preserve in Wyoming. In addition, he directs the University’s Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy. 

Law Professor Presents Research in Australia

Pitt Assistant Professor of Law Jessie Allen—an expert on one of the most important legal treatises ever written in the English language, Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-1769)—gave a presentation in December at an international symposium at Australia’s University of Adelaide. Allen’s paper, “Reading Blackstone in the 21st Century and the 21st Century Through Blackstone,” combined original research on the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent increased citations of Blackstone’s Commentaries with material from Allen’s blog, Blackstone Weekly, Blackstone’s Commentaries consolidated English common law into a unified and rational system and greatly influenced legal education in both England and America.

Allen presented a second paper, “Theater of International Justice,” at Australia’s University of Melbourne Law School. At a freestanding seminar of the law school’s Institute for International Law and the Humanities, Allen responded to the critique of international human rights tribunals as not “real” courts by analyzing the theatrical nature of international rights adjudication and its effects. 

English Professor Awarded Residency Fellowship at International Retreat in Italy

Pitt Professor of English Lynn Emanuel has been awarded a Civitella Ranieri Writing Fellowship that will allow her to spend six weeks during Spring 2014 at an international retreat and community for artists that is situated in a 15th-century castle in Umbria, Italy. The residency brings together visual artists, writers, and composers who are either established or just emerging in their careers. Emanuel has authored four books of poetry—Hotel Fiesta (University of Georgia Press, 1984), 1992 National Poetry Series winner The Dig (University of Illinois Press), Then, Suddenly (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999), and Noose and Hook (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010). She has been a poetry editor for the annual Pushcart Prize Anthology, a member of the literature panel for the National Endowment for the Arts, and a judge for the National Book Awards. Her many awards and honors include the Eric Matthieu King Award from the Academy of American Poets.



The Value of Species

Jessie Allen

Lynn Emanuel