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

Saturday, April 6

1:00 pm Award Ceremony
Bon Voyage Scholarship Presentation
Location:
G8 Cathedral of Learning
Sponsored by:
Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs
See Details

The Nationality Rooms Program will hold an orientation and awards presentation to its summer study abroad scholarship awardees.
Committees, friends and donors will be there to meet their recipients.

2:00 pm Film
FACES OF WO/MEN Film Screening: Short Film Competition
Location:
Regent Square Theater
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

Our Short Film Competition buzzes and hums under the umbrella of the Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival. But we bring a lot of excitement to the Festival season on our own! Our annual competition event unites local and international filmmakers with professionals and with in-house audiences. All the eyes a filmmaker could ask for under one roof. We will shine the spotlight on those who present a unique vision and create poignant conversation through their films. Each year, the festival chooses a theme that focuses on a current social issue or idea. This year’s theme is WO/MEN. Selected submissions will be screened at the festival’s Short Film Competition night on Saturday, April 6 at 2:00 pm at Regent Square Theater. More information and tickets can be found at https://www.cmu.edu/faces/2019/shortfilmcompetition.html.

5:30 pm Film
FACES OF WO/MEN Film Screening: 3 Faces
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

3 FACES is Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s fourth completed feature since he was officially banned from filmmaking. The film follows well-known actress Behnaz Jafari--playing herself--as she becomes distraught after watching a provincial girl’s video plea for help. Through tears, the girl laments she is oppressed by her family, who will not let her pursue her studies at the drama conservatory in Tehran. Behnaz, fearing for the young girls life, abandons her shoot and turns to filmmaker Jafar Panahi--playing himself--to help solve the mystery of the young girl’s troubles. They travel by car to the rural northwest where they have amusing encounters with the charmingS folk of the girl’s mountain village, but the city visitors soon discover that the protection of age-old traditions may make their impromptu quest more difficult than they thought. Jafar’s intimate portrait of Tehran life in the mountains provides an insightful, and surprisingly humorous, portrayal of village culture. 3 FACES is a road trip worth taking. More information and tickets can be found at https://www.cmu.edu/faces/2019/3_faces.html.

7:00 pm Cultural Event
Wazobia: Annual African Students Organization fashion show
Location:
William Pitt Union, Assembly Room
Announced by:
Center for African Studies on behalf of
See Details

A cultural extravaganza that features fashion, entertainment, comedy and dance through African Perspectives. The group uses African culture as inspiration for creative and innovative designs. The goal is to educate, create more awareness and understanding of African cultures.

7:30 pm Film
FACES OF WO/MEN Film Screening: Four Springs
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

After the popularity of his online diary, “My Father,” filmmaker Lu Qingyi decided to turn a camera on his parents’ everyday life in a remote town in Guizhou. Over four springs, we see the flow of life: chores, singing, hikes, celebrations, funerals, reunions, and separation. After a family tragedy forces Qingyi from the role of participant to observer, he becomes more deeply moved by the open-minded, pristine life philosophy his parents reveal through their everyday interactions with people and nature. Using cinema as a tool, Lu crafts a profound visual diary of family in southwest China that will have the viewer calling their family to say “I love you” as soon as the screen goes dark. More information and tickets can be found at https://www.cmu.edu/faces/2019/foursprings.html.

7:30 pm Film
Four Springs
Location:
McConomy Auditorium, Carnegie Mellon University
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center
See Details

After the popularity of his online diary, "My Father," filmmaker Lu Qingyi decided to turn a camera on his parents' everyday life in a remote town in Guizhou. Over four springs, we see the flow of life: chores, singing, hikes, celebrations, funerals, reunions, and separation. After a family tragedy forces Qingyi from the role of participant to observer, he becomes more deeply moved by the open-minded, pristine life philosophy his parents reveal through their everyday interactions with people and nature. Using cinema as a tool, Lu crafts a profound visual diary of family in Southwest China that will have the viewer calling their family to say "I love you" as soon as the screen goes dark.

Event includes an exclusive Q&A with Director Lu Qingyi moderated by Pitt Professor Jinjing Li.