Events in UCIS

Thursday, October 25 until Sunday, October 28

(All day) Conference
19th Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society
Location:
Varies
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
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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 https://www.cess.pitt.edu/program.

Thursday, October 25 until Wednesday, May 1

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

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.

Saturday, October 27

12:00 pm Festival
SAMHAIN-Gaelic Halloween Festival
Location:
Commons Room - Cathedral of Learning
Sponsored by:
Nationality Rooms
See Details

Samhain (pronouced "Sah-win") is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from October 31 to November 1, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset. It was a night when spirits could cross over, and later replaced with the Christian celebration All Sant's Day on November 1 (thus, October 31 was "All Hallows [Saints] Eve")

Samhain celebration of storytelling & turnip carving!!

12:45 pm Panel Discussion
Majlis Podcast: Central Asia in Current Affairs
Location:
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center, Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies and Confucius Institute along with Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), The World History Center, the University of Pittsburgh Press, and the School of Education and Central Eurasian Studies Society
See Details

The Majlis Podcast is Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's in-depth weekly current affairs talk show focusing on Central Asia.

Hosted and produced by Muhammad Tahir, RFE/RL's Media Relations Manager, every week the podcast brings the most relevant experts to discuss the pressing issues of the day involving its target region.

As part of the Special Events Series of the 2018 conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society, RFE/RL will record an episode on a current affairs topic with discussants and a live audience.

Conference registration is NOT required.

4:15 pm Panel Discussion
Presidential Panel: Meet the Past, Present and Future Presidents of CESS
Location:
Frick Fine Arts Room 125
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center, Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies and Confucius Institute along with Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), The World History Center, the University of Pittsburgh Press, and the School of Education and Central Eurasian Studies Society
See Details

Must be registered for the CESS conference to attend (https://www.cess.pitt.edu/program).

7:30 pm Panel Discussion
Screening and Panel Discussion: Not in Our Name
Location:
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center, Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies and Confucius Institute along with Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), World History Center, University of Pittsburgh Press, School of Education and Central Eurasian Studies Society
See Details

An initiative of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Not in Our Name is the first documentary project ever produced on counter-extremism in Central Asia. With the goal of empowering communities to stand up to violent extremist recruiters who claim to represent them, the RFE/RL team traveled to diverse regions and explored how residents can work together from the local to the national level to prevent the spread of violence. Not in Our Name features video portraits of those who lost family members in Syria and Irak and follows discussions among youth from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan as young people in these countries reflect on experiences from a nearby conflict in town hall meetings.

The challenge Central Asian communities face from extremist groups is real. According to recent estimates, countries of the former Soviet Union were the single largest source of foreign fighters in the Syria/Iraq conflict -- more than neighboring states in the Middle East. With over 4,200 Central Asians joining the conflict, communities across the region have been and will continue to be exposed to the horrors of war and extremist ideological tendencies. The documentary follows Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Tajik, and Uzbek youth as they come to a deeper understanding of the challenges they face and consider what their options for collective action so that their communities can take a stand and declare "Not in Our Name."

This event is part of the Special Events Series of the 2018 Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with contributors. Conference registration is NOT required.

Moderator: Muhammad Tahir, Media Relations Manager, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty