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, April 7

2:00 pm Workshop
Balinese Offerings
Location:
Room 837 William Pitt Union, University of Pittsburgh
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Department of Music
See Details

Learn how to make beautiful palm and floral offerings in the traditional Balinese style with expert artisan Ida Ayu Kumalayoni. A brief lecture on offerings in Bali will be followed by a hands-on workshop.

Event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact asia@pitt.edu.

4:00 pm Film
FACES OF WO/MEN Film Screening: What is Democracy?
Location:
Kelly-Strayhorn 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

Coming at a moment of profound political and social crisis, WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? reflects on a word we often take for granted. This philosophical journey spans millennia and continents: from ancient Athens’ groundbreaking experiment in self-government, to modern-day Greece grappling with financial collapse, and a mounting refugee crisis to the United States reckoning with its racist past and the growing gap between rich and poor. This urgent film connects the past and the present, the emotional and the intellectual, the personal and the political, in order to provoke and inspire. If we want to live in democracy, we must first ask what the word even means. WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? asks the right questions. More information and tickets can be found at https://www.cmu.edu/faces/2019/whatisdemocracy.html.

7:00 pm Film
The Colorado
Location:
Bellefield Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center along with Pitt Arts, Music Department, Film Studies and Office of Sustainability
See Details

The Colorado has been hailed as one of the most profound documentaries in recent memory. This beautiful film explores the complex relationship between the Colorado River and the people who have inhabited its basin across history. Three key figures from The Colorado will introduce the film, including Christa Sadler, field producer and author of the accompanying book, Murat Eyuboglu, director, cinematographer, and co-writer, and Paola Prestini, composer. More information please visit: pi.tt/thecolorado.