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The Challenging Boundaries in the Humanities

The Challenging Boundaries in the Humanities

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     The Challenging Boundaries in the Humanities will be the topic for the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Humanities Division Fall Colloquium being held from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, November 10 in room 131 Blackington Hall on the Pitt-Johnstown campus.

     Speakers for the Colloquium include: Derek Leben, author of A Science of Morality, and Halvor Aakhus, author of The Book of Knut and Excerpts that Showcase the Work’s Interdisciplinary Elements such as Mathematical Proofs, Original Oil Paintings, and Soundtracks.

     Derek Leben, visiting instructor in humanities at Pitt-Johnstown, will offer a qualified and critical defense of Sam Harris’ popular and controversial book, The Moral Landscape: How Science can Determine Human Values.  Mr. Leben’s research pursues the connection between psychology and normativity, what one should do and believe, under the assumption that psychological theories of meaning, morality, and beliefs can directly inform their normative status.  Mr. Leben is currently completing his PhD at Johns Hopkins University.

     Halvor Aakhus is a visiting instructor in humanities at Pitt-Johnstown.  The Book of Knut, is his first novel and is a representation of his interdisciplinary interests.  In his book, Mr. Aakhus writes about a mathematician who finds a novel written by her dead lover and subsequently transforms it into an annotated mathematical textbook complete with homework problems.  The manuscript was awarded a $10,000 Henfield Prize in May 2011 and is forthcoming from Jaded Ibis Productions in 2013.  In his presentation, Mr. Aakhus will focus on excerpts that showcase the book’s interdisciplinary elements such as mathematical proofs, original oil paintings, chemical models, homework problems, and original musical compositions with soundtracks.  Mr. Aakhus received a BA in mathematics and chemistry in 2006, and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Florida in 2011.

     The event is free of charge and open to the public.  For additional information, contact Drs. Kristen Majocha 814-269-7205 or Alvaro Bernal at 814-269-7154.

     Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh.  The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.  Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best Northeastern College,” and by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School.”  Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Pitt-Johnstown…at the forefront of leading baccalaureate colleges…



Posted by Shook, Kimberly on 11/8/2011 2:30:00 PM