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Faculty Book Talks

Past Book Talks

The Library invites you to join Pitt faculty authors from various disciplines as they share their research and  discuss their recently published books.
Q & A will follow. Refreshments will be provided. This series is free and open to the public.

Book Talks are held in the Spring and Fall semesters. All talks will be held from 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. in the Thornburgh Room on the 1st floor of Hillman Library.

 

 

 

 

February 19

Oscar E. Swan
Customs and Culture in Poland under the Last Saxon King: The major texts of Opis obyczajów za panowania Augusta III by father Jędrzej Kitowicz, 1728-1804

Jędrzej Kitowicz was a parish priest in central Poland with a military and worldly past. In his later years, after putting the affairs of his parish in order, he composed a colorful chronicle of all aspects and walks of life under King August III. He seems to have written mostly from memory, creating in the process the most complete record that exists of society in eighteenth-century Poland. A man with omnivorous tastes, a keen sense of observation, and a wry—at times bawdy—sense of humor, Kitowicz’s realistic and robust literary technique has been compared in its earthiness and evocativeness to Flemish genre painting. A noteworthy example of eighteenth-century writing and narrative talent, his Opis reveals an astounding visual memory and a modern ethnographer’s eye for material culture.

The present book consists of fifty-one chapters, including all of the most celebrated ones, from Father Kitowicz’s Opis, complete with a comprehensive introduction. Topics include religious beliefs, customs and institutions, child-rearing, education, the judiciary and the military. Particularly vivid are the descriptions of the lives of the nobility, ranging from cooking through men’s and women’s wear to household entertainments and drinking habits. A commentary by the editor introduces each chapter.

 

March 4

An Educator's Guide to Steam Book CoverCassie F. Quigley and Danielle Herro
An Educator's Guide to STEAM: Engaging Students Using Real-World Problems

This practical book will help readers understand what STEAM is, how it differs from STEM, and how it can be used to engage students in K–8 classrooms. The authors present a conceptual model with recommendations and classroom examples illustrating various key aspects of STEAM teaching in action, including creating the correct teaching environment, integrating STEAM content, and supporting students as they develop STEAM-related skills. The model includes specific strategies such as problem-based learning, student choice, technology integration, and teacher facilitation. Each chapter incorporates elements of connected learning―a type of learning that draws on students’ interests that teachers can capitalize on when using STEAM to address real-world problems. Readers will find easy-to-understand examples of what STEAM education looks like in a variety of classrooms, and will hear from teachers, instructional coaches, principals, and administrators about what it takes to ensure that STEAM is a schoolwide success.

 

If you're Pitt faculty who has recently published and would like to schedule a book talk for your own publication, 
please contact Jeff Wisniewski at jeffw@pitt.edu.