Events in UCIS

Thursday, October 25 until Sunday, October 28

(All day) Conference
19th Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center, Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies and European Studies Center along with Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh Press, Confucious Institute, World History Center, Year of PittGlobal, China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development and Central Eurasian Studies Society
See Details

CESS 2018 : October 24-28, 2018 at the University of Pittsburgh

The Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies and the Graduate School for Public and International Affairs are pleased to host the 19th Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society. Join over 300 scholars and professionals from around the globe for a conference, spanning five days of workshops, panels, forums, exhibits, and special events.

For more information about the program, see

Thursday, October 25 until Wednesday, May 1

8:30 am Exhibit
Travelers Along the Silk Roads: 10th Century to the Present
Ground and Second Floors, Hillman Library
Sponsored by:
Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies along with Year of PittGlobal and Hillman Library
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Free and Open to the Public during Hillman Library Hours

The term Silk Road, coined by 19th century German explorer Ferdinand von Richthofen, refers to a loose network of overland trade routes stretching from the Mediterranean to East Asia. Textiles, gems, spices, animals and even religions were all exchanged along this vast expanse, starting around 1,000 B.C. and continuing for millennia. For much of this time, most Silk Road traders coming from western Eurasia were Muslim, and they brought their beliefs and rich culture to millions of people.

A Crossroads of Ideas

While the Silk Road was a two-way route, most of its movement was eastward, carrying Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and later, Islam.

By the 8th century, Muslims stopped thinking of religion geographically and began seeking converts along the Silk Road. The benefits of conversion to such a widespread religion were many, as Muslims preferred trading with other Muslims.

Islamic scientific and medical advancements also had significant impact on Silk Road travelers. Chinese Buddhist traders adopted Islamic medical knowledge in wound healing and urinalysis. Muslims brought India their insights on astronomy, including a skepticism of the geocentric universe.

Cultural Exchange Along the Route

Influences from Buddhist China and other regions also affected radical changes in Islam. In the 12th century, abstract Islamic art suddenly started depicting human figures, long considered forbidden in Islam. Murals showing Buddhist statues and Indian narrative artwork started appearing in mosques, and Islamic art exploded with new techniques and figures. Chinese technologies, such as paper production and gunpowder, were transmitted to the West. Iran’s art in the Mongol period (13th and 14th centuries) is dramatically influenced by Chinese artistic traditions.

The Exhibit Design

The ground floor cases in Hillman Library feature a map of the Silk Road from its Eastern terminus in the Chinese city of Xian to its western terminus in Constantinople. They also display the late-14th century Catalan Atlas, the most detailed world map of its time, showing key places along and major figures who traveled the overland route of the Silk Road. The exhibit continues on the second floor of Hillman Library in five thematic display cases:

*Horses and Dynasties: Cartography and Painting in China, 10th-14th Centuries,
*Alexander the Great, Kublai Khan, and Marco Polo: Confluences of Power and Exchange in Assia,
*Musical Encounters in the Deserts and Mountains of Central Asia,
*Explorations in Turkestan: Aurel Stein and Bamiyan, and
*New World Exploitation and the China Trade with Europe.

Thursday, October 25

12:00 pm Lecture
Mixing It: Multinational, Multi-ethnic Britain in the Second World War
3911 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
European Studies Center and European Union Center of Excellence along with European Union (Jean Monnet Center of Excellence Grant)
See Details

Waves of refugees, exiles, troops, and war workers from overseas meant that the population of Britain reached unprecedented levels of diversity during WWII. Once the war was over, this multi-national, multi-ethnic wartime population often remained, but their history has been largely forgotten. As History Revealed commented: “Wendy Webster is on a mission to make us remember.”

Lunch will be provided; pre-registration required
Registration link:

12:30 pm Colloquium
Hollywood in the French Projects
602 Cathedral of Learning
Sponsored by:
European Studies Center along with Humanites Center
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Colloquium featuring David Pettersen (French and Film and Media Studies)

with responses from Adam Lowenstein (English and Film and Media Studies) and Jeanette Jouili (Religious Studies)

4:00 pm Reception
Faculty Salon
4100 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center
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Join us for a happy hour in the Global Studies main office. We'll provide drinks and light refreshments; you provide the great company and conversation. Not only are these events fun, they help us to build up the Global Studies program and community at Pitt by giving us a chance to learn more about your work and how we might support it. It's a great way to meet people with shared or complementary interests, and for us to hear your suggestions about what we might do to enrich and encourage exciting research, teaching, and programs on campus and beyond. This event is for faculty only.

7:00 pm Cultural Event
Non-Alcoholic Mix off
Schenley Quad
Sponsored by:
International Week along with Resident Student Association
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RSA's Non-Alcoholic Mix off (NAMO) is an event that occurs during National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week. Students compete by creating non-alcoholic drinks and decorating their table and having others vote on the best one! This years theme is Fire and Ice with a focus on culture and diversity on and off Pitts campus. Come join us on October 25th from 7-9 P.M. for fun information and free drinks!