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, March 29 until Saturday, April 13

7:00 pm Film
Italian Film Festival of Pittsburgh
Location:
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Announced by:
European Studies Center on behalf of

Sunday, March 31

2:00 pm Film
FACES OF WO/MEN Film Screening: Fugue
Location:
McConomy Auditorium, CMU
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center along with Jewish Studies Program, Pitt Film and Media Studies, Pitt Film Talk, Pitt's German Film Fund, Department of English, Student Office of Sustainability and Several Community Sponsors
See Details

Alicja has no memory and no knowledge about how she lost it. In two years, she manages to build a new, independent self, away from home. She doesn't want to remember the past. When her family finds her, Alicja is forced to fit into the role of mother, daughter and wife, surrounded by what seem to be complete strangers. But Alicja sees them as strangers, and whatever ordeals she experienced while she was missing has eradicated the cheerful, compliant personality they remember. As Alicja learns more about the woman she supposedly was, the more fractured her precarious sense of self becomes. FUGUE is a psychological journey of self-realization through the darkest parts of humanity, accomplished with unsettling cinematography and truly striking direction from Agnieszka Smoczynska. More information and tickets can be found at https://www.cmu.edu/faces/2019/fugue.html.

4:00 pm Film
FACES OF WO/MEN Film Screening: Girls Always Happy
Location:
McConomy Auditorium, CMU
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center along with Jewish Studies Program, Pitt Film and Media Studies, Pitt Film Talk, Pitt's German Film Fund, Department of English, Student Office of Sustainability and Several Community Sponsors
See Details

Wu is in her mid-twenties and lives with her mother in a traditional one-story house in one of Beijing’s hutongs. Both consider themselves to be writers, but success has so far eluded them. Their unhealthily close relationship is characterised by reproaches and quibbling; only during meals do they appear to lay down their verbal weapons. The situation escalates when both Wu and her mother hit an emotional low. Often compared to the fellow mother-daughter film, LADYBIRD, GIRLS ALWAYS HAPPY is both a funny and dramatic depiction of a complicated parent-child relationship, elevated by the charming performances of the two leads: An Nai and director Yang Mingming herself. More information and tickets can be found at https://www.cmu.edu/faces/2019/girlsalwayshappy.html.

4:00 pm Presentation
African and Greek American Women Visionaries of the Civil Rights Struggle
Location:
Rodman Stree Missionary Baptist Church 6111 Rodman St., Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Sponsored by:
Nationality Rooms along with Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church/The American Hellenic Foundation of Western PA
See Details

The African-American and Greek communities are coming together with the Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church in poetry, song, and historical inspiration to celebrate the unsung heroes. women in the African-American and Greek-American communities, who challenged and responded to the hate and intolerance at the turn of last century leading to the historic events in Selma in 1965, Through unique and shared experiences, these everyday women heroes inspired their communities in different ways to "Serve One Another, Serve the People, Serve America, and Serve Humanity."

4:00 pm Film
Movie: Girls Always Happy (Rou Qing Shi)
Location:
McConomy Auditorium, Carnegie Mellon University
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center
See Details

"Girls Always Happy is unflinching in its exploration of a difficult parent-child dynamic, benefitting from intricate performances from the two leads." -Sarah Ward, Screen Daily

Wu is in her mid-twenties and lives with her mother in a traditional one-story house in one of Beijing's hutongs. Both consider themselves to be writers, but success has so far eluded them. Their unhealthily close relationship is characterized by reproaches and quibbling; only during meals do they appear to lay down their verbal weapons. The situation escalates when both Wu and her mother hit an emotional low. Often compared to the fellow mother-daughter film, LADYBIRD, GIRLS ALWAYS HAPPY is both a funny and dramatic depiction of a complicated parent-child relationship, elevated by the charming performances of the two leads: An Naiver and director Yang Mingming herself.

Awards:
Chinese Young Generation Film Forum, 2018, Best New Screenwriter
Five Flavors Asian Film Festival, 2018, Special Mention
Hong Kong International Film Festival, 2018, FIPRESCI Prize, Golden Firebird Award in Young Cinema
International Women's Film Festival Seoul, 2018, Best Director
Seattle International Film Festival, 2018, China Stars Award
Shanghai International Film Festival, 2018, Media Choice Award for Filmmaker