Week of December 16, 2018 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.

Sunday, December 16

3:00 pm Performance
Paz y Armonía Concert by Coro Latinoamericano & Friends
Location:
First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh
Sponsored by:
Center for Latin American Studies along with Latin American Cultural Union
See Details

Pittsburgh’s Coro Latinoamericano—one of the nation’s only secular choirs performing in Spanish—is teaming up with the First Unitarian Universalist Choir & students at Duquesne University’s Mary Pappert School of Music for a special holiday concert—Paz y Armonía (Peace and Harmony), Sunday December 16 at 3:00pm.

Location: First Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Ave., Pgh, PA 15213.

Admission is free although donations will be accepted.

The concert is family friendly; the venue is handicap accessible.

Thursday, December 20

(All day) Information Session
Roadmap to Model African Union
Location:
WWPH 4130
Sponsored by:
African Studies Program
See Details

Paige Alderson and Joshua Kivuva will host a conference call meeting with high school teachers from pittsburgh and surrounding school districts to talk Model African Union. They will present the agenda items for this year's Model and provide guidance on expectations. Teachers will be given the timeline for registration for participation in the Model.

Please be sure to submit the registration for your school by 12/20/18 to participate in the 2019 Model African Union Conference!

Friday, December 21

(All day) Information Session
Roadmap to Model African Union
Location:
4130 WWPH
Sponsored by:
African Studies Program
See Details

Teachers will be briefed about what they should do to prepare their students for the Model. Students should continue researching country specific information while focusing on the agenda topics of climate change and displacement. Teachers will guide students and help themdDetermine where their assigend country stands on the issues listed in the agenda, any challenges they face, and suggestions to overcoming these obstacles. They will also be provided with a checklist of everything they need to submit for registration including clearances and phot consent forms etc