May 23, 2018  
Catalogue 2017-2018 
Catalogue 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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LALS 243 - Mesoamerican Worlds

1 unit(s)
(Same as ANTH 243 ) A survey of the ethnography, history, and politics of indigenous societies with deep historical roots in regions now located in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. This course explores the emergence of Mesoamerican states with a vivid cosmology tied to warfare and human sacrifice, the reconfiguration of these societies under the twin burdens of Christianity and colonial rule, and the strategies that some of these communities adopted in order to preserve local notions of identity and to cope with (or resist) incorporation into nation-states. After a consideration of urbanization, socio-religious hierarchies, and writing and calendrical systems in pre-contact Mesoamerica, we will focus on the adaptations within Mesoamerican communities resulting from their interaction with an evolving colonial order. The course also investigates the relations between native communities and the Mexican and Guatemalan nation-states, and examines current issues—such as indigenous identities in the national and global spheres, the rapport among environmental policies, globalization, and local agricultural practices, and indigenous autonomy in the wake of the EZLN rebellion. Work on Vassar’s Mesoamerican collection, and a final research paper and presentation is required; the use of primary sources (in Spanish or in translation) is encouraged. David Tavárez.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

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