Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cal State L.A. 2009 Conference on Mesoamerica

2009 Conference on Mesoamerica
Continuity and Change in Mesoamerican History
From the Pre-Classic to the Colonial Era

May 15-16, 2009
California State University, Los Angeles

Call for Papers

This conference on Mesoamerica commemorates the first centennial of Tatiana A. Proskouriakoff’s birth. Born in 1909 in Tomsk, Siberia (Russia), Proskouriakoff migrated with her family to the United States in 1916. She studied architecture and archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania, and began doing fieldwork on Maya sculpture and architectural reconstruction in Piedras Negras, Guatemala (1936-1937), Copán, Honduras (1938-1939), Chichén Itzá (1939-1940), and in Mayapán (1951-1955). In her first published article (1944), Proskouriakoff linked historical inscriptions in carved jade found in Chichén Itzá with the history of rulership in Piedras Negras, thus making it possible to undertake stylistic analysis of Classic Maya monuments and to understand the inscriptions in Maya sculptures and glyphs of the historical succession of rulers. Proskouriakoff’s work during the 1950s dealt with Mexico’s Gulf Coast, giving due emphasis to the meaning and function of the ancient ballgame as found in regional sculpture. While at the Peabody Museum (Harvard University), Proskouriakoff began her detailed stylistic analysis of Maya hieroglyphic inscriptions in the belief that, more so than a record of ritual and calendric information, the contents were historical in scope. This breakthrough in Mesoamerican research led to Proskouriakoff’s historical dating of ruling dynasties in Yaxchilán, México (1964). Recognized for her fieldwork and publications on Maya inscriptions, architectural reconstructions, and the stylistic analysis of Maya sculpture, Proskouriakoff is also remembered for her contributions to the interpretation of ideological features in Mesoamerican art, religion, and native reverence toward ancestors. In 1984, Guatemala honored Proskouriakoff with the Order of the Quetzal. She died in 1985. Proskouriakoff’s book, Maya History, appeared posthumously in 1993 as a testimony of a life devoted to the study of Mesoamerica. In this commemoration of Proskouriakoff’s birth, the conference organizers invite papers on the following topics:

1. Tatiana Proskouriakoff and her contributions to Mesoamerican studies.
2. Maya Epigraphy.
3. Mesoamerica and its historical periods
4. The Epiclassic and multiethnic urban centers
5. Art and ideology in Mesoamerican Artifacts
6. Mesoamerican cave archaeology
7. Landscape, skyscape, and architectural design
8. Colonial ethnohistorical narratives and the question of historical periods
9. The Mexica and the Triple Alliance during the reign of Moctezuma Xocoyotzin
10. Religion, divination, and lunar symbolism in The Codex Borgia
11. History and ideology in the work of Spanish cronistas of the 16th century.
12. Mesoamerican culture and language in the work of Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians, and Jesuits during the Colonial era.
13. Mesoamerica as a linguistic area: continuity and change in indigenous language texts.
14. Architecture, painting, literature, and sculpture: the encoding of Mesoamerican cultural features during the Colonial Era.
15. Transculturation in Art and History of 16th Century Mesoamerica

The deadline for a one-page abstract of conference papers is April 17, 2009. Please send your abstract as an electronic attachment to or mail to the following address:

Prof. Roberto Cantú
Department of Chicano Studies
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032
Telephone: (323) 343-2195

Nearby Hotels: Alhambra, Pasadena, and San Gabriel, CA
Make your reservations ASAP

1. San Gabriel Hilton (San Gabriel, California). This hotel is close to the San Bernardino Freeway (10) and Cal State L.A. It is at the heart of nice shops and several restaurants, with luxurious rooms and beautiful décor. Highly recommended. We have been promised a corporate rate of $129 per room (one King bed, or two Queen beds). The San Gabriel Hilton is located at 225 West Valley Boulevard, San Gabriel, CA, 91776. Telephone: (626) 270-2700. Fax (626) 270-2777.

2. Days Inn-Alhambra (Alhambra, California). This hotel is nearby restaurant row and very close to the University. The manager (“David”) has promised us the following special rates: 1 King Bed: $79 per night; 2 Queen Beds: $89 per night. Breakfast is included. You can make your reservation through e-mail:

3. Alhambra Inn & Suites. This hotel in the City of Alhambra is a few blocks from a major shopping center and restaurants. Breakfast is included. The assistant manager (“Angelica”) has assured us that conference participants will receive a special rate: $59.36 (includes tax) per night (single or double). The manager’s name is Jeff Chu, and he and the hotel can be reached at Fax: (626) 576-5937.

Conference Highlights :

Featured Speaker
John Pohl
Curator of the Arts of the Americas
Fowler Museum at UCLA

Title of Lecture
“The Hummingbird and the Flower Prince:
New Approaches to Identifying Regional Political
Interaction from an Analysis of the Narrative Themes on
Postclassic Polychrome Vessels”
May 15, 11:45 am.-1:00 pm. Theatre, University-Student Union


Viewing of the film “Breaking the Maya Code” based
on a book by Michael Coe with references
to Tatiana Proskouriakoff’s life and work.
David Lebrun
Night Fire Films
May 15, 6:00-8:00 pm. Salazar Hall E-184

A two-hour decipherment workshop on Maya writing systems
Presented by
David Lebrun
Night Fire Films
May 16, 9:30-11:30 am. Salazar Hall C-164B

Featured Speaker
Citlalli H. Xochitiotzin
Presidenta del Seminario de Cultura Mexicana
Tlaxcala, México Title of Lecture
“Otra visión de la conquista en México: mitos y realidades”
May 15, 2009 Salazar Hall E-184, 4:30-5:45 pm.

Featured Speaker
Viola König
Ethnologisches Museum SMB Berlin
Berlin, Germany

Title of Lecture
"New Insights on Mesoamerican Iconography and Symbolism"
May 16, 2009 Theatre, University-Student Union, 11:45 am.-1:00 pm

Featured Speaker

Karl Taube

UC Riverside

Title of Lecture

“The Womb of the World:

The Cuauhxicalli and Other Offering Bowls

Of Ancient and Contemporary Mesoamerica

May 16, 2:00 pm.-3:15 pm

Theatre, University-Student Union


Keynote Speaker
David Carrasco

Founder and Director of the Mesoamerican Archive
Neil L. Rudenstein Professor of the Study of Latin America
Harvard University

Title of Lecture:

“Re-Discovering Aztlán and a Mesoamerican Odyssey:
An Interpretive Journey through the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan”
May 16, 6:00-8:00 pm. Salazar Hall E-184 ____________________________________________________________________
Conference Program forthcoming in the Spring 2009.
This event will be free and open to the public