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

Thursday, April 4 until Saturday, April 6

(All day) Conference
Empire and its Aftermath: Transhispanic Dialogues on Diaspora
Location:
TBA
Sponsored by:
Center for Latin American Studies and European Studies Center along with Faculty Research and Scholarship Program, Humanities Center, Department of Hispanic Languages & Literatures and Roggiano Fund
See Details

Our conference on the Iberian empires and their aftermath will bring a much-needed interdisciplinary focus on the realia and the imaginary of the Spanish and Portuguese colonial world. We will think about the construction and naturalization of an imperial regime that produced hierarchized and racialized ways of being, thinking, knowing, and belonging in society, and interrogate and excavate it, with a view to defamiliarizing and "delegitimizing" the regime and its aftereffects, particularly in light of the present-day iterations and manifestations of the latter. Taking the institutionality of colonial governance as our point of departure, as seen through the historical action of not only church and state, but also of labor and capital, we want to reveal how empire works in the creation of social relations and racialized identities, especially those relating to diasporan "blackness." The taxonomy of racial "types" of Latin America's colonial casta paintings, to take the paradigmatic example, not only reflects a vertical distribution of power in real terms. It constitutes a state-originated artifact whose referents and their racially determined places in society, are reinforced in the textuality of colonial laws and edicts, and reappear in literary discourse, visual culture, theater and the performing arts, and in other areas of material cultural production, while also having a determinative role in the emerging fields of ethnography and anthropology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In examining the longue durée of modern raciology and its effects on black diasporan subjectivity during and after the Iberian empires, we will take both a transhistoric and a translocal approach to critiquing and denaturalizing an inherited regime of truth in many of its discrete instances across the Renaissance, the Colonial, and the Contemporary periods.
Keynote Speakers: John Lipski, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Spanish and Linguistics, and director, Program in Linguistics, Penn State University, and Equatoguinean writer Juan Tomás Ávila

7:00 pm Conference
American Hungarian Educators Association - 44th Annual Conference
Location:
Varies
Sponsored by:
Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies

Thursday, April 4

12:00 pm Lecture
The Human Right to Water:Threats from Privatization in Pittsburgh and the World
Location:
4130 Posvar
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center along with Department of Sociology
See Details

Emanuele Lobina, Department of International Business and Economics, University of Greenwich and Public Services International, provides a global look at the forces shaping today's heightened debate around access to water. How are pressures to privatize water utilities impacting cities around the world-including Pittsburgh? Representatives from Pittsburgh's Our Water Campaign will comment on local and transnational efforts to stop privatization.

4:00 pm Cultural Event
The Human Library
Location:
Hillman Library, Digital Scholarship Commons, G-49 3960 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Announced by:
Director's Office on behalf of Pitt Global and Hillman Library
See Details

Human Library

The Human Library is an event that encourages people from different backgrounds to talk with and learn from each other. Several “human books” have volunteered to share their experiences with participants in small group settings. Those who want to talk with a human book can sign up as a "reader" to “borrow” the human book and participate in one of these small group conversations.

The goal of the Human Library is to build understanding and challenge stereotypes and prejudices through a non-confrontational and friendly conversation. We feel these open and honest conversations can lead to greater acceptance, tolerance and social cohesion in the community.

Register to meet a book such as...

My LatinX Life:

As the daughter of the Cuban diaspora, I was born in Miami, FL and have spent my life straddling borders, negotiating identities, code-switching in daily conversations and learning to embrace the diversity of living as a Latinx in the United States.

I will discuss the heterogeneity of Latina/o/x community members across the U.S., identify some of the challenges and obstacles I confronted as a college student in the South and share some lessons learned from my professional experience in academia thus far.

For More Book Descriptions, visit https://pitt.libguides.com/humanlibrary/2019books

4:00 pm Lecture
Practicing Ambivalence: Taiko, White Women, and Asian American Performance
Location:
602 Cathedral of Learning
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Department of English, Department of History of Art & Architecture, Department of Theatre Arts, Department of Music, The Humanities Center and Graduate Program for Cultural Studies
See Details

What does it mean for white women to perform Asian America through taiko in politically charged times? Taiko is an ensemble drum performance form that originated in 1950s Japan and which has grown rapidly in the U.S. since the late 1960s. While the North American taiko community writ large welcomes practitioners of any background, taiko has historical and social roots in Japanese American history and Asian American activism. A majority of taiko players in the United States identify as Asian American; thus, taiko is a rare site in which white performers are seen not as normal or “unmarked,” but rather as remarkable within Asian American contexts. Based on a chapter from my book, Drumming Asian America: Taiko, Performance, and Cultural Politics, this talk draws on ethnographic interviews and my own history as a white woman taiko performer to consider the ambivalence and other affective dimensions of white women performing Asian America. Rather than focus narrowly on the representational politics of taiko, I illuminate how white women taiko players describe their embodied, lived experiences of performing at the intersections of whiteness and womanhood. Finally, I ask whether taiko (and other culturally specific forms) can become sites in which to forge productive, cross-racial intimacies.

5:30 pm Workshop
Whose Narrative? Re-examining War Memorials in East Asia and the U.S.
Location:
4130 Posvar
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center and Global Studies Center along with NCTA
See Details

Intended as a workshop to foster critical thinking skills, this program will feature presentations by two scholars who work on similar issues in entirely different parts of the world. Dr. David Kenley (Elizabethtown College, PA) will speak on “Remembering and Forgetting: War Memorials in East Asia” with a particular focus on WWII memorials. Dr. Kirk Savage (University of Pittsburgh) will talk about “Curating History: Civil War Commemoration and Social Justice.” The program will include Q&A with the speakers. Attendees will receive Act 48 (if Pennsylvania teachers), dinner, free parking, and materials. Space is limited, and registration deadline is April 1, 2019. Register at https://www.ucis.pitt.edu/ncta/whose-narrative-re-examining-war-memorial....

6:00 pm Film
FACES OF WO/MEN Film Screening: Pause
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

Elpida has reached a critical juncture in her life: menopause. Unquenchable desires, the longing for love, her own body, even time itself all seem to conspire against the routine existence she had been enduring as wife and mother. As her tenuous hold on reality begins to crumble, Elpida finds herself uncertain as to what is real and what is her imagination, leading her to the brink of catastrophe. In its bleak tone, Pause provides a depressingly accurate account of the domestic abuse thousands of Cypriot women face each year. More information can be found at https://www.cmu.edu/faces/2019/pause.html.

7:00 pm Film
Screening: Mom and Other Loonies in the Family
Location:
David Lawrence Hall 121
Sponsored by:
Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies along with American Hungarian Educators Association
See Details

This film presents the story of four generations of Hungarian women in the 20th century--“loonies” who are led by the character of a mother who lived 94 years and moved 27 times in her life. Moving seems to have been her only way of confronting troubles, dangers, and conflicts. In reality, it was major historical events that chased her throughout Hungary and made her go through a terrible century. At the incredible age of 94, Mom tells the story of these events to her daughter, nearly 100 years of often mischievous and heart-warming but also sometimes painful episodes.

Dr. János Kenyeres (University of Toronto) will introduce the film before the screening.

Bio: János Kenyeres graduated from Eötvös Loránd University in English and Hungarian literature in 1991 and earned his doctoral degree in literary studies from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2000. He is currently Visiting Professor of Hungarian at the University of Toronto, where his work focuses on Hungarian literature, cinema and culture. At his home institution, the Eötvös Loránd University, he is Director of the School of English and American Studies and teaches English and Canadian literature, Canadian cinema, and literary theory.