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.

Tuesday, March 19

12:00 pm Lecture Series / Brown Bag
Faculty Networking Opportunity: The Global Salon
William Pitt Union, Lower Lounge
Sponsored by:
Director's Office along with Year of Pitt Global
See Details

All University of Pittsburgh faculty, tenure stream and non-tenure stream, are invited to a special series of networking opportunities made possible by the Year of Pitt Global. This Global Salon series brings together faculty and researchers from across the University to build relationships and share proposed or ongoing research. The Salons are organized around the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in five themes: People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace, and Partnership.

Goals for the Global Salon:

1. Increase local networks, build new relationships, form working groups

2. Encourage open dialogue across disciplines and develop common research agendas

3. Highlight efforts Pitt faculty undertake to address global issues

Additionally, Global Salon participants may be eligible for seed grant funding to advance multi-disciplinary research projects.

The Global Salons are free of charge, and lunch is provided, but registration is required. Register here:

Each Global Salon allows faculty to enjoy lunch while discussing their research informally through conversation groups. All faculty, regardless of full-time, part-time, or tenure status, are welcome to register.

Faculty Luncheon Series: The Global Salon

February 19 and 28, March 5 and 19, and April 9

Noon – 1:30 p.m.
William Pitt Union, Lower Lounge

Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Salon focus: Research on strategies and technologies to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, to ensure that all human beings can fulfill their potential in dignity and equality and in healthy environments.

Thursday, February 28, 2019
Salon focus: Research on strategies and technologies to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Salon focus: Research on strategies and technologies to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change to support present and future generations.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Salon focus: Research on strategies to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies that are free from fear and violence, and directed toward an understanding that no sustainable development can occur without peace and no peace can occur without sustainable development.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Salon focus: Research on strategies to mobilize and implement global partnerships for sustainable development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, and focused on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.

12:30 pm Lecture
State owned enterprises in Latin America: old problems, new solutions
4130 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Center for Latin American Studies along with Institute for Humane Studies
See Details

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019
12:30 p.m., 4130 Posvar Hall
The Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at the University of Pittsburgh in collaboration with the Institute for Humane Studies Pre-Conference Lecture: “State owned enterprises in Latin America: old problems, new solutions.”

Aldo Musacchio
Associate Professor of Business in the International Business School (IBS) at the Brandeis University; Chair of the Undergraduate Business Program; Program Director of the Master’s in International Economics and Finance; and Director of the Brazil and Latin America Initiatives.

Thi is a pre-conference lecture as part of the Latin American Social and Public Policy (LASPP) Conference 2019, which will take place from March 29th - 30th. This talk was made possible through a partnership between Pitt's Center for Latin American Studies and the Institute for Humane Studies (

For more information about CLAS and the LASPP Conference, visit:

1:00 pm Lecture Series / Brown Bag
How to Write Hidden Histories of Migration with Bande Dessinee
Sponsored by:
European Studies Center along with University Honors College, Dean Twyning, Humanities Center, Department of French & Italian, Department of Africana Studies, Cultural Studies, Dept of Instruction and Learning, The World History Center, Office of the Associate Dean and Department of History of Art and Architecture
See Details

A part of the International Francophonie Day 2019!

1:30 pm Workshop
Russian Tutoring with Katya Kovaleva
Hillman Library, Room 201D
Sponsored by:
Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies along with Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures
See Details

Meet with our Russian tutor Katya Kovaleva in 201D Hillman Library if you need help with your homework or want to prepare for your tests and exams.

5:00 pm Film
Short Film & Book Launch
Presentation Room, Alumni Hall
Sponsored by:
European Studies Center along with Film and Media Studies and Carnegie Mellon Center for the Arts in Society
See Details

The European Studies Center is pleased to invite all to attend a short film, Europe Endless, directed by Christopher Roth. It will be followed by a film discussion with Colin MacCabe, Jennifer Keating, and Richard Davies, moderated by Gayle Rogers. This event will also feature as the book launch for Patrick McCabe's Ireland: The Butcher Boy, Breakfast on Pluto and Winterwood.
Reserve your ticket at
The world premiere of Europe Endless will take place on Brexit Day, March 29th.

6:00 pm Lecture
Economic Human Rights: It's Time for a New Social Contract
Homewood Community Engagement Center, 622 N Homewood Ave
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center along with Pitt Human Rights Working Group; Year of Pitt Global; Center for Health Equity, Ford Institute on Human Security and Pittsburgh United
See Details

The National Economic and Social Rights Initiative is advancing a nation-wide call for a “New Social Contract” in this country to defend our economy, democracy and climate from threats posed by extreme concentrations of wealth in a few hands and economic development that prioritizes economic growth over maintaining the infrastructure, goods and services that families and neighborhoods need to thrive. A New Social Contract flips the script on this abusive economy and advances comprehensive, transformative, community-led solutions that protect human rights, build equitable systems for everyone and deepen our democracy. Learn about this initiative and how it can connect with struggles for human rights, democracy, and racial and economic justice in our city!