European and Eurasian Undergraduate Research Symposium


The Undergraduate Research Symposium is an annual event since 2002 designed to provide undergraduate students, from the University of Pittsburgh and other colleges and universities, with advanced research experiences and opportunities to develop presentation skills. The event is open to undergraduates from all majors and institutions who have written a research paper from a social science, humanities, or business perspective focusing on the study of Eastern, Western, or Central Europe, the European Union, Russia, or Central Eurasia.

After the initial submission of papers, selected participants are grouped into panels according to their research topics. The participants then give 10- to 15-minute presentations based on their research to a panel of faculty and graduate students. The presentations are open to the public.




March 22, 2024






2:15 p.m. | 5602 Posvar Hall | 230 S. Bouquet St.





KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. James Pickett Associate Professor Department of History University of Pittsburgh

The broad rubric of identity is the single most dominant research agenda in academic scholarship, and Eurasian history is no exception. When it comes to questions of ethnic identity, scholars mist often focus on groups that can boast some kind of institutional backing-- such as a nation-state. Yet, historically, there were many ways that people integrated into collectives- whether or not they were conscious of doing so- that did not lead to a modern nation-state. This keynote address highlights some of the Central Asian groups all but forgotten by history, as well as non-identitarian forms of human integration, such as language, cultures of documentation, and performances of sovereignty. 

James Pickett focuses on empire and Islam as entangled sources of authority, with particular attention to historical memory and state formation. His first monograph, Polymaths of Islam: Power and Networks of Knowledge in Central Asia (Cornell University Press, 2020), examines transregional networks of exchange among religious scholars in the Central Asian city-state of Bukhara. Through mastery of arcane disciplines, these multi-talented intellectuals enshrined their city as a peerless center of Islam, and thereby elevated themselves into the halls of power. A second book project, Seeing Like a Princely State: Protectorates in Central and South Asia at the Nexus of Early Modern Court and Modern Nation-State, will compare Bukhara's transformation into a Russian protectorate with the Indian princely state of Hyderabad's parallel trajectory into semi-colonial status. It is especially concerned with cultures of documentation in relation to the state.


QUESTIONS? Contact Zita Tóth-Shawgo

Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies
European Studies Center
University Center for International Studies
Graduate Organization for the Study of Europe and Central Asia
Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences







There are many online resources to assist you in preparing your paper for submission to the Symposium. Please note that you are required to submit your paper using the Chicago Manual of Style.