Publishing clearinghouse: ‘The Pittsburgh Novel’; book teach-in; ‘In Pain’ discussion

Book events

“The Pittsburgh Novel” book launch, by Peter Oresick and Jack Oresick
6-7:30 p.m. March 7, Reading Room, Archives & Special Collections, Third Floor, Hillman Library

The University of Pittsburgh Library System is hosting an event to celebrate the digital publication of “The Pittsburgh Novel: Western Pennsylvania in Fiction and Drama, 1792–2022” by Peter Oresick and Jake Oresick. “The Pittsburgh Novel is an annotated bibliography of all known fiction with a significant geographical setting in any of Pennsylvania’s 26 westernmost counties. The event will feature co-author Jake Oresick, and authors whose Pittsburgh-based books are featured in the bibliography, including Stewart O'Nan; Mark Clayton Southers, representing the late August Wilson; and Ellen Prentiss Campbell.

“The Pittsburgh Novel” is brainchild of the late Peter Oresick, a Western Pennsylvania literature scholar, publisher, professor and poet, who once worked at the University of Pittsburgh Press as marketing director and associate director. Published recently by Penn State University Libraries’ Open Publishing program (, the bibliography is all-inclusive, with more than 1,500 works by writers as diverse as Willa Cather, Michael Chabon, August Wilson, E. L. Doctorow, John Edgar Wideman, Stephen King, Stewart O’Nan, Heather Terrell, Kurt Vonnegut, Kathleen George and Thomas Sweterlitsch, along with screenplays of popular motion pictures like “Groundhog Day” and “Flashdance”; and long-lost 19th-century dime novels, children’s and young adult works, scripts of plays and television series, and obscure and self-published titles.

Registration is required and is free.


Book Teach-In: “Fighting for Our Place in the Sun: Malcolm X and the Radicalization of the Black Student Movement 1960-1973” by Richard D. Benson II, associate director, Pitt Center for Urban Education, School of Education
5-6:30 p.m. March 16, Center for Urban Education auditorium, 4303 Posvar and online

In “Fighting for Our Place in the Sun,” Richard D. Benson II examines the life of Malcolm X as not only a radical political figure, but also as a teacher and mentor. The book illuminates the untold tenets of Malcolm X’s educational philosophy, and also traces a historical trajectory of Black activists that sought to create spaces of liberation and learning that are free from cultural and racial oppression. It explains a side of the Black student movement and shift in black power that develops as a result of the student protests in North Carolina and Duke University. From these acts of radicalism, Malcolm X Liberation University, the Student Organization for Black Unity and African Liberation Day were produced to serve as catalysts to extend the tradition of Black activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Scholars, researchers, community organizers, and students of African-American studies, American studies, history of education, political science, Pan-African studies, and more will benefit from this provocative and enlightening text.

This teach-in will be hybrid, allowing participants to join virtually or in-person in the CUE Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public. Register here before March 14. In-person registration is limited.


“In Pain: A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle with Opioids” by Travis Rieder, in conversation with Theresa Brown
7-8:30 p.m. March 14, online and in-person at City of Asylum, 40 W. North Avenue

Travis Rieder, professor of bioethics at Johns Hopkins University, is the author of “In Pain: A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle with Opioids,” an account of his personal struggle with opioid use following a serious injury, and an exposé of how these powerful drugs are often carelessly prescribed and poorly understood. He will talk with New York Times-bestselling author Theresa Brown (author of “Healing: When a Nurse Becomes a Patient”) as part of the Healthcare and Humanity Reading Series, which features authors whose work explores inequities in the U.S. healthcare system. Programs in the series include a brief reading from the author, a moderated conversation, an audience Q&A, and a book signing. Co-sponsored by the Center for Bioethics & Health Law and City of Asylum, with support from the Provost’s Year of Emotional Well-Being initiative. Register here

New books

“Governing Smart Cities as Knowledge Commons,” co-edited by Michael Madison, Pitt professor of law; Brett M. Frischmann of Villanova University and Madelyn R. Sanfilippo of University of Illinois (Cambridge University Press, 2023)

The rise of “smart” — or technologically advanced — cities has been well documented, while governance of such technology has remained unresolved. Integrating surveillance, AI, automation, and smart tech within basic infrastructure as well as public and private services and spaces raises a complex set of ethical, economic, political, social, and technological questions. The Governing Knowledge Commons framework provides a descriptive lens through which to structure case studies examining smart tech deployment and commons governance in different cities. This volume deepens our understanding of community governance institutions, the social dilemmas communities face, and the dynamic relationships between data, technology, and human lives. The case studies offer useful guidance to students, professors, and practitioners of law and policy dealing with a wide variety of planning, design, and regulatory issues relating to cities.