University of Pittsburgh
February 23, 2004

Pitt's Global Studies Program Announces 2004-05 Global Academic Partnership Grants

Awardees to investigate terrorist financing, Italian migrants, and postcolonial studies
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH— Three Global Academic Partnership (GAP) grants have been awarded by Pitt's Global Studies program in the University Center for International Studies. Two GAP awards were cosponsored by Pitt's Office of the Provost, a third by the International Business Center in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.

The GAP grants, initiated in 2001, are designed to strengthen interdisciplinary research and curriculum development regarding global themes at Pitt, while enhancing international scholarly ties and the profile of the University.

One grant was awarded to Philip Williams, professor of international affairs and public and urban affairs in Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and Kenneth Sochats, assistant professor of information science and telecommunications in Pitt's School of Information Sciences and director of Pitt's Visual Information Systems Center. On March 19 and 20, Williams and Sochats will host a workshop on the financing of terrorism that will bring together a variety of specialists, including Rohan Gunaratna, the pre-eminent academic specialist on Al-Qaida, of the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The workshop will discuss the dimensions of terrorist financing, explore the tradeoffs between the Bush administration's freeze campaign and the possibility of following funds as a warning indicator of a potential attack, assess methods of combating terrorist financing, and consider what more can be done in this policy area.

Giuseppina Mecchia, assistant professor of French literature, Donna Gabaccia, Mellon Professor of History, and Paula Kane, associate professor of religious studies and the Marous Chair of Catholic Studies, all in Pitt's School of Arts & Sciences, received the second GAP grant. With partners from the Universities of Toronto and Western Australia, the Pitt researchers will explore the relationship between human mobility, intimate (or "private") behavior, and the acquisition of national identities, as they relate to the 25 million migrants who left Italy between 1970 and '80 to live and work on four continents. The research will culminate with an April 2005 conference at Pitt.

The third GAP grant was awarded to three School of Arts & Sciences faculty members: Shalini Puri, assistant professor of English; Marcus Rediker, professor of history; and Joseph Alter, professor of anthropology. They will initiate an international conference series on postcolonial studies. Drawing from the work of emerging scholars and taking to heart the critiques of both postcolonial and area studies scholars, the conference aims to create a new model for the field of postcolonial studies in light of global trends that have transformed the maps of postcoloniality

The GAP grants support international research conferences and workshops that result in publications and curricular enhancements. Projects must be related to one of the six global issues studied at Pitt's Global Studies program: sustainable development, globalized economy and global governance, changing identities in a global world, international conflict and conflict resolution, and global health. The GAP grants include administrative support and funding up to $20,000.