Searching for Site Q: Exploration, Archaeology, and Decipherment at La Corona, Guatemala

Searching for Site Q: Exploration, Archaeology, and Decipherment at La Corona, Guatemala
The George E. Stuart Memorial Lecture
Thursday, October 1, 2015

Wilson Special Collections Library
5:30 p.m. Viewing of the exhibition Chronicles of Empire: Spain in the Americas
6:00 p.m. Program

Free and open to the public
Information: Liza Terll, Friends of the Library, (919) 548-1203

An archaeological mystery will be the subject of the George E. Stuart Memorial Lecture at UNC’s Wilson Special Collections Library on October 1. David Stuart, a scholar of Maya writing, will tell the story of the discovery of “Site Q” in Guatemala. Now known as “La Corona,” it is one of the most interesting dynastic centers of ancient Maya civilization.

“Site Q” first came to the attention of archaeologists during the 1960s, when numerous ancient Maya sculptures appeared on the international art market. Archaeologists and art historians were unable to identify a ruin that could be the source of these works. Looters had plundered from a mystery site that came to be known by archaeologists as “Site Q,” for “question.”

In 1997, a team of archaeologists, including David Stuart, set out to investigate an unnamed site in northern Guatemala. Upon entering the ruins, Stuart realized that he was in Site Q, and he named the ruins “La Corona.” Today La Corona is the center of intensive archaeological and epigraphic research and has yielded important new discoveries.

Stuart is the David and Linda Schele Professor of Mesoamerican Art and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1984, he became at age 18 the youngest person to receive a MacArthur fellowship. Stuart has published widely on the archaeology and epigraphy of ancient Maya civilization. His books include The Order of Days (Random House, 2011) and, with George E. Stuart, Palenque: Eternal City of the Maya (Thames & Hudson, 2008). He operates the blog Maya Decipherment.

Stuart is the son of the late Dr. George E. Stuart, who, along with his wife, Melinda Y. Stuart, donated his collection of nearly 13,000 volumes about archaeology and anthropology to the UNC Libraries in 2007. The Stuart Collection is particularly rich in materials related to the Maya.

Stuart’s lecture is sponsored by the Howren Fund of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at UNC-Chapel Hill. It complements Chronicles of Empire: Spain in the Americas, the Rare Book Collection’s fall exhibition in the Melba Remig Saltarelli Exhibit Room of Wilson Library. Lecture attendees are invited to tour the exhibition beginning at 5:30 p.m. The free public exhibition will be on view through January 10, 2016.

– See more at:

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Damming Sonora: Water, Agriculture, and Environmental Change in Northwest Mexico

Sterling Evans, Louise Welsh Chair, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of History, University of Oklahoma
September 22, 2015 at 5:30pm
Room 4003 | FedEx Global Education Center
    This presentation seeks to explore the water history of Sonora, Mexico (just south of Arizona). Every river in the state has been dammed, some more than once. The result is that Sonora, characterized by some of North America’s harshest deserts, is now the most agriculturally productive region of Mexico via intensive irrigation made possible by the dams. Along the way there have been serious social and environmental consequences, all of which are significant aspects of damming Sonora.


sterlingevansSterling Evans holds the Louise Welsh Chair in Southern Plains and Borderlands History at the University of Oklahoma where he teaches Latin American, environmental, and borderlands history. His research interests include North American transnational history and ecosystem or landscape histories that transcend national boundaries. He is the author of Bound in Twine: The Henequen-Wheat Complex for Mexico and the American and Canadian Plains, 1880-1950 (Texas A&M, 2007) and The Green Republic: A Conservation History of Costa Rica (Texas, 1999). His current book project,Damming Sonora: An Environmental and Transnational History of Water, Agriculture, and Society in Northwest Mexico (Arizona, forthcoming) is nearing completion. He is also researching the history of the sugar industry in the Cauca Valley of Colombia as part of his interests in commodity chains. He has edited two volumes, one on American Indian history as a companion reader for U.S. survey courses (Praeger, 2002), and the other entitled The Borderlands of the American and Canadian Wests: Essays on Regional History of the 49th Parallel (Nebraska, 2006). His PhD was from the University of Kansas, and he previously taught at the University of Alberta, Humboldt State University, and Brandon University of Manitoba.

The speaker series is co-sponsored by the UNC Water Theme Committee and the Department of History.

Event co-sponsored by The Institute for the Study of the Americas.

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Chronicles of Empire: Spain in the Americas

Originally posted from our UNC Global friends
Spain’s discovery, conquest and settlement of the Western hemisphere is examined through the outstanding holdings in the Rare Book Collection at Louis Round Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This includes the Bernard J. Flatow Collection of Latin American Cronistas, as well as other sixteenth- and seventeenth-century volumes. These early printed books demonstrate how the new graphic media communicated globally the story of Spain’s imperial enterprise, the first truly global empire.

This exhibition is part of the Institute for the Study of the Americas commemoration, “One Hundred Years of Latin American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1915-2015.” It will be on display in the Melba Saltarelli Exhibit Room of the Wilson Special Collections Library from Sept. 14 to Jan. 10, 2016.

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Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies—Call for proposals


63rd Annual Conference
Cartagena, Colombia
March 9-13, 2016 | Call for papers

The 63rd Annual Meeting of SECOLAS will take place in Cartagena, Colombia from Wednesday, March 9, 2016 to Sunday, March 13, 2016. SECOLAS invites faculty members, independent scholars and graduate students to submit panel and individual paper proposals for participation in the conference. Submissions on any aspect of Latin American and/or Caribbean Studies are welcomed. Graduate student presenters will be eligible to apply for the Ed Moseley Award for the best paper presented at the SECOLAS meeting. After the conference, all presenters will be eligible to submit their paper for publication consideration in The Latin Americanist, an international, peer-reviewed journal published by SECOLAS and Wiley Blackwell.


The Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies (SECOLAS)
SECOLAS is a non-political and non-profit association of individuals interested in Latin America. Its objectives are the promotion of interest in Latin America, scholarly research pertaining to Latin America in all fields, and the increase of friendly contacts among the peoples of the Americas.

SECOLAS holds one annual meeting each spring, at which scholarly papers and other activities are presented, as well as, the business meeting of members. SECOLAS also prints select conference papers once a year in a publication, entitled The Annals, a special issue of its academic journal, entitled The Latin Americanist. The Latin Americanist is published in cooperation with Wiley-Blackwell.

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Call for Proposals | Deadline August 14 for Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies Interdisciplinary Working Groups

Deadline: August 14

Would you like to collaborate or keep collaborating with faculty and graduate students from different disciplines who share your passion for a focused research topic related to Latin America and/or the Caribbean? Would you like to participate in seminars, conferences, and professional development workshops with colleagues from both Duke and UNC campuses? Would you like to invite cutting-edge intellectuals and/or practitioners in your field of study to your campus/courses, complete a group publication, or present your own graduate work for feedback from your peers and professors? All of these possibilities exist in the interdisciplinary Working Groups sponsored by the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. The competition is open to Duke and UNC faculty and graduate students from all disciplines.
The UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies is pleased to announce a call for proposals for the 2015-2016 Working Groups Program. The Working Groups provide one of the principal means by which the Consortium discharges its missions to promote interdisciplinary research and innovative scholarship, enhance the experience of graduate education, and disseminate knowledge of Latin America and the Caribbean to the wider university community. The program supports collaboration among faculty and graduate students from different departments, professional schools, and curricula on both campuses.
The Consortium will consider proposals that promote interdisciplinary collaborative and creative projects among Latin American and Caribbean faculty and graduate students at UNC and Duke University. Successful proposals will need to demonstrate strong faculty leadership and involvement. Please note that under this program, the same Working Group will be funded for a maximum of three years – however, an annual evaluation will take place (working groups can lose funding). Proposals will be considered in the following priority order:
• Joint Duke-UNC: Led by 2 faculty members (one from each campus) with at least 4 graduate student participants (some from each university). Or
• 2-campuses: Led by 1 faculty member (from either campus) with at least 4 graduate student participants (some from each university). Or
• 1-campus proposal: Led by 2 faculty members representing different disciplines at one campus and a minimum of 4 graduate student participants from either university. Every effort will be made to maintain parity for single-campus proposals between UNC and Duke.
In all cases, at least two disciplines must be represented.
Funds will be awarded competitively to no more than four (4) Working Groups on an annual basis within a budgetary framework up to $5,000 per year. We accept proposals that extend the range of work up to two years and envision a community / academic / exhibit / performance / publication event in the second cycle of the grant.
Proposals must include:
(1) Application Form
(2) Proposal narrative (see instructions and outline to be followed on application form)
(3) Itemized budget request (see sample budget)
(4) Groups that were funded in 2014-2015 and are requesting funding for 2015-2016 must also complete a reporting form.
Please submit your proposal as an e-mail attachment (Word documents and/or PDF files are preferred) to Miguel Rojas-Sotelo ( no later than Friday, August 14, 2015.
*Note that this is an absolute deadline, and late submissions will not be considered. Applicants should be aware that there will be a delay in notifications compared to previous years. Therefore any proposed activities that require travel arrangements should be planned for mid-Fall semester or later.
If you have any questions about this process, please do not hesitate to contact General information about working group guidelines can be found on the Consortium Web site
Note: Working Group events must be open to the public and thereby serve as a way to increase public awareness of Latin America and the Caribbean, past and present.

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Photos: Museo Palacio Canton

11148360_990347604322990_169019890978711390_oWe are delighted to share photos from our Yucatec Maya Institute friends and participants. We hope you have a wonderful experience!

Courtesy of the Museo Palacio Canton Facebook page:

En el Museo Palacio Cantón, nos llena de alegría recibir al grupo de intercambio de la Universidad de Carolina del Norte para sus estudios de lengua maya yucateco (Yucatec Maya Institute Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University) coordinados por el Mtro. Fidencio Briceño.




























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ISA Faculty Member Emilio del Valle Escalante editor of new publication: Teorizando las literaturas indígenas contemporáneas


ISA Faculty member and Associate Professor of Spanish Emilio del Valle Escalante is the editor of the new publication, Teorizando las literaturas indígenas contemporáneas (A contracorriente Press, 2015). The book is the result of the UNC-Duke’s Abya Yala Working Group and the majority of the contributors for the volume have been invited speakers at UNC-CH and Duke between 2012-14.

“This book signals the profound process of visibilization that is happening in the contemporary intellectual, literary, social-political world(s) of indigenous peoples,” said Inés Hernández Ávila, University of California—Davis.

The introduction and eight chapters in English and Spanish that make up Teorizando las literaturas indígenas contemporáneas examine the textual production of indigenous authorship. The authors start from the nineties and problematize the relationship between Indigenous People and nation-state in Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Brazil. It is one of the book’s suggestions that current indigenous movements and their demands can be best understood through a critique of textual production of its organic intellectuals. While much has been written about the activities of the social movements and current indigenous textual production, there is still the need for a book that contextualizes what has enabled the emergence of a contemporary indigenous literary canon and its relationship to those social movements. This book aims to fill some of these gaps.

The Duke and UNC-CH’s Abya Yala Working Group aimed to invite a number of Indigenous writers, local leaders, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars that experience and work on issues of indigeneity to create open and public events that include literary readings, scholarly talks, workshops, and seminars.  The group engaged UNC-CH and Duke faculty and students in discussions about topics such as Indigenous rights (be these religious, cultural, linguistic, political), discussions of Indigenous identity and self-representation, Indigenous/Afro-descendant relations, among others.

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2015 Américas Award goes to Duncan Tonatiuh and Margarita Engle

May 18, 2015
Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh is one of this year’s 2015 Américas Award winners.  Margarita Engle, author of Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal also wins this year’s 2015 Américas Award.  The award links the Americas to reach beyond geographic borders, as well as multicultural-international boundaries, focusing instead upon cultural heritages within the hemisphere.  
The awards are administered by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) and coordinated by both Tulane University’s “Stone Center for Latin American Studies”: and Vanderbilt University’s “Center for Latin American Studies.”:  Generous support is also provided by “Florida International University”:, the “University of Florida”:, “University of New Mexico”:, “Stanford University”:, and the “University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.”:
Award Winners
Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation, published by Abrams Books is the story of a young girl and her family fighting for desegregation during a time of racial discrimination against Hispanics and minorities in general.  The book explores the experience of eight year old Sylvia Mendez  in what led to the landmark desegregation case of 1946 Mendez v. Westminster. 
Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt explores “the young ‘silver people’ whose backbreaking labor built the canal to the denizens of the endangered rain forest itself.”
The Américas Committee selected two Honor Books; Migrant written by José Manuel Mateo and illustrated by Javier Martínez Pedro published by Abrams Books for Young Readers and Strike! The Farm Workers’ Fight for their Rights by Larry Dane Brimner published by Calkins Creek.
Commended Titles
Thirteen commended titles were selected this year by the committee: A de Activista written by Martha González and illustrated by Innosanto Nagara, and published by Triangle Square; Abuelo by Arthur Dorros and illustrated by Raúl Colón, published by HarperCollins Publishers, Caminar by Skily Brown, published by Candlewick Press; Dalia’s Wondrous Hair/El Cabello Maravilloso de Dalia by Laura Lacámara, published by Piñata Books; Frida & Diego: Art, Love, Life by Catherine Reef, published by Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt; Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero, published by Cinco Puntos Press; Green is a Chile Pepper: a Book of Colors  written by Roseannae Greenfield Thong and illustrated by John Parra, published by Chronicle Books; Letters from Heaven by Lydia Gil, published by Piñata Books; Low Riders in Space written by Cathy Camper and illustrated by Raúl the Third, published by Chronicle Books; Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes written by Juan Felipe Herrera and illustrated by Raúl Colón, published by Penguin Group; The Secret Side of Empty written by Maria E. Andreu, published by Running Press; Twas Nochebuena written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by Sara Palacios and published by Penguin Group.
Complete annotations of the Américas Award 2015 will be posted on the CLASP website.
CLASP’s mission is to promote all facets of Latin American studies throughout the world.  Its broad range of activities include the encouragement of research activities, funding of professional workshops, advancement of citizen outreach activities, and development of teaching aids for the classroom. 
Find us on Facebook for all updates on Américas Award titles:
For more information on the Américas Award make sure to go to the site.
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Maikel Fariñas Borrego receives Chancellor’s Doctoral Candidacy Award


Fariñas Borrego at the North Carolina State Fair

Former ISA intern Maikel Fariñas Borrego was awarded the Chancellor’s Doctoral Candidacy Award. Fariñas Borrego was nominated by the History program: Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Chad Bryant; and faculty advisor, Louis A. Pérez, Jr., based on successful advancement into Ph.D. candidacy.

The award was made possible by a generous commitment from Chancellor Folt.

Fariñas Borrego specializes in Latin America and the Caribbean, with Cuba in particular. His works have been published in several journals and compilations from Cuba, Costa Rica, Brazil, Israel and the United States. In 2009, his master thesis Sociabildad y cultura del ocio was published in a book by the Fernando Ortiz Foundation

Outside of his studies, Fariñas Borrego can be found enjoying movies, especially from his favorite directors Lars von Trier, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Park Chan-wook, and Tomás Gutiérrez Alea.

Fariñas Borrego was awarded the Clein Graduate Summer Internship to work with the Latino Migration Project in 2014.


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Photo Gallery: Borderlands of the Iberian World


We were pleased to host over 35 academics, students and citizens who attended the Borderlands of the Iberian World Second International Author’s Colloquium. The May 14-17 event welcomed global scholars and ended with a Saturday evening reception.

Support generously provided by the University of North Carolina Provost Office, Departments of History, Religious Studies, and Political Sciences, the African Studies Center, Carolina Asia Center, the Institute for Arts and Humanities, and the Institute for the Study of the Americas.

We hope you will enjoy the photos (below)!



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