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Three Faculty Members from the Department of Communication Receive Funding for Year of Discourse and Dialogue Initiatives

In recognition of their dedication to fostering meaningful discourse and dialogue at the University of Pittsburgh, three faculty members from the Department of Communication have been awarded funding for events they planned as part of Pitt’s Year of Discourse and Dialogue initiative. 

The initiative, aimed at promoting understanding and practice discourse and dialogue across various disciplines, will see Associate Professor Caitlin Bruce, Associate Professor Paul Elliott Johnson, and Associate Director of Debate Alvin Primack spearhead a series of engaging events and workshops.  

Associate Professor Caitlin Bruce invited Heather Shirey and Todd Lawrence from the Urban Art Mapping Project, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. Their presentation on February 23, 2024, entitled “Don’t Let Them Change the Narrative”: Documenting, Archiving, and Reactivating Street Art After the 2020 Uprising” will highlight their work archiving street art produced in response to the murder of George Floyd. They especially explore the intersection of public art and public debate. A panel on “Global Motherhood: Art and Activism” at the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka on March 3, 2024 from 3-5pm, will offer a public conversation between public artists Zena Ruiz, Maggie Negrete, and Haifa Subay and simultaneous youth art workshop led by Caitlin Yeagen and Becky Gaugler. 

Associate Professor Paul Elliott Johnson's initiative, "Building Capacity Against Threats to Discourse and Dialogue" will feature Michael J. Lee, College of Charleston and Billie Murray, Villanova University in a discussion on “Today’s Democratic Peril: A Dialogue About Free Expression” on March 20, 2024. They will delve into strategies to combat threats to meaningful communication in contemporary society. 

Associate Director of Debate Alvin Primack will host the "Dissecting Disinformation Workshop Series," aimed at equipping participants with the critical tools necessary to navigate the complex landscape of misinformation. Kristen Browde, J.D., will speak about transgender rights disinformation at the Kurtzman Ballroom on February 22, 2024, from 9-11am. Ksenia Turkova, PhD, is a broadcast journalist for Voice of America and a Russian linguist. She will discuss Russian media disinformation and propaganda in CL 1414 from 3-5pm on March 8, 2024. John Oddo, PhD, is professor of English at Carnegie Melon University. He will focus on wartime propaganda in CL 1414 from 3-5pm on April 5, 2024.  

Through these events, the department reaffirms its commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration and the promotion of constructive dialogue in academia and beyond. 

See details on these and other events in the Department’s speaker series Agora here