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Imaginary Aztec: Three Views of Mesoamerica’s Central Places

The Oak Room, Fellowship House
December 1, 2017
05:30 PM to 07:00 PM
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Pre-Columbian Studies Public Lecture, Davíd Carrasco, Harvard University

This illustrated lecture explores how two Mesoamerican cities were described and painted as central places where prodigious sacred powers ruled the urban landscape. Professor Carrasco compares how Tenochtitlan and Cholula were reimagined by writers and artists as the symbolic and political centers of the Mesoamerican universe. Discussion of writings and images focuses on three major artistic representations: the Codex Mendoza, the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan, and George Yepes’s astonishing El Caballero Aguila.

Davíd Carrasco, Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America at Harvard University, is a Mexican American historian of religions with particular interest in Mesoamerican cities as symbols and the Mexican American borderlands. Working with Mexican archaeologists, he has carried out research in the excavations and archives associated with the sites of Teotihuacan and Mexico-Tenochtitlan, resulting in Religions of MesoamericaCity of Sacrifice, and Quetzalcoatl and the Irony of Empire. He is the recipient of the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle and was named one of Harvard's favorite teachers by the class of 2014.