Week of April 21, 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.

Friday, April 19 until Sunday, April 21

8:00 pm Performance
On Trial
Studio Threatre, Cathedral of Learning
Sponsored by:
European Studies Center along with University of Pittsburgh Stages
See Details

Written by Mairead Ni Ghrada and Directed by Nic Barilar
A child is dead, a baby girl - and her mother is standing trial for infanticide. Gripping and theatrical, On Trial follows the tragic life of Maura Cassidy, an unmarried single mother. Set in 1960s Catholic Ireland, Maura must find a way to make a life for herself without the support of her family, her child’s father, or society - leading her to make some catastrophic decisions. Told through testimonies and flashbacks, this controversial courtroom drama questions where guilt and blame lie in a world of oppression, prejudice, and hypocrisy. Originally written in the Irish Gaelic language by Máiréad Ní Ghráda - one of Ireland’s preeminent female playwrights - this special addition to the University of Pittsburgh’s current season is the North American premiere of a modern Irish classic.

Monday, April 22

6:15 pm Workshop
Russian Conversation Table
Hillman Library, Room 201D
Sponsored by:
Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies along with Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures
See Details

Come to 201D Hillman and have an informal conversation in Russian with other Russian program students and the facilitator, Katya Kovaleva.

Wednesday, April 24

4:00 pm Exhibit
The Year of Pitt Global Showcase
Wesley W. Posvar Hall, First Floor
Sponsored by:
Director's Office along with the Year of Pitt Global
See Details

The Year of Pitt Global has been a resounding success for the University of Pittsburgh, and the journey would not have been possible without a diverse local and global community. Join us on Wednesday, April 24, for a Showcase of the projects and events sponsored by the Year of Pitt Global on the first floor of Wesley W. Posvar Hall.

Remarks will be delivered by Provost Ann Cudd, Vice Provost for Global Affairs Ariel Armony, and Distinguished Professor Randall Halle, Co-Chair of the Year of Pitt Global.

Light refreshments will be provided and all are welcome to view the poster presentations.

Thursday, April 25

4:30 pm Reading Group
Global Issues Through Literature: GraceLand
4130 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Global Studies Center
See Details

Graceland by Chris Albani

This reading group for educators explores literary texts from a global perspective. Content specialists present the work and its context, and together we brainstorm innovative pedagogical practices for incorporating the text and its themes into the curriculum. Sessions usually take place in 4130 Posvar Hall (unless otherwise noted) from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Books, Act 48 credit, dinner, and parking are provided.

To register, visit https://goo.gl/forms/ZQV71iZMJBpZJ2Hv1

For more information, contact Maja Konitzer (majab@pitt.edu)

7:00 pm Lecture
The Last Book Smuggler
Croghan-Schenley Room
Sponsored by:
Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs along with Lithuanian Room Committee
See Details

Lithuanian Writer Birute Putrius will speak about her historical novel, The Last Book Smuggler.
Part folktale, part thriller, THE LAST BOOK SMUGGLER tells the story of Ada and her grandfather Viktoras, an old book smuggler tired of his forty-year battle to keep his language alive despite the attempts of the Russian Empire to destroy it. Into their world steps Jonas, a young man in love with Ada and ready to join the underground book smugglers. But there is a traitor in their midst who must stop them or lose everything.

Friday, April 26

12:00 pm Reception
REEES Graduation Celebration
229 Alcoa Room, Barco Law Building
Sponsored by:
Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies along with Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
See Details

Students graduating in Spring and Summer 2019 from the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies and the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures are invited with their families to join this ceremony celebrating the completion of their various degrees and credentials.

3:00 pm Award Ceremony
University Center for International Studies Graduation Ceremony
O'Hara Student Center Ballroom
Sponsored by:
Center for African Studies, Asian Studies Center, Center for Latin American Studies, Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies, Director's Office, European Studies Center and Global Studies Center
See Details

The University Center for International Studies cordially invites students graduating in Spring and Summer 2019 to celebrate their academic achievements and receive their credentials at the University Center for International Studies’ Graduation Ceremony on Friday, April 26, 3-4 p.m., followed by a reception 4-5 p.m., in the O'Hara Student Center.

Graduating students please look for your personal email invitation from the University Center for International Studies. Contact your UCIS academic advisor with any questions.

We look forward to celebrating your accomplishments!

Saturday, April 27

9:00 am Lecture Series / Brown Bag
Co-Sponsored Community-Based Workshop
Location still to be determined
Sponsored by:
Center for African Studies 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 Sciences, Urban Studies Program, World History Center and Year of Pitt Global
See Details

The African American Program section of the Heinz History Center and the AAHGS will be sponsoring a community-based workshop on DNA testing and African American genealogy. This workshop will highlight the significance of the global migration of Africans to the Americas, and the possibilities and challenges that DNA testing enables for understanding genealogy. With Samuel Black, Director of the African American Program at the Senator John Heinz History Center and Marlene Bransom, President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, AAHGS.