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 8

10:30 am Reading Group
Emerging Latino Communities Reading and Publishing Group
1154 Public Health
Sponsored by:
Center for Latin American Studies along with Center for Health Equity
See Details

Emerging Latino Communities Reading and Publishing Group

1154 Public Health
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

February 8  |  March 8  |  April 12

The Center for Health Equity, with the support of the Center for Latin American Studies, invites you to explore 1) the problems Latinos in small yet rapidly growing populations face, and 2) how to solve those problems. We will read articles and offer feedback to those who are writing manuscripts. We hope to get new writing and research collaborations going!

Open to all interested: students, faculty, staff, and practitioners from Pitt and beyond. We will meet over coffee and light snacks in a relaxed atmosphere. If you want to get extra network time, we will be there 30 before and after the meeting time.

For more information, visit or e-mail Chantel Durrant

1:00 pm Lecture Series / Brown Bag
Social, Environmental, and Health Impacts of Climate Change in the Caribbean
4217 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Center for Latin American Studies
See Details

Join Panoramas in a discussion about climate change in the Caribbean

Friday, February 8th
4217 Posvar Hall
1:00 PM

Pizza provided! Free & open to the public!

Panoramas provides a web-based venue for thoughtful dialogue of Latin American and Caribbean issues. By enabling a voice for scholars, students, policy makers and others to engage in constructive commentary on relevant current and historical topics, the forum also serves as an academic resource to worldwide educational audiences. Housed at the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, and maintained by CLAS faculty, students and alumni, Panoramas strives to be at the forefront of scholarly analysis of affairs in the Latin American region.

For more information and to join the conversation, visit:

For more information on the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, visit:

3:00 pm Workshop
Research Toolkit
4217 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center
See Details

Are you interested in developing your academic interests into research projects? Gaining valuable undergraduate research experience? Pursuing a BPhil/Honors Thesis? Preparing for graduate school? Dr. Michael Goodhart, Global Studies Center director and Professor of Political Science, will walk students through the entire research process - from formulating research questions and selecting appropriate methods to gathering and analyzing data and presenting and publishing results.

7:30 pm Presentation
Nicole Marroquin, Redeveloping a People's Movement: Power and Public Participation in Chicago
Wilkinsburg Community Forge, 1256 Franklin Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Announced by:
Director's Office on behalf of Year of Pitt Global
See Details

Join Hemispheric Conversations: Urban Art Project, for a talk from Nicole Marroquin on power and public participation in Chicago.

Hemispheric Conversations Urban Art Project (HCUAP, pronunciation hiccup) is a public art platform that draws on the urban arts as a framework through which we can map the aesthetic, historical and cultural connections between Pittsburgh and similar international post­ industrial cities. HCUAP promotes aerosol arts as a tool for education, cultural expression, and global exchange around civic participation; conscious redevelopment; and the preservation and celebration of diverse cultural identities.

HCUAP activates dialogue between academics, artists, youth, the city and communities by producing generative outreach programming such as: public debates, symposia, research, city­wide youth art workshops and artist production residencies. In the context of Pittsburgh’s redevelopment, HCUAP seeks to position urban art as a way to challenge undemocratic appropriations of urban space by celebrating and preserving the diverse cultural legacies of the communities that make Pittsburgh their home.