Week of January 13, 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
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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.

Tuesday, January 15

12:00 pm Lecture Series / Brown Bag
Conversations on Europe: The Finnish Education Model: What Can We Learn?
4217 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
European Studies Center
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Finland’s education system consistently ranks high in the OECD’s annual Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) study, prompting U.S. educators and education reformers to ask “What can the U.S. learn from Finland?” In this installment of our monthly roundtable series, the ESC has invited education experts to discuss this question and explore issues impacting student achievement in both countries. Join us for this virtual roundtable to go beyond the op-eds and blog posts for a richer conversation on education in Europe and the U.S. Audience participation is encouraged.
To participate remotely, contact irm24@pitt.edu

3:00 pm Lecture
The New Triangular Relationship Between the U.S., China, Latin America, and the Caribbean
Alcoa Room, Barco Law Building
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center and Center for Latin American Studies
See Details

The Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS), the Asian Studies Center, and the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) at the University of Pittsburgh present:

The New Triangular Relationship Between the U.S., China, Latin America, and the Caribbean: Socioeconomic Conditions and Challenges
With Enrique Dussel Peters
Professor of Economics, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)

January 15, 2019
Alcoa Room - Barco Law Building
3:00 p.m.

How has China's increasing presence in Latin America created a "new triangular relationship" between the U.S., China, and Mexico? Dr. Dussel Peters will explore a variety of critical topics relating to the importance of theory and methodology to understanding China within and beyond its borders, with a particular focus on China in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The presentation will be followed by a discussion moderated by Dr. Ariel Armony, Vice Provost of Global Affairs and Director of the University Center for International Studies (UCIS).

For more information, please e-mail asia@pitt.edu

Wednesday, January 16

3:30 pm Lecture
Stealing the Bosnian Census, 2013-2016
4130 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies along with Department of Anthropology
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The 2013 Bosnian census figures reported by the central government contain an over-count of approximately 150,000, a number greater than the population of the third-largest city in the country, and probably due to mainly to illegal registrations of non-residents in strategically important parts of the country. While EUROSTAT had devised procedures to ensure a more accurate enumeration, the leaders of the three main ethno-national political communities had opposing interests in counting non-residents, illegally, as residents. This analysis of the 2013 Bosnian census will show that like an election, a census can be stolen by manipulating how data are counted, despite international efforts to prevent such a result.

Thursday, January 17

2:30 pm Lecture
Pitt Global Quantum Lecture
Chevron Science Center, Room 150
Sponsored by:
Director's Office along with Year of Pitt Global
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This is the 2nd lecture in the Pitt Global Quantum Lecture Series, a public lecture series delivered by leading international researchers in the fields of quantum science and engineering.

This lecture will be delivered by Dr. Leeor Kronik (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel), an expert in first principles quantum mechanical calculations based on density functional theory and many-body perturbation theory.

4:30 pm Lecture Series / Brown Bag
Humanizing the Global, Globalizing the Human
602 Cathedral of Learning
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center
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Salmaan A. Keshavjee, Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Presenting to University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Keshavjee's research spans four areas: (1) multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment and policy; (2) health-sector reform and access to health care and medical technology in transitional societies, with a special focus on countries of the former Soviet Union (Central Asia and the Russian Federation); (3) the role of non-governmental organizations in globalization and the formation of trans-border civil society; and (4) modernity, social institutions, civil society, and health in the Middle East and Central Asia. In addition to being an active clinician, his methodological expertise is in ethnography, participant-observation, and qualitative interview techniques.

7:00 pm Lecture
Meppi Japan Lecture Series
Alphabet City Word Cellar, 40 W North Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, 15212
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center
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Haiku, arguably Japan’s most recognized form of poetry, developed into the poetic form we know and love today through hundreds of years of evolution. Inseparably integrated with Japanese history, Haiku has a notable influence on Japanese poetry, art, and society.

Elizabeth Oyler is Associate Professor of pre-modern Japanese Literature at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research is motivated by a fascination with the way historical and cultural memory are represented in literature and performing arts from Japan’s medieval period, particularly the fifteenth century. She is currently working on a book-length study of Noh drama, specifically how the staging of a set of plays by early playwrights simultaneously codify and undermine spaces of the poetic and social landscapes of the early fifteenth-century.

Friday, January 18

10:30 am Reading Group
Emerging Latino Communities Reading and Publishing Group
1154 Public Health
Sponsored by:
Center for Latin American Studies along with Center for Health Equity
See Details

Emerging Latino Communities Reading and Publishing Group

1154 Public Health
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

January 18  |  February 8  |  March 8  |  April 12

The Center for Health Equity, with the support of the Center for Latin American Studies, invites you to explore 1) the problems Latinos in small yet rapidly growing populations face, and 2) how to solve those problems. We will read articles and offer feedback to those who are writing manuscripts. We hope to get new writing and research collaborations going!

Open to all interested: students, faculty, staff, and practitioners from Pitt and beyond. We will meet over coffee and light snacks in a relaxed atmosphere. If you want to get extra network time, we will be there 30 before and after the meeting time.

For more information, visit healthequity.pitt.edu or e-mail Chantel Durrant cjd13@pitt.edu