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 15 until Thursday, March 21

(All day) Exhibit
Africans in India Exhibition
University Art Gallery, Frick Fine Arts Building
Announced by:
Director's Office on behalf of the Year of Pitt Global
See Details

Over the centuries, East Africans have greatly distinguished themselves in India as generals, commanders, admirals, architects, prime ministers, and rulers. They have written a story unparalleled in the rest of the world: that of enslaved Africans attaining the pinnacle of military and political authority.

Known as Habshis (Abyssinians) and Sidis, they have left an impressive historical and architectural legacy that attest to their determination, skills, and intellectual, cultural, military and political savvy.

This exhibition retraces—in over 100 photographic reproductions of paintings and contemporary photographs—the lives and achievements of a few of the many talented and prominent Sidis of yesterday.

The gallery at Frick Fine Arts is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with extended hours on Thursdays up to 7 p.m. It is closed on weekends.

Monday, February 25 until Sunday, March 10

(All day) Exhibit
Names instead of Numbers: Remembrance Book for the Prisoners of Dachau Concentration Camp
Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
European Studies Center along with German Department
See Details

This international traveling exhibit comes to the University of Pittsburgh for a limited time.
This world renowned exhibit features biographies of twenty-two former inmates of the camp in an attempt to "remember the people hidden behind the prisoner uniforms and victim statistics."

Thursday, February 28 until Friday, March 1

(All day) Career Counselling
Career Toolkit Series: Student Career Networking Trip - Washington D.C.
Sponsored by:
Center for African Studies, Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies and Global Studies Center
See Details

Global Studies is partnering with the African Studies Program and the Center for Russian and East European Studies to host the fourth annual career networking trip to Washington, D.C. Students meet with experts and alumni from government, non-profit, and for profit sectors to learn about career opportunities and challenges. Meetings will be organized by three themes:
* Diplomacy and Security
* Global Health
* Human Rights and Human Security

Thursday, February 28

12:00 pm Lecture
The Different Cultural Manifestations of Soccer in North America and Europe: The Centrality of Gender
4130 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
European Studies Center and European Union Center of Excellence
See Details

In this talk, Prof. Markovits will present findings from his book Gaming the World: How Sports are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture (2010) and highlight the opposite paths that the women have traversed in the game of Association Football on both sides of the Atlantic.

3:00 pm Lecture
China's Rising Influence in Latin America and the Caribbean
4130 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center and Center for Latin American Studies
See Details

Center for Latin American Studies, Asian Studies Center, & University Center for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh present...

TED PICCONE: China's Rising Influence in Latin America and the Caribbean

3:00 PM
4130 POSVAR HALL, University of Pittsburgh

China is undertaking an ambitious strategy for economic and political engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean, raising a host of tough questions for policymakers in the region and the United States. Ted Piccone, Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, will discuss the main features of China’s long game for influence in the region, its impact on democratic governance, and the U.S. response.

TED PICCONE is a Senior Fellow specializing in International Order and Strategy and Latin America at Foreign Policy at Brookings. His research focuses on global democracy and human rights policies; emerging powers; multilateral affairs; and U.S.- Latin American relations. In 2017-2018, he was the inaugural Brookings-Robert Bosch Siftung Transatlantic Initiative fellow in Berlin. Previously, he served as the Foreign Policy program’s acting vice president and deputy director. Piccone is the author or editor of multiple publications on international affairs, including his recent book on Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order. Piccone served eight years as a foreign policy advisor in the Clinton Administration at the National Security Council, the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning, and the Pentagon. He was also the Washington office director for the Club of Madrid and continues as an advisor. He holds degrees from Columbia University’s Law School and the University of Pennsylvania and teachers international human rights law at American Unviersity’s Washington College of Law.

Please join us for a stimulating discussion. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, please email

4:30 pm Lecture Series / Brown Bag
Humanizing the Global, Globalizing the Human
602 Cathedral of Learning Cathedral of Learning
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center
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Patricia Ehrkamp, University of Kentucky Department of Geography
Presenting to University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Ehrkamp's research considers how immigration changes contemporary European and U.S. American cities and polities. She has argued that in order to understand immigrant geographies research needs to consider how immigrants and non-immigrant residents in cities of the United States and of Europe create spaces of everyday life, and how these new spaces of everyday life shape wider debates about citizenship, belonging, inclusion and exclusion. Her recent work on debates about minarets and mosque construction projects in Germany and Switzerland examines how understandings of secularism, religion, and gender shape contemporary liberal democracies in Europe.

6:00 pm Workshop
Peace Corps Application Workshop
4130 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center and University of Pittsburgh Peace Corps Recruiter
See Details

Make your application stand out from the rest. Attend this workshop to learn how to browse Volunteer openings, find the right program, and strengthen your application. You will have an opportunity to ask questions about service, learn steps you can take to improve your chances, and gain valuable tips to guide you through the application process.

Register to Attend: