Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

2014 Maya Symposium Informs Educators, Scholars, and Enthusiasts about Travel in the Ancient Maya World

March 28th, 2014

K-12 educators, archaeologists, art historians, and Maya enthusiasts enjoyed the 2014 Tulane Maya Symposium, On the Maya Trail: Ancient Travelers, Epic Voyages, held March 20-23rd. The symposium, sponsored by the Middle American Research Institute, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, Far Horizons, the Audubon Aquarium, and Beta Analytic, focused on travel within the Maya world.

The weekend kicked off with a special reception for K-12 educators at the Audubon Aquarium. The reception, which celebrated the opening of the Audubon's new Maya Reef exhibit, was attended by K-12 educators and staff and affiliates of MARI, the Stone Center, and the aquarium, allowing everyone to mingle and explore the exhibit. Dr. Marcello Canuto, MARI director, gave a brief talk on the Maya, which was presented in front of the shark exhibit. The teacher workshop continued with a tour of the Maya Reef exhibit by the husbandry staff, who discussed the fish in the exhibit and information about them which the teachers could integrate into their classrooms. Valerie Feathers and Dr. Heather McKillop, of LSU, presented information about the Maya and their investigations on the coast of Belize. Dr. McKillop brought 3-D models of artifacts and a model of a wooden canoe paddle for the participants to examine. The workshop ended with presentations about LARC resources and activities about reefs created by the aquarium. Participants participated in a role-playing activity about the life-cycle of corals. For pictures of the workshop, please visit the Stone Center's Flikr site.

The main component of the symposium was a day of talks discussed traveling in the Maya world from a wide variety of angles. Talks ranged from a discussion of the bio-archaeology of movement, trade on the coast of Yucatan and Belize, and epigraphic images and texts which discuss the movement of individuals. Geographically, the talks included discussions of sites as far north as Cacaxtla, in Central Mexico, as far south as Piedras Negras and La Sufricaya in Guatemala, and everything in between, including the site of Xuenkal, Mexico, and discussions of coastal and western Belize. The breadth, both topically and geographically, provided an excellent picture of the interactions between different areas of Mesoamerica and the multiple facets which discussions of travel can entail.

Saturday's day of talks concluded with a special presentation of Dance of the Maize God, produced by Night Fire Films, the producers of Breaking the Maya Code. This screening, which was free and open to the public, was followed by a panel discussion with David Lebrun, the film's director.

The symposium concluded with a day of workshops about Maya writing. The day started off with a hieroglyphic forum about the Dallas Altar from La Corona. The forum was led by hieroglyphic experts Marc Zender, Joanne Baron, Stanley Guenter, and Alex Tokovinine. Additional workshops treated texts from Tikal and Naj Tunich as well as topical discussions of emblem glyphs and toponyms and patron deities. Roxanne Davila also gave a special presentation on 19th Century explorations of Maya ruins.

The symposium was an excellent mix of workshops and lectures which allowed K-12 educators, Maya enthusiasts, and Maya scholars to mingle and explore the conceptions and study of travel in the Maya area. We are looking forward to another successful symposium in 2015 which will discuss tombs in the Maya area.

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Social Equity Matters & Greener Houses Can Help: talk with Manuel Antonio Aguilar

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In this session, Manuel Antonio Aguilar, President of CASSA will discuss the background of social housing, the current technologies available, the variables needed for a holistic approach to green design for self-sufficient houses, CASSA’s experiences in developing intelligent social housing, the lessons learned through the process in Guatemala and the potential for this type of solutions worldwide.

CASSA is a Guatemalan company focused on self-sufficient social housing that provides their users with 3 vital services: Clean Water, Clean Energy and Sanitation. It is projected that by 2030 1.6 billion people will live in inadequate housing globally. However, there are solutions for this problem. In 2014 our generation finds itself in a "perfect storm" where different variables have collided, where technologies and knowledge are finally accessible everywhere, including developing countries. Efficient lighting, water filters, renewable energies, and waste management tools can easily be manufactured, transported and installed even in the most isolated communities, ushering in the era of intelligent social housing. Sustainable design can improve the quality of life through a dignified dwelling that provides its occupants with resources and services in a clean and renewable way.

Manuel Antonio Aguilar is a social entrepreneur from Guatemala focused on the Base of the Pyramid. He graduated from Harvard University in 2006 with Master's in Astrophysics and a Bachelor with Honors in Astrophysics and Physics. In 2010, he co-founded Quetsol, a solar energy Company focused on rural electrification, where he served as Director of Technology and Board Chairman. For his work, he has received awards and recognition in local and international press and has participated in high-level forums in several countries. Previously, he worked for three years in quantitative finance and co-founded a global macro hedge fund in the United States.

This event is co-sponsored by the Payson Center for International Development, CIPR, and Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship at Tulane University.

Event flyer can be found here.

"Social Equity matters, & Greener Houses Can Help": A discussion with Manuel Antonio Aguilar

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Mexican Filmmaker discusses his film Penumbra

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The Consulate of Mexico in New Orleans, in collaboration with the 25th Annual New Orleans Film Festival, present a conversation with Mexican film director Eduardo Villanueva. Villanueva is the director of Penumbra which will be screened at the film festival on October 19th at 3:45 PM and October 20th at 6 PM.

Penumbra Synopsis:

A rural Mexican couple-poor and decades past their prime-carry about their ritualistic, day-to-day lives, awaiting the inevitable, in this pensive film from Mexican director Eduardo Villanueva. The man, Adelelmo Jimenez, whose face tells stories that his words never do, goes on hunting trips into the woods, setting traps for wild animals and gathering medicinal plants. Meanwhile, his wife, Dolores, tends to their provincial home, washing dishes and preparing whatever meal she can make with what Adelelmo brings home, all the while mourning the death of her son, who was stabbed to death while trying to cross into the U.S.

Like the films of fellow Mexican auteur Carlos Regadas, Penumbra appreciates stillness and likes to linger-oftentimes at length-on beautiful imagery. Shot almost exclusively during the magic-hour, right before the sun settles into night (the title means “partially shadowed”), the film examines the quiet twilight of a one couple’s life and finds the beauty in that transitional period from life to death.

View a trailer here

2014 Tulane University Study Abroad Fair

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The Office of Study Abroad is hosting the annual Study Abroad Fair on Wednesday, October 22nd from 2:00-5:00PM in the LBC Qatar Ballroom. The Stone Center for Latin American Studies will be promoting its Summer in Latin America programs and its semester at CIAPA (Costa Rica) programs, and the Cuban & Caribbean Studies Institute will be promoting its Summer in Cuba program.

Over 100 opportunities in more than 20 countries will be on display from Tulane and non-Tulane institutions to study, intern, volunteer, and travel. Talk to past participants, professors, administrators, and program representatives.

Sponsored by:

The Office of Study Abroad
studyabroad.tulane.edu

Latino Film Series at the 2014 Annual New Orleans Film Festival

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The 25th Annual New Orleans Film Festival is proud to present its Latino Film Sidebar Series at the 2014 NOFF, presented by the New Orleans Film Society.

This year two feature length films and five short films by Latino filmmakers have been selected to premiere at the New Orleans Film Festival 2014.

For the complete festival schedule, film and event info plus online tickets, please visit the New Orleans Film Festival website.

The screening schedule for these films is as follows:

Of Kites and Borders
Follows four children living in Tijuana as they help their families to make ends meet, capturing what the U.S.-Mexico border looks like from the other side. The everyday routines and encounters collected here demonstrate how the border’s very existence — the possibility of crossing, the of America — shapes the lives of those who live alongside it, whether or not they ever leave Tijuana. Director: Yolanda Pividal. View a trailer here.
Saturday, October 18: 3:15pm at Canal Place Cinema
Thursday, October 23: 12:00pm at Canal Place Cinema

Triples (Trillizos) – documentary short screens just prior to each screening of Of Kites and Borders
Lorenzo, Leonel, and Luis are gifted 16-year-old triplets who live with their family in a two-room informal house in Tijuana, Mexico. Through discipline and resolve, they find alternatives to the limited opportunities available in conditions of structural poverty. Director: Itzel Martinez del Canizo

Penumbra
A rural Mexican couple — poor and decades past their prime — carry about their ritualistic, day- to-day lives, awaiting the inevitable, in this pensive film. Penumbra appreciates stillness and likes to linger — oftentimes at length — on beautiful imagery. Shot almost exclusively during the magic hour, right before the sun settles into night, the film examines the quiet twilight of one couple’s life and finds the beauty in that transitional period from life to death. Director: Eduardo Villanueva. View a trailer.
Sunday, October 19: 3:45pm at Canal Place Cinema
Monday, October 20: 6:00pm at Canal Place Cinema
Tuesday, October 21: 6:30pm at New Orleans Mexican Consulate (901 Convention Center Blvd. Suite #119 — 504.528.3722) — Special reception and talk with the Director of the film and the Mexican Consulate (Free and open to the public)

Mirza the Miraculous
This lo-fi, sci-fi tale of outer space, mystics and carnivals centers around a fraudulent shaman known as The Great Bazandini and his daughter, Mirza, who really does have special powers. Originally shot in 1999 along the Mexican border, this is a film 15 years in the making. Featuring Paul Soileau (Christeene) and an original score and sound effects by New Orleans’ own Quintron. Director: Brent Joseph
Sunday, October 19: 9:00pm at Prytania Theater (uptown)

Gloom (Perfidia)
A servant obsesses over the daughter of his recently deceased boss. Turns out the dead boss’ relationship with his daughter had an obsessive side as well. Director: David Figueroa Garcia
Saturday, October 18: 1:30pm at Canal Place Cinema
Tuesday, October 21: 2:00pm at Canal Place Cinema (FREE)

The Great Adventure (La Gran Aventura)
A thesis film from Cuban documentary film students, this short profiles the loneliness of a radio soap script writer. As her life is projected onto the character she is creating and sharing with a listener, she connects two different worlds which seek, through fiction, to make sense of the daily adventure of life. Director: Cassandra Oliveira
Sunday, October 19: 4:00pm at Canal Place Cinema
Thursday, October 23: 3:30pm at Canal Place Cinema (FREE)

Tonita’s
A portrait of the last Puerto Rican social club in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC. The 30-year- old Caribbean sports club has witnessed the transformation of South Williamsburg from a Hispanic neighborhood ravaged by gang violence and drugs into one of the hippest and most luxurious places in New York City. Director: Beyza Boyacioglu, Sebastian Diaz
Sunday, October 19: 4:00pm at Canal Place Cinema
Thursday, October 21: 3:30pm at Canal Place Cinema (FREE)

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Tickets for all screenings may be purchased online and/or at any of each film’s theater box office, as well as in person at the NOFF HQ Box Office inside the main lobby/atrium of the Contemporary Arts Center located at 900 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA, 70130.

Connecting Day of the Dead Traditions Across the Americas: Haiti

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Learn about Day of the Dead traditions in Haiti in this teacher workshop. The teacher workshop will be followed by an optional class on Traditional Haitian Folkloric Dance. Monique Moss, adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Theater and Dance at Tulane University, will lead a teacher workshop about Day of the Dead traditions in Haiti. Day of the Dead traditions in Haiti have their roots in Haitian Vodoo and hence show both similarities and differences to Day of the Dead traditions in other areas of Latin America. The workshop will focus on the performance of Day of the Dead as well as connect the tradition through to New Orleans.

Teacher Workshop
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Traditional Haitian Folkloric Dance Master Class
1:00-2:15 PM
Taught by Menahem Laurent

For a more detailed schedule, please visit the workshop website.

Registration Fee is $10 and includes lunch, teaching materials, and admission to afternoon Haitian dance class.