Final speaker in Maya lecture series to speak tonight, tomorrow

Nov 5, 2009 | General News

Geographer W. George Lovell is set to appear as the final speaker in the lecture series “The Maya and the World,” presented by Louisiana Tech University and the Lincoln Parish Library.

To conclude the series, Lovell will make two public presentations:

• “At Peace in the Corn: A Story of Civil War and its Aftermath in Guatemala,” Thursday, Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Parish Library

• “Surviving Conquest: Geography, Colonialism, and Maya Peoples in Guatemala,” Friday, Nov. 6 at 11 a.m. in Wyly Tower Auditorium on the Louisiana Tech campus.

Admission is free and the public is welcome.

An internationally recognized cultural and historical geographer, W. George Lovell will examine the strength, endurance, and adaptability of the Maya people of Guatemala, who over the past 500 years have survived waves of conquest by Spanish adventurers, by international capitalism, and by state terror.

According to Lovell, between 1961 and 1996 civil war in Guatemala claimed the lives of an estimated 200,000 people, more than 80 percent of whom were Maya Indians.

In “At Peace in the Corn” he will focus on the experience of one Maya family.

“Such an approach raises questions pertaining to continued insecurity, lack of justice, and uninvestigated crimes, the combined effects of which still haunt community life throughout the countryside,” Lovell said.

In the Friday morning presentation at Tech, Lovell will take a broader approach, sketching out the struggles, sufferings, and triumphs of the Maya people during the five centuries since the arrival of the Spanish.

A native of Glasgow, Scotland, W. George Lovell holds an M.A. in geography from the University of Glasgow, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in geography from the University of Alberta, Canada. Since 1979, he has taught at Queen’s University, Canada, where he currently serves as professor of geography. Dr. Lovell also teaches in the graduate program at Pablo de Olavide University in Seville, Spain.

Among Dr. Lovell’s numerous publications are Conquest and Survival in Colonial Guatemala: A Historical Geography of the Cuchumatán Highlands of Guatemala, 1500-1821 (1985), Demography and Empire: A Guide to the Population History of Spanish Central America, 1500-1821 (1995), A Beauty that Hurts: Life and Death in Guatemala (2000), and multiple articles in specialized journals and collections.

Dr. Lovell’s love of music is reflected in his recent book The Waiter Brought a Tray: A Life (of sorts) with Procol Harum (2007).

“The Maya and the World” is sponsored by Louisiana Tech University 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. Event support is provided by the student members of Phi Alpha Theta, History Honor Society, and Sigma Delta Pi, National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.

Written by Judith Roberts