Events in UCIS

Thursday, March 4

9:00 am Workshop
Reading Safavid Occult-Scientific Miscellanies
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center and Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies along with Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies (CERIS) and Central Eurasian Studies Society
See Details

We will examine a representative Safavid Persian miscellany of the mid-seventeenth century, MS Majlis 12575. Significant for the history of science, it comprises occult-scientific works by Iranian philosophers of various periods, including Suhravardi, Fakhr al-Din Razi and Sadr al-Din Dashtaki, as well as a lettrist work by Mahmud Dihdar Shirazi, teacher to Shaykh Baha'i in the occult sciences. Our focus will be on 'Ali Safi Kashifi's (d. 1535) Gift for the Khan (Tuhfa-yi khani), an early Safavid simplification of a Timurid Persian grimoire dealing with illusionism and conjuring, both of which we now dismiss as stage magic. Its Safavid-era expansion to include other, more serious occult sciences? alchemy, talismanry, astral magic? and the magico-political feats of eminent
Safavid philosophers will also be discussed with examples, as a window onto how Safavid philosophical culture worked in political practice.

PLEASE NOTE that registrations are limited and will be confirmed on a first-come, first-serve basis for Ph.D. students and faculty who work on Eurasia and can meet the language prerequisites specific to each topic.

Advanced Persian

Matthew Melvin-Koushki
Associate Professor of Islamic History
University of South Carolina

Aziza Shanazarova
UCIS Postdoctoral Fellow of REEES
University of Pittsburgh


3:15 pm Cultural Event
Laber Rhabarber - German Conversation Hour
Sponsored by:
Global Hub along with Department of German
See Details

Laber Rhabarber - More than a German conversation hour!

"... the most human thing we have is language, and we have it in order to talk." German author Theodor Fontane wrote in 1892. So, here's chance! Be human with us for an hour every week, albeit in German ;D

Everyone and every level of German welcome!

Zoom Meeting link:
German Dept. website:
Follow us on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter: @UPittGerman

4:00 pm Film
Film Screening and Discussion with the Director: Welcome to Chechnya
Sponsored by:
Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies
See Details

From Academy Award-nominated director David France ("How to Survive a Plague," "The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson") comes "Welcome to Chechnya," a powerful and eye-opening documentary about a group of activists risking their lives to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ persecution in the repressive and closed Russian republic of Chechnya. With unfettered access and a commitment to protecting anonymity, this documentary exposes Chechnya's underrepresented atrocities while highlighting a group of people who are confronting brutality head-on. The film follows these LGBTQ+ activists as they work undercover to rescue victims and provide them with safe houses and visa assistance to escape persecution. "Welcome to Chechnya" is a Public Square Films production, directed by David France and produced by Alice Henty, Joy A. Tomchin, Askold Kurov, and David France.

This documentary has received numerous international awards, including at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and the Berlinale.

Moderator: Nancy Condee, Director, Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Director of Graduate Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures
Speakers: David France, Director, "Welcome to Chechnya"
Frank Karioris, Lecturer, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program


6:00 pm Information Session
Global Studies: An Informal Conversation
Virtual - Register Online!
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center
See Details

For inquiring minds that want to make an impact in their communities and abroad! Join our information session to learn about our two undergraduate - Global Studies & Global Health - certificate programs! Global Studies offers academic credentials to students who desire a deeper understanding of social and economic inequality in a transnational context, with thematic concentrations that allow them to dig deeper into a particular topic of interest. Meet the director and meet students currently enrolled.