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 11 until Saturday, April 13

4:30 pm Conference
Representations of Afrolatinidad
Location:
University of Pittsburgh
Sponsored by:
Center for Latin American Studies along with Office of the Chancellor, Afro-Latin American and Afro-Latinx Studies Initiative, Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences, Year of Pitt Global, Humanities Center and Department of Africana Studies
See Details

Representations of Afrolatinidad
University of Pittsburgh
April 11-13, 2019
Conference Convened by the Afro-Latin American and Afro-Latinx Studies Initiative

About the Conference:
The intersections of race, ethnicity, and representation have shaped historical and contemporary articulations of Afrolatinidad. As an expression of multivalent identity, both shared and unique, Afrolatinidad informs the experiences of over 150 million Afro-Latin Americans and millions more within diasporic communities in the United States, Canada, Europe, and beyond. The conference seeks to foster an international dialogue that addresses regional, national, and transnational links among the ways Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Latinxs create, sustain, and transform meanings surrounding blackness in political, social, and cultural contexts.

This two-day symposium aims to engage multiple depictions of Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Latinxs – whether self-fashioned or imposed. The varied portrayals in the past and present reflect the ongoing global realities, struggles, vibrancy, and resiliency of Afro-Latin diasporas throughout the Americas and elsewhere. The symposium will feature keynote addresses by Dr. Juliet Hooker, Professor of Political Science at Brown University, and Dr. Nancy Mirabal, Associate Professor of American Studies and Director of the U.S. Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Maryland-College Park. Their work on Afro-descendant politics in Latin America and Afro-Latinx discourses of race, gender, and territoriality, respectively, will spark broader exchanges around Afrolatinidad and representation among presenters and attendees.

Co-Sponsors: University of Pittsburgh Office of the Chancellor, Afro-Latin American and Afro-Latinx Studies Initiative, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Year of Pitt Global, Humanities Center, Center for Latin American Studies, and the Department of Africana Studies

For questions or additional information, contact Dr. Michele Reid-Vazquez, University of Pittsburgh, mbr31@pitt.edu

Saturday, April 13

12:00 pm Festival
The 39th Latin American & Caribbean Festival
Location:
Wesley W. Posvar Hall, galleria and patio
Sponsored by:
Center for Latin American Studies and Director's Office
See Details

PITTSBURGH—The Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for International Studies will be hosting the 39th Annual Latin American and Caribbean Festival from noon to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, 2019 in the Galleria, and Patio of Wesley W. Posvar Hall, 230 South Bouquet Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213.

Beginning at noon, the festival will feature Latin American and Caribbean food, arts, crafts, and information on local and regional organizations. Latin American vendors also will offer handmade and authentic Latin American products. Music and dance performances from Latin America and the Caribbean will take place throughout the day.

Since its inception, the festival has showcased the diversity of Latin American and Caribbean cultures by combining the resources of CLAS with people of Latin American heritage. The growth of Pittsburgh's Latin American and Latino populations has made the festival one of the largest gatherings of these communities in Western Pennsylvania.

8:00 pm Performance
Balinese Wayang Puppet Theater
Location:
125 Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Department of Music
See Details

Gender Wayang Music performed by Meghan Hynson, Yang Shuo, Wangcaixuan Zhang and Annie Valdes

Pre-performance lecture by Dr. Meghan Hynson