Lecture series to focus on Mayan culture

Sep 25, 2009 | General News

The Maya people of Mexico and Central America will be the focus in October, when Louisiana Tech and the Lincoln Parish Library team up to present a series of lectures, “The Maya and the World.”

The series will feature internationally known specialists in Maya studies.  Upcoming speakers include:

• Grace Lloyd Bascopé, Mexico project director at the Maya Research Program, will speak at the library at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22 and at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 23 in Wyly Tower.

• Monica Bontty, an assistant professor of history at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, will speak at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 29 in Wyly Tower and at the parish library on the same day at 6:30 p.m.

• W. George Lovell, a professor of geography at Queen’s University in Canada, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5 at the parish library on and at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 6 in Wyly Tower.

Taylor E. Mack, an assistant professor of geography at Tech, said the history of the Maya people goes back thousands of years.

“Many people know that the Maya built a great civilization in the New World that flourished between about A.D. 300 and about A.D. 900,” Mack said.

Mack noted that many ancient Maya cities are popular tourist destinations, such as Chichén Itzá in Mexico, Tikal in Guatemala and Copán in Honduras.

“What a lot of people don’t know is that the Maya, their culture and their language are still very much alive today,” he said. “Substantial Maya immigrant communities can also be found in the United States and Canada.”

Citing recent media attention to the Maya, Stephen Webre, Tech department head and a professor of history, said he expects there will be a lot of interest in the lectures.

“Some people claim that ancient Maya prophesies predict the world to end in 2012,” Webre said. “That kind of gap between fiction and science is one of the issues we expect to address during the lecture series.” 

“The Maya and the World” is sponsored by Tech and the Lincoln Parish Library, with major funding from the Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund, and additional funding from the College of Liberal Arts, the department of history, the department of social sciences and the School of Literature and Language.

Admission is free and all events are open to the public.

Written by Judith Roberts