Publishing clearinghouse: ‘Black Is…Black Ain’t’; Ahl and Oaks; ‘Shazam!’

Book events

Black Study 2.0 series: “Black Is...Black Ain’t” from the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics

6 p.m. March 17: “Culture Complex,” featuring writer Lauren Michele Jackson, filmmaker and photographer Tayarisha Poe, and poet-journalist Jacqui Germain as participant moderator in a conversation about and related to culture and culture/cultural making. Curated by Steffan Triplett. Register here.

7:30 p.m. March 25: “Liquid Stars: Translation, Digression, Transformation,” featuring Cecilia Vicuña and Rosa Alcalá in an evening of translation, transformation, performance, digression, and poetry.


Our Own Write: A Reading and Conversation with Liz Ahl and Jeff Oaks
7-8 p.m. March 25

Liz Ahl is the author of “Beating the Bounds” (Hobblebush Books, 2017), as well as several chapbooks of poetry, including “Home Economics” and “Talking About the Weather” (Seven Kitchens Press, 2016 and 2014). An itinerant Navy brat growing up, she settled in rural New Hampshire in 2001, where she is on the faculty of the English Department at Plymouth State University. Jeff Oaks’ debut book of poetry, “Little What,” was published by Lily Poetry Review Books in 2019. HIs forthcoming book, “The Things,” will come out in late 2021. He is a senior lecturer with the Writing Program in Pitt’s English department. This program is made possible through a grant by Pitt’s Year of Engagement. Register here for the Zoom link.


Voices: Celebrating the Beauty and Diversity of America's Literary Landscape
8 p.m. March 25

Pitt-Greensburg’s new reading series, “Voices: Celebrating the Beauty and Diversity of America's Literary Landscape,” will feature a group of accomplished authors and poets from diverse backgrounds that celebrate the richness of human lives and stories. The March 25 event features: Beth Ann Fennelly, Mississippi poet-laureate; Bill Boyle, international award-winning crime writer; Nancy Krygowski, poet; and Deesha Philyaw, National Book Award finalist. Pitt-Greensburg student-writers also will participate. This event is funded in part by Pitt's Year of Engagement, as well as the Pitt-Greensburg Academic Village, Office of Student Life, and Student Government Association. Register here for the Zoom link.


“Shazam! Jewish Biblical Texts Transformed by the Power of Pictures,” a four-part series featuring Ben Schachter, artist in residence, Pitt Jewish Studies Program

7:30 p.m. March 18: Akhnai Pizza: A Tasty Talmudic Debate. The third presentation focuses on Jewish texts that are not commonly represented in comics and graphic novels. These include representations of Talmudic debates. Schachter will present how he wrote and produced “Akhnai Pizza” (2020), a comic book that sets a debate between rabbinic figures in modern day Pittsburgh. Register here for the Zoom link.

7:30 p.m March 25: In the World to Come: An Emerging Genre. In the fourth presentation, Schachter proposes the idea that a new genre of storytelling is emerging. Artists, illustrators, and designers use the methods and strategies of comics and graphic novels to retell biblical stories. Like previous visual stories, the new genre retells old stories in ways that captures the contemporary imagination. Yet, the new genre has one significant difference. Any changes to the original text are made transparent. Register here for the Zoom link.


“Authors and Anecdotes” Book Club, featuring Toi Derricotte, professor emerita in the Department of English
Noon, March 25

Derricotte will discuss her latest book, “ ‘I’: New and Selected Poems,” which was shortlisted for the 2019 National Book Award. In it, she shows the reader both the closeness of the enemy and the poet’s inherent courage, inventiveness and joy. It is a record of one woman’s response to the repressive and fracturing forces around the subjects of race, class, color, gender, and sexuality. Derricotte also will discuss her personal literature collection, her favorite readings, and participate in a live Q&A. Click here to register.

New books

“The Origins and Consequences of Property Rights: Austrian, Public Choice, and Institutional Economics Perspectives” (Cambridge University Press, December 2020), co-authored by Ilia Murtazashvili, associate professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, with collaborators Colin Harris (St. Olaf), Meina Cai (University of Connecticut) and Jennifer Murtazashvili (Pitt associate professor, GSPIA)

“The Origins and Consequences of Property Rights” develops an analytical framework to understand the origins and consequences of property rights. It conceptualizes of the political economy of property rights as a concern with the follow questions: What explains the origins of economic and legal property rights? What are the consequences of different property rights institutions for wealth creation, conservation, and political order? Why do property institutions change? Why do legal reforms relating to property rights such as land redistribution and legal titling improve livelihoods in some contexts but not others? We approach these questions from a diversity of disciplinary perspectives, including Austrian economics, public choice, and institutional economics, including the Bloomington School of institutional analysis and political economy.


The University Times welcomes information about new books, journals, plays and musical compositions written or edited by faculty and staff.

Newly published works can be submitted through this link. Please keep the book descriptions short and accessible to a general audience.

Journals should be peer-reviewed. Self-published works will not be accepted. The listings also are restricted to complete works, because individual chapters, articles, works of art and poems would be too numerous.

We’ll also be highlighting some books and book talks with connections to Pitt.

If you have any questions, please contact editor Susan Jones at or 412-244-4042.