|PSC 6900 003||
Blood and Visions:
|Latin American Studies; Diversity 3; writing intensive||Lowell S. Gustafson||Bartley Hall 028|
|W 2:00 pm - 3:50 pm|
(My monitor is a 15" set at 1024 x 768 to view this syllabus and links.)
Latin America saw people practice politics for at least 12,000 years before Columbus and Cortes, European colonization and national independence, caudillos and constitutions. Latin American political history did not begin at San Salvador (where Columbus said he first landed) or Virginia's Jamestown colony. It was well established by the time the Olmec built La Venta 3,200 years ago. Recorded American history does not begin with Columbus' diaries, but at least with a date of September 3, 32 B.C. (in our calendar) at Tres Zapotes.
|For over a thousand years before the Spanish and English arrived in the Americas, the Maya built great temples, plazas, and palaces in cities in which tens of thousands of farmers, weavers, merchants, warriors, sculptors, scribes, and others lived. They engaged in war, trade, and diplomacy. They developed a mathematical system with the concept of zero, which meant completion rather than nothingness. They reflected on highly developed religious thought and art, established sophisticated architectural styles, molded subtly personal ceramics, calculated astronomical events, carefully kept track of the passing of time, and organized governments. In rituals from which they drew the life force of K'ul in blood, they experienced visions that infused their activities with spiritual meaning. They crafted an artistic style of writing with which they recorded their past, politics, and religious thought. As these writings on paper, stone, and woven fabric have increasingly been deciphered in recent years, the ancient Maya whispers have seemed just a little more clear to us.|
|Even though much of their world remains shrouded by the jungle, erosion, and uncertainty, a century and a half of research has brought much of it to light. In this class, we will study the words, ruins, and images left by the ancient Maya, as we try to understand their thought, politics, and society. We will consider how they transformed themselves from villagers into a great civilization,
how they compare to other ancient civilizations - why they stopped building their cities and why their
population suddenly and precipitously declined - and how they have
persisted throughout the colonial and national periods. We will
conclude by reviewing the famous Aztec civilization.
Required Books (at Kennedy Hall Bookstore)
of the seminar will have read the required readings for each class and be
prepared to discuss them.
Each student will make a presentation to the class during the semester. (The current schedule is at the end of this syllabus.) Either one or two people will sign up for each class period.
Each presentation will consist of two parts: 1) raising questions from the assigned reading(s) for class dicussion and 2) developing a theme of your own interest drawn from the suggested readings for that class period. Some of the many available websites on the Maya may also be of use. When you make your presentation, the rest of the seminar's members will respond to your questions, make comments, ask questions, and make suggestions that can be used for the revision of a 20 (double spaced, inch margin, 12 point font) page paper that will be due on April 28. All papers must be posted on the course web site. These papers will be among the materials covered on the final exam.
To post your paper, click on the course web site link here, and then use your Villanova email user id and password. Then click on "Discussions" and then on your topic. Then click on "compose message" type in a subject and something in the body of the message; and then go to "browse." Find where you have saved your paper on your own computer and then click "open." Then remember to "attach file" to your message. Then click "Post." I know; this is very clunky. If this makes no sense, email it to me and I will post it.
But do get into the discussion page in order to read each other's papers; they are part of the required reading for the final exam. By the Sunday after your presentation, each student in the seminar will post a response to it in which the following points are covered:
|Paper (revised version due April 28)||40%|
|Class Participation and Presentations||20%|
|Please plan on following the syllabus: I will be as understanding of requests for extra time, postponements, and absences as your boss, client, or customer will be a year or two from now. Please call me at 610-519-4737 any time, or email me, about any topic - and if you'd like to stop by SAC 256 for an appointment.|
|Origins of Mesoamericans, Archaic Period (Sharer, chapter 2)|
|January 21||The Olmec, Zapotec, & Teotihuacan|
|PreClassic, (Sharer, chapter 3)|
|January 28||Early Classic (Sharer, chapter 4)|
|The Rise of Tikal and Calakmul|
|February 4||Late Classic: Caracol, Petexbatun, Dos Pilas, Naranjo (Sharer, chapter 5, pp 211 - 236), Restored Tikal (Sharer 264 - 271)|
|Yaxchilan (Sharer, 236 - 252),|
|February 11||Piedras Negras (Sharer, 262 - 264), Bonampak (Sharer, 252 - 261)|
|Palenque (Sharer, 275 - 296)|
|February 18||Copan and Quirigua (Sharer, 297 - 337)|
|Terminal Classic (Sharer, 338 - 367)|
|February 25||Uxmal and the Puuc (Sharer, 369 - 383)|
|Postclassic and Chichen Itza (Sharer, Chapter 7)|
|Spring Break||March 1 - 7|
|March 10||The Popol Vuh|
|March 24||Ideology and Cosmology. (Sharer, Chapter 11)|
|Arithmetic, Calendrics, and Astronomy. (Sharer, Chapter 12)|
|March 31||Architecture, Sculpture, and Painting. (Sharer, Chapter 14)|
|Artifacts, burial goods, caches, refuse, (Sharer, Chapter 15) (and Ancient Maya Women, Men, Soldiers)|
(You'll need to install the free Adobe Acrobat if you don't already have it)
|April 14||Gender (Gustafson)
Translation Project continued
|April 21||Aztecs: Clendinnen|
|April 28||The Colonial Period (suggested: Clendinnen, Ambivalent Conquests)|
|The National Period|
The available dates / topics for the second half of the semester are:
|Our final exam will be on Tuesday, May 4 at 4:15 p.m|