Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Pictorial Talking: the Figural Rendering of Speech Acts in Aztec Mexico

November 16th, 2012
4:00pm

Location
Dinwiddie Hall, Rm 103

Join us for a colloquium given by Dr. Elizabeth Boone of Tulane University, sponsored by the Anthropology Department.

In Aztec Mexico before the Spanish conquest a single sign form, the image, supported by the line and the field, bore the documentary responsibility of scripts elsewhere. Images carried semantic meanings by symbolizing or representing (in an abstractly conventional mimesis) that which they indexed, and a spatial syntax organized these images into specific messages. The goal of Mexican pictography was to record meaning rather than sound and language. Only in appellatives (personal, ethnic, and place names) did the images occasionally refer specifically to the sounds of spoken words when identification could not otherwise be achieved.

Despite its relative independence from spoken language, however, pictography was still able to signify "speech" as a nominal act and to accommodate the contents of speech acts. But doing so pushed the edge of the pictographic canon. Although most examples date from the early colonial period when pictography came under the influence of alphabetic writing and opened up more fully to the possibility of word writing, the few examples from before the conquest are suggestive of pictography's greater abilities. This presentation will first explore the function and nature of speech scrolls as adjectival, nominal, and verbal signs. It will then focus on the content of speech acts, and finally on sequential streams of iteration. We will move from the simplest graphic indication of speech to the longest and most complex: from prehispanic Mexican pictography to its transformation in the early colonial period into a script capable of recording Catholic doctrinal orations with subtlety and nuance.

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Dr. Francisco Estrada-Belli, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department, will present new findings about his recent excavations at the Classic Maya site of Holmul, Guatemala in a talk titled “New Revelations on the Holmul Frieze and the Rise of the ‘Kingdom of the North.’”

M.A.R.I.'s Brown Bag talk series is meant to provide a venue for students and faculty focusing on topics related to Mesoamerica to discuss their latest research in an informal and friendly setting. If you are interested in presenting, please email Marcello Canuto (mcanuto@tulane.edu) for more information. For the current speaker list of this talk series, please click here.

Please remember to bring your lunch!

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An international conference bringing together leading scholars to question what lies beyond New Orleans' supposed exceptional history and what lurks beneath its authentic culture. Since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has witnessed an outpouring of scholarly interest across the social sciences and humanities. Much of this scholarship has opened up new lines of analysis regarding the city and its place in broader regional, national, and international contexts. At the same time, writing and research about New Orleans continues to romanticize the city as exceptional. In many accounts, New Orleans appears as an autonomous and ahistorical zone populated solely by unique social formations and authentic cultures, isolated from other postindustrial cities. This conference brings together scholars in anthropology, English, history, media studies, and political science to situate studies of New Orleans within larger global patterns and cross-cultural comparisons.

Sponsored by the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, with support from Tulane Office of Academic Affairs, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, Newcomb College Institute, the Tulane Department of Music, Tulane Department of Political Science and the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. For more information please visit the website or contact Matt Sakakeeny, mattsak@tulane.edu.

"Norm Diffusion from the Global South" a talk by Kathryn Sikkink

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Kathryn Sikkink of Harvard’s Kennedy School

Thursday, September 25, 5:30 pm
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About the Speaker:
Kathryn Sikkink is the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy at HKS and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Sikkink works on international norms and institutions, transnational advocacy networks, the impact of human rights law and policies, and transitional justice. Her publications include The Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions are Changing World Politics (awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Center Book Award, and the WOLA/Duke University Award); Mixed Signals: U.S. Human Rights Policy and Latin America; Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (co-authored with Margaret Keck and awarded the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas for Improving World Order, and the ISA Chadwick Alger Award for Best Book in the area of International Organizations); and The Persistent Power of Human Rights: From Commitment to Compliance, (co-edited with Thomas Risse and Stephen Ropp). She holds an MA and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Sikkink has been a Fulbright Scholar in Argentina and a Guggenheim fellow. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the editorial boards of International Studies Quarterly,International Organization, and the American Political Science Review.

Footprints in Time. 5 Generations of Mexican Artists at the Parota

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The exhibit will run from August 29th to September 26th at the Art Gallery of the Consulate of Mexico in New Orleans. An opening reception will be held on August 29th at 6 pm.

Information on La Parota:

The Fine Art Center “La Parota” was created in 1996, by the combined efforts of the Government of the State of Colima's Ministry of Culture and the National Council for Culture and the Arts. “The Parota” celebrates a long continuing artistic history, full of achievements and great national and international recognition. The participation of the most important Mexican Masters teaching production of printmaking workshops and Fine Arts have been carried out at this Centre with great success since its beginning.

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Américas Award K-12 Workshop

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For more information contact Denise Woltering (dwolteri@tulane.edu) (504.865.5164)

Download the printable Flyer.

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The Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art are sponsoring a K-12 teacher workshop to celebrate Day of the Dead!

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