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.

Friday, February 1

(All day) Information Session
Roadmap to Model African Union
4130 WWPH
Sponsored by:
Center for African Studies
See Details

Please ensure that the $10 registration fee per student is submitted to the African Studies Program by 2/1/19! Also be sure that all teachers accompanying the students submite their clearances and consent forms for photos and videos.Teachers will raise any questions and seek clarifications for things that are not clear. They will request visits to their schools by pitt faculty and students knowledgeable about Africa and the African Union to talk to the high school students and answer any questions

9:30 am Career Counselling/Conference/Information Session
International Student Career Conference
William Pitt Union, Ballroom
Announced by:
Office of International Services on behalf of Year of Pitt Global, Career Center and Office of Cross-Cultural and Leadership Development
See Details

The University of Pittsburgh Career Center, Office of International Services and the Office of Cross-Cultural Leadership, invite international students to the International Student Career Conference, held February 1st, 2019.

This exciting event aims to empower international students in their job & internship search, as well as provide helpful career advice from speakers, alumni and employers. Through participation in the event, students will:

Learn valuable and relevant job & internship search strategies
Report a greater understanding of navigating the world of work
Engage and network with knowledgeable speakers and guests
This event is open to both undergraduate and graduate international students studying at the University of Pittsburgh. Registration is limited to 150 attendees and you MUST pre-register to attend using this Eventbrite form:

This conference is made possible due to the generous funding provided by the Year of Pitt Global. To check out other related events, please visit:

1:00 pm Lecture
Ernesto Cardenal
4130 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Center for Latin American Studies along with Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures
See Details

The Department of Hispanic Languages & Literatures and the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at the University of Pittsburgh present:

Ernesto Cardenal: utopía crítica, indigenismo y bienes culturales en la experiencia de Solentiname

Leonel Delgado Aburto
Universidad de Chile

A partir de una lectura de Las ínsulas extrañas, segundo tomo de las memorias de Ernesto Cardenal, este ponencia destaca la importancia de la producción cultural, sobre todo la pintura naíf, en la experiencia de Solentiname, comunidad contemplativa dirigida por Cardenal en Nicaragua durante los años 1960´s-1970s. Un planteamiento básico es que Solentiname se constituye como contrainstitución, es decir, que opera desplazando una idea tradicional de comunidad mística. Además, destaco que la circulación de bienes culturales al ser tan fundamental para la existencia de la comunidad, adelanta un concepción de cultura como recurso que influyó en el proyecto cultural de la revolución sandinista. Subrayo también la importancia que tuvo para la constitución de la comunidad el indigenismo, que ofrece la idealización de una comunidad, sujeto y espiritualidad alternativos. Propongo, por último, que la pintura naíf es un producto transcultural que indica una alianza de clases y en torno al cual se elaboran nuevos posiciones de sujeto.

Más información:

3:00 pm Reception
Ferguson Voices Opening Reception
Thornburgh Room, Hillman Library
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center along with Department of Africana Studies; Department of English; Department of Political Science; Department of Sociology; University Library System; Student Government Board
See Details

Join us for the opening of the exhibit on Ferguson Voices that will be held at the library for the entire month of February. The Global Studies Center believes that there is a great opportunity to continue and enrich conversations on diversity and inclusion by situating these issues within their wider global and historical context. Doing so will provide a literal and metaphorical space for discussion of issues important to all of us and create a unique opportunity to experience diversity through consideration of multiple perspectives on a prominent - and still present - moment in recent American history. By speaking to the global context in which the events in Ferguson, MO
unfolded, GSC and its partners will enable students, faculty, and staff to consider these events in new ways that may contribute to a deeper understanding of the events themselves and the broader processes of which they are apart. For more information visit