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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Upcoming Events

Noon-Time Talk on Behind Closed Doors, Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492-1898 with Lucia Abramovic

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Join Lucia Abramovich, NOMA's curatorial fellow for Spanish colonial art for a Noontime Talk on the exhibition Behind Closed Doors, Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492-1898.

Noontime Talks are brief, informative discussions on exhibitions and installations in NOMA's galleries. Wednesdays are free admission days for Louisiana residents. Please visit the NOMA website for more information.

MARI Brown Bag: Marcello Canuto, "The Tombs of La Corona: La Noblesse Oblige"

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Marcello Canuto, Director of the Middle American Research Institute at Tulane University, will present about his recent investigations at La Corona. The talk will focus on tombs discovered during the 2014 field season and the information these tombs provides about the broader socio-political relationships at La Corona.

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!

Mining, Privilege, and Artistic Production in the Colonial Andes: Short Film and Roundtable Discussion

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This program includes a screening of Harun Farocki's film The Silver and the Cross (20 min), which examines a 1758 painting by Gaspar Miguel de Berrío that depicts the city and the surrounding silver mines of Potosí, Bolivia. A roundtable discussion featuring three local scholars of Colonial Latin America will follow the film. The discussion will employ the film's description of colonial Potosí as an anchor for a broader discussion about colonial Andean economics, history, and art, particularly as it relates to Behind Closed Doors: Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492-1898.

The goal of this event is to better understand the mechanisms that created the level of wealth exhibited in Behind Closed Doors, and to shed light on an often overlooked city that was essential to the economic success of Spanish America for hundreds of years.

The roundtable discussants are Dr. Kris Lane, the France V. Scholes Professor of Colonial Latin American History, Department of History, Tulane University; Dr. John Charles, Associate Professor of Colonial Spanish American Literature and Director of Graduate Studies, Spanish and Portuguese Department, Tulane University; and Dr. Ari Zighelboim, Lecturer, Spanish and Portuguese Department, Tulane University. Lucia Abramovich, NOMA's Curatorial Fellow for Spanish Colonial Art, will moderate the discussion.

About Dr. Kris Lane
Kris Lane holds the France V. Scholes Chair in Colonial Latin American History at Tulane University. His books include Quito 1599: City & Colony in Transition, Colour of Paradise: The Emerald in the Age of Gunpowder Empires, and Pillaging the Empire: Piracy in the Americas, 1500-1750. He is currently writing a history of the great Potosí mint scandal of 1649, along with an annotated translation of early writings on Potosí.

About Dr. John Charles
John Charles is Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Tulane University. He is the author of numerous articles on colonial Andean literature and history, and the book Allies at Odds: The Andean Church and Its Indigenous Agents, 1583-1671 (University of New Mexico Press, 2010).

About Dr. Ari Zighelboim
Ari Zighelboim (Lima, 1960) studied in Peru, Israel and the United States, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in history and East Asian studies, an MA in cultural anthropology and a PhD in Spanish and Latin American literature. His masters paper dealt with scenes of human sacrifice on mountains in Moche iconography, and his PhD thesis with the surviving Inca nobility during the colonial period in Peru and its cultural and social strategies. He has written about Ruben Dario, Juan de Espinosa Medrano, the drama in Quechua Ollantay, Potosí and other topics. He has also published a volume of poetry. He is now senior lecturer in the department of Spanish and Portuguese at Tulane university.

Reimagining Race, Class, and Identity in the New World

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Assistant Professor Mia Bagneris will lecture on "Reimagining Race, Class, and Identity in the New World," on Friday, September 12 at 6pm at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The lecture will be held in conjunction with the exhibit, Behind Closed Doors: Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492-1898.

Professor Bagneris teaches African American/Diaspora art history and studies of race in Western Art. Her own work concentrates on the construction of race in British and American art and visual culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Performance by Afro-Cuban band Sintesis

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The Cuban and Caribbean Institute presents: Sintesis

Afro-Cuban group Sintesis, founded in 1974 by Carlos Alfonso Valdes, is one of Cuba's musical emblems. The contemporary band has elements of ethno-fusion rhythms mixed with a core of jazz and rock and roll. In the 1980's, Sintesis grew in popularity, and by mid-late decade, the band was a staple of world music festivals. In 1989, they released their first album "Ancestros," and since then have released many more. Their album "Habana a Flor de Piel" was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award in the category of Best Contemporary Tropical Album in 2002.

All are welcome to attend.

Guantánamo Post-9/11: Human Rights & Constitutional Law in Modern America

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Guantánamo Post-9/11: Human Rights & Constitutional Law in Modern America

Guest speakers:
Jess Bravin: Wall Street Journal, author of Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantánamo Bay
Denny Leboeuf: ACLU, Tulane JD
Chaplain James Yee: Former U.S. Army Chaplain, author of For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire

The Guantánamo Public Memory Project is a traveling exhibit that examines the history of the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, from multiple perspectives and raises questions about U.S.-Cuban relations, civil liberties, national security, and public memory in the past, present, and future. The guest speakers will be giving a talk on the titled event. All are welcome to attend.

For more information about the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, visit http://gitmomemory.org.