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

Monday, April 1 until Tuesday, April 2

9:00 pm Symposium
Defining the Neglected Tropical Diseases: Research, Development, and Global Health Equity, 1970-present
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center
See Details

The "neglected tropical diseases" (NTDs) are a cluster of infectious diseases categorized by their impact on an estimated one billion people in 149 countries worldwide. These diseases are generally characterized by their high morbidity and low mortality and are strongly associated with poverty. NTD-focused campaigns have accelerated rapidly in the past two decades, with U.S. funding alone topping $887 million since 2006. Regional elimination or global eradication are often the end goal of these initiatives, coordinated by local and global NGOs, development organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and national ministries of health. The stakes of success or failure are high - in the twenty-first century, the NTDs have become a powerful operative and imaginative category in global public health.

This workshop seeks to catalyze new conversations on the history, present, and future of the (NTDs) in an innovative, multi-disciplinary gathering. The multi-sectorial nature of NTD work provides a unique opportunity for dialogue between scholars and practitioners in the humanities, social sciences, public health, law, and medicine around the complex challenges these diseases present. Pre-circulated papers will be discussed on a series of panels on Monday, April 1. On Tuesday, April 2, participants will gather for 1) a roundtable discussion on key areas of research on the NTDs in wider perspective and 2) an open plenary conversation on futures of research and collaboration. Registration, a complete schedule, and more information can be found at https://www.ucis.pitt.edu/global/NTD-Conference.

Tuesday, April 2

(All day) Information Session
Roadmap to Model African Union
Location:
4130 WWPH
Sponsored by:
Center for African Studies
See Details

Model African Union 2019 Conference is here! More that 200 High School students converged at the University of Pittsburgh to hold conference and simulation of the African Union, debating and discussing issues facing African States while proposing resolutions.

The program gives students in grades 9-12 an opportunity to learn about Africa through studying the African Union and assigned topics and countries. The students who assume the roles of delegates for respective assigned countries simulate the proceedings of the African Union in one of the committees with pre-set topics to debate. Students research the background of their assigned country, their country's position on the topics at hand, and prepare notes on possible solutions to the problems faced. Students then convene at Pitt on the day of the conference to debate their assigned topics. Much like the real African Union convening in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. The goal is to identify solutions, by negotiation and consensus, on which many countries can agree. Students write and pass a resolution describing the actions that they propose to take collectively in response to the issues. This activity requires countries with very different points of view to discuss their differences and find common ground.

8:00 am Conference
High School Model African Union Conference 2019
Location:
William Pitt Union
Sponsored by:
Center for African Studies
See Details

It is with great pleasure that the African Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh is hosting the 9th Annual High School Model African Union (MAU) Conference. The simulation of the African Union, brings together high school students to take on the roles of African leaders working to tackle issues affecting or influencing the continent. The Model African Union Conference is a wonderful educational opportunity for students to gain firsthand knowledge about African issues while assuming the role of delegates responsible for debating and resolving issues of African and global significance.

12:00 pm Lecture Series / Brown Bag
Shaping National Memory: Ukrainian Secret Police Archives and WWII
Location:
Alcoa Room, Barco Law Building
Sponsored by:
Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies along with Department of History and Department of Political Science
See Details

Jared McBride, University of California, Los Angeles

Following the Maidan Revolution, the Ukrainian government opened the former KGB archives after years of ambiguous policies. The impetus was mostly political: to show the Ukrainian nation as a victim of Russian/Soviet aggression and to valorize controversial Ukrainian nationalist movements. Former police archives, however, make for poor political props. This live interview with Jared McBride will discuss these archives, the ways scholarly work has often been at odds with the archive as a tool to remake civil society, and place of police archives in the larger contexts of post-Soviet Eastern Europe.

1:30 pm Workshop
Russian Tutoring with Katya Kovaleva
Location:
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.

4:00 pm Lecture
Translating the Landscape: The Visual Terrains of Migration
Location:
CL 501
Sponsored by:
European Studies Center along with Department of Classics and Department of French & Italian Languages and Literatures
See Details

Prof. Inghilleri’s talk will consider the interaction between migrants and the physical environment as a space of translation. Landscapes offer evidence of the enduring signs of an earlier presence of migrants whose origins have been forgotten in the public consciousness. They, and the people who come to inhabit them, are forever shaped by this presence as well. In this sense, landscapes can be powerful spectral spaces and particularly vulnerable to multiple mappings of meaning.

4:00 pm Film
FACES OF WO/MEN Film Screening: Rafiki
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

The first Kenyan film to screen at Cannes & banned in its home country, RAFIKI bursts onto the screen with fresh energy. “Good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives,” but Kena and Ziki long for something more. A tender tale of forbidden first love told in an electric, colorful Afropop style, RAFIKI tells the story of the touching, but illegal romance between Kena, a skateboarding tomboy, and Ziki, the charismatic daughter of a conservative local politician. When rumors begin to swirl about the nature of their relationship, the young lovers find themselves in great jeopardy. Combined with the charming leads, Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva, RAFIKI is another highlight in esteemed director Wanuri Kahiu’s filmography. More information and tickets can be found at https://www.cmu.edu/faces/2019/rafiki.html.

4:00 pm Lecture
Glass Half Empty: Architecture and the European Imagination
Location:
Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning
Sponsored by:
European Studies Center along with Humanities Center, Architectural Studies Program and Critical European Cultural Studies
See Details

The future of the European Union (EU) is currently the subject of heated debate. Over the last decade,
the organization has struggled to contain the effects of a severe economic crisis and an ongoing migration
crisis. With elections to the European Parliament looming in May, the EU faces the threat of a rising tide of
nationalism and populism. Meanwhile, Brexit – the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union –
threatens to weaken the EU, even as it propels the UK towards potential disaster. These debates have
involved not only politicians, but also architects. A highly ‘Europeanised’ group of professionals, who are
especially concerned with issues of space, place, and program, architects have often demonstrated an
abiding interest in the EU – one that is mirrored in the organization’s own continual use of architectural
metaphors when describing its institutions and procedures. This paper will explore how architects have
intervened in, and contributed to, debates about the EU in recent years. Focusing above all on installations
at exhibitions, the paper will touch on the work of practices including OMA, Caruso St John, and Stefano
Boeri, among others. In so doing, it will consider the ways in which architects have participated in broader efforts to forge new national and European imaginaries.

5:30 pm Lecture
Listening to Monsters: Nature, Technology, and Sound Design in Gojira (1954)
Location:
3911 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center
See Details

Genre films possess the ability to address thorny political and social issues that otherwise remain unuttered; Jordan Peele’s horror film Get Out (2017) and Ryan Coogler’s Afro-futurist vision in Black Panther (2018) offer implicit commentaries on race relations in the United States. Likewise, Hideaki Anno and Higushi Shinji’s giant monster film Shin-Gojira (2016) took aim at the Japanese government and its failure to respond to the 3/11 Fukushima nuclear disaster. This latter film participated in an extensive socio-political commentary that characterizes the core of the Godzilla franchise. This talk centers on the first entry into Japanese monster cinema, Honda Ishirō’s Gojira (1954), exploring the ways the film, and specifically the soundtrack, critique militarism. The film and particularly its music offer a subtext that scrutinizes the relationship between science, nature, and war at a time when open critique about the war and Occupation years was still tacitly (if not officially) prohibited.

BROOKE H. McCORKLE joined the University of Vermont faculty in 2018 as an assistant professor of music history. She specializes in opera of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, film music, and the music of modern Japan. McCorkle has published articles in the Journal of Horror Studies and Journal of Fandom Studies and in 2018, she published a co-authored book with Sean Rhoads from Queen’s University called Japan’s Green Monsters: Environmental Commentary in Kaijū Cinema (McFarland Press). The book explores the many ways the genre known as kaijū, or giant monster, film portrayed and shaped contemporary Japanese attitudes regarding pollution, conservations, renewable energy, and biotechnology.

6:30 pm Lecture
Historical Epidemiology and Global Disease Challenges
Location:
Public Health G23 (Public Health Auditorium)
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center
See Details

Historical epidemiology-the study of past disease control interventions and their impacts on the dynamics of disease transmission-holds the promise of creating a more robust and more nuanced foundation for global public health decision-making by developing an empirical record from which we can draw historical lessons. It can unearth past successes and failures in order to suggest alternative or hybrid approaches to the control of epidemic or endemic disease processes. What should be done to institutionalize its practice? This keynote lecture for the "Defining the Neglected Tropical Diseases: Research, Development, and Global Health Equity, 1970-present" conference will be delivered by Prof. James L.A. Webb, Jr., Emeritus Professor at Colby College and Fulbright Visiting Professor at the University of Botswana.