Week of September 5, 2021 in UCIS
Thursday, April 8 until Friday, April 8
Tuesday, September 7
Join the Chinese Language & Culture Club for their biweekly meetings where we will build our Chinese language skills and participate in fun cultural activities!
Wednesday, September 8
Join the German Department for Laber Rhabarber, a weekly German conversation hour that is open to all!
How do we propose the most ethical yet legitimate ways for centuries-long traditions, heritages, and artisanship that require a great deal of nonhuman exploitation to continue existing in the future? This presentation tackles the problem of ontological struggles between the human and the nonhuman, the animate and the inanimate, the living and the dead, with a study of the practice, politics, and ethics that surround the making of a traditional Japanese musical instrument called the shamisen. All the materials that make up the shamisen are imported from other countries. The material condition and existential possibility of the shamisen have perpetually been shaped by the workings of global capitalism and biopolitical power across time. Revealing the darker side of the development of Japanese traditional music as part of the global history of extractive capitalism, it calls for a new ethical stance in order to recraft modes of living with both various nonhuman species and traditional cultural artifacts in an age of ecological crisis.
Bio: Keisuke Yamada (Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 2020) is a Japan Studies postdoctoral fellow at the Asian Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Supercell Featuring Hatsune Miku (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017). His other peer-reviewed work has appeared in Asian Music, Ethnomusicology Forum, Japan Forum, Japanese Studies, and The Oxford Handbook of Economic Ethnomusicology. His doctoral dissertation, “Ecologies of Instrumentality: The Politics and Practice of Sustainable Shamisen Making,” won the 2021 Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools Doctoral Dissertation Award. He has been working on a book tentatively entitled The Political Ecology of Sound: Noise, Music, and Silencing in Global Capitalism, which explores in the intersections between global political economy, environmental history, and sound studies.
To register: click here
A weekly conversation table for people interested in German culture and language, all proficiency levels are welcome!
Thursday, September 9
Beginning in the early 1960s, the Soviet Union opened its doors to Third World students to study in its universities. The Soviets even established a special university for foreign exchange students, the People’s Friendship University. Tens of thousands came over the next two decades, an ample portion of which were from Africa. What was the experience of African students, many from newly decolonized states with middle class and elite backgrounds, in the Second World? How did Soviet people regard them? What does their experience say about the Soviet encounter with the Third World during the Cold War and issues of race and racism in a self-declared antiracist society? This live interview with Constantin Katsakioris will delve into these issues are more.
Please register via Zoom: https://pitt.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yP_lIWaOToq6P7WOgIbYWg
Cities are terrains of social and political contestation. It is projected that 70% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, and cities are major engines of both economic growth and socio-economic inequality. They are central nodes in networks of translocal and transnational migration, including immigration, gentrification, and trafficking; they are at the forefront of efforts to adapt to anthropogenic climate change and address environmental injustices; they are, increasingly, arenas in which people mobilize to demand human rights to food, water, health, housing, education, and more. In this one-credit pop-up course, students will study cities around the world as sites where contemporary struggles for social justice and human dignity unfold.
Lecture open to all.
Co-Sponsored by the Global Studies Center.