Events in UCIS

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
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.

Tuesday, December 4

12:00 pm Lecture Series / Brown Bag
Conversations on Europe: 25 Years of the European Single Market
4217 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
European Studies Center
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Join us for a virtual roundtable discussion of the European Single Market – Europe’s single most ambitious project for the economic integration of goods, capital, services and labor – as it celebrates 25 years. Audience participation is encouraged.

Jude Hays, Department of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh
Waltraud Schelkle, European Institute, London School of Economics
Catherine Barnard, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge

Jae-Jae Spoon, Department of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh

12:00 pm Film
Traces in the Snow, dir. Vladimir Kozlov
4130 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies along with Children’s Literature and Cultural Studies Program
See Details

The world's first documentary about Siberia's punk rock scene in the 1980s. It was a phenomenon of those times that this music existed thousands of miles away from the movement's epicenters in New York and London.

2:30 pm Career Counselling
Careers in International Organizations & Policymaking: World Bank
4130 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center
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Dr. Dina El-Naggar, World Bank Communications Lead for the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation (FCI) Global Practice, is coming to the University of Pittsburgh to discuss the role and effective forms of policy communication in multilateral institutions. Dr. El-Naggar illuminate career opportunities for students within the World Bank and international organizations at large.

5:30 pm Workshop
Kitsuke: The Art of Kimono
4130 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center
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Through this interactive workshop, learn about the intricate art of dressing in kimono with expert and Pitt alumnus Evan Mason. The workshop will begin with a lecture on the culture and history of the kimono in Japan followed by a demonstration of kitsuke and an opportunity for participants to dress in yukata and try out their new skills!

6:30 pm Film
CLAS Cinema Series: The Queen of Spain
Sponsored by:
Center for Latin American Studies along with Spanish Film Club
See Details

The Center for Latin American Studies presents the CLAS Cinema Series Fall 2018:
September 11 ... The Future Perfect
October 2 ... On the Roof
October 23 ... Eyes of the Journey
November 6 ... Spider Thieves
November 27 ... The Candidate
December 4 ... The Queen of Spain

Tuesdays at the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
6:30 P.M. - Pizza
7:00 P.M. - Movie

For more information, visit:
Free & Open to the Public!
English subtitles provided.

Sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies at Pitt, CLAS CINEMA Series, and Spanish Film Club by Pragda

For more information, visit: