Week of February 17, 2019 in UCIS

Thursday, October 25 until Wednesday, May 1

8:30 am Exhibit
Travelers Along the Silk Roads: 10th Century to the Present
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.

Monday, February 18

12:00 pm Lecture Series / Brown Bag
Migrations Initiative Brown Bag Series: Migration and the health trajectories of immigrants and host country residents
4130 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center
See Details

Brown Bag is a monthly seminar for faculty to learn about the research currently going on at Pitt in the area of migrations. Each month a faculty member will give a presentation about their ongoing research projects or an introduction to their research agendas. Students and faculty are encouraged to attend.

12:00 pm Lecture
Racial Regimes in Transnational Context: A Conversation with Michael Hanchard
Thornburgh Room, Hillman Library
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center along with Department of Africana Studies; Department of English; Department of Political Science; Department of Sociology; University Library System; Student Government Board
See Details

Michael Hanchard is Professor and Chair of the Africana Studies Department at The University of Pennsylvania and director of the Marginalized Populations project. His research and teaching interests include nationalism, racism, xenophobia and citizenship.

Tuesday, February 19

12:00 pm Lecture Series / Brown Bag
Faculty Networking Opportunity: The Global Salon
William Pitt Union, Lower Lounge
Sponsored by:
Director's Office along with Year of Pitt Global
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All University of Pittsburgh faculty, tenure stream and non-tenure stream, are invited to a special series of networking opportunities made possible by the Year of Pitt Global. This Global Salon series brings together faculty and researchers from across the University to build relationships and share proposed or ongoing research. The Salons are organized around the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in five themes: People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace, and Partnership.

Goals for the Global Salon:

1. Increase local networks, build new relationships, form working groups

2. Encourage open dialogue across disciplines and develop common research agendas

3. Highlight efforts Pitt faculty undertake to address global issues

Additionally, Global Salon participants may be eligible for seed grant funding to advance multi-disciplinary research projects.

The Global Salons are free of charge, and lunch is provided, but registration is required. Register here: https://pitt.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6hZGlhwSyLx5DM1

Each Global Salon allows faculty to enjoy lunch while discussing their research informally through conversation groups. All faculty, regardless of full-time, part-time, or tenure status, are welcome to register.

Faculty Luncheon Series: The Global Salon

February 19 and 28, March 5 and 19, and April 9

Noon – 1:30 p.m.
William Pitt Union, Lower Lounge

Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Salon focus: Research on strategies and technologies to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, to ensure that all human beings can fulfill their potential in dignity and equality and in healthy environments.

Thursday, February 28, 2019
Salon focus: Research on strategies and technologies to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Salon focus: Research on strategies and technologies to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change to support present and future generations.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Salon focus: Research on strategies to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies that are free from fear and violence, and directed toward an understanding that no sustainable development can occur without peace and no peace can occur without sustainable development.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Salon focus: Research on strategies to mobilize and implement global partnerships for sustainable development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, and focused on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.

Wednesday, February 20

12:00 pm Lecture
Emancipation and its Discontents: The Rise of Antisemitism in Western Europe
1502 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
European Studies Center along with Department of History, Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences, Department of Jewish Studies and Department of Religious Studies
3:00 pm Lecture
Japan 2019: Outlook and Challenges
4130 WWPH
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center
See Details

Mr. Abe will discuss Japan in 2019 and beyond: its current situations and challenges; East Asian & South Asian situations; US-Japan Alliances (including USJTA and TPP); and grassroots activities.

Thursday, February 21 until Sunday, February 24

(All day) Conference
2019 International Model African Union Conference
Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Sponsored by:
African Studies Program
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The Model African Union is a simulation of the proceedings of the African Union, amplified by pre-conference study at home institutions and Embassy briefings in Washington, D.C. at Howard University in collaboration with the African Union Mission in Washington, D.C. and Member State Embassies sponsors this annual simulation of the African Union, the regional organization of African states, in the form of a Model African Union Conference. This is an opportunity for university and college students to study the role, structure, and activities of the African Union as well as the economic, social, and political-security issues facing African countries. Through simulation, students gain a better and clearer understanding of the capabilities and constraints that shape the policies of African Union member states in the arena of intra-African diplomacy on issues of mutual concern.

Thursday, February 21

4:00 pm Panel Discussion
Globalized Authoritarianism and Its Effects: Regimes, Refugees, and Resistance
Posvar Hall 2432
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center along with Department of Sociology and Human Rights in Pittsburgh; World Speaker Series
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How are we to understand the rise of Trump and illiberal populist regimes in the world today? What effects is globalized authoritarianism having on the creation and treatment of refugees? And how can we work to collectively resist xenophobia, nativism, and discrimination in our local communities? This panel brings together distinguished scholar-activists Sidney Tarrow, Wendy Pearlman, and Jackie Smith to address these questions, highlight findings from their research, and answer audience questions.

4:30 pm Lecture
Ruins and Glory: The Long Spanish Civil War in Latin America
Simmons A, Tepper Quad, Carnegie Mellon University
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center along with Department of History and Carnegie Mellon Global Studies; Carnegie Mellon Department of History
See Details

Kirsten Weld, award-winning author and associate professor at Harvard University, will discuss her new book project: the Spanish Civil War's impact and legacies in Latin America. Kirsten Weld is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of History at Harvard University. Her research explores struggles over inequality, justice, and historical memory in modern Latin America. She is the author of Paper Cadavers: The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala (Duke University Press, 2014); her current project, a study of the Spanish Civil War’s impact and legacies in the Americas, is under contract with Harvard University Press.

5:00 pm Lecture Series / Brown Bag
Third Annual Distinguished Departmental Lecture: Racial Reconciliation, Institutional Morality, and the Social Science of DNA
University Club Reception: 5-6 p.m.; Lecture: 6-8 p.m.
Sponsored by:
African Studies Program and Global Studies Center along with Center for Bioethics and Health Law, Center for Health Equity, Department of Human Genetics, Department of Sociology, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Science, Urban Studies Program, World History Center and and Year of Pitt Global
See Details

In this presentation, Professor Nelson examines the recent use of genetic ancestry testing by the descendants of nearly three hundred enslaved men and women owned by Georgetown University, whom the institution’s Jesuit stewards sold to Southern plantations in 1838 in order to secure its solvency. The case of the GU 272 will be explored as a “reconciliation project”—a social endeavor in which DNA analysis is put to the use of repairing historic injury.

Dr. Nelson is President of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and Professor of sociology at Columbia University. A renowned scholar of science, technology, and social inequality, she is the author most recently of The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome (Beacon Press, 2016). Her publications also include a special issue of the British Journal of Sociology on genealogy and the "GU 272"; Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2011); Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History (Rutgers University Press, 2012); and Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life (NYU Press, 2001). In 2002, she edited “Afrofuturism,” an extremely influential special issue of Social Text. Her lecture will also be our major annual departmental lecture for the year.

Friday, February 22

(All day) Deadline
Roadmap to Model African Union
Sponsored by:
African Studies Program
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Begin drafting a 1-2 page policy brief on behalf of your country in response to agenda items 1 and 2 that you will use when working with other Member States in drafting the final conference resolution in April.

11:00 am Conference
Symposium on African diasporas in the Indian Ocean
602 Cathedral of Learning
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Year of PittGlobal and and Humanities Center
See Details

11 am -12:30 pm : Dwight A. Carey
12:30 pm-1:30 pm: Lunch
1:30 pm-3:15 pm: Roundtable with Yolanda Covington-Ward, RA Judy, Idrissou Mora-Kpai, Imani Owens, Nico Slate
3:30 pm-5 pm: Indrani Chatterjee

1:00 pm Lecture Series / Brown Bag
The 'Security Trap' in Latin America
4217 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Center for Latin American Studies along with Panoramas (CLAS)
See Details

Join Panoramas in a discussion on the 'Security Trap' in Latin America: Using the State to Fight Violence with Violence

Friday, February 22, 2019
4217 Posvar Hall
1:00 p.m.

Pizza provided! Free & open to the public!

Panoramas provides a web-based venue for thoughtful dialogue of Latin American and Caribbean issues. By enabling a voice for scholars, students, policy makers and others to engage in constructive commentary on relevant current and historical topics, the forum also serves as an academic resource to worldwide educational audiences. Housed at the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, and maintained by CLAS faculty, students and alumni, Panoramas strives to be at the forefront of scholarly analysis of affairs in the Latin American region.

For more information and to join the conversation, visit:

For more information on the Center for Latin American Studies, visit:

6:00 pm Lecture
North Korea in Transition Speaker Series Opening Lecture
3911 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Year of Pitt Global and Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures
See Details

The thaw in the US-North Korea relations last year, however uncertain, was certainly a welcome change from the previous year’s bellicose rhetoric, for both sides. Yet is change really around the corner? Doubts on Kim Jong Un’s sincerity persist. Many still believe he will never denuclearize and his gestures toward opening are just another ploy to buy time. Are we just seeing more of the same? Or do we have a historic opportunity to make real change on the peninsula? What are the issues at stake in 2019? “North Korea in Transition” in-vites distinguished experts in the fields of policymaking and international relations to probe those questions and put the current situation in a broader historical context. Reaching beyond politics, this speaker series also brings together scholars who have led academic and cultural engagements with North Korea to discuss how non-political exchanges can help improve North Korea’s relations with the rest of the world.

Scott A. Snyder is senior fellow for Korea studies and director of the program on U.S.-Korea policy at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). His program examines South Korea’s efforts to contribute on the international stage; its potential influence and contributions as a middle power in East Asia; and the peninsular, regional, and global implications of North Korean instability. Mr. Snyder is the author of South Korea at the Crossroads: Autonomy and Alliance in an Era of Rival Powers (January 2018) and coauthor of The Japan-South Korea Identity Clash: East Asian Security and the United States (May 2015) with Brad Glosserman. He is also the coeditor of North Korea in Transition: Politics, Economy, and Society (October 2012), and the editor of Global Korea: South Korea’s Contributions to International Security (October 2012) and The U.S.-South Korea Alliance: Meeting New Security Challenges (March 2012). Mr. Snyder served as the project director for CFR’s Independent Task Force on policy toward the Korean Peninsula. He currently writes for the blog Asia Unbound.