The “Secret Pittsburgh” Literature class encourages University of Pittsburgh students to explore “secret” and unusual spaces of the city. Discussions require students to consider the interconnections between politics, environment, community, and texts. Readings range from spatial theory, news articles, websites, archival letters, popular histories, plays, prison memoirs, and novels.
At the end of the class, students construct entries for this online guidebook about the sites we visited from a firsthand perspective. This guidebook will grow each semester, as future classes add their own writing and literary connections.
You can find site entries by neighborhood categories, or site-specific attribute tags (as listed in the word-cloud at the bottom of the page). You may also opt to scroll through the various sites by visiting our Site Index. Each site’s informational page is composed of two parts–at the top of each page you will find more typical guidebook information, including hours of operation, address, and accessibility. This is followed by a brief description about the interesting elements of the site, which will help you decide if it’s a secret you’d like to see for your self. Beneath this guidebook portion are individual student narratives–these stories focus on student-selected details of the sites (e.g. the history of Steel-Mill safety protocols; the evolution of graffiti art-collaborations; the community use of a cemetery) that will interest readers particularly fascinated with the site.