October 11, 12 and 13, 2013 with Nicholas Hopkins
Lecture: Continuity and Change in Maya Poetics and Storytelling.
Nicholas A. Hopkins, Adjunct Faculty in Anthropology and Linguistics, Florida State University.
Advances in reading Classic period hieroglyphic inscriptions over the past twenty years have made it possible for us to appreciate the literary art of the Maya along with their calendrics, mathematics, iconography, architecture, and other arts. At the same time, field work with the modern Maya has resulted in a detailed understanding of the art of Maya storytelling. Comparing the modern Chol (Mayan) narrative style with that of their cultural forebears of more than one thousand years earlier reveals striking parallels. Not only are many of the same rhetorical devices employed in both, but the overall strategy of narrative presentation is similar. Work with modern storytellers has greatly enhanced our ability to appreciate the intent of the Classic writers. However, with the introduction and proliferation of modern education in Maya communities, the tradition is threatened. Native literature is not widely taught; rather, Maya students are taught to compose in European style, and national institutions publish materials that are decidedly non-traditional. Examples of modern publications of Chol poetry and folktales illustrate the decline of a literature with an amazing past. Teaching the history of Maya literature could result in reversing the process.
Nick Hopkins also spoke in an interview with Phyllis Messenger after his workshop.
This talk occurred Friday, October 11, 7:30 PM, at 304-305 Anderson Center, Hamline University.
October 12-13 — Hieroglyphic Workshop with Nick Hopkins
Maya Society of Minnesota 2013
Led by Nick Hopkins, this workshop will sharpen the skills of participants at all levels of glyph-reading in the appreciation of Classic Maya art and literature. Participants will take a detailed look at the Maya art and inscriptions that are displayed in the current Science Museum exhibit. From the long hieroglyphic inscription of Copan’s Stela A to the meaningless strings of pseudoglyphs on Chama ceramics, we will survey Classic texts and examine the way texts are correlated with the images they accompany. Some of the texts are historical, some mythological, some poetic. Likewise, some of the images are historical, some mythological, and some simply flights of fancy. The ways in which these factors are intertwined is truly impressive. The goal of the workshop is to sharpen the skills of the participants in the appreciation of Classic Maya art and literature.
Saturday, October 12, 9 am-4 pm, East Hall 106, Hamline University
9 am-noon: The workshop begin with coffee and rolls and an overview of Maya hieroglyphic writing, serving as an introduction for beginners and a refresher for those with some experience with glyphs.
Noon: Lunch on your own (Anderson Center or your choice)
1-4 pm: The afternoon session will introduce the inscriptions in the Maya exhibit at the Science Museum. From the long hieroglyphic inscription of Copan’s Stela A (see illustration, from Schele_Number_1002) to the meaningless strings of pseudo-glyphs on Chama ceramics, we will survey Classic texts and examine the way texts are correlated with the images they accompany. Texts include:
- Bonampak Murals; Copan, Altar Q, Stela A
- The Madrid Codex; Piedras Negras, Lintel 2
- Quirigua, Stela C; The Sak Tz’I’ Panel
- Yaxchilan, Lintel 24, Lintel 2
Sunday, October 13, 9 am-3 pm, Discovery Hall, Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 W. Kellogg Blvd, St. Paul 55102
9 am-noon: After a brief orientation to the exhibit, we will tour “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed.”
Noon: Lunch on your own (at Elements Café, Science Museum or your choice).
1-3 pm: Nick will lead a debrief and discussion of inscriptions seen in the exhibit. Wrap-up. Feel free to stay and see the rest of the museum or the omnitheatre show on your own.
Registration: $80 (general public), $70 (Maya Society and Science Museum members), $40 (currently enrolled students and K-12 teachers), $10 (Science Museum staff and volunteers). Registration Form.
- Thursdays at Four November 7, 2013, LiDAR, Water and the Demise of Greater Angkor with Roland Fletcher
- Symposium, November 7-9, 2013: Resilience and Sustainability: What Are We Learning From the Maya and Other Ancient Cultures
- Maya Lecture and Workshop Series, June – December 2013
- Maya Society
- Science Museum of Minnesota
- Fall 2013 Seminar Resilience and Sustainability
- Teaching Heritage Collaborative at the IAS
Questions? Contact the Maya Society at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-625-8606 (Phyllis Messenger, IAS).