ALCStudies Journal

Advanced Labor & Cultural Studies Web Site & Blog

Previous Events

January 5th 2013: The Thin Man Comes to Pittsburgh Live Radio 

January 5th 2013:  Brave New World:  Technology in Literature & Popular Culture (Presentation for the Carnegie Library People’s U.)

October 28th: Wild Yankees & Pennamites: The Connecticut-Pennsylvania Civil War

September 12th: From the ‘Burgh Abroad and Back Again: Photographs by Dave Schafer  (Note: Proceeds from sales will be donated to the Carnegie Library of Homestead.) For a preview of Dave’s work, please go to

From An Gorta Mor to Riverdance: The Irish Famine in History and Memory

March 12th, Women’s Club of Sewickley
Presented in association with the Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theater

This spoken-word presentation goes beyond the green beer and Riverdance depiction of Irish ‘troubles’ to explore the most traumatic event of Irish culture and history. The Irish Potato Famine (An Gorta Mor — or The Great Hunger) of 1845-1850 compares to the Soviet famine in the Ukraine and more recent human tragedies in Rwanda and Darfur in terms of impact.

Was the potato famine in Ireland genocide, or just an unfortunate convergence of historical and agricultural factors? What was the culpability of the British government, or indeed of Irish culture itself? Through music, images and first-hand accounts by figures such as Charles Trevelyan, Assistant Secretary of the British Treasury, the Dickensian Mr. Twistleton, and incomparably- named Edward Pine Coffin, the production will challenge popular perception about an event that killed one million Irish and sent many more fleeing to Canada, New Zealand and the United States, including Pittsburgh

The New World:  Technology, Religion and the Utopian Ideal.
February 19th the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh Sunday Forum, Ellsworth and Morewood, 9:30 AM

The presentation title echoes Bacon’s New Atlantis and will explore the historically evolving role of technology in our lives along with it’s promise and ambiguities as a path toward fulfillment, enlightenment and self-improvement (viz St. Steve Jobs and The Facebook Gospel)  The presentation will 1.) ask the audience to reflect and share their popular perceptions about technology depicted in literature, film and television, 2.) cite authors such as Neil Postman, Clifford Stoll, Shoshana Zuboff and Thoreau and 3.) offer observations from academic work and consulting in business and industry. The genesis for the topic comes from a book by David Noble titled The Religion of Technology; The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention.

Please click to view selected video clips from this presentation:

The New World: The Scientist as Visionary & Hero
The New World: Seeking the Divine Answer


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