Events in UCIS

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.

Friday, February 15 until Thursday, March 21

(All day) Exhibit
Africans in India Exhibition
Location:
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
Location:
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:
African Studies Program, 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

Friday, March 1 until Saturday, March 2

(All day) Conference
Graduate Organization for the Study of Europe and Central Asia 16th Annual Graduate Student Conference
Sponsored by:
Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies along with Graduate Organization for the Study of Europe and Central Asia and GPSG
See Details

The nations of the Eurasian landmass have been on both the receiving and giving ends of kinetic and non-kinetic coercion long before fear spread of Russian Twitter bots. Powers both great and small in Eurasia have for centuries attempted to exert control over their neighbors and lands further across the globe.The United States’ 2016 presidential election made information warfare and cyber-security the topics of conversation in academic, policy, and security circles. However, persuasion and coercion have taken many forms from multimedia propaganda campaigns, spy wars, military interventions, special operations raids, and even manipulation of the supply of critical resources such as fossil fuels. While we hear about these tactics being used abroad, the tactics of persuasion and coercion have also been employed domestically by Eurasian states.

Friday, March 1

6:00 pm Panel Discussion
North Korea in Transition Speaker Series Panel
Location:
548 William Pitt Union
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Year of Pitt Global and Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures
See Details

The thaw in the US-North Korea relations last year, however uncertain, was certainly a welcome change from the previous year’s bellicose rhetoric, for both sides. Yet is change really around the corner? Doubts on Kim Jong Un’s sincerity persist. Many still believe he will never denuclearize and his gestures toward opening are just another ploy to buy time. Are we just seeing more of the same? Or do we have a historic opportunity to make real change on the peninsula? What are the issues at stake in 2019? “North Korea in Transition” in-vites distinguished experts in the fields of policymaking and international relations to probe those questions and put the current situation in a broader historical context. Reaching beyond politics, this speaker series also brings together scholars who have led academic and cultural engagements with North Korea to discuss how non-political exchanges can help improve North Korea’s relations with the rest of the world.

Moderator: Dr. James Cook, ASC, University of Pittsburgh
Panelists: Weston Konishi, Director of Partnerships & Development at US-Japan Council and Senior Fellow at Maureen & Mike Mansfield Foundation; William Brown, Professor at Georgetown University and Fellow at Korea Economic Institute of America; Lisa Collins, Fellow at Center for Strategic and International Studies