Maya Culture: Identity, Language and History
A Celebration of the Life and Work of Pierre Robert Colas
Organizers: Lesley Gill, Sergio Romero, Norbert Ross, and Miriam Shakow
September 25-27, 2009
The Vanderbilt Department of Anthropology will host a conference to celebrate the life of Pierre Robert Colas and examine the themes and perspectives that were central to his work as a Mayanist. It will explore the dynamics of cultural change and identity formation as experienced by Maya people in Belize, Mexico and Guatemala in contemporary populations as well as in the archaeological /epigraphic record. Specific attention will be paid to language and religion, as both vehicles and expressions of cultural change. Panelists will come from the fields of epigraphy, archaeology, cultural anthropology and linguistics. Papers will consider how Mayan identities, memories, religions, and languages form in specific socio-political contexts. They will range from the cognitive foundations of oral history and the construction of memory to Maya names in the epigraphic and colonial records to language change. This wide range of topics reflects the broad interests Colas pursued in his young career.