Faculty, Student, and Alumni News

Certificate Student Zeba Ahmed Wins Fulbright Research Award

Zeba Ahmed flies into Pittsburgh from Japan just in time for graduation after studying abroad in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture during spring semester 2014. A short four months later, she will return to Japan to take up her recently awarded Fulbright Research Assistantship.

The Fulbright grant allows Zeba to conduct ethnographic research on the roles that Japanese community-based organizations and nonprofits play in fostering a sense of community. She will explore the ways that these organizations serve as third spaces—places that are not home or work—for social interaction.

“Residents often lack social bonds with their neighbors and withdraw into their personal lives,” says Zeba Ahmed, describing the need for third spaces. “It is most prevalent in communities where the majority of residents are newcomers rather than the traditional, stable intergenerational mix of people.”

Zeba Ahmed graduates from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese and Sociology and a Certificate in Asian Studies. Following her Fulbright research, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in East Asian Studies.

Robert Drennan concludes five-year field research project in northeastern China

Robert Drennan has concluded a five-year field research project in northeastern China, funded by the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation, in collaboration with Lu Xueming (Renmin University), Christian Peterson (University of Hawai'i), and Zhu Da (Liaoning Province Archaeology Institute). The aim of regional survey, intensive surface collection, and excavation in the Upper Daling region has been to reconstruct the social and economic organization of Hongshan period (4500-3000 BC) communities at local and regional scales. Final results of regional-scale work have just been published, and analysis of local-scale results is underway. Work has begun on the next five-year stage of research with the same collaborators in the nearby Niuheliang region.

May 2014: Pitt hosts "Empire, Ethics, and Tradition: An International Conference on the Han Dynasty"

This conference brought together an international group of scholars from North America, Europe, Australia, and Mainland China to present their latest research on the Han dynasty in early China. The conference drew participants from universities such as the University of Sydney (Australia), Peking University (China), the University of Geneva (Switzerland), and the University of California at Berkeley. The eighteen presentations from the fields of history, art history, philosophy, and religions fostered an interdisciplinary discussion on the important, yet understudied, history of the Han. Co-organized by Vincent S. Leung (University of Pittsburgh) and Michael Ing (Indiana University Bloomington), this conference was largely made possible by the Yu Chi-Chung Lectureship in Early Chinese Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.

Provost Beeson and UCIS Director Feick break ground for joint engineering partnership between Pitt and China's Sichuan University

The joint engineering partnership between the University of Pittsburgh and China’s Sichuan University reached its groundbreaking milestone on July 2, 2014.  Provost Patricia Beeson was joined by Xie Heping, president of Sichuan University, and members of the leadership teams from both institutions, to announce the beginning of construction.  

The $40-million project will establish the Sichuan University Pittsburgh Institute, a 100,000-square-foot building on Sichuan’s campus, which will educate undergraduate engineering students and foster collaborative research.  The Institute will enroll its first class of students in fall 2014.

Joining Provost Beeson at the event are Pitt’s Larry Feick, senior director of international programs; Greg Marcus, section chief at the US Consulate in Chengdu; and Prof. Gerald Holder, dean of the Swanson School of Engineering (fourth through second from the right).

The Asian Studies Center and the Center for International Law Education to host the Law and the Legal Profession in China Conference, February 27-28, 2015

The Asian Studies Center and the Center for International Law Education join together to sponsor a conference entitled "Law and the Legal Profession in China," February 27-28, 2015. Over the past two decades the profession of law within China has undergone tremendous change. China’s ascension to the World Trade Organization, massive foreign investment, and an increasingly cosmopolitan middle class have forced both the central government in Beijing and the country’s practicing attorneys to grapple with new clientele, new areas of practice, and an increasingly nuanced popular response to legal issues. This conference will bring together an international panel of multidisciplinary experts to examine the development and current practice of the legal profession in China, including a keynote by Donald C. Clarke, David Weaver Research Professor of Law, George Washington University, titled "Is Chinese Law Different? The Perils of Occidentalism." For more information, including a the program and a list of speakers, please see the conference website.